Leftover cream from last time’s cooking? Don’t let it go sour, use it as a beauty aid instead…

Most Indian households tend to have a surfeit of cream or malai as we call it. Since we buy milk from the source or in packets, and then boil and cook the same before consuming in the refrigerator, the cream or the malai floats on top. This malai is then churned into butter (and buttermilk); the butter is then heated and turned into clarified butter or ghee.

Even if you don’t make your own butter, you might find you have some cream left after using the store bought version for a recipe.  Rather than let it go to waste or search for another recipe that requires just the right amount of cream, why not try these beauty scrubs instead?

That said, I did mention that we tend to have a surfeit of cream – even after churning out copious amounts into butter and ghee. Now, cream is basically all the goodness of milk fats – it’s a wonderful moisturizer and emollient (skin softener) and the lactic acid in it helps to take away environment-induced dullness.

A double benefit that you can get with cream is by adding gentle abrasives into it and turning it into a scrub. The scrub will slough off the dead skin cells that are making your skin look lifeless, and help the moisturizing elements of the cream penetrate into the skin’s many layers, thus making it retain moisture and softness from the inside out. Cream-based scrubs work on dry to normal skin; in case you have oily skin, replace cream with yogurt, lest the cream make you breakout.

Remember that these DIY kitchen treatments may not look as effective as your OTC scrubs and masks, but they work slowly and gradually into transforming your skin to be its healthiest.

DIY Cream-Based Scrubs:

  1. Cream & Gram-Flour or Oats for Brightness: Mix 1-2 tbsp of cream with an equal amount of gram flour or rolled oats to form a thick paste. Apply this onto washed and dried skin in an even layer and let it dry for 5-7 minutes. Scrub off the same with a few drops of water if need be – your skin will be visibly softer and brighter since the dead skin cells would have been washed away. You can repeat this twice a week if you like.
  2. Cream and Coffee Grounds to bust Cellulite: Drinking coffee boosts metabolism as well as alertness. Applying coffee to skin busts cellulite and also scrapes off those dead and dull skin cells. Mix in 2 tbsp of coffee grounds with 4 tbsp of cream. This should be enough to basically make a full body’s worth of scrub.  Apply to skin and rub in circular motions before rinsing off.
  3. Cream, Turmeric and Sugar for a Glow: Mix in ¼ tsp of turmeric powder with 2 tbsp of cream. Now gently add in 1 tsp brown sugar (this is softer than granulated sugar, so it’s best for the delicate skin of the face and neck; if making a body scrub, you can use granulated sugar instead).  Don’t mix too much lest the sugar dissolves. Use this as a scrub for the face, neck and décolleté – other than being an excellent exfoliating agent, sugar also has glycolic acids to help remove dead skin cells and is a natural humectant – it draws moisture in. The turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory agent and keeps skin infections and woes at bay.

Finally, just an added tip: you can use heaps of cream to simply moisturize your body – steam up your bathroom a bit to nudge those skin pores open. Simply massage in palm-fulls of cream all over your skin, making sure all of your skin gets this deep moisturizing benefit. Keep the bathroom steamy for another 5 minutes and sweat it out. Now use a mild soap and shower off (otherwise you’ll end up smelling like a  dairy farm all day long!). Pat dry – you won’t need more moisturizer today…

We hope you and your skin appreciated this creamy TLC. Write in to us in the comments section below with any tips or feedback…