Pollution in the air is making our world increasingly hostile to our well-being, by leading to a build up of toxins in the body. Among the organs of the body, the skin is one of the first to bear the brunt of air pollutants, which not only attack the skin surface, but also lead to an accumulation of toxins. These cause oxidation damage and disrupt the normal balances of the skin, leading to premature ageing signs, dry-skin sensitivity, rashes, pimples and acne.
In today’s hectic life, the skin can look dull due to lack of vitality. Our lifestyle can compound the problem further.
Alcohol, rich and spicy foods, inadequate sleep, lack of exercise and increased stress, all lead to a build-up of toxins, which reflect on the skin. So, the time comes when we need to detoxify and get rid of toxins and wastes. Many theories abound, but its best to go nature’s way and detox the system, to look and feel good.
Bring about changes in your diet. Include raw, natural foods and fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily menu. Not only do they detoxify the system by promoting the elimination of wastes, but also bring about a sense of well being. Consume fresh fruits , unprocessed cereals, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, yogurt. Fresh juices of fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and enzymes.
Cold-pressed juices have become popular now. Experts say that cold-pressed juices contain more nutrients. Green juice, containing spinach, mint, parsley, celery, cucumber, lemon juice and fresh ginger made by the cold pressed method, is said to be rich in enzymes. It detoxifies the body and makes the system more alkaline.
Drink plenty of warm water mixed with lemon juice first thing in the morning. This helps to flush the system. Have probiotic foods, like probiotic yogurt. Probiotics are natural and good bacteria and bring about a balance in the digestive system.
For external skin detox, deep cleansing and exfoliation with scrubs helps to cleanse the skin of dead cells. Look for cleansers containing sandalwood, eucalyptus, mint, neem, tulsi, aloe vera, lemon etc. Their anti-toxic and tonic properties help to clear skin congestion and eruptions. If the skin is prone to eruptive conditions like acne, pimples, rash, protective creams containing sandalwood would help.
Ayurveda recommends Diamond “bhasma” (calyx) to promote decongestion and removal of toxins, in order to purify the skin. The effect awakens dormant cells and boosts the skin’s metabolic functions. The Diamond Body Polish includes deep tissue massage which invigorates the entire body and purifies the skin. Deep tissue massage improves blood and lymph circulation, leaving the skin relaxed, refreshed and revitalized. It is ideal for removing fatigue and soothing both body and mind.
Body Wraps are detoxifying skin treatments, with the added benefit of stress reduction, enhancing both health and beauty. Massage is given to improve blood and lymph circulation, getting rid of toxins. The tissues of the skin are cleansed and decongested. Products containing natural oils like sesame and sunflower are used, along with plant extracts, like neem, ashwagandha, sandalwood, eucalyptus, the bark of the devdaru tree, lemon, turmeric, apricot and so on. It has been used in the treatment of cellulite and proved extremely useful in relieving congestion and facilitating the removal of wastes. After application of products, the body is wrapped to stay warm and help absorption of the ingredients.
Skin “brushing” helps the elimination of toxins too. It is also used in the treatment of cellulite, which is caused by deposits of water, fat and other wastes collecting in pockets beneath the skin The entire surface, is brushed, using a rough cloth, or a natural bristle brush. Begin from the feet and go upwards. Then brush from lower to upper arms. Go across the shoulders and back. Brush gently on the chest and abdomen.
Nowadays, activated charcoal is used to detoxify the skin, because it purifies the skin, drawing out toxins. It also refines the pores and removes dead skin cells. This actually brightens the skin. Activated charcoal can be used in face masks. Mix activated charcoal with aloe vera gel and rose water. Apply a thin layer on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. For acne prone skin, add 3 to 4 DROPS of Tea Tree Oil and rose water to activated charcoal, for a face mask. Wash off the masks after 20 minutes.
Take up yoga. The exercises or “asanas” are particularly beneficial for the body and skin, making it flexible, supple and youthful. They are combined with breathing exercises, improving oxygenation, purifying the organ systems and inducing relaxation of body and mind. There is no feeling of fatigue. Instead, there is physical and mental exhilaration. Indeed, according to Yoga, the body is the temple of the soul.
• Mix a mask at home with two teaspoons wheat bran (choker), one teaspoon each of ground almonds (badaam) curd, honey and rose water. Mix everything together into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around the eyes. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
• For a “quick fix” pack, mix honey with egg white and apply it on the face. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. It leaves the face soft and glowing.
• For dull and tired eyes, dip cotton wool pads in rose water and use as eye pads over closed lids. Lie down and relax while the mask dries. It helps to remove fatigue and brighten the eyes. The fragrance of rose has a calming effect on the mind.
• Mix one teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey with one egg. Beat them together well. Massage the mixture lightly into the scalp. Then wrap the hair in a hot towel for twenty minutes, before washing the hair. Your hair will have more body and look shiny and manageable.
• For oily hair, have a hair rinse after shampoo. A tea water and lemon rinse will add shine to the hair. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have about 5 to 6 cups of tea-water. Cool and strain it. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse after shampoo.