Today’s article comes from the pen and kitchen of Deepali Sakhare, the Founder and Chief Formulator at Singapore-based skincare and haircare brand SVA. She shares recipes derived from Ayurvedic wisdom and modern pharmacology to clean up your beauty regimen.
Many among us are making conscious efforts to switch to beauty products that are natural and organic. After all, who wouldn’t prefer wholesome beauty solutions- products that make us look better without resorting to quick-fix toxins, cheap low-quality ingredients, and questionable production? But as the trend towards Eco Beauty gains ground, it is a good time to dive deeper into the concept. To my mind, it is not a simple matter of switching to brands with a “natural” tag or an “eco friendly” logo. It is in fact a philosophy that demands a lifestyle change!
So where can you begin to rejuvenate your cosmetic tool-kit? Start with ‘reducing’. First off, reduce the use of multiple beauty products daily. You don’t need to apply 11 products to achieve flawless skin. And second, reduce the toxic load on your skin and body. Use natural ingredients that are gentle on skin and immensely beneficial in the long run (to you, and the planet too!).
Let me share with you some magical recipes (no exaggeration) that work just like their expensive counterparts; only they are 100% natural, non-toxic, sustainable and FREE!! Have fun creating these recipes with ingredients right in your kitchen, and discover how potent Mother Nature’s unadulterated produce can be.
Magic Peel Face Polish
It is ironic that we eat fresh fruits and vegetables to nourish our bodies but don’t trust their efficacy on our skin. My first ingredient is no less than magic – BANANA PEEL.
If you are throwing away the banana peels, then you should think twice. Banana peels (inside white part) are rich in lutein- an antioxidant, potassium, zinc, iron, manganese and pectin. These ingredients and vitamins combine to make banana peel an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. It’s great to reduce inflammation, treat acne, hydrate and polish your skin!
You will need:
- A pesticide-free banana:
Peel the banana, eat the fleshy part. Take the inside of the peel (should be white) and rub around the face and neck. Discard the peel when it browns – use only fresh peel with white surface. Leave it on for 30 mins to overnight (for oily acne prone skin). Wash it off with cold water. You will be surprised with the results of this recipe. This is my quick-fix for instant glowing skin.
Side-tip: Banana peels are super-food for flowering plants. Add it to your compost or soil.
Lactic Acid Peel (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)
This one has surely caught the attention of the spa-goers among you, right? For the rest, a quick primer: Lactic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), often found in beauty products like chemical peels. AHA helps in the reduction of wrinkles, softens skin, reduces pigmentation and improves the overall look and feel of the skin. No surprise, the Korean skincare market is booming with expensive AHA peels.
Do you know the best source of lactic acid found naturally? RAW MILK!! Yes, raw milk is rich in AHA and other anti-oxidants that are beneficial for your skinl. It is a wonderful ingredient for acne prone skin, as it helps regulate sebum production and gently exfoliates the dead skin cells. Here’s how to make the lactic acid peel for the golden glow:
You will need:
- Raw Milk: couple of tablespoons (Goat / cow milk)
- Turmeric: a pinch
Simply add a pinch of turmeric to raw milk, mix well and apply on your face and neck. Allow it to dry for 5-7 mins. Scrub your face to remove the mask. You can apply a couple of coats again and let it dry. Ensure you have completely scrubbed it out each time. Finally rinse your face with cold water. Voila!! Get ready for smooth, glowing skin. This is a mild peel and can be used daily.
Avocado seed face-scrub
I learned this recipe during a holiday in Spain. While I gorged on delicious avocados everywhere, I noticed some locals would keep the avocado pit in the freshly made guacamole. I was curious. I always tossed away those seeds in the garbage. But keeping the pit in the guacamole, kept it from changing the colour from fresh green to brown. I wondered why? The answer was startling. Avocado seeds have tremendous anti-oxidant properties. They are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and more. Mind blown! Below is my easy-peasy face scrub recipe.
You will need:
- Avocado pit: 1
- Rose water / water
- Raw honey: 1 teaspoon
Dry the avocado pit in the sun for 3-4 days. Once fully dried, simply toss it in the coffee grinder. Make a fine powder. It turns into gorgeous orange colour. Take a spoonful and add rose water to make a scrub. Use this as a face scrub and rinse with cold water. To use as a face mask, add teaspoon of raw honey and apply on your face for 15-20 mins. Scrub it off gently and rinse with cold water. As per research, this super-seed is the next big thing in the world of anti-aging!!
#Sundayfunday Recipe 😍 Also a secret to keep your guacamole green!! Do you chuck the avocado pits 🥑 in the garbage?? You are practically throwing the powerhouse of anti-oxidants 🤷🏻♀️ on my Spanish holidays, I learned that the local Chef would put the seed in his guacamole to keep it from oxidising to brown ( now you know the secret 😉) I was intrigued and started researching about the pits. I was stunned at its anti-oxidising benefits. And that bright orange coloured powder stole my heart ✨ Here is my sweet simple recipe for Avocado Seed Scrub! Love it. It is simple , natural and works very well as a scrub. Few more such recipes coming up for you! #staynatural #staybeautiful
Posted by SVA on Saturday, March 14, 2020
De-Tan face mask
Cosmetic de-tanning products use skin-lightening chemicals like hydroquinone, kojic acid and other derivatives. But I? I simply walk to my kitchen for the best de-tan ingredient- TOMATO. This is my go-to recipe. It will not remove your tan instantly but gradually. Just be consistent and use it regularly!
You will need:
Simply cut a raw tomato in half and rub the peel (fleshy part) on your face and neck. Let this dry up for 10-15 mins. Wash your face with cold water. Alternatively, you can add ½ teaspoon of raw honey to tomato pulp and apply on your face & neck like a mask. Wash it off after 15-20 mins.
Tomatoes are natural bleaching agents that help to lighten dark spots or sun-tan. They are loaded with anti-oxidants and their natural astringent properties help tighten the skin and add a beautiful glow. So next time you cook your favourite meal, don’t forget to slather the tomato on your face 😉
De-Tan body mask
I love swimming but the after-tan always bothers me. Here is the extension of the above recipe to help you get rid of tan on hands and feet. Try it!
You will need:
- Tomato pulp / juice: ½ cup
- Lemon juice: 1 whole lemon (medium size)
- Chickpea flour: 2-3 tablespoons
- Turmeric: a pinch or two.
- Raw honey: 1 teaspoon
- Water: to adjust consistency.
Simply mix all ingredients to make a thick paste (cake batter consistency). Adjust the consistency with water. If the paste is runny, add more chickpea flour. Take it in the shower and apply all over your hands and legs. Let it dry for 15-20 mins. Scrub and wash off. This is a great recipe to de-tan naturally. The ingredients are so mild, they can be used by all age groups. Use regularly to brighten up your skin. This recipe can be used for face minus lemon juice. I don’t suggest using lemon directly on the face as it can irritate sensitive facial skin and it is phototoxic.
These are some of my favorite DIY recipes from the SVA closet. They cost little, work beautifully and I am relieved that when I wash these ingredients down the drain, I don’t kill the eco-system. Hopefully you try these at your home and let us know your experience!
-Deepali Razdan is the Chief Formulator for artisanal skincare and haircare brand SVA. She is completing her Diploma in Organic Skincare & Haircare from Formula Botanica, London. An avid DIYer for a decade now, her latest launch is a range of plant-based hair dyes that can be customised to your hair type and desired colour tone (selling out fast!).