Herbal Skin Care

by Awinita Smith

The skin is essentially the largest organ in the body and performs many vital roles as both a barrier and a regulating influence between the outside world and the controlled environment within the body.

Skin type differs between individuals; sensitive skin is skin that stings easily, especially during or just after cleansing. Oily skin attracts dirt and bacteria and may lead to acne and pimples. Normal skin also needs regular regime for health.

Water alone as a cleanser is not quite enough: removing dirt and grease that sticks to the skin forms a major aspect of cleansing. Use of soaps in skincare will dry the skin and lead to itchiness. Lemon (Citrus Limon) and honey (Meldespumatum) are alternatives to soap as lemon removes grime and oil while honey has antibacterial, antiseptic properties and prevents scar formation. Honey is increasingly being used to treat infected wounds and has been found to be effective in common wound infections.

Jasmine (Jasminum sambac) provides a cooling effect through its good smelling volatile oils and has healing properties, especially for oily or sensitive skin.

Sunflower (Heydichium spicatum) has soothing properties and is regularly used as a massaging agent.

Sandal tree (Santalum album) is useful for alleviating itchy and inflammatory conditions of the skin. It is commonly used as a household remedy by applying a paste of sandalwood on skin rashes and itchy skin.

Carica papaya (papaya) is a small tree with straight and soft stem with leaf scars on it. The fruits are a good source of pection. It removes freckles and smoothes the skin.

The juice of lemon is rich a source of vitamin C. it protects the skin from skin from oxidative damage and helps in preventing pruritus.

Coconut can be used externally for softening the lips and in various cosmetics.

Cucumber helps to keep the facial skin soft, has healing and soothing effect on the damaged skin and exerts a natural sunscreen.

Almond is known for its astringent effect. It has a globulin called amandin. It contains folic acid, alpha tocopherol and zinc, which are useful in skin disorders

Apple fruits contain a B-glycol, octane-1, 3-diol which is an antifungal constituent. It reduces skin inflammation and helps in removing dead skin fragments.

The fresh juice leaves of Kesharanjana are applied on the scalp for promoting the hair growth.

The fruit of Indian gooseberry contains the highest amount of vitamin C. Its fruit is acrid, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic, laxative and used in the preparation of hair dyes. A fixed oil extracted from the fruits is reported to have the property of promoting hair growth.

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