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Alt apothecaryMany Pakistani natural beauty rituals have stood the test of time for the simple reason that they are as effective today as they were decades ago when it comes to battling skin ailments. Add the following ingredients to your skin care regimen and stay gorgeous – naturally.

  • Amla. Popularly known as Indian Gooseberry, Amla has proven health benefits. You can use packaged Amla powder to prepare tea; due to the high vitamin C content, it is believed to soothe boils and infections and boost immunity. When applied topically, it acts as a natural sun block because it forms a protective layer over the skin against harmful UV rays; massage Amla paste 20 to 30 minutes prior to stepping into the sun.

  • Multani mitti. Also known as Fuller’s Earth, Multani mitti (natural clay) has countless benefits. In addition to reducing skin inflammation, it works wonders for people with oily skin. Mix a few spoonfuls of Multani mitti with rosewater drops and apply it on your face. The clay will lift off excess oil and impurities, leaving you with clear skin. By adding crushed almonds to the paste, you can use it to lighten under eye circles.

  • Sandalwood. Drawn from the trunk of the Santalum tree, sandalwood (chandan) in its powder, paste or oil form is known for possessing antibacterial properties. Topical application promotes healing of scarred tissue, beneficial for those suffering from acne, sunburn, rashes and eczema. You can also mix sandalwood with turmeric or lemon juice and voila – you have an anti-acne homemade mask!

  • Ubtan. An Ayurvedic combination of natural ingredients, including gram flour, turmeric and sandalwood powder, ubtan has been an all-time favourite remedy for reducing facial hair growth, brightening complexions and preventing wrinkles. If you have dry skin, make a paste of ubtan powder and coconut milk and use it as a natural moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated.

– Sadia Kamran