Monsoon season is the season of chai, pakoras, and cosy blankets. But it’s also the season of frizzy hair, acne, dullness, and oily skin. This weather change can dampen everything around you, but it needn’t dampen your spirits.
We’ve got a rich history of using natural ingredients to solve our most basic problems, all thanks to our mothers, nanis, and dadis. And that’s one thing we’ll always stan, come rain or shine (pun intended).
If you’ve been suffering from monsoon-related skin and hair woes, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 natural ingredients that will help you look and feel your best as it pours outside. Bonus: we’ve got some DIY hair and face masks in here for you!
10 natural ingredients for skin and hair care that you can find in your kitchen
Tomatoes are a goldmine of vitamins and minerals that help your hair and skin behave. If you have oily skin that’s only getting worse during these monsoons, the Vitamin A and C present in tomatoes will help clear it off and tighten your pores. These vitamins can also help you de-tan and help relieve sunburn. If hair fall and loss are concerns for you, applying tomatoes to the scalp can help aid hair growth. Didn’t we say they’re a goldmine?
For the skin: Squash a tomato and apply the pulp evenly on the affected area. Let it dry and rinse it off.
For the hair: Take a tomato and blend it with a tablespoon of honey and pure coconut oil. Apply to the scalp and keep it for an hour. Wash it off using a mild shampoo.
We’re all aware of the powerhouse that is a lemon. Packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, this wonderous ingredient is good for you internally and externally. If you suffer from dandruff or an itchy scalp, look no further – lemons will rescue you. It also helps clean the scalp and get rid of dirt and excess oil, making you feel squeaky clean. Remember not to use lemon too often, however, as its acidic properties can dry out your hair and also bleach it a little.
For the hair: Take a teaspoon of lemon juice for every two tablespoons of carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, olive, castor) and mix it together. Apply it on the scalp and let it sit for 2-3 hours. Wash it off with shampoo.
The answer to life’s biggest problems is dahi. Got a stomach ache? Dahi. Feeling hot? Dahi. Got skin and hair problems that just won’t go away? Dahi! This age-old ingredient that no kitchen is complete without is also a great addition to your hair and skincare routine. Curd helps reduce frizz, dryness, and roughness of the hair and softens it. The anti-inflammatory properties of curd also help reduce dandruff and give your itchy scalp a rest. Its moisturising properties also help soften your skin and infuse a glow. Need we say more?
For the skin: Mix a tablespoon of curd with two tablespoons of honey and apply to the face. Leave for 20 minutes, and rinse off with cold water.
For the hair: Mix two tablespoons of curd with your favourite hair oil (coconut, jojoba, almond, olive) and apply to the scalp, especially the affected area. Massage it and keep it till it dries (about 4 hours). Wash it off with shampoo.
How could we not add turmeric to this list? An age-old favourite, there’s nothing this miraculous ingredient cannot do. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of turmeric make it an ideal natural ingredient for your skin. From hyperpigmentation and dark circles to ageing and acne, turmeric helps solve problems that range from mild to severe. Make use of it and give your face a youthful glow!
For the skin: Take 2 teaspoons of gram flour, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, ½ teaspoon of lemon juice, and a little bit of water to mix. Apply this to your face and wash once completely dry. This will help exfoliate your skin.
They say that almonds are great for your brain, but they’re just as effective for your body. Packed with the antioxidant vitamin E, almonds can protect your skin and hair from oxidative stress and damage. It also brings about a glow like nothing else could. Just ensure that the almond oil you purchase is pure and free of additives.
For the hair: Use pure almond oil in generous amounts and massage your hair gently. Wash it off with shampoo.
For the skin: Soak 8-10 almonds in water overnight. Peel and grind them into a fine paste. To it, add some rice flour and use it as a scrub on your face. Wash your face to feel instant smoothness.
6. Green tea
Who knew tea would help us desi folk in more ways than one? Green tea is the new drink in town, but it has more benefits than you might think. Loaded with antioxidants, green tea can help prevent and delay signs of ageing such as wrinkles, skin sagging, and age spots. Green tea is also abundant in catechins, which inhibit hormones that cause hair loss.
For the hair: Boil water and add 3-4 sachets of green tea in it to steep. Once steeped, soak your hair in the concoction for 15 minutes and wash it off with shampoo.
For the skin: Take steeped green tea bags, squeeze out the excess water, and freeze them for 1-2 hours. Take the frozen tea bags and place them on your skin till the bags come down to room temperature.
7. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a miraculous ingredient that has incredible health benefits. Not only does it regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and alleviate acidity, but also has great benefits when used externally. This acetic acid helps remove dirt, excess oil, and even provide relief for those suffering from skin conditions like eczema.
You can use it on a regular basis to keep your skin and hair healthy. The only key is to dilute it before using it.
For the skin: Add ½ a teaspoon of ACV to any face pack you’re using to enhance its effect on your skin.
For the hair: Add 1 cup of ACV to an entire bucket of water and rinse your hair with it.
Now you can have your fruit and eat it too. Rich in enzymes and antioxidants, papaya nourishes and moisturises the skin to give you a soft glow. It is an excellent natural ingredient for those with dry skin and hair. It helps prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
For the hair: Take some ripe papaya and blend it with melted coconut oil or shea butter to make a smooth paste. Apply this to the hair and leave until dry. Wash it off with shampoo.
For the skin: Mash some papaya with a little bit of malai and massage it on to your face. Leave it on till it dries and wash it off.
Rice is having a moment in the beauty domain of late. With many people realising the mesmerising effects of rice on the hair and skin, beauty influencers all over are recommending it. Rice is rich in biotin and amino acids, which are excellent for hair health. It is also rich in minerals and vitamins which can make your skin come alive. Here’s how you can use it.
For the hair: Soak ½ cup of rice in 3 cups of water for a few hours. Strain the rice, and use the remaining rice water to cleanse your hair.
For the skin: Make some runny rice (1 cup of rice cooked in 4 cups of water) and cool it. Blend it in a mixer and sieve it. That’s your rice milk. Mix some of this milk with your favourite essential oil, and apply it to your face. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
Coffee can wake you up, and it can do the same for your hair and skin. The caffeine in coffee helps improve the texture of hair, and coffee grounds themselves make for a great physical exfoliant. Coffee contains components that slow down hair loss and aid hair growth. It also acts as a natural stain, masking grey hair effectively.
For the hair: Take a big batch of freshly brewed coffee and transfer it into a spray bottle. Spray it generously about 20 minutes before your shower, and you’re good to go.
For the skin: Take leftover coffee grounds and let them dry completely. Take a generous amount and rub on damp skin, massaging for about 1 minute. Wash it off.
When nothing else works, natural ingredients will never let you down. You don’t need to have an expensive skin or hair care routine down; all you need to do is use these ingredients as often as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be beating these monsoon blues with a glow on your face and bounce in your hair!
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