Desi Totkay: Make your own fresh face mask!


As the monsoons reach their peak, so do skincare problems – with the temperamental heat, unbearable humidity and the odd dry spells between rain, there are a host of issues your skin might face. There are effective ways to use locally-sourced ingredients to keep your skin fresh and glowing. It is worthy to keep in mind that everyone has a different skin type, ranging from normal to acne-prone, and dry or oily or a combination of the two. You could find that your skin is greasier around the nose but drier on the forehead and cheeks, you could find yourself dealing with breakouts; here’s how to tackle it all!

Normal skin: Vitamin E infused Honey-Oatmeal Mask (Shehed-Dalia)


If you are one of the lucky few who were blessed with normal skin, the best way to keep it healthy and glowing is with Vitamin E. Vitamin E capsules are cheaply available at most pharmacies. You simply have to cut one open and squeeze the Vitamin E gel out. Mix this into a bowl with equal parts honey and oatmeal flakes, and apply to the face and neck. Leave it on for at least ten minutes and then rinse it off. A good trick is to use a washcloth (a dampened hand towel would work) to exfoliate your skin as you rinse it.

Dry skin: Aloe Vera Mango-Coconut Mask (Aloe vera, aam-naaryal)


Pakistanis have been blessed with one of the best fruits available in the world: mangoes! Mangoes are rich in Vitamin A and C which does wonders for moisturizing the skin. Aloe vera also has many benefits for drier textures – it brightens and plumps the skin and keeps it radiant and fresh. Blend a couple of mangoes just till they get pulpy with some coconut oil (another holy grail for dry skin) and mix in fresh aloe vera gel. Apply generously to the face and neck and leave on for ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Acne-prone skin: Green Tea and Turmeric-Gram Mask (Qahwa aur Haldi-Basen)

Acne prone skin is normally combination skin – too much oil on some parts with dry patches on the other. The best way to tackle spots and breakouts is to neutralize and even out the skin tone. This green tea and turmeric mask will help do that – as well as brighten acne scars and help with discoloration. Mix green tea powder with turmeric and gram flour. Then add water till it becomes a gluey consistency. Apply on the face and neck in layers, then rinse off once dry. Pro tip: you can substitute regular water for rose water which is great for moisturizing and toning without looking greasy.

Oily skin: Turmeric-Tea Tree Clay Mask (Haldi-Tea Tree aur Multani Mitti)

Turmeric and clay not only tighten and brighten the skin, but are also non-greasy-feeling ingredients for oily skin. Multani mitti is a locally available ingredient that is a great mix-in for face masks. Mix an even amount of clay and turmeric with a few drops of tea tree oil (which you can get at most department stores) and some water – just enough to make it malleable. Apply to the skin in circular motions, leave on and then rinse off with warm water.

Combination skin: Banana-Yogurt Mask (Kela-dahi)

An oldie but a goodie, the banana-yogurt mask is packed with nutrients that will freshen and moisturize the skin without feeling heavy or greasy. Simply mash (or blend!) a banana together with two tablespoons of yogurt for this super-basic but super-effective mask. The best thing about this mask is the space it leaves for mix-ins. You can add honey to make it more moisturizing or turmeric to mattify greasy patches. Leave on for ten minutes and rinse off with cool water.