Experts ideas for beauty and healthy skin
Diet and exercise
A regular exercise regime and balanced diet with adequate protein is the first step towards good hair and skin. Include “one orange, one green, one red, one yellow fruit/vegetable in your daily diet,
Dr Kohli.” says Also eat protein-rich foods like skimmed milk, homemade paneer, soya and pulses if you are a vegetarian.
For non-vegetarians “Fish, two eggs and chicken two to three times a week.” And on a daily basis you must have one date, one fig, five almonds, two walnuts and two fruits.
Raw or juiced foods are much better than cooked food. And while it’s impossible to avoid oil in our food, avoid frying and to switch to either olive or rice bran oil.
Also, chocolates often lead to pimples and acne among adolescent boys, so it’s best to stay away. Apart from oranges, which are high in Vitamin C that is good for healing wounds and repairing collagen, other “skin foods” include turmeric, broccoli, tropical ginger and green tea.
Along with right food, certain supplements too need to be consumed to ensure that our skin and hair get the vital vitamins and nutrients they need.
Dr Suma Hariprasad advises one multi-vitamin, one vitamin E supplement and for women over 35 years, a calcium supplement. Dr Paul adds, “Vitamin D is important, advise 50,000 I.U per month. He also adds that Omega-3 helps vitamin D.
Drinking lots of water throughout the day is also something many people advocate for healthy skin. But experts say that it’s a myth. Save yourself endless trips to the loo everyday as Dr Paul says, “There is no benefit to drinking more than two litres a day.
On another note, coconut water is good as its pH is close to that of bodily fluids.” Also cold showers, just like hot ones, are best avoided. Stick to lukewarm water. “Very hot or very cold water causes thermal injury and can increase pigmentation, or make skin uneven or prone to dryness,” reveals Dr Paul.
Always follow the cardinal rules of using a face wash, moisturising properly and using sunscreen. “You need to tailor your sunscreen to your lifestyle. If you are going to be indoors all day and only have a few minutes or half-an-hour in the sun.. If you are playing sports like cricket or spending the day at the beach, then you’ll need to reapply sunscreen every few hours.
Before any event or just to spruce up the skin, we regularly go in for facials and expensive treatments. How good are these? “Facials have some benefits when done properly but overdoing things may make matters worse,” warns Dr Paul. And what about chemical peels? “Gentler peels can be done at home — but it is dangerous to use stronger ‘medical-grade’ peels at home as you may end up with uneven pigmentation.”
What should the men be Doing
Guys, you should be doing almost everything the girls do. Dr Kohli says, “Skin and hair care for men is same as women. Microdermabrasion and hydrating facials help maintain skin texture. And when it comes to hair, detergent free shampoos help maintain hair, as men tend to wash hair everyday.
Indian grandmother’s recipe to treat armpit pigmentation
Lemon juice (Vitamin C helps reduce pigmentation)
Turmeric (anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects, which can help reduce odour in armpits) Sandalwood oil drops
To soothe skin and avoid irritation — use one cup of rolled oats (not instant) mixed with a cup of mineral water and blended to create a consistent paste). Apply to skin and leave on as a mask for 20 minutes.
- One tbsp of pure honey
- One tbsp of lemon juice
- Half a cup of spring or distilled water
- One tbsp of brown sugar
- One tbsp of vegetable glycerin or vegetable glycerol (available in pharmacies)
Mix these together and you have a good home-made cleanser. To remove heavy make-up, you’ll need to add more glycerin as you would for dry skin. This one works well once you’ve learnt to titrate (or measure and adjust) the glycerin content up or down to suit your skin’s level of oiliness.
Take equal parts of papaya and pineapple and blend with equal part of coarse sea salt. You can use this as a facial scrub. Papaya and pineapple contain enzymes that act as good chemical exfoliate.
Blend half a cup of pureed cucumbers with a quarter-cup of vodka. Dab this toner on your face using a ball of cotton.
Oil your hair with olive oil. Then steam it and leave for 45 minutes. In a bowl pour hung curd (this way it won’t drip too much when you put it in your hair) and beat an egg into it. Apply this mixture to your hair and leave it on for another 45 minutes. Wear a shower cap to prevent it from leaking onto your face. Rinse off using shampoo. Don’t use a conditioner. Let the hair dry naturally. Do this once a week.