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Complexion Perfection – Part 2

In the final part of this two-part series, Umm-e-Ismaeel reveals how to do a home facial, the natural way.

Go here for STEPS 1-3.
Toning is an essential step in your facial, as it closes your pores and absorbs excess oil from the surface of your skin. It also removes the last traces of dirt that your cleanser may have missed. Toner is not washed after application. Keep toners in the fridge when not using.


How: Pour or spray a little toner on a cotton ball and apply from your neckline, moving up to your face.


Dry skin: Rosy Glow Toner:
Steep 50g fresh rose petals in 450ml of boiling water for two hours. Strain into a sterilised bottle. Refrigerate after it has cooled down.


Dry skin: Green Toner:
Blend one peeled cucumber in a blender. Strain through a cheesecloth. Use this juice as a toner.


Oily and combination skin: Rose and Lemon Burst Toner:
Boil 50 ml water; add ½ tbsp green tea leaves. Steep for 20 minutes. Once it has cooled down, strain into a sterilised spray bottle or jar. Add 2 tbsp rose water and 2 pinches of salt. Shake well. If you can, slice the leaf of an aloe vera plant and take out the pulp. Add about ½ tbsp of pulp to the mixture. If you cannot get hold of an aloe vera plant, then add in 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel. Pour in 1 tbsp lemon juice. Shake well and the toner is now ready to be used. Refrigerate when not using.


This is another very important step in your facial regimen, one that is often overlooked. Facial masks exfoliate dead skin cells, draw out impurities and stimulate blood circulation, resulting in softer and smoother skin.


How: After applying the mask, steam your face again instead of letting the mask harden, which is the normal practice. This allows the steam to open your pores, which helps the mask penetrate deeper into the skin. Apply with fingers, same as applying cleanser. Now either take a hot shower (plan accordingly) or apply a warm towel from your chin to your forehead. Rinse off with water only, after five to ten minutes.


Dry skin: Bananarama
Purée or mash a small banana with a fork. Whisk in 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp yoghurt and a tsp of olive oil until smooth. Apply for five to ten minutes.


Oily skin: Cooling Green Mask
Purée ½ a cucumber with 1 tsp mint leaves. Add 1 beaten egg white and 1 tsp lemon juice until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Apply and rinse off with warm water, then cold water to close pores.


Combination skin: Nutty Honey
Take 1 tbsp runny honey and add enough ground almonds to make a smooth paste. Add water if need be to smooth it out. Apply for 15 minutes, then rinse off.


Skin, whether dry or oily, needs hydration to stay soft and supple. Dehydration leads to premature signs of ageing and cell damage. Dehydration also causes loss of important nutrients.


Correct hydration is a balance between oil and fluid content. There are two types of moisturisers: oil and cream. Cream moisturisers are more common, as most people prefer the consistency and lightness of it. Because of its light texture, it gets absorbed easily into the skin. However, oil moisturisers benefit skin cells by penetrating more deeply and moderating oil production in skin.


How: Apply a small amount, massaging face with small circular motions. Avoid eye area.


A great homemade oil moisturiser that will help delay wrinkles: fill a jar with 70% olive oil, 15% fresh lemon juice and 15% rosewater. Close lid tightly and shake thoroughly until all ingredients are blended. Keep this on your dresser and apply every night before going to sleep. My grandmother is living proof that this moisturiser works – she is over 80 years old and has a wrinkle-free face. She applies this moisturiser religiously.


Umm-e-Ismaeel has lived in Saudi Arabia, N. America, and now resides in Pakistan. She is an ESL teacher and freelance writer; her work has been published in various magazines and ezines. In her free time she enjoys baking and painting and having fun doing creative things with her son.