Master the Art of Selecting Toners for Sensitive Skin
Skin sensitivity is mostly an acquired skin problem. A five to ten steps skin regime is not for every skin type. As a matter of fact it’s not required.
Our Indian Skin type is either Fitzpatrick type 4 or 5
|Skin color before sun exposure||Eye color & Hair color||Skin reacts on sun exposure|
|Type 4||Olive or Light brown||Dark brown||Tans often and rarely gets a sun burn|
|Type 5||Dark brown||Dark brown to black||Always tans and never gets a sun burn|
So we fall in either of the above 2 skin types.
These skin types develop pigmentation (skin darkening) quickly not just due to sun exposure but also to skin irritating or sensitizing products.
In majority of cases, it’s an acquired sensitivity which means you don’t have a sensitive skin but you make it sensitive following a long skincare regime having different several products.
Every other skincare youtube channel or beauty influencer iterates on following a regime of double cleansing then toners followed by back to back serums and then sealing off with a heavy moisturiser.
Take a step back and question if you really need all these products? Well, for now I can help you out figuring out whether your sensitive Indian skin type needs a toner or not.
If yes, then how do you select one. Here’s an interactive presentation on toners for sensitive Indian skin.
Blemish Healing, Skin Brightening Face Mask – Acne, Open pores and Blackheads
Recently, I came across a skincare brand, Brown and Coconut. Impressed by the brand name and the relatable story of the founders Letisha & Zeena Brown, I started checking all their products.
Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with their skincare line. What caught my attention was their Kale mask for clarifying, healing and toning the skin. Then and there, I decided to do a spin-off mask of the same till I get my hands on the original.
Best part of this entire story is that it’s working for my otherwise stubborn skin. So here we go making our own – Blemish Healing, Skin Brightening Face Mask.
Brown and Coconut’s Kale Mask:
Ingredients of Brown and Coconut’s Kale Mask:
Montmorillonite (French Green Clay), Brassica Oleracea (Kale), Aloysia Citriodora (Lemon Verbena) Powder, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flowers, Azadirachta Indica (Neem Leaf) Powder, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme Leaf)
Here, I believe Honeysuckle flowers were added for the sake of fragrance.
And even Lemon verbena powder was used for its aromatic scent. However, the Brown and Coconut site says Lemon verbena can diminish puffiness while clearing and toning the skin. Nevertheless, I couldn’t find enough literature supporting the claim.
So, I gave these two a miss in my spin-off version.
My Spin-off Version- Blemish healing, Skin Brightening Face Mask:
The cornerstone of this mask- French Green Clay
French Green Clay differs from Bentonite clay in having higher amounts of iron oxides along with decomposed kelp seaweed.
Combination of decomposed plant material with iron oxides gives the clay a beautiful pleasant green color with added skin soothing properties.
Not to mentions its mineral content: Montmorillonite, as well as dolomite, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, aluminum, silicon, copper, selenium, and cobalt.
The minerals highlighted in bold hold a prime place in skin and hair care. Also, the mineral content makes it perfect clay for a mineral bath relieving stress and insomnia.
For mineral bath all you have to do is prepare a mix of clay and sea salts then add it to your hot bath. Soak in bath for 15-20 minutes.
How does French Green Clay work for skin concerns?
It raises your skin’s activity by stimulating it. As a matter of fact, you can feel this effect. You’ll feel your skin has become warmer after you rinse off the clay.
This skin stimulation by French green Clay encourages the natural exfoliation of skin.
Furthermore, the chemical structure of clay is such that it can hold large amounts of water. Therefore, the drying of clay shrinks the enlarged pores and helps reduce excess oil aka sebum production.
Where to buy French Green Clay:
I bought mine from a brand named Vedenic Ayurveda. You can check here
Purple Cabbage also known as Red Cabbage: Brassica oleracea
In my version of mask, I substituted Kale with its closest relative, purple cabbage😇.
Both Kale and Purple Cabbage have more or less same vitamin content. So, I didn’t feel the need to look for Kale which by the way is difficult to find in Indian markets.
The only probable difference could be the final color of the mask. Using kale will enhance the beautiful rich green color of French green Clay.
Besides, Purple Cabbage is not only rich source of Vitamin A but also Vitamin C which helps in healing blemishes and acne scars. Therefore, even if you skip your face masks routine don’t forget to have raw Purple Cabbage as salad.
I planned this mask last month itself but alas, the cabbage, I sun dried got soaked under unexpected rain. I decided to leave this and work on other project but mom chided me for being so dramatic 😛
Lesson learned: Stop complaining about things which are not under your control and start again without wasting time over spilled milk
Anyways, I started again and surprisingly even the weather turned hot and dry and my herbs dried within no time.
Azadirachta Indica (Neem Leaf) Powder:
Neem leaf, flowers, barks every part of this tree has one or other anti bacterial, anti protozoa, anti viral, anti-inflammatory properties.
In this Blemish healing mask, the Neem leaf powder serves to reduce skin redness due to active acne as well as treats active acne.
In India you’ll find Neem and its products throughout the year. But, if you wish to make your own Neem leaf powder, the best season to collect leaves is summer.
I collected Neem leaves, sundried and powdered them in summer itself. So, the powder came handy for making this mask.
But, if you wish to buy you’ll find innumerable sellers. One of the best: here
Thymus Vulgaris – Thyme leaf Powder:
Thyme serves to act as anti-oxidant. It even helps to reverse the sun damaged skin.
You can make your own or place an order from Amazon. Check here
Blemish Healing, Skin Brightening Face Mask – Works for Acne, Open pores and Blackheads
Blemishes, acne scars, large pores and black heads all these skin problems needs a mask infused with ingredients that addresses each concern without any breakouts. Blemish Healing Mask inspired from Brown and Coconut's Kale mask has goodness of all the essential ingredients.
- 1 tbsp French Green Clay
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Purple Cabbage powder
- 1/2 tsp Neem leaf powder
- 1/4 tsp Thyme leaf powder
French Green Clay has a pH of 7.75. Our skin has a pH in the range of 4.5 to 5.5. When you use alkaline products either it be masks, soaps or non-pH balanced face washes the skin's acid mantle disrupts. So, you need to add an acidic substance such as lemon or apple cider vinegar to neutralize and bring the pH to 5. In my mask I have used lemon. Lemon juice has a pH of 2 and therefore you don't require more than 1 tsp for neutralizing 1 tbsp of French Green Clay.
To know more on balancing skin pH - Why maintain your Skin pH – The often Neglected part in Skin Care (Unravel Few Amazing Insights)
In general, you'll notice bubbles when acid reacts with alkali. However, with French Green clay you'll observe slight sizzling. And with Bentonite and Aztech Indian healing clays, which are more basic the bubbles formed are more prominent.
Then, add other ingredients one after one and thoroughly mix them up.
Because, the clay is wet you'll get a lumpy mix. So sun dry it for a free flowing powder. You can even store it after sun drying for later use.
While using add sufficient water depending on the consistency you prefer.
How to use this mask for black heads:
Prior to using this mask, use a Salicylic acid containing toner or Stridex pads such as check here
Then after 20-30 minutes apply the mask, Let it dry and then wipe off the mask with a wash cloth. Then rinse with water.
Don’t forget to apply your moisturizer after pat drying your face.
Reminders for sensitive skin: (Applies even to all skin types)
As, I mentioned above the chemical structure of Montmorillonite is such that it can hold great amounts of water. So when you leave the mask to dry on your skin, the moisture from your skin too is lost along with the water adsorbed by the clay.
You get the tight feeling of skin after washing your face. Therefore, don’t wait till the mask fully dries. You can wipe it off when it is 65-70% dry.
If you feel excessive tingling rinse if off immediately.
Don’t follow up with lemon juice or any other harsh “natural ingredients” for astringent effect. The mask itself is enough for toning your skin. All you need is to moisturize your skin.
Before you leave, would you like to try a skin quiz to understand your skin better?👇