Homemade Beauty

Updated 24 September 2012

Homemade Beauty

Many women pay a fortune in beauty salons to get facials, face creams and masks. What they don’t know is that they can get all the beauty products by using basic ingredients found around the house to make simple masks and scrubs.
Dania Khafaji, founder of Spa to Go, says that women with oily or acne-prone skin should look for mud or strawberry based masks. These balance out the skin. Sensitive skin types should go for ginseng or green tea masks that soothe the skin. For dry skin, Khafaji recommends hydrating masks that are made with glycerin, honey and oils. Those who are looking to get rid of dead skin should use scrubs once or twice a week.
Here are easy recipes with simple ingredients that you can find in your kitchen:

Liquid mask for oily skin
This is a great homemade mixture for those who are looking for balanced skin especially with the T zone, which is the forehead and nose. “You will need one table spoon of lime or lemon juice, three table spoons of honey, one cup of chopped strawberries and two egg whites,” said Khafaji. “Mash the fruit and mix all ingredients until you have a smooth mixture. Apply for 15 minutes and then clean up and use moisturizer,” she added.
This mask is amazing because lemon and strawberries include natural astringents.

Strawberry mask for acne
Strawberries are a good natural resource of salicylic acid, which could fight acne and help sooth the skin according to Khafaji. “You will need fresh strawberries and a quarter cup of sour cream or yogurt,” she said. “Mash and mix together and apply on the face for at least 15 minutes. Wash off using warm water and apply a rich moisturizer,” she added.
Khafaji suggests using this every day to say bye-bye to your zits and acne.

Yogurt facemask
for sensitive skin
This mask is great for soothing sensitive or irritated skin. “You will need a cup of yogurt and a cup of oatmeal for this mask. Mix them together and apply of the face for around 15 minutes,” said Khafaji. “Wash off the mask with warm water and apply a rich moisturizer,” she added.
This mask fits all types of skin. For dry skin, add two tablespoons of honey, for oily skin add two tablespoons of lemon.

Sugar and salt scrub
This is an easy one. Sugar can be kind and gentle on the skin. Make sure to choose a salt or sugar that has small crumbs so it won’t tear at your skin. One tablespoon of salt or sugar works wonderfully. If you have super sensitive skin, you should go for dark brown sugar.
Mix the salt or sugar with any kind of oil that you like, from coconut oil, almond oil, vegetable oil, baby oil or sunflower oil. “My personal favorite is almond oil, because it smells amazing and it actually helps soften the skin,” said Khafaji. “You will need one part oil for every two parts of sugar or salt. If you want a nice smell you can add around five drops of essential oil to the mixture,” she added.
Take the mixture in your hands and rub your face. “If you thought the mixture was a little harsh on the skin, add oil and continue,” said Khafaji. “Once you are done, rinse the face in warm water and pat it dry. Now you need a good rich moisturizer to apply on the whole face and you’re done,” she added.

Sticky avocado facemask
for dry skin
Honey and avocado fruit are a great moisturizer when mashed up into a creamy mixture.
“You will need half a cup of honey and half a cup of mashed avocado. Mix well until you get a rich cream,” said Khafaji. “Apply for at least 10 minutes and wash off with a cold and clean towel,” she added.
This mask is rich and great for older women with aged, dry skin. It works also great as deep conditioning for dry and tired hair.

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TheFace: Dr. Lama S. Taher, the successful fashion designer whose one dream was not enough

Dr. Lama S. Taher (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 20 April 2018

TheFace: Dr. Lama S. Taher, the successful fashion designer whose one dream was not enough

  • Lacking in financial assistance but armed with grit, perseverance and passion, a young Saudi woman fashion designer launches her own brand while pursuing further studies, and succeed in both

I was born and raised in Riyadh and moved to London in 2004 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a Master’s degree in Mental Health.

Eight years ago, when I started on my Ph.D. in Psychology, I felt compelled to go into fashion design. Armed with grit, perseverance and passion, I took the plunge and launched my own brand, LUM, in May 2010.

I had no financial assistance and no fancy business plans — but I believed in it. No one else did, except my older sister who stood by me.

In spite of its humble beginning, the brand was well-received in the Kingdom and the Gulf region. But my father, a physician, was not convinced. I placed a bet with him, vowing to make substantial sales and revenue within one month. On July 1, 2013, I won that bet, making him my number one supporter.  In 2016, I achieved my academic dream, obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology at City University London.  

But it was not easy. Enduring sleepless nights and homesickness, I persevered to meet high academic demands. Meanwhile, the LUM business continued to flourish.

People asked why a successful fashion designer would pursue a doctorate in psychology. I was constantly asked to pick one — but my heart was in one and my mind was in another. 

Few believed I could achieve both. At times, I too doubted myself.

Today, I am an assistant professor at Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah, supervising award-winning researchers. I am also a Saudi designer and manager of a successful fashion brand sold in the GCC, New York and Los Angeles.  I share my story to empower women to pursue their dreams, to believe in themselves, to fight for what they want.

People still ask: “Why both?” 

I reply, smiling: “Because one dream was not enough.”