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Monday, February 18, 2008


People tend to look upon the sun in a friendly way. It is what gives us warmth and life. It is associated with good times and cheer. Yet the sun can affect your skin in a distinctly unfriendly fashion. Ask anyone who has stretched out under the fiery rays on a beach in search of the perfect tan and got burnt instead; or someone whose face is a mass of freckles. None of them could be very happy with what the sun has done to their skin. Here are some practical ways of coping with the effects of the sun.


If your skin has a light smattering of freckles, pat some lime juice or buttermilk onto the freckles and then leave it on till it dries. Radish is also useful in combating freckles. A combination of four tablespoons of grated radish and a few drops of vinegar makes a good bleaching paste. You can also boil grated horseradish in milk to make a mild bleach. Fresh green beans boiled and then mashed can be applied as a poultice. Rum is also helpful, but the idea is not to drink it, but to mix two ounces of lemon juice to one ounce of rum and then apply this mixture to your freckles.

If you need to use something stronger for those stubborn freckles, a stronger bleach can be prepared by boiling an ounce of horseradish in half a litre of butttermilk for about an hour. Strain the solution and then apply on your freckles. Another strong bleaching agent can be concocted by mixing sixty grains of borax powder with five ounces of lemon juice. Apply this paste at bedtime.

A good tip to keep in mind is that any fruit or vegetable that contains Vitamin C can be used to bleach freckles.


Excessive exposure to the sun's rays makes the pigment in the skin come up to the surface in order to protect the skin from burning. This is the reason your skin becomes darker.

The phrase cool as a cucumber is not completely baseless. Cucumbers are very useful in soothing sunburns. Peel and grate a cucumber. Then take out the juice and mix it with half a teaspoon of glycerine and half a teaspoon of rose water. Pat this solution onto your skin and experience the cooling effect. You can also soak some pieces of cucumber in a cup of milk for a few hours and then apply the milk on your sunburn. A mixture made of equal parts of lime water and linseed oil is also a good alternative. Cod-liver oil, potato juice and even a solution of ordinary tea can have a cooling effect. A homemade face mask constituting one egg-white mixed with a little honey and witch hazel is also very effective in dealing with sunburn.

Darkened skin

For some people a fair skin is of utmost importance. Here are a few simple home bleaching ideas. Mostly all the sunburn remedies also have a bleaching effect. However, they are more suitable for oily skins as they also have a drying effect. So if you are going to use these remedies, remember to follow them up with some nourishing cream if you have dry skin.

Those with dry skin who would prefer not to use the above remedies, could try soaking one slice of lemon in one cup of milk. Then strain the milk and apply it on your face. This serves as a mild bleaching agent and does not dry the skin as much. You could also substitute a pinch of bicarbonate of soda for the lemon.

Grapes are gentler on the skin than lemon juice. What you need to do is to wash a bunch of grapes thoroughly. Then sprinkle them with alum powder and salt. Next, wrap them in aluminium foil or brown paper and bake for 20 minutes in an oven. Finally, squeeze out the juice and wash your face with it.

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