Don’t be rouge Fashion

Why 'mitti' and 'haldi' win over lactic acid and minerals when it comes to Indian skincare

What really works for us are things like clay, charcoal, honey, orange peel, yoghurt, turmeric, neem, raw honey, and aloe vera   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I’m finally back in India after a month in Europe. While I enjoyed the fresh air and clean food, I missed home terribly, especially the Diwali parties. Of course, there’s cleanliness and safety, but staying there for more than two weeks can be eye-wateringly boring. Give me endless chatter, mayhem and clutter over a quiet dinner any day. Now that I’m back, I’m prepping for the leftover parties. And as I write my column, I’ve slathered my face with the Julisis Silver Mineral Mask, just to look rested for the week.

When it comes to managing time, I’m particularly partial to masking. Even on extremely busy days, I’ll carve out 10 minutes (or 60) because its effects go beyond enhancement of the skin. It’s an act of self love, brightens a dull day and relaxes the mind — call it beauty therapy. And while I do have an entire spectrum of products in my cabinet — it’s my job — the best masks for Indian skins are made in India. I’ve been accused of indulging in only luxury skincare, and yes, guilty as charged. Still, having tried the entire range, I know that a good face mask doesn’t have to cost a thing.

But first, what doesn’t work: cream masks that are labelled ‘hydrating’ and ‘comforting’, which can be a complete waste of money. Just use a good moisturiser instead. Most of us have oily/combination skins, and these masks will not show remarkable improvement. But within this category, make an exception for the Chantecaille Jasmine & Lily Healing Mask. I keep it for winter months when I visit Europe. Used as an overnight mask, by morning, it made my parched complexion baby soft. Having said that, most ‘overnight masks’ break me out and are no better than a good night cream. And while we’re at it, don’t even get me started on sheet masks. Sticky, tacky, and pore clogging, perhaps they only work in Korea where the weather and skin is very different from ours.

Last week, one of my male friends visited me in Germany. He’d never used a mask in his life, so he was treated to Purearth’s Mitti Clay Masque. There might not have been much visible difference, but he felt that his face was much more hydrated and the pores felt cleaner. This also happens to be my husband’s favourite face mask, and he always keeps a jar in his shaving kit. With ingredients such as raw honey, a few types of clays, rosewater, various Ayurvedic herbs, rose hip and tamanu oils, Mitti really helps improve long standing skin conditions over a period of time.

However, the recently-launched Kama Suvarna has dethroned Purearth from its top spot, IMHO. It is a powder made with multani mitti, orange peel, neem, rose petals, colloidal oatmeal and haldi. Mix it with Organic India honey and Kama Rosewater to make a paste and keep it on your face for about half an hour. It may leave you a bit yellow when you rinse it off, but the remaining haldi might just heal your skin further through the night.

Another favourite is Forest Essential’s Narangi and Nagkesar Ubtan, which contains ingredients such as marigold, orange peel and turmeric. I like to mix this with cold yoghurt, slap on a thick layer and lie down for half an hour. Pure bliss.

Still, if you have active acne, it’s not the best idea to use an ubtan. Purearth’s Mitti helps shrink breakouts, but in addition to this, the Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant (which may smell like sewage) helps de-gunk the face and look less inflamed. As for the Julisis Silver Mineral Mask, it also helps clear the pores and makes your face look clearer by reducing redness.

What really works for us are things like clay, charcoal, honey, orange peel, yoghurt, turmeric, neem, raw honey, and aloe vera. Ingredients that pull the gunk out of pores, heal the skin and lightly hydrate it. So even if you don’t have any of the above, just use raw honey, or an egg white, or aloe gel straight from the plant, or orange peel powder mixed with multani mitti and yoghurt. The value of a face mask lies in how it makes your skin look immediately afterwards, whether you use it as a party prep or for relaxation at the end of the day. And in that regard, all you really need are ingredients that are already in your cabinet.

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Printable version | Jul 21, 2021 10:33:09 PM |

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