Sugar scrub for a glowing skin
By Sheela Rani Chunkath
13th July 2012 11:27 AM
Back in good old Chennai after a short sojourn at Cornell University, Ithaca. Here’s a little about beauty treatments that are popular in Ithaca. Many beauty parlours and spas there offer a sugar scrub which exfoliates and removes the dead skin and promises you a new and radiant skin. And, of course, these treatments are expensive. Many of our own Ayurvedic preparations, besides being very good exfoliators, are also antibacterial and antifungal. So I made this extremely effective exfoliating cream at home with ‘Indian’ ingredients.
Take about a quarter cup of oil and half cup of sugar. Mix the two together. I used sesame oil. You can use olive or mustard oil too. Next add about a teaspoon of triphala churanam (please refer to my blog for details). Triphala is made from the deseeded portions of Terminalia chebula (haritaki in Hindi), Terminalia bellerica (bibhitaki in Hindi) and Emblica officinalis (amlaki in Hindi). I also added a bit of Kasthuri manjal or aromatic turmeric. Both triphala and turmeric, besides being excellent exfoliators, possess very good antibacterial and antifungal properties. If you are feeling lazy, you can use any one of them singly. Since vitamin E is good for the skin, I added about half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil. If you have Vitamin E capsules readily, you can take one or two capsules of Vitamin E and add it to the mixture. If you like fragrance, you can add a drop or two of your favourite essential oils such as jasmine, rose or patchouli. These are all optional add-ons. The sugar with oil alone will work wonders on your skin. After a day, have a look at your homemade scrub. If too much oil is floating on top, just add a little more sugar.
If the sugar crystals are somewhat large, take a little time to rub the preparation into your skin and optionally add a few drops of water. Some skins can handle a bit of rubbing, others cannot. The same sugar scrub can be used on the face but powder the sugar in your kitchen blender as you would for homemade icing sugar. Rub gently on your face. If your skin has eruptions or acne, you could add a bit of tea tree oil and apply softly. As with all cosmetics being used on the face, try it on a small portion of your face to see whether it agrees with your skin. Since the scrub is homemade and has no preservatives or other chemicals, it should normally work just fine.
The sugar scrub is good for diabetics who often get eczematic patches which are very itchy because of a problem with peripheral circulation. If a patch is not broken or weeping, the sugar scrub can remove the dead skin making way for fresh skin to take its place. There will be considerable relief from itching also.
The sugar scrub can be used by men too. As I mentioned earlier, the ingredients can be varied. Maybe a citrusy essential oil can be used to give it a ‘male’ fragrance. Lemongrass oil or oil of bergamot are good options.
Since we are using oil in the scrub, you can finish up by washing with chickpea flour (chana dal flour). A weekly sugar scrub will keep your skin glowing and healthy. You will have a skin your friends will envy.
The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, and is currently Additional Chief Secretary and Chairman & Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. She can be reached at
Sheelarani.arogyamantra@gmail. com. Earlier articles can be accessed at www.arogyamantra.blogspot.com
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