Beauty Potions From Your Kitchen

No skincare regime is complete without a dose of the ‘naturals’. But you don’t really need to scour exotic food stores to pick up imported herbs or extracts. Just head to your local supermarket and stock up on the regular items that you can use for a healthy diet and apply on your skin as well. Whatever fruit remains on your fruit platter after a meal, put it on your face instead of discarding it.

Natural Ingredients For Skin

Coconut oil: Contains linolenic acid and is of straight chain composition (meaning molecules in this compound are aligned straight. Remember the pentagons and octagons in Chemistry?) and so it penetrates into your skin and hair more easily as compared to the rest of the oils instead of staying on top, forming a barrier.

Coconut milk: A great hair conditioner/masque for soothing dry brittle strands.

Coconut cream: Grate a coconut, extract its milk, and let it sit in your fridge. The next morning, after the water settles, take out the top layer of the cream and use it as a moisturizer or a mask.

Coriander seeds: It can be a great eye soother. Soak the seeds overnight and then put it into little gauze bags. Put these over your tired eyes; they will look bright in no time.

Cucumber: Soothes tired eyes and minimizes dark circles.

Eggs: It is a skin and hair nourisher. An egg mask lifts and hydrates the skin instantly, but remember to put in some essential oil (jojoba if the skin is dry, lavender if the skin is flushed, or basil if acne prone) to mask the smell.

Fenugreek seeds: Soak the seeds overnight and grind it into a paste the next day. It makes for an excellent hair pack.

Gram flour: If you are indoors most of the times and your skin does not have any particular issue, gram flour acts as a great replacement for soap and can be used as a gentle skin exfoliator.

Honey: Gives you dewy, glowing skin in an instant. Superb hydrant.

Lemon: Give your skin a big dose of vitamin C. It is a natural skin lightening agent and acid peel.

Masoor dal (red lentils): Ideal for using as a scrub or mask to treat dry skin.

Milk: Soothes sun-irritated skin. Milk can also be used as a medium to make any paste or mask, like when you use it while rubbing sandalwood on a rough stone to make a paste.

Oatmeal/Rice powder: The ideal body/face scrub to treat dry, itchy skin.

Potatoes: The juice of potatoes can fight pigmentation.

Sandalwood paste: Get a piece of the sandalwood and rub it on a wet stone with milk or water. The paste helps fight acne and pigmentation and calms irritated skin.

Strawberries/Grapes: Give your skin a dose of antioxi­dants and vitamin C with these.

Sugar: Great skin polisher.

Papaya/Green Apple: Both are rich in enzymes. They loosen dead skin by gently exfoliating it and give your skin a nice glow.

Tomatoes: Lighten acne scars, pigmentation, and excessive oiliness by applying this.

Tender coconut water: Dab some on your face to heal dehydrated skin and scars.

Tulsi (Indian/Holy Basil): Treat acne and skin irritation.

Turmeric: A natural antiseptic and best anti-inflammatory ingredient. You will find its powder in every Indian kitchen. Get fresh turmeric root and rub it on wet stone to make a paste.

Used teabags: Reduce puffy eyes with these.

Wheatgrass: It is a shot of pure health when freshly extracted and gives a good dose of iron.

Yogurt: When consumed, the good bacteria not only helps your tummy, it also brightens tired skin. When applied, the acid in the curd helps in lightening and hydrating the skin.

Supplements To Take In Winter For a Healthy Skin

Every season requires your skin to be healthy, inside out. In this blog, we tell you about the winter supplements and home remedies for a glowing skin.

Supplements For Winter

  • Essential fatty acids—Omega 3, 6, 9; codliver oil, fish oil capsules.
  • Proteins—whey proteins, simply threptin biscuits, some multivitamins with amino acids.
  • Zinc—usually in multivitamin capsules, or with calcium or iron. supplements or separately with magnesium.

 

Winter Kitchen Goodies

  • Honey and banana mask for hydrating skin.
  • Milk cream on its own or with sandalwood paste.
  • Coconut oil to create a protective barrier on the skin.
  • Coconut milk and coconut cream to moisturize your face and body.
  • Avoid acidic fruits as mask in winter.
  • Fenugreek paste + lemon + coconut milk as a hair mask. Takes care of dry hair and scalp.

 

At Your Skin Doctor’s

To Do

  • Pampering yourself with hydrating treatments like Hydra facials to bring back lost moisture and stimulate blood flow to the skin.
  • Mesotherapy where non-crosslinked hyaluronic acid is used. This boosts the hydration deep down to the inner layers of the skin and also stimulates collagen. It puts the bounce back into your skin and is an even more long. lasting solution. The results are also better.
  • Treatments for lips and under eyes to get plumped skin.

To Avoid

Winter Care For Men

  • Since guys shave and use aftershave regularly, their skin is more dry and sensitive. If you can, avoid shaving daily.
  • Before you shave, use hair conditioner on your beard for five minutes to soften the stubble. Use an alcohol or mint-free aftershave.
  • Do not forget to use moisturizer after shaving.

What Is Our Skin Made Of

70 percent of the skin is water:

There you go! Now you know why every skincare article that you ever read on the Internet or in a magazine tells you to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day to keep the skin hydrated. However, I do not insist on the number. It is important that you hydrate well. Whether with water, tender coconut water, buttermilk, vegetable juice, soup, I leave it to you. If you lose water a lot during the day, be it through perspiration or staying in the air conditioning for too long. When you are dehydrated, it will show on your skin and your system will go haywire, your mouth will feel parched, your lips will turn dry, the color of your urine will become darker, and your skin will feel dull and lifeless.

25 percent is protein:

Protein is not only important for people on a special weight loss or muscle building programme but for all of us young or old. Protein is your building block. It helps build and repair pretty much every tissue of your body, including your hair and nails. So it is very important that you make protein a good part of your natural daily diet. Any kind of supplements should be taken under expert advice only.

5 percent is fats and minerals:

Time and again I have seen that the first thing a person on a weight loss spree does is stop the intake of rice and oil. This is a bad idea. Yes, anything in excess is harmful for the body, but totally cutting out any one food component is no good either. You need at least 2 spoons of any form of oil, be it coconut, olive, rice bran, or ghee in your daily food plan. If not, it tells on your skin, hair, and the general health of your organs. There are certain important micronutrients like fat-soluble vitamins that may not get absorbed at all. So not only does your skin need moisturizing from the outside, it also needs it from the inside, and definitely more so if you are 30 plus. And when you reach your 50s, the subcutaneous fat or the fat beneath your skin starts thinning to a point that a specific type of eczema called asteatotic eczema develops. It is characterized by itching and severe dryness of skin, especially on the shin and lower extremities. This scratching leads to wounds.

Common Forms Of Hyperpigmentation

Here are some common forms of hyperpigmentation and their causes:

Tanning: Sun exposure stimulates the production of melanin.

Melasma: Brownish discolouration of the face, more often across the cheek, nose, forehead, and chin areas. It is more common in women and those with a darker complexion. It is associated with hormonal changes like those that occurs during pregnancy (called chloasma), and by the use of oral contraceptives. It is aggravated due to sun exposure and may become permanent with the lack of timely intervention.

Freckles: Small peppery brown spots arising on the face and other sun exposed areas. They darken and increase in number during summer and get lighter during winters.

Lentigenes: Brown to black spots that occur mostly in sun exposed areas; there is no seasonal variation.

Age Spots Or Liver Spots: Small, flat, pigmented spots which look similar to freckles. Most often seen on the sun exposed skin after you cross 40; it usually occurs on the face, shoulders, neck, ear, and the back of the hands. Unlike freckles, these generally do not fade with treatment.

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra or DPN: Small, 1-3mm sized areas of thickened skin that gradually enlarge with time. They are not pre-cancerous.

Mole (Nevus): Growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. They may appear at birth or later in life. A vast majority of moles are benign but some that may be of medical concern are those that develop due to sudden change in the colour, size, or shape; or if they bleed, ooze, itch or become tender or painful; or if they are very large or asymmetric moles.

Skin tag: A small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. They are not dangerous.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): Pigmen­tation that occurs after any superficial damage to the skin like pimple, superficial burn, cut or abrasion. This leaves a mark that is darker than the rest of the skin.

Pigmentation On Other Body Parts: Pigmentation on the back or upper arms is common in individuals who have darker skin despite the long-term use of body scrubs or loofahs. Pigmentation may occur in those with some hormonal disorders like Addison’s disease, caused by adrenal insufficiency; Cushing’s disease, those with insulin resistance; Acanthosis Nigricans, hyperpigmentation of intertriginous areas and body folds; Grave’s disease, thyroid disorder. In addition, patients of certain liver or kidney diseases or certain kinds of vitamin deficiencies or some underlying malignancy may also develop hyperpigmentation on various body parts. Certain fungal infections may also cause the skin to look patchy or dry. Chronic friction may also cause pigmentation of certain body parts like the chin or neck due to regular threading, or elbows or knees due to posture.

Nutrients for Skin and Hair

Here’s a list of diet essentials that you have to ensure gets on your plate every day.

Macronutrients:

These are the three food essentials – proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. That our body needs in large quantities to stay healthy. They support the cell structure of our body.

PROTEINS: Proteins are fundamental components of all living cells and include many substances such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies that are necessary for the proper functioning of an organism. Protein is the key element in our skin and hair make up. They are essential in the diet of animals for the growth and repair of tissues. Your body converts standard proteins that you eat into keratin protein to make up your hair, skin, and nails. Ensuring that you include one source of protein in every meal of your day will help hair growth. That said, the amount of protein required depends on the age and ideal body weight of an individual.

Best food sources: Eggs, lean cuts of chicken, oily fish, lentils, soy or tofu, and spirulina.

CARBOHYDRATES: Despite varying reports about carbohydrates, it is an essential part of your diet. Carbo­hydrates are a group of organic compounds that include sugar, starch, cellulos, and gum and they serve as a ma­jor energy source for us. Carbohydrates sourced from plants give you fibre that regulate your cholesterol and blood sugar. Fibre also helps in eliminating toxins from our body and in better absorption of the nutrients. How­ever, you have to make sure you get your carbohydrates from plant sources and whole grains, and avoid ‘white’ or ‘refined’ carbohydrates.

Best food sources: Whole grains, unpolished dals, oats, brown rice, beans like rajma, carrots, spinach etc.

FATS: Among the macronutrients, fat is essential for supple skin texture and glow. The micronutrients that are essential for skin protection require fat as a medium for absorption. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) is another nutrient that cannot be made by our body and is required to be consumed through our diet. EFAs are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility. Dry, inflamed skin or skin that suffers from the frequent appearance of whiteheads or blackheads can benefit from supplementing with EFAs. EFAs are essential to grow hair. About 3% of the hair shaft is made up of these fatty acids. There are two types of EFAs—Omega-3 and Omega-6—that we need to keep our skin and hair healthy.

Omega-6 fatty acids promote hair growth and support skin cell renewal, while Omega-3 fatty acids moisturize your skin and hair follicles for long, radiant hair and a smooth complexion. Omega-3s are also found in cell membranes in the skin of your scalp, and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Chances are that you already consume enough Omega-6 fatty acids, so focus on increasing your Omega-3 fatty acid intake. For healthy adults, a combined daily total of 500 milligrams (mg) EPA + DHA is recommended either from diet (i.e. oily fish) or supplements. While having fish for dinner is one way to get EPA and DHA, most people don’t eat the suggested two to three servings of oily fish per week to reap the benefits of these powerful nutrients.

Best food sources: Walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter, fatty fish like salmon, cod liver oil supplements, and primrose oil supplements.

Skincare routine in your teenage | Dr Rashmi Shetty

When you hit your teens, it is most likely that your seesawing hormones start playing havoc with your skin. While you cannot avoid little zits and breakouts once in a while as your body adjusts itself, a good skincare routine can see you through the toughest skin phase of your life.

As a teenager, your skincare regime is different from your mom’s. It’s definitely much simpler, and you do not need a cupboard full of beauty potions. Your skincare routine should be about proper cleansing and protecting your skin’s natural oil and moisture balance.

 

It is a good idea to invest in a good cleanser and moisturizer meant for younger skin. Avoid using creams meant for your mother, as they are formulated to handle older skin, which is very different from a young person’s skin.

Here’s what you need for a perfect skincare routine:

  • Make sure you wash your hands with a hand wash soap each time before you wash your face.
  • Do not keep touching your skin.
  • Washing your face 3 times a day is a must.
  • Do not pinch or poke your acne.
  • Make sunscreen your best friend.
  • Whiteheads and blackheads are blocked oil glands, so do not try to scratch them. Get professional help instead.
  • Dandruff can cause trouble on your face, back, and shoulder skin.

 

  • Acne can be bad in the long-term and needs to be addressed right away.
  • Laser hair reduction is a safe procedure and it takes about a year to get good results, so if you are Planning to move towns to study, plan it right.
  • Make up will not harm your skin. What harms is not removing it.
  • A well-balanced diet is absolutely essential.

Adult acne : Why It Occurs & How To Prevent It

Adult acne is a skin problem that you can face between the ages of 40 to 50. So how do identify that you have adult acne? The first sign of adult acne is that it will appear in your C-Zone. Adult acne presents itself as a tenderness that can start 5 to 7 days before you see an actual pimple on the skin. It gets really red and painful. It may not even become a pustule like teenage acne and just remain there for quite some time, hurting you, and then subside leaving behind a dark mark.

Why do you get adult acne?

Hormonal fluctuation is the culprit. It can be stress related as well. Other signs of hormonal fluctuation include breast tenderness, your menstrual cycle going all haywire, and abnormal hair growth on your chin and other facial areas. Then you know that there’s something wrong going on with your hormones. It is usually sporadic.

Alterations in the level of female and male hormones can lead to stimulation of sebaceous glands and hair growth on your face. You might also notice some on your back and chest. These hormones also reduce BMR which increases your tendency to put on weight around your belly. What happens is this—your excess female hormones are converted into male hormones in the peripheral fat which further harms the skin and affects the metabolism of body fat.

The other factor that can trigger adult acne is your thyroid. If you have a family history of thyroid abnormality or going through a stressful situation, then you have higher chances of sprouting pimples. Both these situations can be brought under control, all you need to do is visit your endocrinologist.

Hair and skin care products: If you have adult acne, you should read the labels on your skin care and hair care products. Make sure that you see one of the following terms on every container:

  • Non -comedogenic
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil free
  • Won’t  clog pores

You want to make sure your moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, and all other products contain one of these terms. These products are least likely to cause acne.

Medication side effect: Acne is a side effect of some medicines. If you suspect that a medicine is triggering your acne or making it worse, continue taking the medicine — but talk with the doctor who prescribed it. Ask if acne is a possible side effect. If acne is a possible side effect, ask if you can take a different medicine. If you cannot take another medicine, you may want to see a dermatologist who can help you control the acne.

How to prevent it:

You could simply start off with yoga and exercise to make sure that happy hormones are released. It can go a long way in calming you from the inside which then shows on the outside.

At home, start regulating your skincare regime—pick a face wash that matches your needs, regulate your night cream, and check your sunscreen. Start your at-home care with a Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide cream. Eat a balanced diet with anti-inflammatory ingredients. You can also take oral anti-inflammatory medication, EFA, and antioxidants.