January 25, 2020

Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Toor and Meesha Shafi share their recipes for homemade skin scrubs that they love to use

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Everything affects it: what you eat/drink, put inside your body, what you put on top of your body and the kind of emotional stress you take on.

Therefore it is important to take care of it. Often, it isn’t enough to simply shower and wash away dirt from your skin. You may have clogged pores, be facing the effects of sun burn, acne and more … all of which need more serious attention.

You can provide that attention by doing a little extra in your skin-care regimen. It’s important to scrub not only the skin on your face but also the rest of the skin on your body to keep it in shape.

Instead of stocking up on over-the-counter cosmetic products that often contain chemicals that aren’t good for your skin (or your wallet for that matter) we decided to ask three beautiful and hard-working women from Pakistan’s entertainment industry what their recipes and key ingredient is for their favourite do-it-yourself homemade scrubs and this is what we got.

Sanam Saeed: Porridge

Sanam Saeed

Sanam Saeed

Theatre and television actor and model Sanam Saeed’s homemade scrubs are as simple as the actor is in person. One is to take ground whole-grain porridge (oats are a great option) — the slow-cooking one not the instant one — and mix with some water.

Apply the mixture to your face and scrub. Other than the fact that they’re packed with nutrients which are good for your health, oats contain natural cleansers that remove dirt and oil from pores without causing irritation. This makes them very effective in fighting dull, flaky skin and dryness as they contain polysaccharides that have a gelatinous quality when mixed with water.

Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Toor and Meesha Shafi share their recipes for homemade skin scrubs that they love to use

Oats have also been used for thousands of years for the treatment of poison ivy, eczema, insect bites and skin infections. They have numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.

“It’s the best pore-tightener and the gentlest scrub ever,” said the actor, “The other is basin ka atta, haldi and lemon for summer and add yogurt in it for use in winter.”

Ayesha Toor: Salt

“The best one I’ve used at home is a mixture of sea salt, honey, olive oil and baking soda,” said the dusky beauty.

Ayesha Toor.— Photo Courtesy: fashioncentral.pk

Ayesha Toor.— Photo Courtesy: fashioncentral.pk

Sea salt is natural salt left behind after water from the ocean is evaporated. It isn’t processed like iodized salt and therefore contains a lot of vital nutrients that nourish your skin. It contains a large amount of vitamin C and magnesium which makes the function of antioxidants smoother — therefore it detoxifies your skin cells by absorbing dirt, dust and toxins from them resulting in a softer and healthier skin.

Honey helps moisturize skin, fights ageing and bacteria. It’s full of antioxidants and nutrients for your skin and protects your skin from sun damage as well.

Olive oil has been used as a product in beauty treatment since its discovery 5,000 years ago. It’s loaded with nutrients and is closer in chemical structure to the skin’s natural oil. That is why it’s a great moisturizer for dry skin and areas prone to dryness such as the knees and elbows.

Perhaps the best quality of olive oil is its skin-regenerative ability. Regular usage makes your skin remain firm and toned while also being soft and smooth.

“Sea salt gets rid of dead skin. Honey kills bacteria. Olive oil softens the skin. Lemon gets rid of the bad Karachi sunburn and discoloration. Finally, baking soda gives a glow,” said Ayesha Toor of the benefits of the scrub. “Follow it up with a good mustard oil massage and you’ll end up with gold, honey skin.”

Meesha Shafi: Coffee

“When you have an hour of ‘me’ time on your hands, try out my do-it-yourself spa treat,” wrote Meesha Shafi while sharing her favourite routine to pamper herself with.

Meesha Shafi.— Photo Courtesy: koolmuzone.pk

Meesha Shafi.— Photo Courtesy: koolmuzone.pk

You start off with dry brushing your entire body in long, sweeping strokes towards your heart for not more than 10 minutes. Dry brushing is when you take a brush with a long handle with non-synthetic bristles and brush your body starting from your feet.

You must always brush towards your heart. It helps to stand on a tiled surface or inside a bathtub to catch the falling skin. Dry brushing helps unclog pores and excretes toxins that become trapped in the skin.

Coffee beans.—Photo Courtesy: Friendlycuponlie

Coffee beans.—Photo Courtesy: Friendlycuponlie

Step two is to soak in a tub of hot water with two cups of Epsom salts for 20 minutes. Other than its detoxifying properties, Epsom salts are known for their healing properties: helps relieve pain and muscle cramps, prevents the hardening of arteries, etc. It is also used in the removal of splinters as soaking in Epsom saltwater brings the splinter (and ingrown hair) closer to the surface.

Then take a handful of coffee grounds, moisten them with coconut oil (organic, unfiltered and cold-pressed) and scrub the mixture on your body. Coffee contains powerful anti-oxidant agents which protects skin from free radicals and reduces the risk of skin cancer.

It also removes dead skin cells and tightens pores, resulting in a younger looking skin. Needless to say, it also has anti-wrinkle properties. Coconut oil is used as a base in many skin products and is full of vital nutrients for your skin and hair.

After you’re done scrubbing your body, rinse it and finish off with an application of the same coconut oil (without the coffee) while the body is still damp.

“This routine is great for exfoliation, circulation and skin toning,” related Meesha, “It tackles cellulite and leaves you with skin that is smooth as silk and smells like freshly-baked cookies. What more do you want?”

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, January 25th, 2015

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Sanam Saeed, Ayesha Toor and Meesha Shafi share their recipes for homemade skin scrubs that they love to use

Leaves of three, let it be

Leaves of three, let it be

Time to call Poison Ivy Gone

Published Aug 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm
(Updated Aug 28, 2014)

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  • Poison Ivy

  • Poison Ivy Gone workers dig up the plants and remove them.

  • The van says it all.

Things you may not know about poison ivy – but should
Urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol), the culprit in poison ivy, is found in leaves, stems and roots of the plant.
Three out of four people who come in contact with urushiol will develop a rash, an allergic dermatitis.
The first contact with urushiol often does not cause a reaction. However, the immune system goes on the defense and the next contact will result in an allergic reaction.
Skin must come in direct contact with the oil to be affected but it can be spread by contaminated hands, clothing, tools, sporting equipment, etc. The contamination can last for five years. The blister fluid does not spread the rash.
Symptoms, 12-48 hours after exposure: redness, itching, swelling, streaky or patchy rash, red bumps, blisters, sometimes oozing. Typically lasts 5-12 days, 30 days or longer in severe cases.
Medical attention is needed if there is a rash on face, lips, eyes or genitals, severe swelling, difficulty in breathing or a widespread reaction.
Never burn poison ivy. While the oil cannot be inhaled from the plant, burning results in toxic smoke that can cause a serious reaction in the lungs, nasal passages and throat.
Urushiol oil remains in the stems of poison ivy for years after the plant dies.
To prevent infection after contact, shower in cool water as soon as possible. Wash toys and tools in soap and cold water.

You went to sleep fine last night but woke up this morning with blisters and itching skin. Sure, you were weeding yesterday but you had on your garden gloves. So how did you get poison ivy?

According to George Louvis, the marketing director for Poison Ivy Gone, your cloth gloves act like a sponge, absorbing the urushiol oil in poison ivy, increasing the amount of oil that comes in contact with your skin and making your allergic reaction even worse.

Poison Ivy Gone
Oakland, New Jersey
Free estimates available
Business hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sat. and Sun.

Based in Oakland, Poison Ivy Gone has over 28 years of experience in professionally removing poison ivy in Northern New Jersey but they have also worked in Orange and Rockland counties, Pennsylvania and South Jersey. They service residential and commercial properties as well as others sites, such as country clubs, playgrounds and schools. They are Service Award winners on Angie’s List.

“She comes on like a rose, but everybody knows, she’ll get you in Dutch….”

Louvis reports that poison ivy starts to grow in the spring and he said this year’s weather conditions created the perfect storm.

“It’s a weed, so there’s not much that stops its growth. It’s a vicious and invasive plant and it doesn’t take a lot for it to take over,” he said.

Poison ivy can grow anywhere but usually pops up around the borders of your property or near the house. It roots well in mulch, flower beds and woods, where there is little activity, and tends to shoot off in many directions.

“It’s very aggressive and it spreads in two ways; along the ground, where it gets longer and bigger and then every so often it shoots vertical. That’s when it reproduces and drops seeds. When it starts climbing it’s getting ready to have babies,” he said.

Your dog can take a walk on the wild side in poison ivy and suffer no ill effects, but once you pet your furry friend, who carries the oil on his coat, you’re in trouble. Backyard birds are also culprits in the itchy world of poison ivy. They ingest the berries of the plant and as they do a fly-over they pass the seeds, perfectly encased in their own little sack of fertilizer. No harm intended, but now you are in deep doo-doo and have a good chance of becoming a host property for poison ivy.

“You can look but you’d better not touch….”

Attempting to eliminate poison ivy with a lawn mower or weed whacker only succeeds in spreading the oil on the grass, in the bushes, on your shoes and pant legs. Your tools are also contaminated for the next five years unless they are properly cleaned. And it gets worse.

“When your kids play in the yard the oil is all over the lawn,” Louvis said.

“She’s pretty as a daisy, but look out man, she’s crazy….”

Poison ivy is easiest to identify from April to October. It goes dormant after the fall, but doesn’t die and you can still get a rash in the dead of winter. While the leaves remain is the best time to call Poison Ivy Gone.

“It’s never a do-it-yourself job. Our guys recognize it, figure out where it’s coming from, remove it completely and show you how to keep it from coming back,” Louvis said.

Poison Ivy Gone’s preferred method is to remove it by hand, just beneath ground level, or in the case of significant infestation, by machine.

Sometimes customers prefer the use of an herbicide to protect certain plants from harm. In that case, Poison Ivy Gone technicians use a paint brush to apply the herbicide to the poison ivy leaves, killing off the noxious plant only.

“They are skilled and careful and we are licensed to use herbicides,” Louvis said.

“You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion….”

Poison Ivy Gone technicians know how to protect themselves so they’re not scratching like a hound the minute they mess around with poison ivy.

“The guys are basically in haz-mat suits. They take an oral product and use a cream on their skin. The suits are destroyed afterwards; you can’t re-use anything in this business,” Louvis said.

Poison Ivy Gone removes the poison ivy from the ground then carts it away from your property to a secure location.

And then the Poison Ivy is Gone.

Sources: http://lyricksfreak.com – “Poison Ivy” by the Coasters, 1959; http://www.mayoclinic.org; http://my.clevelandclinic.org;

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Leaves of three, let it be

Ticks, mosquitoes on the rise in Iowa

Ticks, mosquitoes on the rise in Iowa

New report warns of climate impact on wildlife

By Gabriella Dunn, The Gazette


August 19 2014 | 6:21 pm – Updated: 19 August 2014 | 6:44 pm




DES MOINES — Ballooning amounts of ticks, mosquitoes and poison ivy are invading Iowa because of climate change, and the increase will bring higher rates for disease, according to a report by the Iowa Wildlife Federation.

The report, titled “Ticked Off — America’s Outdoor Experience and Climate Change,” outlined effects on the outdoors from rising carbon dioxide rates, increased humidity and altered seasons like milder winters.

“If we keep the status quo the way we’re living, it will keep getting worse and we will start seeing diseases we never dreamed about coming to our soil,” said Dr. Yogesh Shah, associate dean of the Department of Global Health at Des Moines University.

To illustrate his point, Shah highlighted the rise of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by mosquito bites, which starts with cold-like symptoms and then persists as joint pains for up to several years. Chikungunya, he said, was hardly discussed just six months ago, but will likely become more prevalent.

Shah said that with every degree increase in temperature, mosquito population increases by nearly tenfold — plus the viruses are living longer in each mosquito.

The report found that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is causing poison ivy to grow more rapidly and with stronger toxicity.

“If a drop used to cause a rash, now it’s just half a drop,” Shah said.

Deer ticks that carry Lyme disease are expected to be “more widespread than ever before” because of milder winters.

“Climate change is not so subtle anymore,” said Joe Wilkinson, president of the Iowa Wildlife Federation. “With temperatures going up a degree to two, as a human, I can handle that. But what will be the cumulative effect?”

The report encourages people to reduce carbon pollution, invest in clean energy, increase energy efficiency, put buffers around farmland to keep soil in place, clean stagnant pools of water where mosquitoes breed and wear protective clothing outdoors.

Experts offer advice on healing poison ivy rashes

Experts offer advice on healing poison ivy rashes

By: Ashley Gardner – Texarkana Gazette

It can happen easily.

Out for a walk in the woods or doing yard work, coming in contact with poison ivy can lead to misery for approximately three-fourths of the population who are aller…

Published: 04/28/2014

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Experts offer advice on healing poison ivy rashes

Shingles Remain Lifelong Threat

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 5:14 p.m.

If you had chickenpox (varicella zoster) as a youngster, you probably remember it well.

The itching.

The scratching.

The perpetual discomfort bordering on pain.

What you probably don’t remember, however, is being told by your parents and/or doctor that five, six or seven decades later the virus may just revisit you — in the form of shingles (herpes zoster).

Former MSNBC and current ESPN broadcaster Keith Olbermann is the latest baby boomer to be reminded — the hard way — that once the dreaded “zoster” comes to visit, it never leaves.

Late last month, the 55-year-old Olbermann missed a week of broadcasting of his eponymous nightly one-hour show after being felled by the burning, painful disorder.

His tweets — self-admitted “kvetches” — about the condition, though, were quite entertaining. Among them:

“It is mind-boggling to realize that I am dealing with a virus I contracted while JFK was still president”

“To those asking, Shingles (sic) feels like you fell 3 flights. On to sharp poison ivy. Which then spontaneously combusts. Emitting toxic fumes.”

“…Get the vaccine!”

Of course, for anyone who’s suffered through a bout with shingles, they’re no laughing matter.

What’s more, a study of Medicare data published in December showed that, between 1992 and 2010, the annual rates of shingles cases in those older than 65 increased nearly 40 percent.

That same study concluded that, for those who had chickenpox in their youth, between a quarter and a third eventually experience at least one episode with shingles.

The reason why? Well, the medical community’s guess is as good as yours or mine.

“Anything that is a ‘stress’ on the body could be a factor that contributes to a shingles outbreak,” explains Dr. Thomas Balshi, owner and medical director of Balshi Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Delray Beach. “Everything from the flu, arthritic injury and mental stress to too much sunlight or a sudden change in climate can do it. The list is endless. And, sometimes shingles erupts without any definable reason behind it.”

The vaccine Olbermann referenced in his tweet — it’s called “Zostavax” — is available to those 50 and older who’ve had chickenpox. The injection helps mitigate some of the risk for seniors — but, says Balshi, it “doesn’t provide 100 percent protection from getting shingles.”

Nonetheless, adds Balshi: “Experts recommend that people older than 60 get this vaccine — whether or not they’ve had shingles before — because it considerably reduces the severity and risk of further complications of a shingles outbreak.”

At the first sign of shingles — that is, when you begin experiencing nerve pain, burning or topical blistering — get to your doctor immediately.

“By taking antiviral prescription medication within 72 hours of an outbreak, you can help reduce the pain and duration of the disease,” says Boca Raton family physician Dr. Carlos Ballestas.

In severe cases, notes Ballestas, patients may need to supplement the antiviral meds with corticosteroids (to reduce swelling), antihistamines (to decrease itching) and Zostrix, a cream containing capsacian, which helps control pain.

In addition, Ballestas warns that just because you’ve never had chickenpox does not mean shingles pose you no threat.

“Exposure to shingles may cause chickenpox in adults or children who’ve never had chickenpox,” he explains.

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Shingles Remain Lifelong Threat

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