Everything your distressed skin needs is right in your kitchen
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‘Tis the season of oppressive heat which brings along a plethora of skin problems. If you are prone to summer skin (read: acne, rashes, tanning and similar skin problems that are an annual gift this time of the year), you'll be glad to hear that you don’t always have to chase chemical-laden products for good skin.
Beauty maven and entrepreneur Shahnaz Husain shares how you can rid yourself of five of the most common summer skincare problems with 100 per cent natural ingredients that you will easily find in your kitchen.

Problem #1: Prickly Heat
Prickly heat or heat rashes occur when sweat gets trapped under the skin. While the red bumps and swelling are relatively easier to deal with, the incessant itching is what really tests your patience and can turn that prickly heat into painful and bloody gashes. That’s when Husain suggests you should rush to your kitchen and whip out that bottle of vinegar. Add one part vinegar to three parts of water. Dip cotton wool pads in the solution and apply to the affected areas. This will relieve the itching and restore the skin's normal pH balance. You could also mix baking soda and water, and apply the paste to the affected area. Let it stay for five minutes before washing it off.

Problem #2: Tanning
When exposed to the sun, our skin produces melanin – a pigment which colours the skin. Though melanin is produced in the lower layers of the skin, it travels to the surface thus darkening the skin or tanning. To get rid of the tan, mix equal quantities of lemon and cucumber juice and apply to the affected areas. Let it stay for 20 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, skip the lemon juice. Instead, add cucumber pulp to yogurt and apply on the darkened skin.

Problem #3: Sunburn
If you've ever been sunburnt, you know how painful the whole affair can be. Even the slightest graze of the softest fabric can leave you wincing in pain. The next time you feel the burn coming, gently apply some cold milk on your skin with cotton wool. This will ease the pain and lighten the skin. You can also use chilled coconut milk or water to cool your skin.

Problem #4: Oily Scalp
While summer skin can sting, a sweaty scalp can stink. To get rid of the grease and foul odour that’s trapped in your locks, rinse your hair with some lemon tea. Boil used tea leaves in four to five cups of water (the longer your hair, the more water you’ll need). Strain the tea and let it cool. Once it's at room temperature, add lemon juice and rinse after you’ve shampooed your hair. Tea is rich in tannins that make your hair silky and shiny while the lemon juice tames the greasiness and odour.

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Problem #5: Breakouts and Acne
Does the onset of summer mean a face full of pimples? Before you go hunting for over-the-counter concoctions that most often leave the skin dry and dull, try this home remedy instead. Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and half a teaspoon of methi seed powder with a few drops of honey. Apply the paste on the acne eruptions and leave on for a few hours.

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