Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Sep 20, 2007

Metro Plus Chennai

Go back to Nature
If you have become too reliant on beauty products, it’s time to stop, says SHEILA KUMAR

Image result for natural beauty images

First, take a simple test. Are you unable to step out without washing, conditioning and rinsing out your hair, smoothing some shine serum after blow-drying it, and finally, spritzing two stiff shots of hair spray? Does your make-up routine include a minimum of concealer, pressed powder, lip liner, lipstick, gloss, blush stain, highlighter, kohl, eyeliner, mascara? Phew! And all you metro-sexual men, do you overdose on after-shaves, deo sprays that promise you a million modern houris, scent, cologne, the works?

Well, we have news for you: you have just joined the Product Addict Club. And that’s not good news.

While most of the products we use on ourselves are good, unless one is a professional model or actor, too much is really too much. Even the supermodels and Hollywood stars, or our own home-grown film stars, roam with faces and tresses free of cosmetics when not at work. Nothing is as fresh, as beautiful as natural, that’s the plain and simple truth.

It’s not easy
Of course, going natural doesn’t come easy. It needs work. While we aren’t advocating that you junk all the bottles and pots on your dressing table, we’d like you to try the natural way, for a day. To start with. Then see if you can sustain it for a week. After which, you can use the back-to-Nature routine as a refresh-and-rejuvenate treatment, whenever you want to.

Toothsome tenet. Don’t reach for that tube of toothpaste. Dry brush your teeth, instead, using as the term suggests only your dry toothbrush in a firm but gentle motion. Don’t do this in front of the mirror, you’ll find yourself rushing through the activity. Don’t forget to run that brush over the surface of your tongue, too.

Body biz. Throw away that soft body sponge, use a loofah, instead. Just go easy with the pressure on the softer areas of your body. Scrub the bumpy areas well, though; it’s not all cellulite, it occurs due to poor circulation and a little sloughing can work wonders.

All the suds. Eschew soap. Use besan as a substitute, and add a little curd. Let the mixture dry on the face and voila, you have your face pack while you bathe.
Tootsie business. Trim your toenails close and smooth a little coconut oil on calluses. Soak feet in tea for a while, the tannins fight odour-causing bacteria. Use petroleum jelly as a hand and foot cream. Last thing at night, direct a jet of cold water at your feet. It’s a great perk-me-up.

Smooth talk. Don’t use body lotion as you usually do, substitute it with a little olive oil. No deo or talc; you’ll find you can actually manage without it and not smell too bad. Yes, we sweat anything between three-quarters of a litre to 3 litres every day but 90 per cent of that perspiration is good sweat, a body-cooling system and doesn’t smell.

Free your face. Wash it with besan and let it be. A healthy complexion is a glowing one, and going natural is the first step towards acquiring that complexion. As for your eyes, a few drops of milk on cotton wool is a good de-puffer for tired peepers.
Hair care. Give yourself a one-hour massage before a hair wash. Rinse with tea or lime juice for shine. What about frizz? Well, just fill a bottle-with-siphon, with plain water and spritz often. Gloss hair with a dab of coconut oil and you are ready to go.

Natural rhythms. Don’t watch TV. At all. You will survive, we promise. Listen to some mood music instead. Read a book. This is also the time you could use to lie down for ten minutes, to wash your eyes with water, to do eye exercises. Do some heavy duty yoga. Do stretches. Go for a long walk or a swim.

Eat, drink, celebrate. Eat light and eat well. Drink as much of water as you can possibly ingest. Don’t give in to your caffeine addiction, drink warm milk and honey instead. Stay off all soft drinks during this ‘natural’ period; drink lots of home-made lime juice instead. Steer clear of all sweets; eat lots of fresh fruit instead.

The natural life. Diet, sleep and relaxation are the things you need, not conditioners and creams. Return to Nature. Breathe deep and breathe only through your nose, not your mouth. Walk with a measured tread and with grace. Stand and sit straight, don’t slouch. Be supple of limb, not stiff. Relax your face and body muscles. Wear only fabrics that breathe like silk, cotton and such blends. Re-acquire that zest for life that you lost when you left your teens. Living naturally is the only way to live!


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