Grooming, Skin Care

Care Tips For Oily Skin – Monsoon Edition

Monsoon brings with it a mixed bag of good things and nuisance – the wind cools, the sun’s wrath seems benign, and the rains wash away the dusty wariness of summer, but the rains and moisture in the air bring a slew of problems too like clothes that do not dry, hair that reacts funny to air, and also many skin problems, which need specific care and treatment so that the face stays happy. People with oily skin need a lot of maintenance as it is, and the monsoons add to the issues.



But instead of hating your skin and cursing your stars, just make these routines a part of your skin care. And you won’t need to fret about the extra care your skin needs during the monsoon. The extra humidity of the air around you during the monsoons makes the skin greasy and difficult to manage. Greasy skin leads to pimples, breakouts, and overall, poor looking skin which might hamper your looks and also result in skin infections.

It is important to know how to deal with these problems. Here are few tips set to make life easier for you during the monsoons:

Wash up with warm water instead of cold:

Our skin reacts differently to cold and warm water depending on the outside temperature. Cold water is good for the skin because it tightens the pores and keeps the skin from accumulating a lot of dirt and infection in the pores when it is warm outside. During the rainy season, when the outside temperatures are low, warm water helps remove infectious microbes sticking to the skin and cleans the skin better. It is also better for removing oil particles from the skin. Use warm water to disinfect, cleanse, and freshen oily skin during rains.

Scrub:

Scrubs dedicated to oily skin are extremely effective. Especially during the monsoon, scrubs help oily skin by removing dead skin layer and the excess oil along with the dirt in the pores. This makes the skin look better and be cleaner. Scrubs which are mild are better because the rougher ones are hard on the skin and can be abrasive. Twice a week, scrub and cleanse your skin with products made especially for oily skin for effective cleaning of the skin. This prevents problems during the monsoon season.

Go organic:

During the monsoons and even otherwise, go for organic and natural products or home-based rather than chemical-laden products for a better and safer treatment for your skin. In the long run, organic and natural products are better for the skin than chemicals because of the sustainability and no side effects. Usually, a kitchen is full of items which are useful for oily skin- Gram flour (besan), milk, and lemon work well. The natural cleansing makes the skin glow. Go for home remedies rather than invest in expensive and chemical-laden products to make the skin look better during monsoons.

Masks to use:

Masks are effective for oily skin because they absorb and wash away the excess oils from the face. An appropriate mask should be a necessary component of your beauty kit. You must use once a week or in 10 days so that the skin is rejuvenated, tightened and rid of dirt and grime so it feels fresh and healthy.

Mud masks, masks made of lemon, milk, honey, oats, papaya, cucumber and the like are good ways of refreshing your skin during the rainy season when it feels gloomy and dull. They are better than store-bought, expensive cosmetics too! They are also readily available.

Whip up a clay and cucumber mask with rose water or go for a Multani mitti (Fuller’s Earth) combined with turmeric powder mask. Don’t forget to moisturize your skin with appropriate moisturizers after washing off the mask – oily skin does not equate to not needing to moisturize it!

Eat healthy and balanced diet:

What you put into your body reflects on your face. Skin health is directly related to what you are eating. If you are eating junk food on a regular basis, it directly affects the health of the digestive system. The bounty of good bacteria in the gut dwindles and the blood remains laden with toxins, making the skin look dull, with acne breakouts, spots and patches and many more.

Eat a healthy, home-cooked, balanced fibrous diet and drink plenty of water to wash out toxins from the body and brighten the skin. The most potent cause of poor skin is also unregulated excretion from the body. For this, one must drink lukewarm water in the morning in order to cleanse the system effectively. All this reflects on the skin.

Rose water refreshment:

Rose water has been used for better skin and effective skin care since times immemorial. The benefits of rose water for oily skin are multifold. The helpful enzymes in rose water help in removing excess oil as well as refresh it when wiped using cotton. This can be repeated twice or thrice daily. It also helps if you have a spray bottle of rose water and can spray it on the face before wiping the skin with a beauty wipe. Doing this will also make your skin fragrant and fresh.



Picking the right sunscreen:

Most sunscreens are unfit for application on oily skin because the greasy texture makes the skin even oilier. A right strategy would be picking the right one rather than giving up sunscreens altogether. In monsoons too, one needs sunscreen to keep the skin safe from harmful UV radiation. Pick a type of sunscreen known as non-comedogenic. It may be gel based too and gives a matte finish to the skin, making it look fine in monsoons too.

Oily skin needs more maintenance and upkeep than any other skin type. And during monsoon, it becomes even more important to take care because the skin is infection-prone. Follow these tips to rid the skin of problems and keep looking beautiful and healthy as you are!

[Image Credit: bebeautiful.in]

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Grooming, Skin Care

Home Remedies for Winter Skin Dryness

Winters are everyone’s favourite. The chills, the cosy slumbers, and festivities – all make winter one of the most awaited seasons. But with winters come dry and dull skin that denies looking refreshed no matter how many layers of creams and moisturisers you apply. That is why winter skin needs something more, something extra- probably the touch of Mother Nature.

Yes, with natural remedies, you can bring on your skin that healthy glow, you have always craved for. And winters no longer seems like it’s all about a conflict between your scaly skin and greasy creams. Even if you can’t go all natural, you can use ingredients easily available at home to keep your skin protected and looking radiant throughout the season. So, here are 7 easy and effective home remedies to try out this winter. Check out:

Pure Almond Oil
Almond oil is loaded with vitamin E. And that is why it’s such a good skin nourishing agent. All you need is a few drops of this oil, which you need to massage all over your face and neck and leave it overnight, and you can see your skin glowing the next morning.

almond oil

Avoid applying this oil on your face and neck if you break out, or if you have oily skin.
This is a great remedy for people having dry to normal skin.

Banana and Honey Mask
For this mask, you need half a banana and one teaspoonful of honey. Mash both the ingredients well so that there are no banana lumps in the mixture. Apply the mixture on your face and neck and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, rinse it off with lukewarm water.

banana

Banana is rich in vitamin A, C and B6, hence acts as a great moisturiser. Honey keeps your skin hydrated leaving it feeling soft and supple

Papaya Face Pack
To prepare papaya face pack, you need a piece of ripe papaya, one banana, and two teaspoons of honey. Mix the ingredients properly so that no lumps remain. Then apply it on your face and neck. The results you get using this face pack are no less than those obtained from a papaya facial.

papaya face mask

While papaya is a rich source of antioxidants, banana is full of essential vitamins. Honey, on the other hand, acts as a moisturiser. The mixture of all three serves as a great anti-aging treatment.

A Face Pack of Raw Milk and Almond
For this pack, you need 2 tablespoons of raw milk and 1 tablespoon of almond powder. Mix the two until a paste-like consistency is obtained. Apply this paste generously on your face and neck, and then, leave it for ten minutes. Before washing the face pack off, massage your face with it gently.

Almond contains fatty acids and vitamin E, which nourish the skin; raw milk, on the other hand, hydrates and moisturises the skin. The massage leaves your skin exfoliated too.

Buttermilk and Yoghurt for the Body
If your body feels dry, you can use this mixture. Add one cup of yoghurt and one cup of buttermilk in a large bowl. Apply this mixture thoroughly to the body. Wash it off with normal after 15 to 20 minutes.

Yoghurt present in the mixture will cleanse and lighten your skin with its enzymes and rich vitamin B6, zinc and calcium content. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which has a slight peeling effect that gets the dead skin off your body. The mixture also saves you from dry skin induced itchiness.

Use Glycerine
After you wash your face, don’t pat it dry. Dip a cotton ball in glycerine and apply it on your damp face and other dry areas of the skin. Leave it on just as you leave moisturisers on your skin. You can also add rose water to it for best results.

Glycerine with its emollient and humectant properties keeps your skin hydrated for a long time.

Petroleum Jelly to Shoo Away Dry Skin
Petroleum jelly is available in every household. It’s a great moisturiser and causes no side effects. Apply petroleum jelly on all dry areas of your skin and massage it for a minute or two until it gets absorbed. Starting from cracked heels to dry lips, almost every winter skin issue gets solved with petroleum jelly.

Aren’t these some really amazing home remedies to keep your skin looking and feeling clean, soft, nourished and glowing in winters? Well, yes! So, what makes you wait? Gather the ingredients and get going; results from these home remedies are always more than satisfactory.

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Skin Care, Uncategorized

Are facials good or bad for our skin?

How many of us book appointments for clean-up and facials at a salon regularly? We are all guilty of spending huge amounts of money and time on skin care. Yes, there is nothing wrong with it. A glowing, flawless and youthful skin is every woman’s dream come true. With gorgeous skin comes confidence, beauty, and of course, compliments. Hence, we tend to try everything that is available in the market which claims to make our skin great. The most common among them is getting facials done at a salon by a beautician or an aesthetician.

Now comes the million dollar question: Are facials good for the skin? Do they actually make your skin soft and supple with long-lasting effects?

Well, yes and no!

What does a facial do?

A facial is a skin treatment done by an aesthetician that involves massaging the face with fragrant creams and lotions, giving steam to the face, extracting blackheads, exfoliating dead skin, and finally, toning the skin by using face packs. All this pampering leaves the skin rosy, soft and supple. The massaging gives a temporary plumpness to the skin, with the black heads extracted skin texture appears clean; the tightening of pores makes the skin look firm and refreshed. As a result, post-facial, for a few days, skin looks rejuvenated and beautiful. The glowing complexion is a result of stimulation with various creams. This total pampering and spending money on yourself makes you feel good and positive.

But alas! These effects are short-lived. The benefits of a facial are temporary. Many women complain of skin breaking into zits or pimples (acne) few days after a facial. Some even come home with dry reddish skin. The reasons could be:

  • The massaging creams might not be suitable for you, for example, an acne prone skin requires a non-comedogenic (oil free) moisturizer.
  • The extracting instruments might not be sterilized, allowing germs to penetrate the skin.
  • Too much exfoliating causes skin to dry and become irritated.
  • The aesthetician might be an inexperienced person.



Another lie which you are often led to believe is that facial creams smooth out wrinkles. This is far from true. There is no moisturizer manufactured whose molecules can erase wrinkles. A facial only does superficial cleansing and toning. There are other creams available, which treat wrinkles. But these have to be used only as prescribed by a dermatologist.

Opt for a facial only if you want some good massage with temporary solutions for good skin, lasting for a few days.

So, is there no answer to a woman’s skin needs? Do not get disheartened, pretty ladies! Dermatologists have a solution to our beauty prayers.

After a not so good experience with post facial acne, the dermatologist I consulted gave me options of microdermabrasion and chemical peels for long lasting effects. The good news is that these procedures are carried out by doctors, who specialize in skin and are done in a safe and sterilized environment.

Microdermabrasion:

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive and chemical free method used to exfoliate skin. A fine spray of crystals is used to remove the dead outer layer of cells revealing fresh, smooth and healthier looking skin. This treatment buffers and polishes the skin. It is also useful to remove fine lines and pigmentation.

You might have to attend a series of sessions spaced over a few weeks apart.  Depending on your skin type, the dermatologist will tell you the number of sessions required. Each sitting may take around 30 minutes. After few sessions, you will start noticing results. Results last throughout the course of treatment, and even afterwards. The cost of each sitting depends upon individual dermatologist and where they are located. However, it could cost between Rs.1000-Rs. 2500.

Chemical Peel:

A chemical peel is a medical technique in which a small amount of chemical substance is applied all over the face and neck with a brush. The chemical peels off or exfoliates superficial layer of skin. The new skin is smooth, even and glowing. There are a variety of peels with different benefits suiting various skin types.

For best results, you will be given a schedule of 3-6 peels depending on your skin type and problem areas. The procedure takes around 30 minutes. Cost varies according to the type of peel used, the place where the procedure is done and of course the popularity of the dermatologist. Roughly it might cost around Rs.1000 to Rs.5000. The results after completing a series of peel sittings are great, often lasting up to months together.

The effects of these treatments are not immediate. They are seen after a week or so. But the technology used in both these procedures make the results long lasting, gradually improving the general condition of skin and slowing down the ageing process.

A Word of Caution:

It is important that you get these procedures done only by dermatologists and not some quacks, who claim to have mastered the technique. The reason being, firstly, a skin doctor will educate you about proper precautions to be taken before and after the procedure. Secondly, in the unlikely case of a side effect, the doctor can quickly address it and find a remedy for it.

So, ladies, the result is out! If you wish for a healthy, glowing, acne free skin, which ages much slower than your neighbour’s, then talk to your dermatologist about various options and select the treatment best suitable for you.

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Skin Care

Our Skin – Our Wealth!

 

We think of our skin as just a part of our body, not as important as the other parts. We take such good care of our remaining organs by eating, exercising, and living right, but there is so much more we can do for our skin to make it glow like any Hollywood actress’! Yes, it is the truth. You may not believe it but some of the treatments or procedures they do after spending thousands of dollars can be done right at home because Indian ancestors have known the natural secrets of beauty for a long, long time, and have been using them for great looks since then.

Our physical appearance is not just about how fashionable our clothes are and what colour our contacts and hair colour are. True beauty is appreciated when a person looks naturally beautiful, even after all the make-up comes off. On this note, it’s good to clarify that no matter how you choose to make yourself look beautiful, whether it’s with good make-up or going without it, there is no right or wrong in either method.

All individuals, male and female, have the right to enhance their beauty in whatever way they think is right. If that means getting a couple of cosmetic surgeries done or using the most expensive creams in the world, then so be it! Don’t let anyone dictate to you the “acceptable” ways of maintaining your beautiful image. Just make sure that you are not harming yourself or others in the process, though!

The main reason why surgeries and creams are frowned upon is that they introduce chemicals and toxins in our body that may have adverse side effects, especially in our later stages of life. Surgeries, of course, are risky procedures and cause some amount of pain depending on what kind of surgery you do, but there is nothing “morally” wrong about it. If you have been born with excessive fat or with a skin condition that cannot be treated in any other way except by cosmetic surgery, then by all means you should give it a shot if you can afford it!

So, coming back to the ways in which we can look beautiful, one of the simplest ways that will help you look gorgeous even in your later years in life is having great skin. And remember – it’s not just the skin of your face that’s being discussed here! Skin all over our body is in fact an organ that envelops all our internal organs and gives us our appearance. So, taking care of every part of our skin is necessary.

One of the biggest mistakes that people commit is by focussing only how their face looks, but forget all about maintaining skin over the rest of their body. Skin ageing and quality deterioration can take place in any part of our body, and they all have varied significance. For example, pale skin in our ace could indicate health issues like anaemia or lack of exposure to the sun which can result in Vitamin D deficiency. On the other hand, peeling skin at the crack of our heels could indicate lack of adequate amount of water to keep the skin nourished or poor blood circulation.

Spotted, Blemished Skin

One such abnormal skin symptom that almost all of us have had at some time or the other is spots on our skin, especially on our face. There are many reasons for that.

As mentioned earlier, the skin of our face is the most sensitive part of our body’s skin. It is also the most exposed to pollutants and sunlight. That is why you see there is a difference in the pigmentation of our skin in various parts of our body. The skin around our stomach and thigh regions is much lighter than our face and feet. Sunlight is one of the most important factors leading to skin ageing and spotting.

  • Poor food and drinks’ is the next culprit for this skin issue. Remember – our skin is a direct reflection of what we eat, how we live, and what we think. So if you are fond of spicy, greasy, rich, stale, or packaged food and aerated drinks, then be prepared for some acne and skin spots.
  • Hormonal imbalances, especially in women, cause some pretty drastic changes in our skin right from the time we hit puberty. There is no doubt that in various stages of our lives, the hormone levels also vary which contribute to the pigmentation and spotting of our skin. Some hormonal changes is normal; excessive changes in hormonal levels however reflect a serious medical condition that should be treated not just for skin spotting but other reasons too.
  • Bad make-up habits – Believe it or not, but not taking off your make-up while retiring for sleep at the end of the day, or using cheap products that don’t suit your skin type also lead to skin spotting. It is essential you use minimal make-up at most times; leave the utterly glamorous looks for special occasions! This lets your skin breathe more freely and has a less “artificially caked” look and a softer, and naturally appealing look. Buy products that suit your skin type and not just because they worked wonders for a friend of yours or because your favourite sports or movie star endorses it!
  • Ageing – Spotting is an inevitable part of ageing. As we age, our skin replenishes at a slower and lesser rate. The skin cells that earlier were replaced by fresh ones from the deeper skin tissues are now not being replaced fast enough. Plus, there are issues with blood circulation which also accelerate with advancing age.

How to Treat Skin Spots

Except for ageing, almost all other cause of sin spotting can be treated naturally. The essential thing is you treat it for good and not just for a time period. Didn’t ring a bell? Let’s look at it this way. If you want to get rid of that tingling sensation in your teeth when you eat something hot or cold, it is recommended you use a toothpaste and mouthwash that kills germs and bacteria in your teeth; and not just put a protective cover on your teeth to make it less sensitive to such food or drinks. In that way, your teeth and gums and healed and healthy, plus you can have whatever you want! You aren’t making a superficial change; you are treating the problem at its root cause level. Similarly, adopt skin clearing treatments that don’t just cover blemishes and spots, but actually get rid of them and actually improve the texture of your skin.

So, what are the ways in which you can do so? Let’s look at some good skin habits and natural treatments to help you:

  1. Apply sunscreen suitable to your skin and as per your exposure to the sun.
  2. Keep your skin hydrated but not soaked in oils, serums, and creams.
  3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and in all seasons.
  4. Wipe make-up off your face with cold water.
  5. The cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing technique should be followed regularly before you go to sleep each night. Our body, including our skin, heals best when we rest in the night.
  6. Wash your face at least 2 times a day, but no more than that. Ensure you aren’t over-drying your skin because of excessive washing and drying products.
  7. Use organic homemade face packs to get rid of blemishes, marks, and spots. Most of these ingredients can be found in your everyday kitchen! But we just didn’t know they had the potential to be a beauty treatment product too. Here is a list of some of the popular organic face pack combinations:
  1. Lemon Juice and Oatmeal Mask – Combine half a cup of rolled oats and 3-4 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice to form a face juice. Leave it on for a few minutes until the mask is quite dry, and then wash off with cold water.
  2. Onion Juice – Take one half of a medium sized onion and grate it. Use the pulp to extract the juice from it and store in a clean vessel. Apply the extracted juice on the affected areas and leave it on for ten minutes. Wash off with cold water.
  3. Aloe Vera Mask – This cooling herb is a miracle for a lot of reasons, including anti-ageing, anti-inflammation, and anti-acne formation properties. So, you can combine a tbsp of aloe vera gel (extracted from the thick stems of the potted plant) with 2 tbsp of tomato juice, form a face mask and leave it on for 20 minutes, and then rinse off with cold water. You could also create other aloe vera gel masks, such as 2 tbsp of it combined with a tbsp of lemon juice and orange peel (each), 2 tbsp of papaya pulp with equal quantity of aloe vera gel, and a tbsp of honey with 2 tbsp of aloe vera.
  4. Parsley mask – Take a tsp of lemon juice, mix it with 2 tsp of raw honey and the juice of a medium head of parsley. Mix these ingredients and form a paste that’s to be let on the face or any other affected part for 15 minutes. Wash it off with cold water.
  5. Turmeric and Lemon Juice – This is for those who struggle with more severe form of acne and the results pores, pockmarks, and blemishes. Take a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Add a tsp of turmeric powder and 2 tbsp of milk. Form a paste and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and apply light, suitable moisturizer immediately.

There are plenty of other kitchen items that could be used for organic mask making purposes, such as papaya juice, almond oil, the rind of watermelon, potatoes’ juice, rosehip oil, and hummus mixed with either garlic, onion, or lemon. You just need to find the ingredients that are best suited to your skin type. Be sure to apply the masks in gentle, circular motion, and wipe off any leftover mask bits with a soft, wet cloth. With the help of good lifestyle habits, you could prevent the blemishes from occurring to a certain extent. But use the masks to treat those that are already appearing on your skin for good results. Try and use fresh, natural products instead of powdered or artificial extracts for the homemade packs as they are the safest and most effective for most people’s skin.

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