It’s a dicey time of year, isn’t it! Sometimes, it’s bright, stuffy, and hot during the day; sometimes it’s just right. Either way, it’s nippy early in the mornings, and in the evenings. You take the fan’s speed up a notch, you feel cold. You switch it off, and you’re dying! One of my worst habits during autumn, is that I forget to drink water. I also become something of an insomniac, and the sporadic sleeping patterns show on my face (especially under my eyes).

Finicky weather, temperature fluctuations, and lack of proper sleep, all wreck havoc with your skin. If you don’t have combination skin (oily + dry), you may find yourself developing the symptoms because of these reasons. If you do, you could possibly aggravate your situation further. How? By using the wrong products for your skin type, or experimenting with too many, especially those that don’t complement each other.

From personal experience, I’d say skin becomes two things in this transitionary season towards winter – thirsty, and sensitive. You can’t go wrong with natural remedies. Even if they don’t bring about drastic positive results, atleast they won’t cause you any harm – unless, of course you’re allergic to any ingredient(s).

Here are my home remedy recommendations, all tried and tested; and some followed without fail:

Homemade Recipes for Exfoliation

If you see those unsightly white flakes on your chin, cheeks, or nose (in fact, even on your arms, back, and knees); you can save yourself embarrassment and inconvenience by taking exfoliation seriously. Twice a week should do. Exfoliation also unclogs pores, removes dirt and grime; and reduces the chances of black/white heads developing.

  • For your face, try mixing 1-2 tbsps. of oatmeal, with as much milk, or honey; and a little more than a pinch of baking soda. Intuitive guessing is key with the baking soda, based on your own knowledge of your skin’s resilience. It’s great at sloughing off dead skin. It can be a shocker for hypersensitive skin though, so be careful.

  • If you’re worried, you can substitute the baking soda with brown sugar, or ground almonds, besan (gram flour); and fruits like apples and bananas. As someone with sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend besan, or fruits. I’ve broken out in terrible rashes with them. But, if you’ve tried them and are confident, do experiment with them in face packs.

  • For the rest of your body, try a concoction of extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed coconut oil, or sweet almond oil; mixed with sea salt/Himalayan pink salt, or sugar. Add your favourite essential oil for a touch of decadent fragrance, if you like. I switch between rose and frankincense essential oils myself. The salt/sugar makes your skin smooth, by getting rid of dryness, and leftover acne scabs. The oils prevent further dryness, as they’re natural emollients. Use this body scrub/pack weekly, and you’ll notice your skin is iridescent, like never before.

  • You can also use Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth) in a body pack, with the salt/sugar and oil(s). But, it has a cooling effect on the skin, so it’s not the best choice, when the seasons are changing from hot to cold. Instead, you can opt for coffee powder, and melted dark cooking chocolate. In this, the coffee’s the exfoliator, and the chocolate works on pigmentation, dullness, blood circulation, and sagging skin.

  • For the specific issue of body acne, try adding neem oil to your pack. Fair warning – neem oil has a very strong, unpalatable smell, although the oils mentioned above are good at covering it up.

  • Don’t ignore your nails during autumn. Your constant movement between indoors and outdoors, has a greater effect on their moisture levels than you can imagine; resulting in their thinning, and constant chipping. If you’re too busy during the week, spend some time every night before bed time over the weekend, to massage warm olive oil into your nails. Wear thin ankle socks, if you’re worried that the oil on your toes will stain your sheets.

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Homemade remedies for Cleansing/Toning

  • With respect to cleansing, if you’re serious about using natural products only, then trust me; there isn’t a better face wash for autumn than a dollop of the rawest, most organic honey you can find.

  • For the toning step – if you believe in it – mix rose water, glycerine, and lemon juice together. Dip a cotton ball into this mixture, and dab gently all over your face. Glycerine makes the skin soft and radiant, working on fine lines and wrinkles over time. Both lemon juice and rose water have antibacterial and astringent qualities, because of which they’re effective on dirty and enlarged pores.

  • This may sound more like a face pack, but its benefits are more in the toning department. Prepare an egg white and lemon juice solution for your face, leaving it on for as long as it takes for the egg white to dry. Try not to talk while it’s on your face! Add brown sugar and honey, and this becomes a 4-in-1 exfoliator, toner, cleanser, and moisturiser.

Homemade remedies for Hydration

Honestly, if you don’t ignore your skin’s need for lubrication during the unpredictable autumn, you make your life easier. You reduce your chances of developing rashes, redness, and stinging. By not pushing your sebaceous glands into overdrive to produce natural skin oil, you save yourself from unexpected, and nightmarish pimple breakouts.

  • Coconut oil and sweet almond are great for facial application, if you’re not allergic to them. Sweet almond oil is particularly effective on under-eye circles, albeit with consistent and long-term use (depending on the severity of the dark circles).

  • Your eyebrows and eyelashes make a subtle, yet significant contribution to your facial appearance, which means they deserve customised TLC too. Olive oil is great for healthy, shining, dark brows. Castor oil keeps your eyelashes thick, long, and dramatic!

  • Honey and glycerine work well on chapped lips. Apply either on your lips before you sleep at night, and wake up to soft, supple, nourished lips.

Customising your personal beauty hacks at home can be very satisfying, even therapeutic. Go on, search your pantry cupboard for all these ingredients, and have fun!

Sumiran Kashyap Sahni is a fashion, beauty, wellness and creative arts
blogger. Her blog is Thinking Totty (

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