While most believe wealth opens doors, interestingly for Sonali Paul, the lack of it worked the magic. A communications professional, Sonali crafts almost all her body care essentials, ranging from hair oil that helps tick her brain to a balm that calms her on days filled with anxiety
Sonali, what prompted you to craft your own body care essentials at home?
As an adult, I was exposed to various international skincare brands. However, there came a phase when I realized I could no longer splurge the amount of money I did on buying the brands I used to. Those days were the days of introspection and as I reflected I recalled that I once wore very healthy and lush skin. Why was that? Because I smeared myself with basic kitchen ingredients like bentonite clay, sandalwood powder, and crushed chickpea powder. That inspired me to get back to basics.
Talk about some of these skin care products that you make?
Various kinds of face packs and scrubs. A friend of mine commented that I looked 15 years younger! It was the magic of the packs I went back to using. That compliment pushed me to craft more stuff, such as butter to help erase the dark patches on my skin. Then there is hair oil that I make to avoid hair fall. There was a time when I had to consult a doctor to find a solution to my hair fall problem. We found none, only to later have my creation rescue me.
I also craft a sleep balm with lavender as the main ingredient that acts as an alternative to medication. On an anxious day, it is the magic balm.
All these names are what you used, growing up? I am trying to understand where do you gain the knowledge to prepare such stuff from?
When it came to the basic skin care routine, I followed what I learnt from my mum while growing up. Beyond that comes from various authorized books on Kindle. I have been researching the properties of various herbs, oils, and how they benefit us. Say, I found out that Shankhpushpi helped stimulate the brain cells and I then incorporated it into my hair oil.
Also, I speak to people around. There is a lot of ancient wisdom that everybody poses. From my relocations for work, I learnt a great deal about the various ingredients used in various regions for the same purpose. Say, northern India adds Bhringraj to hair oil while the south of the country is good with Kadi patta.
Aren’t there hazards in crafting one’s skin care essentials? Say the efficacy or the side effects?
There are a few. Which is why it is imperative to understand what one is crafting. It isn’t merely mixing up various herbs. Getting the right temperature is just as crucial as is the right proportion. Then again, one thing could suit one person while it may not be effective on the other. So, only acquiring information doesn’t help. To comprehend what one is reading, one must possess innate wisdom to apply it correctly, which is something that is part of my system.
Is there something that isn’t available around and you craft it for yourself?
There is. The hair oil that I have designed for myself. It works to prevent hair fall, promote hair growth, as well as stimulate brain cells.