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Viva!: Tasty treats; The food to leave you looking great without eating a thing.

Byline: By SHEREEN LOW

WE all deserve to be pampered once in a while, and according to Bharti Vyas, holistic beauty therapist and author of Tips For Beauty Wisdom, basic store cupboard ingredients are as good as, if not better than, fancy store-bought concoctions. The ancient Egyptians used clay and fruit in their everyday skincare routines - so take a tip from Cleopatra and do it yourself.

BEFORE YOU START

Home-made beauty products are often the treatments of choice for those with sensitive skins as they can control the ingredients.

However, before you start, always make sure you do a patch test. Dab a small amount of your new remedy behind your ear to check that you're not allergic to any of the ingredients

FACE

GENTLE FACIAL EXFOLIATOR FOR SENSITIVE SKINS "Oats and oatflakes have a gentle but deep cleansing action, and can correct skin imbalances, making them ideal for dry, irritated and sensitive skins," says Bharti.

This scrub can be used once or twice a week, to get rid of the dead skin cells and to reveal more radiant skin underneath.

2 heaped tsp fine oatmeal 2tsp double cream Combine ingredients, apply to skin and lightly rub using the balls of your fingers, then rinse off. Do not apply sustained pressure to any particular spot. CLEANSING MASK "Runny honey is good for dislodging dead skin cells. It also has soothing, healing, emollient and mildly antiseptic properties," says Bharti. This makes this mask ideal for congested skins.

2 heaped tsp gram flour 1tsp water 1tsp runny honey Mix to a thick, sticky consistency. Apply to affected areas and leave for five to seven minutes

HAIR

NUTRIENT-RICH CONDITIONER (from The Doctor's Book Of Home Remedies by Dr Stephen Amiel, published by Rodale and Pan Macmillan, priced pounds 20) Avocados and bananas are rich in nutrients and both have moisturising properties that will leave your hair shinier and soft.

2 blackened bananas 2 mushy avocados Combine fruits into a paste which will apply easily onto your hair. Leave in for 15 minutes, then wash out over the kitchen sink

NATURAL HAIR CONDITIONER This treatment is better done over a sink rather than in the shower, as it'll make you smell like a salad. But it's worth it, as the treatment helps detox the scalp from oils, built-up conditioners, and dirt.

1 beaten whole egg 2tbsp mayonnaise Hanging your head in the sink, wet your hair and gently massage in the egg, taking extra care with your scalp. Let the egg sit for about a minute, before rinsing thoroughly. Massage in the mayonnaise in the same way, this time paying attention to the tips of the hair, and let it sit for about two to three minutes. For a deeper conditioning, wrap your head in a towel for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and then wash with your normal shampoo, but don't condition

BODY

BATH OF THE FIVE NECTARS In Ayurveda, milk, honey, yoghurt, ghee and banana are considered to be the five perfect foods, so this bath would be a real treat to nourish, soften, smooth and re-energise your skin.

1 banana, mashed2tbsp milk 1tsp honey 1tsp yoghurt 1tsp ghee/ clarified butter Combine all the ingredients before massaging the sweet-scented mix onto your skin. Plunge yourself into a warm bath and feel your skin gradually becoming softer and strokeable

ALL-PURPOSE OATMEAL SCRUB This scrub is gentle enough to be used all over the body and will leave behind radiant-looking skin. The quantities given are enough for one thick application.

2tbsp finely ground oatmeal 1tbsp almond oil Combine the two ingredients together and massage into your body. Rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry, making sure you moisturise well afterwards
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2005
Words:619
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