The Telegraph
| Sunday, November 9, 2014 |
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The Natural Way

Suparna Trikha Dewan has natural solutions to all your beauty problems

If you are a bride-to-be and are counting down to D-Day, this one's for you. Have your skin and hair reacted to the stress and tension that seems inbuilt into your routine? Read on if you're going to walk down the aisle anytime soon.

You've obviously done the following: decided on your trousseau and booked a make-up artist and hair stylist that you are confident about.

Now it's time to tackle your skin and hair. To ensure that your skin glows with good health, cut out the sweets and fried, rich foods. If you party hard and long in the days leading up to the wedding, be prepared for dull, tired and dead-looking skin. So go slow. And if party you must, eat before going out and opt for a healthy broth or a wholesome salad. Drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins and cut alcohol and smoking altogether.

Follow a cleansing routine for the face with a homemade scrub made of sandalwood powder, almonds and lemon peel. Into it mix whole-wheat flour, lemon juice and milk. Apply this over the face and neck and see your skin glow.

For a body massage prepare an ubtan at home with kg wholewheat flour, one cup sandalwood powder, 1 cup orange peel powder, 4 tsp rice powder, cup milk powder and cup rose petals. Mix with milk to form a smooth paste. Massage this on the body paying special attention to the neglected areas like the buttocks, thighs, knees and elbows. Bathe with a mild soap or no soap at all.

I'd also recommend body massages to relax the body and mind as stress tends to make their facial muscles tense and taut. Use natural oils like rose and sandalwood which are nourishing and aromatic and leave you feeling pampered and soft.

Don't neglect the hands and feet too. Go for four to six sittings of professional manicures and pedicures. Start a hand-and-foot-care routine at home by rubbing your hands and feet with a mix of 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp of fresh cream on lemon halves. Rub until all the granules have melted completely. Wash hands and feet and see how super soft and they are.

Your hair requires special attention too. Go for a professional hair massage followed with steaming and a natural hair pack that'll condition and add body to your hair. Remember instant perms and crimps have damaging effects. Even if you've to colour your hair, go for a series of natural henna treatments rather than artificial colours that lead to hair loss eventually.

Make a hair pack at home with the following:2 eggs, 2 tsp each of reetha, amla and shikakai powder, 2 tsp mayonnaise and the juice of 1 lemon. Apply this on the scalp and hair. Leave on for 30 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo. Use an after-shampoo rinse of strained tea water and lemon juice for oily hair or honey water ( litre of water with 1 tsp of honey) if you have dry hair.

If you suffer from tension-induced dandruff, oil your hair with warm coconut oil and apply the juice of one lemon to the scalp. Shampoo off after an hour. If done twice a week, this will reduce dandruff considerably.

It's the grooms' turn next. They need to look as spiffy as their brides. So, until next time...