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Your skin is not a part of your body that you can forget about (like an appendix or a kidney), assuming that it will look after itself. It is a high-maintenance part of your body, which is sensitive to the slightest changes in your health, emotions and environment. You binge on chocolates and your face becomes a mass of pimples; you don't get a good night's sleep and dark circles appear under your eyes; you're out in the sun a lot and you get burnt or develop freckles. The list is endless. So let's take a look at skin care regimes for different kinds of skin.

Dry skin

Use a rich cream cleanser instead of soap and water. Avoid astringents, as they will further dry your skin. Instead, use a mild skin toner after cleansing your skin. Apply a good moisturizing lotion in the day, before sleeping, before applying make-up and after removing make-up.

Once a week, wash your face with the juice of a melon. You can give yourself a weekly facial by mixing a yolk of an egg with two tablespoons of milk and half a tablespoon of honey. Apply this on your face and leave it on for about fifteen minutes. Then wash with lukewarm water. If you're out in the sun a lot, milk mixed with melted butter helps soften the dry skin.

Lanolin, apple juice, peach juice, sour cream and crushed almonds are also helpful for dry skin.

Oily skin

You may not believe it, but oily skin actually has some advantages. As a result of excess lubrication, wrinkles do not form prematurely and skin is not much affected by wind and sunlight. However, oily skin is a magnet for dirt and grime and thus a good and regular cleansing regime is a must. If oily skin is not cleaned thoroughly and regularly, the dirt will clog the pores in the skin and blackheads will appear.

People with oily skin should wash their faces with medicated soap and water. The use of astringents is advised as they have a tightening and drying effect on the skin. Buttermilk or beaten egg whites also have a drying and tightening effect. Parsley juice mixed with honey and a few drops of lemon or ginger is good for an oily skin. This mixture controls the secretion of oil.

Fuller's earth (Multani mitti), oatmeal, almond paste, or lime juice or vinegar mixed with water are excellent cleansers. Steaming opens up the clogged pores and you can push out blackheads and whiteheads and prevent pimples.

Avoid rich fried foods and load up on green vegetables instead. Take two tablespoons of lecithin granules (a by-product of soyabeans) daily.

After washing your face, soak a towel in hot water and press it to your face. Repeat this process two or three times. Next wet the towel in ice-cold water and repeat the process two or three times to close enlarged pores.

Cucumber, parsley, cabbage, tomato, yoghurt and lemon are natural aids for an oily skin.

Combination skin

If you have an oily nose and forehead, but dry cheeks and chin, you will have to treat each area of your face separately depending on whether it is dry or oily.

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