With organic being the mantra, there are organic soaps and bathing bars aplenty. For those who do not have the time to create natural soap mixtures, these bars with neem, aloe vera, hibiscus, rose, honey, sandal, lime and tulsi, herbal additives and tree oils are skin-friendly organic options. “The non-organic soaps from your local store contain chemical emulsifiers and surfactants, sodium lauryl sulfate and sugar tensides that strip your skin’s natural lipid layer and disrupts its pH level in the long run,” says skin specialist, Dr Rashmi Bharadwaj. As recently as 50 years ago, people used green gram and gram flour mixtures as natural scrubs and cleansers.
Clay soaps or mixtures
If you are trying to battle oily skin, then you may choose from a battery of clay-soaps from organic outlets that offer bentonite clay, kaolin clay, French-green clay or Moroccan clay but the easiest on the pocket would be the desi multani mitti soap. The major component in this clay is bentonite. According to holistichealthherbalist.com, clay will not provoke oily skin to further acne breakouts as they suck every bit of extra oil. At home one can use a mixture of multani mitti, water, yoghurt, raw apple cider, vinegar and tea in small portions to cleanse and boost skin, or get a soap bar with these ingredients.
According to onegreenplanet.org one should not spend too much on skin care products as “we can create natural, non-toxic, do-it-yourself alternatives using simple kitchen ingredients that can be personalised to suit our skin.” A spoon of brown sugar, coffee grounds, oatmeal, corn starch, mashed pineapple, drops of lime with one base oil such as coconut, avocado, jojoba, olive or sesame (that have anti-bacterial properties) can be a good nourisher. And this could be washed off with a stimulating scrub prepared out of a large tablespoon of ground oatmeal, brown sugar and gram flour, with one tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of yoghurt. These body cleansers are also available in mixed packets at online stores and organic offline outlets.
Simple home scrubs
Green proponent Rajiv Dixit of turnspiritual.in suggests easy home solutions as multani mitti and curd mixes available as face-packs and in soap form too. “Fresh besan flour with cream; masoor dal flour with honey are base nourishers that can be washed with warm water for a natural scrub,” he suggests.
As for detergents, Dixit just pushes everyone to use the traditional soap berry (soap kai or antawalada kai in Kannada) that can be powdered, boiled in water and filtered. “Every stain or dirt, including silks and jewellery retains its sheen with soap berry,” he says.
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