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Niceties for your neck

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BLOSSOM KOCHCHAR

A beautiful neck, like good skin is not merely a gift of nature. Very often, the neck which is an extension of facial beauty is neglected and ends up wrinkled and crepe-like. The neck and the eyes are the areas most highly susceptible to premature ageing.

There are various reasons for this and all are easy to counteract provided you keep to a regular neck-care programme. Once the neck has become wrinkled, it is really hard work to rejuvenate it. Your neck responds more slowly to treatments than any other feature apart from the eyes, so be patient and persevering.

Wrinkles appear due to drying of the skin and also due to sluggish metabolism. The main thing to remember is that the supply of blood to this area is particularly lax which results in rough, dull, muddy or discoloured skin. Exercise combined with massage as well as a regular good skin-care programme and a good posture, is the answer to a beautiful neck.

Extend your regular skin-care regime of cleansing, toning and nourishing to your neck. When having a bath, scrub your neck with a rough, soapy washcloth or a dried throat scrubber. This makes good sense because scrubbing activates the circulation and removes every trace of deeply embedded grime and dirt. Always clean your neck morning and night with good cleansing milk and remove make-up with damp cotton before rinsing. Once a week, use a fine scrub to remove old skin cells and to polish the skin of the chin and neck.

You can make your own scrub by mixing together one tablespoon sandalwood powder and one tablespoon Multani mitti (Fuller’s earth), as well as enough dahi (yoghurt) to make a paste. Rinse off after ten minutes. Flaky and dehydrated skin responds well to a massage with equal quantities of nourishing cream, almond oil and rose water to which few drops of lemon juice have been added.

To massage the neck, put a little cream on the fingers of each hand and clasp the base of the neck with the thumbs in front and the fingers meeting behind. Now gently massage from the bottom upwards, until you reach the ears. To remove dull skin, use cleansing and tightening masks. Mix one tablespoon dry oatmeal powder with yoghurt. Add the juice of one lime. Massage this pack on the neck and leave for half-an-hour. Rinse off, pat dry and apply moisturizer. The oatmeal and yoghurt remove the dead cells and the lemon juice restores the acid balance. Follow with an almond oil massage.

For the back

Be conscious of the way you hold yourself and practice pulling your shoulders back, stretching the spine and not slouching. Arm swinging exercises help strengthen the back. If you have greasy skin, the areas between your shoulder blades can get very greasy. Wear cotton instead of synthetic fabrics next to skin. Tackle spots and oiliness with this exfoliative creamy back-wash. Mix half teaspoon salt with a tablespoon of milk of magnesia (available at the chemist). Massage into skin and rinse off.

(Introducing a fortnightly column by the beautician and aroma therapist)

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