NEW DELHI: The aroma of many flowers has powerful properties to bring calming effect on the body and mind by inducing relaxation, says beauty expert Shahnaz Husain, adding flowers provide an ideal defense against environmental and mental stress.
Many beauty problems like acne and hair loss occur due to mental stress. The fragrances of flowers can help in such stress-related conditions by calming, relaxing and refreshing effect.
The flowers are used in the form of extracts or essential oils in salons during treatment with cosmetic products. Rose, jasmine, lavender, camomile, marigold, lotus, orange flower (neroli), hibiscus and geranium are among the commonly used essential oils for enhancing one’s beauty.
Here are some home care remedies suggested by Shahnaz Husain:
1. Use of rose water—
Rose water is one of the best known natural skin toners. Chill some rose water in a bowl. Using cotton wool, wipe the skin with it. Then pat the skin briskly. It will help to make your skin healthy and youthful, particularly good, during the summer and rainy season.
For oily skin, add two to three drops of lemon juice to one tablespoon rose water and dip cotton wool in it to wipe the face. It will help to remove the surface film of oil and stale sweat and leave you with a cool and fresh feeling.
For normal to dry skin, add two to three drops of glycerin to one tablespoon rose water and apply on the face.
A few drops of rose water can be added to sandalwood paste and should be applied on pimples, acne or boils, to soothe and cure. It helps to reduce inflammation.
Rose water can also be added to face packs and scrubs. Powdered almond can be used with a little rose water for facial scrub.
Dip cotton wool pads in rose water and use as eye pads, to remove fatigue and brighten the eyes.
2. Use of hibiscus flowers—
For hot infusions, the flowers and leaves of hibiscus flowers are added to boiling water and allowed to leave for 10 to 12 hours. The infusion is strained and then used as a last rinse after washing the hair and is good for dandruff related conditions.
For cold infusions, the hibiscus flowers and leaves should be allowed to stand overnight in cold water, in a ratio of one to six. The flowers should be squeezed and strain the water before use.
Such infusions can be used to wash the hair and scalp, or applied on the scalp with cotton wool.
Infusions, or the juice of the flowers, can be added to henna and applied on the hair. This can be a total hair-food and conditioning treatment.
3. Use of calendula flowers— For marigold (gainda) or calendula flowers, either fresh or dry flowers can be used.
In boiling water, add four tablespoons of the flowers. Do not boil.
Allow the flowers to be steeped in the hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.
Strain and cool the water and use it to rinse the hair. It should be used as a final rinse. The cooled water can also be used to wash the face. It has a beneficial effect on oily and pimple-prone skin.
4. Use of essential oils—
Sunflower oil (pressed oil) can be applied on the face to soothe sunburn.
Add 10 drops of an essential oil, like rose OR lavender OR neroli to 50 ml of carrier oil. Blend in small quantities, so that it does not turn rancid.
This makes a good massage oil, leaving the body fragrant.
You can use essential oils of rose, orange flower (neroli) or lavender.
Essential oils can also be added to rose water, to make a skin tonic. Add 5 drops of the essential oil to 50 ml rose water. Oil of neroli added to rose water can benefit dry and dehydrated skin.
Oil of Lavender added to rose water can benefit oily skin. These blends can also be used as fragrance.