Tips On Beauty Without Cruelty

Essential Oils

Deepika Vohra served as the head of the Department of Beauty Culture at the International Polytechnic for Women at New Delhi. She also ran a beauty clinic at Delhi's Vasant Kunj for some time from where she relocated to New York for five years. Exposure to the world capital of beauty and cosmetics gave her an opportunity to compare the Indian beauty industry with the razzle dazzle of the New World. Reading and researching beauty culture has always been a hobby with her. The tips for beauty given below were selected from her repertoire of nature based recipes which are time tested to deliver.

'Nature Never Did Betray the heart That Loved Her.'-Wordsworth

The present times herald a veritable victory over chemical cosmetics in the form of natural beauty aids. Joy, happiness and confidence for sure contribute vastly to your beautiful appearance. A smooth supple skin is of course an added bonus. So, here are some tips to care for your skin through the seasons.

Basic skin types may be classified into five broad categories- normal, dry, oily, combination and sensitive skin. The skin is made up of protective layers of cells supported by nerves, glands and blood vessels. Your skin lives and breathes. Cells move up to the surface where they are shed and replaced. This topmost layer is protected by the body's natural oil and moisture. It is essential to carefully plan out a beauty routine to attain a flawless, petal-soft complexion.

The first step to your beauty routine is cleansing your skin. Cleansers are formulated to remove surface grime and dirt as well as dissolve stale make up from the skin. A gentle massage will help to float out deep down make up and other impurities.

How do you recognize your skin type?

NORMAL SKIN --- is finely textured with no visible pores, spots, or blemishes, soft and velvety to the touch, and unwrinkled. Normal skin has to be treasured and preserved, as it is liable to change, if neglected.

OILY SKIN--- is caused by overactive sebaceous glands that give rise to large open pores. Larger pores, in turn, lead to blackheads, blemishes and acne. The appearance of blackheads and blemishes is due to clogged oil and dirt in the pores which is not removed instantly by cleansing. Oily skin begins to have an oily shine within a few minutes after wash or make-up. This makes it difficult to hold make-up. However, oily skin has an advantage of ageing very slowly, but deep cleansing must be thorough.

DRY SKIN--- is a sensitive skin type which comes in blotches, tends to peel off easily and feels tight after a wash. Lack of moisture results in dry skin and this skin type is more prominent around the eyes, mouth, lips, sides of mouth, and forehead. Cleansing, toning, moisturizing form an integral routine of this type of skin. Dry skin is highly susceptible to diet, extremes in weather and harsh perfumed skin care products. Dry skin also has another disadvantage. Wrinkles appear faster giving you a prematurely aged look. A generous application of moisturizer will produce a skin which would be on par with the 'enviable' peaches and cream complexion.

COMBINATION SKIN--- As the word 'combination' suggests it is mix of two different skin types on one face. More often this skin type is the result of a badly cleansed and neglected skin. It is easily recognizable as it is oily down the T panel, that is the forehead, nose, chin. The skin gets this oily look down the T panel while the rest of the face appear and feel dry. Combination skin needs scrupulous cleansing. It is a good idea to use a face mask for oily skin down the T panel and a mask for dry skin for the rest of the face. This method of treating the combination skin works ideally to give a perfect, balanced effect.

SENSITIVE SKIN---- This type of skin is extremely delicate and vulnerable. It is easily susceptible to freckles, itchy spots and blotches. Dermatitis and allergies caused by chemical cosmetics are common problems of a sensitive skin. It is best to discontinue the usage of strong and harsh skin care products as well as perfumed creams and moisturizers.

Essential oils are one of the greatest untapped resources of the world. The extra ordinary versatility of nature’s essential oils is made possible by the fact that they come in a most convenient form. They can be applied through the skin – in massage oils or by osmosis in the bath or by inhalation in a variety of methods.Essential oils work cosmetically and as anti aging agents in several ways. Skin which has been treated with essential oils thus become more dynamic and stronger. Essential oils can prevent the congestion of toxins and expedite the elimination of toxic debris by improving the lymphatic flow and general condition of the lymph glands. They improve circulation which aides oxygenation and energizes the dermis (top layer of the skin) by the rate nutrients are fed to it.

CLEANSERS- The nice thing about making your own cleansers is that you can adjust them to suit your own skin type, and change them as your skin changes with the seasons. When we cleanse our face according to its seasonal requirements we have a skin that always looks good and ages more slowly. All vegetable and nut oils can be used for cleansing as well as for nourishing the skin. The ancient Romans massage oils into the skin and then scrape them off along with the dirt. Use any heavy oil for dry skin such as avocado or wheat germ and light oils such as almond or sunflower for oily skins. The essential oils of Clary sage, lemon, lime, sage or thyme are cleansing and suitable for all skin types. Other good options will be rosemary, chamomile lavender or geranium.

Here is a good oil based cleansing paste, which can be used for all skin types.

Ingredients- ·

  • Almond oil -- 3 ounces ·
  • Ground almonds –- 4 ounces·
  • Cider vinegar –- 2 ounces·
  • Spring water -- 2 ounces ·
  • Essential oil of your choice –- 6 drops

Method---- Place all ingredients in a blender and mix for a good two minutes until a smooth paste is obtained. Store in a jar.


  • Grape seed oil --- 2 ounces ·
  • Sunflower oil --- 4 teaspoons
  • Sesame oil --- 4 teaspoons ·
  • Wheat germ oil --- 1 teaspoon

Method Blend these oils together and then add 5 drops of the essential oil of your choice and blend again. This can be used as a make-up remover and cleanser.


  • Ground almonds --- 3 ounces ·
  • Corn flower --- 3 ounces ·
  • Grated pure vegetable soap --- 3 ounces

Mix these ingredients in a blender and then add the following and blend again.

  • Geranium --- 2 drops
  • Lemon --- 2 drops
  • Hyssop --- 1 drop

Store dry and use a small amount mixed with water in your hand to wash your face. Rinse well.

Extract the juice of potato and add Fuller's Earth to make a thick paste. Apply on face and rinse off.

Cucumber juice combined with Fuller's Earth also helps to cleanse deep down dirt and grime from your skin.

Mashed strawberries have excellent cleansing properties.


Ripe, mashed papaya, leaves skin clean, smooth and shining.


Boiled and mashed turnips combined with a little yogurt also cleanses the skin.


Other natural cleansers include aloe, lemon and ginseng.

Deepika Vohra can be contacted at

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