Weekday mornings find me springing up from bed, thanks to my wake up alarm set to 5:50 am, and barging straight to the kitchen after a hurried round of bathroom rituals! Next thing, I see myself scurrying for food in my refrigerator, pulling out a container of batter, fiercely cutting fruits, chopping vegetables, breaking an egg or two among the slew of chores that a healthy breakfast and a fancy lunch demand. As the freshly fermented dosa batter is spread on the hot griddle with one hand, a sip of steaming hot filter coffee would be consumed with the other hand while attempting to tune in to the BBC news broadcast, all at the same time! To me, the day doesn’t seem to start off right with a low productivity quotient. I have figured over the tenure of motherhood that multitasking is one label women so proudly wear on their sleeves, considering themselves to be the be-all and end-all of their families’ existence!

Mornings are also queerly the perfect time to put my hard earned beauty tips into practice. Almost always as an impulsive gesture, the leftover cucumber on the cutting board makes a quick appearance in the form of a face mask, at other times it is tomato pulp or the white of an egg. Avocado, coconut oil and honey to name a few have also made their way to the hall of fame list of my aesthetic products. It is amusing to see the startled faces of my kids as they open their sleepy eyes to their mom’s changing avatars ! It goes without mention that there is a wealth of skin care products in the pile of fruit and vegetable leftovers that end up in our kitchen trash. Often times for me, self-pampering is not the long drawn, carefully laid out, step by step process, rather an impromptu act.

Credit: Google images

Going back to the do-it-yourselves tips on skin and hair care, here are a few benefits that I learned about some of these natural ingredients. According to most recent fad, coconut oil is the best nourishing cream found in nature, in addition to being a super food. Cucumber juice, tomato pulp or mashed banana can all make for a refreshing and brightening mask and so is ground orange peel+yogurt+honey mix. Oatmeal powder mixed with warm water or milk makes a fine face scrub. Sliced cucumber or potato applied on the eyes are believed to reduce dark circles. The white of the egg counts for an excellent skin firming agent, whereas the yolk helps nourish hair. Honey and avocado mask helps in acne treatment. Avocado, rich in unsaturated fat and vitamin E is famously known to moisturize dry skin. Aloe Vera is another popular kitchen ingredient that is part of my skin and hair care agenda. It has great skin-soothing and healing properties and makes for a rich hydrating hair conditioner. There is a plethora of products that make for effective home made masks, and that includes pretty much everything in the kitchen pantry except, probably salt and pepper!

Lunch boxes for the family are neatly lined up on the counter top, 30 minutes into the culinary acrobatics. I realize I can no longer handle my stiff-lipped mumbles through the dried up layer of the flaky mask. I make a hasty trip to the sink for a quick face wash as the school bus alarm goes off, to render the rest a glimpse of my real face!!



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