Five Surprising Facial Cleansers Right in Your Kitchen
Surabhi Surendra

I do not remember the last time I used a market bought facial cleanser. At least not in the last two years and especially not as the first thing in the morning.

I only use homemade cleansers on my face and I have no complaints. Dabbing a natural, homemade product on your skin in the morning or before going to bed in the night feels so much relaxing and calming.

Not only the natural, DIY options are more economical to use, they are also easily customizable. You can add and mix your favorite ingredients and come up with a product that is made especially for your type of skin.

During my mid-twenties when I worked away from home and stayed in a working women’s hostel, I picked up market-based products. We didn’t have a functional kitchen and nor the time to whisk things up or the patience to try out what worked for us. So, along with my friends, I started making trips to the market and picked
up what promised the fastest results.

Unfortunately, my skin began to lose its natural shine and beauty. I started suffering from extra dry, chapped skin. It took me about two years to realize the damage I had done to my naturally beautiful skin.

After I moved into an apartment with a working kitchen, I switched from market-based products to homemade beauty products. I tried out several combinations and stayed with the ones that have worked well for me and since then I have only learned and experimented more on homemade beauty products.

Cleansing is the most important part of daily beauty regime and while I had been using raw milk for decades, I had to look for alternatives when fresh raw milk was not available.

Here are my tried and tested natural alternatives of facial cleanser:

Fresh Raw Milk
My favorite cleanser is raw milk. I prefer fresh raw milk but I settle for packed milk as well when fresh is not available. I have been using it for more than 20 years now. There are times when I am not able to use it very often or daily but in winters and in times when my skin needs extra moisture, this is the cleanser I swear by.
I was lucky to live in an area where we got the purest and fresh buffalo’s milk at 6 am every morning. I would scoop out two tablespoons of the top layer of the milk and apply it on my face. I also add 2-3 drops of lemon juice to it.

Raw milk removes all the dirt and grime and lemon helps as an exfoliator.

How to use: Scoop out two spoons of the top layer of the raw milk. Add few drops of lemon juice if you wish. Apply the mix on your face. Gently rub it on the face and wipe it off with cotton. You can also store in the refrigerator for few hours in case you wish to use it later.

Fresh Milk Cream (Malai in Hindi)
If raw milk is not available, I go for fresh milk cream. It serves the purpose equally
well with extra hydration and shine.

I prefer the milk cream we get on the milk after boiling it instead of market bought milk cream. Boil the milk. Let it cool and you will observe a layer of cream over it. Milk cream is more oily than raw milk so if you have oily skin, then either add rose water or take less of milk cream and more of lemon juice.

How to use: Scoop out one spoon full of milk cream from the milk. Add few drops of lemon juice to it. You can also add rose water to it. Mix and apply on face. Let it rest for a minute. Scrub and wipe off with cotton.

Oil Cleansing Method
Enough has already been written about OCM. I regularly follow OCM at night time in winters. It not only cleanses my face properly but also leaves it hydrated. I do not apply a moisturizer over it.

The oil combination that works well for my extra dry skin in winters is – one part castor oil and two or three parts almond oil. I mix the two oils and apply on my face while gently massaging them on the skin. I change my concoction as per the weather. See how easily home made products can be customized as per your skin!

Finally, I wipe it off with a damp cotton. I do not steam as I have found that steam-ing only makes my skin drier. I use normal or luke warm water to wash it off and I have seen good results.

ChickPea Flour And Curd
This is a staple Indian beauty recipe that has been widely used since ages. Almost every Indian woman uses it or has used it.

During Indian weddings, brides-to-be apply this mixture on their bodies a week in advance. They also mix a hint of turmeric to it. This mask is said to be very benefi-cial in giving a bridal glow to the face and cleaning it from inside and lending a soft and smooth touch to the skin.

On days when I feel my skin needs more than just cleansing, I go for this mix.

How to use: Take two spoons of chick pea floor. Add an equal amount of curd. (You can also mix fresh cream if you have extra dry skin). Add a pinch of turmeric pow-der, if you wish. Apply the mix on your face. Let it stay for 10 minutes. Scrub it off if it is still damp. Wash off if it has dried. Your skin will feel squeaky clean.

Honey
This is another miracle product when it comes to natural beauty. There are tens of ways you can use honey in your beauty regime.
I often use it in two ways – with baking soda and with curd.

How to use:
To use honey as a cleanser, I add equal parts of curd and honey and apply the mix on your face.
To use honey as an exfoliator, I mix it with baking soda, apply on face and scrub it off.

I am very pleased with my natural cleansing agents. I sub these items I can get at the market instead of buying chemical laden cleansers that burn a hole in my pocket and rob my skin of its natural shine.


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Surabhi Surendra is an MBA and chronicles her journey on her blog Womanatics where she shares her secrets of natural living, fulfilling relationships and happy parenting. She lives with her husband and daughter in New Delhi and loves meeting new people.