Reading Beauty Product Labels Like an Expert

We are surrounded by a plethora of beauty products — sunscreen lotions, skin lightening creams, anti-ageing creams and capsules, moisturizing lotions, and many more. They have evolved a great deal in terms of sensory, active ingredients, and variety in terms of getting more skin specific. But for you to pick the right one can be a nightmare.

A simple way is to go by:

> The amount you want to spend; that narrows a lot down.

> A reputed company. They do their research well and stand by their claims mostly.

> Your skin goal and your top priority, whether it is skin lightening, anti-ageing, or sun protection. Most products nowadays cater to all of these.

> Your skin type—every standard company has this mentioned (Oil/dry/dehydrated/sensitive/damaged/ acne prone/anti-ageing etc).

This narrows down your choice to the minimum.

Now here’s some more gyan to follow while while you go beauty shopping.

1 – Reading the label

‘The label’ is a window to what your product is and what it can do. It has enough information to guide you to pick the right product that suits your skin in terms of skin type and beauty goal.

Usually the label at the back of the bottle has a lot of information starting from the ingredient list, the skin type it is most suitable for, the application instructions, a warning sign, the date and place of manufacturing, the expiry date, and a lot more.

Make sure you look for the following on a bottle/tube label:

Skin type: Very essential. Be assured that the product suits your skin type—dry, normal, or oily. This is always specified on the bottle, mostly for sunscreens, cleansers, face washes, and night and day creams. For the rest, you need to seek expert advice.

Pictorial description of the ingredients: It is a trend now to have a small pictures of the main ingredients shown on the front side of the bottle with the description of that ingredient carried to the back of the bottle. These are usually called the ‘active ingredients’ which are the ones that really bring out the action intended by the product. Sometimes the common/familiar name is used—like turmeric, rose—but at times you have scientific names like curcumin i.e. turmeric or Peucedanum Graveolens extract which is actually ‘dill extract’.

Sometimes you find a pamphlet given along with the bottle which carries enough information about the active ingredients.

Directions for usage: Always remember too much usage and too little usage of the product will not give the expected results. The right amount should be used to get the right results. One fingertip unit is approximately 0.5-1gm.

Warning: It simply states which areas should be avoided so that no unnecessary reaction occurs. Mostly it is sensitive areas or areas with thinner skin like the under eye, corner of your mouth, crease of your nose etc. Sometimes, even to avoid the sun exposed areas or simply sensitive areas, you must read the warning so as to avoid using it on skin areas that are extra dry, red, irritated, or flaky.

Source of product: Some products contain materials from animal sources which is clearly mentioned on the label. An easy way is to look out for a red dot for animal source and green dot for plant source in a black square on one of the corners of the packaging. Animal tested: Usually clinical trials are conducted on animals to check the safety of the products. If the product has gone through animal testing, it is usually mentioned on the label. By and large, there is no animal testing now as there are a lot of other methods available. For example, digitizing skin replica can be a reliable method for wrinkle assessment and so can be used before and after may be 60 or 90 days of a particular portion or ingredient.

Colour of the product: The colour is always mentioned on the product, so ensure that the colour is the same once you open the bottle/tube. Some lotions and portions can be oxidized by the sun. For example, notice how vitamin C creams come in a black jar or a completely opaque jar to cut out light and UV damage completely. So it is important for you to make a mental note of the colour of the product you use.

Manufacturing and the expiry date: This indicates how long a product is considered good to use under normal conditions of storage and use depending on the date it has been packaged/manufactured. Cosmeceuticals, i.e. cosmetic creams with actives not of medical grade, do not usually have an expiry date. They are good to use for up to 3 years after the manufacturing. However, if there is an active ingredient like an anti-acne or pigmentation cream of a medical grade or ‘as per doctor’s prescription’ written on it, then it usually is 2 years. Or you can simply look at the expiry date on the pack. I have a practice of asking my patients to get all their previous skincare products during my first consultation with them. I see that the jars are not really in a state that it is supposed to be in—the tubes are twisted and pealed, the creams are leaking out of the jars and nozzles. Mostly we use hands to dig in from open jars, so I’d say throw them out after a year. And anyway if you are using the right quantities, with the quantities that are packaged, no face care lotion should last for more than 6 months. So my expiry date for all face care products is 1 year.

Clinically proven: This means it has been proven to work in clinical tests or in a clinical environment.

Temperature: Extremely necessary to follow to ensure that the product remains in its perfect state without giving off a bad colour, odour, and it must keep the actives active. Products are best kept at 20 degree centigrade, but this may not always be possible, so be mindful of your creams in terms of colour and consistency.

2 – What’s in the bottle?

To know what’s in a bottle of the beauty potion that you have picked up, just scan down to the ‘ingredients’. Don’t get overwhelmed by the seeming jargon listed there.

Know that usually the ingredients in highest amounts or concentrations in the potion are written first followed by the next set of important ingredients. Near the end of the list you might find out about the preservatives used. There is always the base formulation or stabilizing agents into which the active ingredients are added. Sometimes you will also notice that the publicised active is listed way down on the list. That is mostly because the concentration of the active used is less, which does not necessarily mean that the product is any less effective.

Creams/lotions/serums: What’s all the fuss about?

It is all about oil-in-water or water-in-oil emulsion, oil- in-water being the non-sticky, non greasy one and water- in-oil being the heavy one (usually the night creams).

Even though serums seem to have grabbed all the limelight of late, they are nothing but water-in- silicone/ oil-in-silicon + oils, i.e. generally low viscosity translucent liquids. These are light and presumed as more potent than creams or as concentrates. But that’s a marketing strategy. All they are is a different medium and silicon gives you the sense of a velvet finish.

Here goes the list:-

Peptides: These could be the pentapeptides, oligopeptides, tripeptides, tetrapeptides—all of these actually help in the reduction of wrinkles and facial lines. These help stimulate collagen synthesis.

Peptides are amino acids linked up in short chains. These were originally developed as a part of wound healing research on human fibro blasts, i.e. cells that produce new cells. Basically 3 types are used in cosmetic creams and portions—signal peptides, carrier peptides, and neurotransmitter modulating peptides.

Peptides in general help stimulate fibroblast production, down regulate the elastin and collagen degrading factors. Also increases feedback regulation of new collagen synthesis.

Carrier peptides stabilize and deliver some heavy molecules like metals and trace elements in your creams.

Neurotransmitter modulating ones are what the ‘Botox creams’ have in them.

Treatment Actives:

Antioxidants: This skin boosting complex will have a blend of:

> Vitamin A/retinoids: These are a group of compounds that have the basic core structure of vitamin A. It is available as oxidized metabolites and now synthetically developed ones like tretinoin, adapalene etc. In the synthetic forms, the irritation factor which otherwise a retin A causes is lesser. The benefits in whichever form are protection from photo damaged skin, ageing skin, acne and more serious issues like psoriasis.

> Vitamin E: Also called tocopherol acetate, an an- tioxidant that protects the cells from the damage- ing effects of oxidation, helps in some pigmentary and dry skin conditions. Some antioxidants like glutathione or ubiquinol can be synthesised by us. Vitamin E has to be supplemented.

> Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid, ascorbylglucoside acts as a naturally occurring antioxidant essential for collagen synthesis. It adds on to the antioxidant action of vitamin E and lightens pigmentation. It also reduces the elastin accumulation in photoaged skin (thick rubbery feeling/looking skin). Vitamin C is poorly absorbed when taken orally. It is therefore most popular in application forms. If your Vit c is turning yellow, then the active form L ascorbic acid is used. Therefore, in the recent formulations, there might be magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbylpalmitate. These are more stable. Even on topical application, it enhances collagen production and reduces collagen breakdown. Also great to protect you from the oxidative damage caused by the sun. Therefore, I recommend all my patients to apply a layer of vitamin C and then top it with sunscreen as sunscreen alone cannot stop the free radical damage caused by UV rays. It has an anti-inflammatory property. Inflammation, it has been proved, leads to most unwanted changes in the body, inside out .

> Vitamin B

> B-3 Niacinamide: Prevents photodamage, helps in skin redness like in rosacea by reducing factors causing skin irritation, atopic (allergic) skin types by reducing water loss from the skin. Niacinamide has been one of the most popular skin lightening ingredients used in over-the-counter skin lightening creams by reducing the transfer and production of melanin—the pigment that causes darkening. Also prevents yellowing of skin, so it is popular among the fair but yellow under tone skins like in Japan and Far Eastern countries. It helps improve texture, pore size, and decreases the excess oil in the skin.

> B5- Panthenol: Mainly used in treating bruises, scars, burns etc. It promotes cell multiplication, stimulates growth, and increases skin lipid production. It is cosmetically used for hydration and repair of skin.

Anti-Ageing Ingredients

Vitamin A derivatives:

> Retinyl Palmitate: A derivative of vitamin A, helps stimulate collagen and reverses the signs of prematurely-induced photoageing. Helps to increase skin elasticity while enhancing water barrier properties.

> Retinyl Proprionate: Retinoids are natural or synthetic substances derived from vitamin A. Clinical studies have proven that the topical application of retinyl proprionate, a less irritating form of vitamin A used for conditioning, is effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also smoothens skin texture and reduces the look of discoloration.

> Peptides: improves the appearance of skin age- ing without the irritation caused by retinoids. These are short-chained proteins which stimulate production of new collagen and elastin and also decrease collagen breakdown. The neurotransmit- ter modulating peptides are the ingredients in the ‘Botox creams’. They act on the neurotransmitters interface between the nerve and the muscle con- traction .

Hyaluronic acid/propylene glycol/glycerine: Hu- mectants that help retain skin moisture. 


AHA or Alpha hydroxy acid: For exfoliating skin cells and resurfacing newer layer. 


> Glycolic acid: Mainly used to improve the appear- ance and texture of the skin by a ‘peel action’, helps improve acne scarring, hyper pigmentation, age spots, and wrinkles.

> Lactic acid: Helps retexture skin’s surface and stimulates cell renewal and cell turnover, helps control melanin synthesis, hydrates skin, and stim- ulates ceramide production.

> BHA or Beta hydroxy acid: One form of BHA is Salicylic Acid which acts as an effective keratolytic (exfoliant) agent, also an anti-irritant, and functions mainly as an anti-inflammatory agent. It encourages the exfoliation of dead skin and renews the outer layer of skin.

Skin Lightening Agents

>Kojic acid: It is a by-product of the fermentation process of malting rice for use in the manufacture of sake(Japanese rice wine); it is effective for inhibiting melanin production, helps in skin lightening and establishing an even skin tone.

>Hydroquinone: It is the primary topical ingredient for inhibiting melanin production. Helps in reducing and potentially eliminating brown spots and hyperpigmentation from melasma.

>Arbutin: derived from bearberry. Less effective than kojic

>Vitamin C: interferes with pigment production.

>Niacinamide: It is one of the safest skin-lightening agents and the commonest ingredients in your 
over-the-counter product.

>Azelaic acid: natural ingredient. Highly active on 
pigmented skin. Apply twice daily. This is one of 
my favourite ingredients.

>Liquorice root: Interrupts the stimulation of an 
enzyme that activates melanin production, works 
on lightening dark spots and hyper pigmentation.

>Botanical anti inflammatories and soothing agents: Ginkgo biloba, green tea, allantoin; mostly used in eye creams: witch hazel, green tea; mostly in products for acne prone skin, aloe vera; this will be the species with the medicinal properties. There are more than 400 species and only a countable few have the medicinal property and after plucking, if it is not preserved well, the benefit is soon gone. This one is for all of you who think it is okay to pot it, pluck it, and use it. Also naturals do not mean no allergies/no harm.

>Some of the most recent used herbs and botanicals 
in skin and hair care are the ones that our Indian families have told us all this while like garlic, turmeric, basil, almond, neem, sunflower, pomegranate, teas, milk extracts, and hibiscus.

>Citrus Grandis or Grapefruit Extract: Rich in flavonoids that inhibit Tyrosinase; a natural source of vitamin C that inhibits melanogenesis.

 

Metals

Zinc: Helps in cell repair and growth, fights sun damage.

Copper: Collagen formation and hair growth and 
strength.

Iron: Apart from all the other benefits to health, it is very important for skin glow and oxygenation. An iron deficiency leads to hair fall and dark circles around the eyes.

Aluminium: Used in antiperspirants.

Magnesium: Maintains skin health.

Calcium: Cell growth and anti-inflammation.

Silver: Anti-bacterial.

 

Sun Blocks:

>Avobenzene: Which absorb the UV radiations.

>Octinoxate/Octisalate/Octocrylene/Homosalate/ 
Oxybenzone: Broad spectrum sunscreen.

>Titanium oxide: Offers broad spectrum sun 
protection, physical sunscreen/texturizer.

>Zinc oxide: Physical sunscreen with soothing properties. These physical ones block light and are the ones that give you the white colour on the skin while you apply sunscreen. In a paste form you’ll see sportsmen using this to protect their skin from UV damage.

 

Moisturizers

>Occlusive components: They slow down the water loss by evaporation—more like moisture sealants like oils/waxes, petrolatum, mineral oils, paraffin, squalene, silicone derivatives, fatty acids, wax esters. These are best used when there is some moisture to start with, not when the skin is super dry already. So either you use them on wet/damp skin or use a mist to hydrate the skin and then use these agents.

>Humectants: They attract water from your skin or the atmosphere. These include glycerine, urea, and sodium lactate. So it’s not a good idea to use them when the ambient humidity is low.

>Emollients: These are oils that give a soothing feeling on dry skin like castor oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, glyceryl and coctyl stearate.

 

Few commons

Glycerin: A humectant that helps hold moisture.

Oils: Like coconut oil/almond oil that soften and smoothen the skin.

Cera alba/beeswax: Softens and smoothens the skin. Also contains vitamin A which may be beneficial in softening and rehydrating dry skin and in cell reconstruction.

Shea butter: A rich fruit-based moisturizer that also has vitamin A to soothe dryness caused in mature skin.

3 – Know the Jargon

There are these set of terms that you see on almost all the products that your buy, but you are confused as what they really mean. Not knowing their meaning can lead you to buying the wrong product or formulation. So what do they mean? Read on to find out.

Inactive ingredients: These could be preservatives, colours, fragrance, or flavours used in the making of the product and which do not necessarily contribute to the function/effect that the product claims.

Non-comedogenic: Cosmetic products that are non- comedogenic (or referred to as non-occlusive) don’t plug the pores, so don’t cause skin irritation or pimples.

Parabens: Preservatives in cosmetics.

SPF: SPF is an acronym for sun protection factor. Sunscreen products have an SPF; the higher the SPF, the more protection you get from sunburn. 1 SPF gives a 10-minute protection under the sun.

TPI: TPI stands for tan protection index .Simply put, it is the number of minutes you are in the sun and will not get tanned. This is denoted by the plus signs on the bottle.

Sunblock: Sunblock, as opposed to sunscreen which acts more like a UV filter, is a lotion that actually blocks the UV-rays. Mostly these are physical blocks which hold the sunscreen like a fabric or metal shield.

Male grooming: Is it any different?

Back in the days, my staff would giggle if an occasional male patient came to the clinic. Today, male grooming is the norm. In fact, almost 30% of my patients are males. And why not? Men are now open to grooming and bold in their choices in order to look their best. Their hair is still their main concern. However, skin sagging, ageing, and pigmentation are slowly becoming other key skin concerns. The skincare product providers have also seen a great potential in the male grooming market and are therefore coming out with specific male skincare ranges to suit their skin and lifestyle. So what is it that makes the male and female cosmetic products different? And is there really any difference in the first place?

For starters, let us understand the skin structure:

The skin is basically a layered structure which is the same in a man and a woman. The difference simply lies in that male and female skins differ in hormone metabolism, hair growth pattern, the sweat rate, production of sebum, surface pH, and fat accumulation.

Male skin is approximately 20% thicker than female skin. Men have a higher percentage of elastin and collagen. Women have a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat than men but men have more collagen and lose collagen at a slower rate than women when past middle age.

Males sweat more, produce more sebum, and are more prone to develop alopecia (hair loss) and acne. As males sweat more, it creates an environment conducive for bacterial growth which results in the production of odour (one of the reasons why male cosmetic products have a stronger fragrance). Males tend to have more body hair which is also thicker and which gives a higher body surface area for bacterial colonization. Thus, the popularity for antibacterial soaps for men.

Considering these differences, the market is flooded with ‘Gendered cosmetic products’ which are designed keeping in mind these differences promising maximum benefit when one uses them for a specific purpose.

The most commonly demanded cosmetic range by the males are:

> Moisturizers: Because regular usage of razors results in dry skin.

> Beard oils and conditioners: To soften not only the beard hair but also the skin underneath.

> Aftershave lotions: To soften and smoothen the skin.

> Sunscreen lotion/creams: Sun protection from tanning and pigmentation.

> Skin lightening/fairness creams


> Anti-ageing creams: To fade out the fine lines, crow’s feet, and smile lines

How are they special for men

Fragrance: Body odour is stronger in men, thereby the need for a stronger fragrance in the products— lotions, body creams etc. Females prefer a flowery/ sweet smelling cream or lotion as against a male who would prefer a stronger fragrance.

> Packaging: The bottle/tubes have a more strong look, a geometric shape as compared to the female cosmetic product packaging in terms of colour, images, graphics, and shape.

> Habit: Women are more emotional in terms of their purchasing habits whereas men are more technical and functional. Men look for products that will give them results.

> Ingredients: Men prefer products which are invisible, quickly penetrable, easy to use, less process-oriented, pleasant to put, less fragrant, and have a visible effect. The ingredients thus used would be modified as compared to a female product but would be the same type of ingredients. Like the alcohol content could be higher to give a cooler after feel which would not be necessarily needed for a woman. Men prefer creams that seep in rapidly. Thus they generally prefer a lightweight cream or a serum whereas a woman would apply a thick/rich creamy lotion which would leave a velvety after feel.

The ingredients are the same, the difference lies in the composition and the requirement.

> Requirements: The difference in the cosmetic products is also based on requirements. Like, men need aftershave lotions to keep their skin smooth and beard conditioners to keep the beard soft.
6. Skin Functionality: TEWL (Trans-epidermal water loss) is the epidermal barrier which is weaker in men as compared to females. Studies have shown that testosterone can have negative effects on epidermal barrier function. Men’s skincare must therefore be formulated to assist the skin repair itself and protect the integrity of the epidermal barrier layer.

There are a variety of gendered cosmetic products available in the market but basically the male and female cosmetic products are made to serve the same purpose— either to cleanse or moisturize the skin, protect from sun, or reduce wrinkles. They differ mainly in the aesthetic sense and appeal. One could use or exchange products but this should be done only if the product serves your purpose and suits your skin type.

Too high a concentration of either ingredient should not affect your skin. For example, a female having dry skin will benefit from using a heavy moisturizer while the same used by a male could result in an acne outbreak (male skin is considered to be more oily).

Refrain from switching to another product if your current product suits your skin need. Whatever product you choose, select wisely and continue using it for maximum results! In case of a doubt, consult your skin doctor as he/she can correctly guide you in selecting wisely. For as we know our skin is a mirror that reflects radiance if well taken care of, so go ahead and PAMPER it smartly and correctly.

NECESSARY NUTRIENTS

As a doctor I know the importance of nutrients for the skin. However, when there are experts in specific fields who can provide more in-depth information, I’d rather you get it straight from them. My expert friends are going to give you gyan on nutrition and some fantastic anti-ageing recipes. However, I want to tell you from a doctor’s perspective that there area few things you must do.

Nutrients for Skin and Hair

As I have already said in the earlier chapters, what you put in your mouth shows on your skin and hair. So 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. Carbo- hydrates are a group of organic compounds that include sugar, starch, cellulos, and gum and they serve as a ma- jor 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. How- ever, 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.

Easy sources of EFA

Ghee: Among the fats used in our diet, ghee is rich in antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods, serving to strengthen the immune system and prevent skin damage.

Fish oil supplements: You can have these to get your daily requirement of Omega-3s. When you are out shopping for them, be sure to determine how much Omega-3s are provided per serving. The average 1000 mg fish oil softgel typically provides around 300 mg of Omega-3s (even less of the important EPA and DHA), so in order to meet the 500 mg intake guidelines, a minimum of two softgels would be necessary.

Micronutrients

They are essential elements that our body needs to function and regenerate effectively. The main function of micronutrients is to enable many chemical reactions to occur in our body which lead to growth and repair of skin and hair cells. However they are needed in small amounts.

> ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamin A, C, and E are essential mi- cronutrients that prevent any free radical damage to the skin. They are very powerful antioxidants which ensure the skin cells are safe from harm caused by oxidation.

> VITAMIN A: Stimulates cell turnover. It also helps to produce healthy sebum.

Best food sources: Sweet potato, carrot, spinach, peaches, and cod liver oil.

Recommended daily intake: One medium-sized carrot with 1 bowl of salad with greens everyday should give you the required amount of vitamin A

> VITAMIN C: Vitamin C helps you grow strong skin, hair, and nails, and fight sun damage.

Best food sources: Blueberries, gooseberries, strawber- ries, and oranges.

Recommended daily intake: A cup each of blueberries and strawberries can help you get your required amount of vitamin C.

> VITAMIN E: Adds moisture to your cells, and makes skin and hair shine with health. It all works to stabilize the cell membranes. This vitamin also works with the mineral selenium to ward off attacks on the cells in your follicles.

Best food sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds, papaya, bell peppers.

Recommended daily intake: A quarter cup of sunflower seeds along with 20 almonds in a day can make up for the required amount of vitamin E. Recommended daily intake is 15mg per day.

> VITAMIN B6: Several small-scale clinical studies have shown positive results with vitamin B6 as a hair growth agent. Vitamin B6 does a number of things in the body that aids the overall health of the hair, ranging from boosting the immune system to aiding in the formation of red blood cells.

Best food sources: Tuna fish, lean cuts of poultry, potatoes, sunflower seeds, and bananas.

Recommended daily intake: 1.3 mg/day for adults.

> VITAMIN B12: In regards to human hair, the hair follicles require vitamin B12 in order to properly replicate and if they are not able to, they cannot grow hair effectively. The follicles also require oxygen just like the rest of your body and if there is a shortage of B12, it prevents red blood cells from being properly made in the bone marrow, and the follicles don’t receive proper nutrients resulting in hair loss and a slowing down of hair growth. Vegetarians and specifically vegans will require vitamin B12 supplementation.

Best food sources: Oily fish, lean cuts of meat, yogurt.

Recommended daily intake: 2-3ug/day for adults.

> BIOTIN: Biotin is a vitamin that is needed by our body for the metabolism of various nutrients and the establishment of a number of hormones and enzymes. This substance is needed to support a number of biochemical reactions, including the formation of antibodies. Biotin plays a role in the formation of hormones and enzymes in the body. This vitamin is required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and it is very important for hair’s maintenance and prevention of hair loss.

Best food sources: Eggs, Swiss chard, liver, almonds, and walnuts.

Recommended daily intake: 35-70 ug per day.

Essential minerals

They are needed by the body to strengthen the skin and hair cells and improve metabolism.

> IRON: Iron is especially important; because it helps cells carry oxygen to your skin and hair structure. If there is too little iron (anaemia) women particularly experience hair loss and sallow skin. The body does not absorb the kind of iron generally found in some vegetables and grains as efficiently as it does in case of animal sources of iron. Thus, vegetarians need to increase these allowances by 1.8 times.

Best food sources: Spinach, soy beans, tofu, liver, meat, and eggs

Recommended daily intake: For adults, the dosage is 8mg per day. Recommended daily intake for women will vary and depends on their menopausal or pregnancy status. The maximum intake limit from all sources is 45 mg per day.

> ZINC: It is important for normal cell growth. Zinc deficiency weakens the cells, which can result in lesions on the skin. This nutrient also controls the oil production and reduces chances of ageing. Recommended daily intake for adult men is 11mg per day and for adult women it is 8mg per day.

Best food sources: Oysters, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and oats.

Recommended daily intake: 1-2 ounces of oysters can make up for 100% of the daily requirement; vegetarians necessarily may need an oral supplement along with 1⁄4 cup of pumpkin and sesame seeds.

> SELENIUM: This nutrient is essential to maintain skin elasticity. One of the most important functions of selenium is as a component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme necessary for the antioxidant function of glutathione. Glutathione is one of the major antioxidants in the body that protects against cellular damage from the free radicals that cause inflammation, ageing, and skin cancer. In fact, many scientists support the theory that selenium in the diet protects against skin cancer. Selenium also plays a significant role in acne severity.

Best food sources: Brazil nuts, shellfish, wheat bran.

Recommended daily intake: Just two Brazil nuts a day will give you the 200 micrograms necessary for an adequate intake.

> FOLIC ACID: Folic acid plays an important role in repair of damaged hair and in healthy hair growth.

Best food sources: Nuts, soybean, or soymilk.

Recommended daily intake: 400–1000ug/day for adults.

> COPPER: Copper is essential for the proper functioning of the body, including healthy hair growth. An inadequate intake of copper can cause hair loss and thinning hair. Copper is also believed to intensify hair colour and delay greying of hair.

Best food sources: Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, cremini mushrooms, black sesame seeds, and lobster.

Recommended daily intake: 2mg per day.

Some of the supplements that you can take on a daily basis to improve your total health and skin and hair are antioxidant pills, a good multivitamin, a fish oil capsule to get your dose of Omega-3, evening primrose oil, vitamin E, and calcium. After a week, if levels are low then add iron and vitamins D3 and B12 as well.

Don’t shy away from supplements because even if you follow a healthy diet, the quantity may not be enough for the necessary amount of essential minerals you may need in a day. A great diet plus some supplements are your secret to good skin and hair.

SKINCARE ESSENTIALS

There is so much conflicting information out there about how to retain your skin’s youthfulness which can often leave you confused and make you pick up products that may or may not work. I have seen so many women who come to me quite disillusioned about the products they use, or even about the whole concept of proper skincare essentials. In most cases, I see that there are minor deviations that can be set right with just a bit of tweaking. This chapter will tell you what all you need to have in your skincare bag.

Getting the tools right first

As you begin on the path of getting skin that is smooth, supple, and glowing from within, you need to start with the right tools. They form the basis of your skincare routine, ensuring that your creams and potions work effectively to keep your skin soft and supple.

Cotton pads: You will need them to wipe away your make up and for your cleansing lotion. But make sure that the cotton pads are smooth and without any fibre sticking out so they don’t irritate the skin.

A piece of muslin: Instead of using regular Turkish towels to wipe your face after a wash, use a soft muslin cloth. It is gentler and absorbs water faster without hurting the skin. Dab it on the skin to soak up excess water. Avoid rubbing—it can seriously harm your skin and cause pigmentation.

Cool gel packs: They are easily available at beauty stores and pharmacies. Pick up one for the eyes and face. They are instant soothers and can tone up tired skin effectively. Stock them in the fridge. They are instant skin pick-me- ups.

Shower cap or cling film: A shower cap makes an interesting thermal mask to help creams penetrate deeper into your skin and hair. You can simply cut a little hole for the nose area and then wear it after applying some deep moisturizing creams. This works well for highly dehydrated and dry skin. You can even try this with cling films that you use to pack food in.

Spatula: It is always a good idea to have a spatula in case you need to dig into a pot of cream, apply a mask, or take off a creamy mask. Remember to keep the spatula clean after using it. Easy way is to get some ice cream sticks.

Tweezer: I consider the tweezer as one of the best tools for instant beautification, not just to pull out those extra hairs on the chin or upper lip, but to even keep your eyebrows in top shape.

Arundhathi Rai, a naturopath, believes that 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. Arundhathi says that whatever fruit remains on your fruit platter after a meal, put it on your face instead of discarding it.

‘Ever since I’ve understood the meaning of beauty and skincare, I have always been using natural products, including home remedies.’

Yami Gautam, Actress

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 antioxi- dants 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.

Skin Emergency

When I opted for aesthetic skincare as my speciality in medicine, I never thought I’d have a ‘real emergency’ to deal with. Remember times when your skin breaks out into a huge red zit just a day before your most important function? It’s panic, panic, panic. It’s a skin emergency! Some skin emergencies that most of us have to deal with at some point or the other are:

Super sensitive skin
This happens when your skin gets extremely dehydrated and dry—chapped, burning, and red. All you have to do is a quick cold water face wash. Use a creamy variant. Then on slightly damp face apply a cold cream—a really thick layer of rich and creamy cold cream. Make sure it has no active ingredients in it, which means it should not be a skin lightening or an anti-ageing cream. When you apply the cream, it might cause slight irritation. But don’t worry, keep it on. It will calm your skin down.

If the condition is really bad, use desonide lotion, which is a very mild steroid, safe even for baby’s nappy rash. Mix that with a calamine lotion that comes pre- mixed with a moisturizer. It will ensure that your face does not dry up. Apply that and it will calm your skin. You can use this same solution if your skin goes red.

Itchy skin
It could be a reaction to a new cosmetic that you have applied, or an old, expired cosmetic, an infected brush, a moist make up sponge which tends to gather bacteria, something in your food, the dust around you, or a mite bite. First, rule out the reason which could have given you the condition. Take an antihistamine like Allegra or Cetirizine, which calms your skin from the inside. Go take a good head shower so that your scalp is clean. Then wash your face with a soothing face wash so that your face feels clean. After this, apply a mixture of desonide and calamine lotion. That will take care of itchiness for the moment; if the condition does not improve, then rush to your doctor immediately for medical help. If you have itching in your tongue or throat, or if you notice puffiness around your eyes, lips, or have difficulty breathing, leave everything else and rush to your nearest doctor.

Sudden breakage of zits
Firstly calm down, because the more you stress, the more they are likely to occur. Wash you face with cold water, and keep a couple of ointments handy like Bactroban and Safrodex (which is a mix of antibiotic and steroid).

Dot it on top of the zit and it will most likely calm down. However, if it looks little red and flushed, like it will not go down in a day, use Benzoyl Peroxide gel or cream. But make sure you don’t apply too much of it as that can make the skin red around the acne. Just dot it on the acne.

If the zit is too big, and there’s pus in it, then buy a sterile needle from a chemist and very lightly poke it right on top, and let the pus ooze out. Don’t push too hard, and make sure you don’t use your nails to scratch it out. If you squeeze it, you might drive the pus right into the zit and may end up with an abscess. Apply ice to calm it down.

A tan that burns
After long sun exposure, you must take special care. So first wash your skin with cold water, and then apply plenty of moisturizer and calamine lotion. It is important to calm the skin first. Then after a couple of days, use special treatment creams that lighten the skin like glycolic acid, kojic acid, apply it at night so that the tan slowly comes off. You can have a slightly long shower, and then use a towel against that natural grain of your skin to slough off dead skin. You will see the dead skin literally come off, and with that the tan comes off to pretty much a large extent. Do not use a scrub immediately after sunburn because it will make your skin further flushed and reactive.

 

 

Products to keep

> Calamine lotion with moisturizer 


> T-bact, Sofradex ointment 


> Desonide ointment—a mild skin healing steroid. 


> Rich creamy moisturizer 


> Ice cubes—the wonder tool to deal with all skin 
issues like redness, burning, and even acne 


> Kojic acid or Glycolic acid cream to take off 
pigmentation 


> Anti-histamine like Allegra or Cetrizine 


> Sandalwood paste 


> Cold milk 


Help at home
My mother’s favourite recipe to all skin woes is sandalwood paste. Get a piece of sandalwood, which most of us South Indians have at home. Rub it on a rough wet stone and use tender coconut water as the medium. Mix that with milk or milk cream and turmeric. Apply on your face or body. It will soothe, calm, heal, and lighten the skin. It is a one shot cure-all for your skin.

Decoding the Texture and your Skincare Regime

Decoding the Texture

> Creams: Usually contain 2 phases—oil phase and water phase. 50-80% by weight of cream has water as the primary component; 15-30% oil, and 6-15% emulsifiers. A typical cold cream is mainly water in oil emulsion. This emulsion contains around 55% mineral oil and 12% beeswax and other ingredients.

> Serums: Formulation which is light, penetrates rapidly, has concentrated actives.

> Lotions: Cleansing creams and lotions are usually detergent-based or emulsified oil systems that are designed primarily for removal of surface oil. Lotions usually contain 15-50% oil with limited quantities of waxy materials.

Decoding your skincare regime

There are a lot of times when patients come to me with no particular concern as such but just to get their routine right. I am often asked, ‘Doc, what are the products you think I should use?’ To this my reply is,‘If you love the product you have been using and it makes your skin feel perfect, say maybe a sunscreen whose consistency you love, then I don’t think there is any reason for you change your brand or the product. If something has suited you so well, you can stick to it for now.’All I then do is play with some actives in terms of correction, if any, and readjust the regime a bit.

The next thing you need to know is how much of your product should you apply, irrespective of what you buy. You could buy the most expensive skincare product on earth or you could buy a tube worth 100 rupees from a medical store which probably has the same ingredients in it as the expensive product, but the results on the skin will depend on how effectively you apply it.

> How to apply

Do not rub the cream/ lotion on to your palms and then on your face! That is a big no no. Take a bit on your fingertip and then apply it on your skin. After this, gently spread it across your face with just two fingers. I am often asked about how much of any skincare product really permeates our skin. You must know that the external layer of the skin, the epidermis, is technically a dead skin layer which is made of keratin, a protein that tightly adheres to each other. Therefore, it is impossible for any external thing to permeate your skin unless the molecule is of a special size or has some important ingredients which can take the heavier molecules along with it inside. So it’s important for us to first:

> Cleanse the skin so that the oil of the skin is out of the way and it doesn’t block the creams.

> Exfoliate once in a while to make sure that the dead skin is gone. You can go to your skin doctor for chemical peeling or hydra peeling to remove the top dead layer.

 

> How much to apply

How much of a particular product you should apply depends on the skin issue that you are dealing with. For example, if the skin is super dry and you are looking for a moisturizer, I would then say definitely douche your skin with enough quantity of the product and after 2-3 hours, you will see that it makes a lot of difference.

But if you are using an active ingredient, like say for acne or for pigmentation or for any specific condition on your skin, then using a lot might further irritate or sometimes make it worse. Start off with a very thin layer, feathering it into your sensitive areas. If your product has active ingredients like acids, then always remember that less is good to start with.

> When to apply

Use anti -ageing/skin lightening treatment products usually at night. Sunscreens in the sun up hours. Never mind if you are indoors or whether it is a cloudy, rainy, or a windy day.

> How long to keep it on your skin

Some overnight, some for long hours, and some for just a couple of hours, depending upon your skin doctor’s instructions. However, sunscreens have to be reapplied every 4 hours. Ask your doctor these questions when you consult him/her.

By and large, if you keep any product for 2 hours to start with, it will give you an idea about how strong it is, or how well your skin takes it. You will know whether keeping it on for longer makes your skin go red, or too dry, or itchy. You will know all this after keeping it on for two hours for the first time and then removing it. Once your skin settles with the product, you could increase it to overnight application. However, if you are using something more nourishing or replenishing like vitamin creams, antioxidants, or simply moisturizers, then go ahead and be liberal and keep it as long as you want to.

WHEN YOU APPLY A CREAM, SERUM, OR LOTION (CLEANSER, SUNSCREEN, OR NIGHT CREAM), DO IT ON YOUR FACE WITH A FINGER AND WITH TWO FLAT FINGERS, SPREAD THE CREAM ALL OVER WITH FIRM STROKES.

 

Maximise your potion

The most common question asked in any skincare talk that I have given so far is in which order should one apply one’s skincare creams. There’s a perpetual confusion as to sunscreen first or sunscreen last and when does the serum go on. So let me try and make it easy for you.

In the right order

> Corrective or a therapeutic agent goes first i.e. right on your skin. It could be anti-ageing, anti- acne, anti-pigmentation—any one of these.

> Nourisher comes next, and it could be a cream or any form of hydrant. 


> The protectant—sunscreen—goes on top. 


> Coloured make up tops it all. 


 

The right delivery medium

> Serums and gels go first.


> Creams and lotions go next.


> Oils, silicones, and petroleum jellies go on top.

Because once you apply these nothing else ever penetrates.

 

How to get a clean face

> Remove make up first:
Intensely pigmented make up—which is usually the eye, eyebrow, and lip make up—needs to be removed first. After you have gotten rid of this, use the make up remover for the rest of your face and neck. Always use separate cotton for each area. Using wrong strokes and harsh product to remove the eye make up may lead to loosening of skin in that area, so do it carefully. This can burst the tiny capillaries and cause blood cells to get accumulated which make the eye and under eye area look dark.

> Cleanse it right: Wash your face with slightly warm water, running it over for more than a minute. Keep dabbing warm water because it softens the face and makes it more receptive. Then wipe the water and use a cream cleanser. Gently keep going round and round all over the areas that you want to cleanse. Wipe it off with wet cotton so that your face is absolutely devoid of any dirt and grime you might have collected during the day.

> Wash away: Your final step for clean skin is washing with a face wash. It removes the grime and you skin looks fresh. Take a little on your fingertips and lather, then apply all over your face, neck, and décolletage. Wash off with cold or lukewarm water depending on the weather.

 

When all you have and want is a pot of cream

A lot of my patients come to me with a list of concerns, and some want me to wave a magic wand! They tell me they hate to eat pills and have no patience for 10 creams…so they give me a list of what they are willing to NOT do as well.

If you are that type, let me first THANK YOU for even picking my book. And now, here’s how I am going to make it all so easy for you.

Get your skin type right and then pick that one cream or lotion that suits your skin type well. So if you have oily skin, pick a lotion; if you have dry skin or mature skin, pick a pot of cream. Whatever brand it may be—it can be from La Prairie to Pond’s cold cream, whatever your pocket fancies—just pick one cream.

As I have already told you, there are three things you have to do in your skincare regime—cleansing, moisturizing, and protection. Here’s what you can do with one pot or bottle of potion

Remove make up: Apply the eye and lip make up, leave it on for a minute, take a warm wet cotton, and wipe it off gently. Then wipe the rest of your face and neck. No matter how much the make up, it will loosen and come off.

Exfoliate: Mix a spoonful of sugar into the lotion and apply it on your face. This acts as a gentle scrub and removes all the top dead skin cells.

You will, of course, need a face wash to wash away the residue.

> As a face mask: After you have washed your face, if your skin feels dehydrated, apply a slightly thicker layer of the same cream as a face mask. Take a muslin cloth, soak it wet, and apply it over your face for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse it off and wipe the residue. This soaks the cream really well into your skin, making it feel plump and hydrated. By doing this, your cream will behave almost like an anti-ageing cream.

> As a sunscreen: Mix the cream with your make up foundation or calamine lotion and apply it on top. This will act as your sunscreen. The titanium dioxide, a sun block, is what makes these creams opaque. So that itself provides you sunscreen of about 15 SPF. This is better than anything.

> As a night cream: Put some lemon juice into the cream if you need skin lightening/pore reduction and apply it thoroughly. You can also mix a few drops of essential oils like lavender if you need more hydration and have a mature skin. Put chamomile if you need calming.

> Hydrant: On the days when you feel not so dry but dehydrated, wet you face slightly and apply the cream on damp skin. That acts as a moisture sealant, keeping moisture intact on the days you feel dehydrated.

> Eye and lip care: Make sure you apply cream as a thick layer under your eyes and over your lips when you go to bed, so that in the morning, these areas look nice and plump.

So there you go, with just one cream, you can pretty much achieve everything you want to.

Components of your skincare regime

Whatever your skin goal is, you have to understand that it cannot be achieved in a day. You have to have the discipline to practice a daily skincare regime to see any real results. Now let’s talk about the skincare products you may need on a daily basis for your regime.

 

 

Step 1 : Cleansing

In your cleansing routine, depending on your lifestyle or the necessity of your skin, you would need a make up remover, a cream cleanser or a gel cleanser, and a face wash. The whole process can be divided into three steps.

> Make up remover

There are different kinds of make up removal products available in the market. Some are oil-based and can lather up to act like a face wash when applied with water. So you have it all out at one go as such a product takes away the oil soluble make up and emulsifies the rest of it. You could just wash it off and remove it. It is a great product if you are one of those who don’t like too many steps in their cleansing process. But if you’ve applied heavy make up, you may need a separate creamy type make up remover if you are just using a face wash to emulsify the pigment in the coloured make up.

> Cleanser

Choose a lotion if you have dry or sensitive skin. Work on your skin moving your fingers in small circular movements and then wipe it off with wet cotton. If you pick a liquid, watery cleanser, then soak a cotton ball and wipe your skin clean with it. Repeat with a fresh cotton pad till your face becomes clean. If your skin is very oily, you could use cleansers which are specially meant for oily skin. It acts more like a toner and you should use it after a face wash.

> Face Wash

You’ll be surprised how much can be achieved by just choosing the right face wash. Since there are so many face washes available these days with active ingredients, you need to know which one is best suited for your skin type.

 

>If you have a very oily skin which is acne prone, choose a face wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If it’s just oily, then look for a face wash with neem or tea tree oil with witch hazel in it. There are some really nice face washes in the market that remove the excess oil without leaving your skin too dry.


>If your skin is just about normal, there are wonderful face washes which take off the dirt and grime from your face. Do not look for face washes that list specific ingredients as they might be harsh/ irritating or too hydrating for an otherwise normal skin. So go for a strawberry/blackberry/orange flavour. All you want is a fresh face devoid of make up grime.

>If your skin is dry, there are creamy washes that clean the skin but retain the moisture. 


>If your skin looks dull then try a face wash with small exfoliating granules that have a gentle scrubbing action. 


>If your skin is dull and pigmented, there are face washes with glycolic acid that helps lighten your skin. 
As you age, your skin only gets dryer. So make sure you choose a face wash that is more creamy, gentle, and contains fine granules to double up as a scrub. But again you could be 50 with oily skin, so there are always exceptions. 


 

Step 2 : Moisturizing

> Day Cream

Day creams usually contain sunscreen as the most important ingredient. But you can look for something extra in this. If you can manage to get a cream with pore-refining or oil-soaking (calamine, koline, fuller’s earth, volcanic mud) properties along with antioxidants, that would be a great combination to have.

> Night Cream

I am sure none of us want to go through a rigorous skincare procedure at night after you come back from work. You are tired; you have to finish your chores at home; so you just have enough strength to do that ONE thing—cleanse your face and then immediately use a night cream. The night cream has to have higher moisture content and be creamier than your day cream. Pick one with skin lightening or anti-ageing actives, since your skin is most receptive at night. You can deal with your skin issues with a good treatment-based night cream like acne prescription creams, skin lightening creams that work on particular areas like the cheek, anti-wrinkle cream, with say retin A, that work on special areas, or simply a cream rich in ceramides if your skin is super dry .

> Serum

Most of us think that serum is a super concentrate. However, serums are just active ingredients in a different medium. They are more suited for oily skin types. They also work when you have more than one skin goal to achieve. This means that if you want to use skin lightening or antioxidant in the day time when you have to use a sunscreen, it is a really good idea to use those actives in a serum form first and then apply sunscreen on top.

> Mist/thermal spring water spray

The spring water spray, as the name suggests, is sourced from special springs. It is rich in minerals that soothe and soften the skin. A couple of spritzes on your face on a dry, hot day can instantly hydrate your skin and freshen you up as well. It is good for calming inflamed skin. You can get them at a chemist or beauty store. Use them on bare skin, over moisturizer, over sunscreen, or over make up, and your skin will thank you for it.

As you progress in age, you may need heavier creams (if you have dry skin—one with less fat beneath the skin) or then lighter ones (to keep up with hydration if you have oily skin and acne issues) with intense hydration and active ingredients to plump your skin and pep up skin turnover, thus also stimulating collagen. You also have the luxury of layering various portions as your skin now not only needs more, it can also handle more in terms of added moisture and protection.

> Aftershave lotion or aftershave balm?

Men who shave on a daily basis almost always use an aftershave product. These are now available in two major forms—a balm or a lotion. Aftershaves act as antiseptic agents that protect skin from infections that can be caused due to minute cuts in the skin during shaving. It is important that you use it immediately after shaving (try to shave directly after taking your shower so that the cuticles are soft). Depending on your skin condition, you can either choose a balm, which is a creamier version, or a lotion which very light textured.

> Toners—the most confused term

Earlier toners were considered an important part of one’s skincare regime, so most brands had toners. But ever since newer skincare brands introduced face washes and all-in-one cleanser creams in the market, the toner as a product was forgotten. However, I feel toner is a misunderstood product because when you say toner, people think of a skin tightener or a pore shrinking product or a deep cleanser. It really depends on the ingredients that the toner has. Most toners available today actually remove excess oil from the face, and since they have a ‘minty’ property to them, they also seemingly shrink the pores a bit.

 

Step 3 : Sun Protection

The one question I get asked most frequently is, ‘Do I really have to apply sunscreen?’ My answer is yes, you need to apply sunscreen all the time. For those who just want one single cream—sunscreen is a must. And then you could layer your make up on top of it. Sunscreen is one of the most important skincare products you need to use.

You must remember, we are not trying to protect ourselves from just visible light but the ultraviolet rays of the sun like UV A, B, and C. While UVC hardly reaches us, it is UVA and UVB that you have to be very careful of. UVA penetrates deep and passes through everything including your glass window panes. Therefore, it is very important to apply sunscreen—whether you are indoors or out in the sun or even if the weather is cloudy.

> The skin and UV rays

As mentioned before, we need to be careful of both UVA and UVB rays of the sun. The range for UVB is 290 to 320 nanometer, and UVA is 320 to 400 nanometer. Both equally affect the skin.

UVB radiation penetrates the epidermal or outer layer of the skin. It damages DNA in this layer and causes other changes in skin cells. This ultimately may result in the signs of photoageing. Over time, pre-cancers and skin cancers may develop.

UVA radiation, while also damaging the epidermis, penetrates deeper into the skin to the level of the dermis. UVA not only harms epidermal cells, it also damages collagen and elastin, which make up the structure of the dermis and keep the skin resilient. Blood vessels can also be harmed.

> Photoageing and what to do

Photoageing is the premature ageing of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) primarily from the sun, but also from artificial UV sources. Photoageing is different from chronological ageing, as the damaging effects are that of UV rays of the sun.

> Alters the normal structures of the skin.


> Vascular damage: The deeper veins become thick and more noticeable under the skin.


> The superficial fine capillaries walls become thin which show as broken capillaries on your skin.


> Increase in number of inflammatory infiltrates which makes your skin sensitive on top.

> Causes cell mutations caused by UV. This results in premature ageing, the formation of actinic keratoses or pre-cancers, and skin cancer.

Knowing what to look for in a bottle of sunscreen is very important since the market is cluttered with sunscreen products. You should focus on SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and TPI (Tan Protection Index). A sunscreen with SPF 20 to 50 is more than enough to get almost 98% protection. Anything more adds around 0.5%. So even if you are using a product with SPF 100, your protection won’t be a lot different. More SPF does not mean longer protection, it only means more grease and heavy chemical ingredients for just 0.5% extra protection. Generally speaking, 1 SPF gives you 10 minutes of protection under the sun. So go ahead, do the calculation, and choose your sun protection accordingly. But do remember to reapply your sunscreen twice or thrice during the sun up hours.

SPF, however, only means that you will burn less and therefore develop lesser pigmentation. But the actual anti-ageing defence happens from UVA protection. This you can see from the + (plus) sign on the bottle. You can also look for the term ‘broad spectrum’ which means a sunscreen that protects you from the full spectrum of ultra violet rays—UV A, UV B. Additionally, look for photostability of the ingredient, which means how long they remain active under harsh sunlight. Your sun protection cream may have additional ingredients like pretochopherol and other protective antioxidants.

What adds on most to your chronological age is photoageing, so make sunscreen your skin’s best friend.

Your degree of photoageing depends on the person and the type of skin you have. Sun exposure over the years without skin protection can result in visible signs of photoageing. Your skin type and the amount of unprotected sun exposure you get will determine your risk. Those who spend a lot of time in the sun because of outdoor work or recreation also fall into the high risk group. Darker skinned people show fewer signs of obvious photoageing, although the skin can become mottled and there may be some wrinkling.

> Go on a skincare fast

Do not overdo things on your skin. It’s important to give your skin a break once in a while. Just like the way you fast for your body and for good health, do it once in a while for your skin too. Our elders would keep fasts in the name of religious rituals since they knew that fasting once in a month or fortnight gave us definite health benefits, made us more energetic, and cleansed us from inside. Similarly, your skin also needs to go on a fast. So it’s important that you stop using all the products for a night probably and just let the skin be. You can do that once in a while, and see your skin breathe.

More is not always good

It is not true that:

> The more you pay, the better the outcome of your cream.

> Applying more products is always beneficial.

> Using more means quicker results.

Haircare in your 20s

In your 20s, your hair might look and feel great, but this is usually the time when most of us put it through the test. Partying hard means more styling products, harsh chemical treatments whether coloring, perming or straightening, sun damage and not taking proper haircare.

 

Simple use of a gentle shampoo along with conditioner, to wash your hair every day, during summer days, especially if you use styling products would do a great help. Moreover, here are certain tips which can make a difference on your hair growth and quality.

 

> Blow drying is any day better than ironing. Direct heat on the hair damages it the most.

> Let the wind from the blow dryer hit your hair along the hair cuticle and not against them. This will lift the cuticle and make your hair strands rough and brittle.

> Use a heat protectant before you blow dry.

> Never iron wet or damp hair.

> Oil not only scalp but all along the hair strand. It is actually the later part of your hair length that needs oil the most.

> Hormones and your nutrition status affect the quality of hair.

> Sugar in your diet makes hair brittle.

> Do not use tight hair accessories.

> Don’t comb wet hair.

> Using hair mousse as a volumizer is never a good idea.

> Any form of styling heat on mousse should be a NO always.

Are you a Frequent Flyer? Here’s what your skin needs!

We are ‘in’ today and ‘out’ tomorrow! While travelling, the aircraft becomes our second home, where we travel within the country or across countries and continents. Whether it’s a long-haul flight or a short one, your skin takes a beating. High altitude, higher UV ray exposure, pressurized air conditioners, dehumidified air—all take a toll on your skin. Also, during a long-haul flight, you are sedentary, therefore you have reduced microcirculation. You tend to drink less water, drink alcohol, eat in excess, and thus so you pack sugar on to an already dry and stressed skin. Alcohol further dehydrates your skin and hair. Therefore, it is a must to follow this frequent flyer skincare routine for that extra TLC while travelling by flight.

 

 

> Moisturize your skin, Moisturize your face and body liberally before you get on a plane. This will prevent your skin from getting dry to a great extent. If you are worried about the sticky feeling, then try using lotions or moisturizing milk. That gives you the necessary moisture. If you are going to stay in the plane for long, then reapply the moisturizer every once in a while. You can ask for a hot towel, and wipe your face, hands, and feet and reapply the lotion.

> Sunscreen is a must, especially if you are flying during the day, more so if you choose a window seat or if you are a pilot. Make sure you have applied a good amount of sunscreen on all the exposed parts and not just the face. This keeps you away from burning sensation, redness, and tanning. Remember, whatever the SPF, it is wise to apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours. This is important when you know the intensity of UV rays is really harsh because of the altitude.

> Get liberal with thermal water spray which will keep your skin’s hydration levels balanced. The good news is that you can even spray it over make up without the fear of getting your make up ruined. Spray it even before you apply your moisturizer so that your skin stays plump and supple.

> Skin around your eye and lip has no oil glands and are stretched thin, so make sure you take extra care of these areas. Always keep a really good under eye cream handy and a lip balm, which you can repeatedly apply.

> Make sure you have conditioned your hair or you can use light oils like coconut-based ones and tie your hair up if you are not flying for a special occasion. If not, you could tie a scarf around your hair. This will prevent the strands from drying out and getting static and frizzy.

> Have plenty of water and fruits. Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine.

> Get up and stretch often; it increases peripheral blood flow and avoids venous stagnation. This way you will not get the swelling you may get otherwise. You can also avoid other medical complications due to sluggish circulation.

Don’t forget your Skin this Festive Season

Diwali is a time of fun, beauty, and indulgence. It means lots of sweets that you can’t resist, even when your well informed mind is screaming NO. All the social messages that we hear about risks of crackers makes it easier for you to say NO to them, but not too many people put it to practice, do they? So, you will still have smoke, toxins, and pollution floating thick in the air for 3 to 5 days after the festival is over making festive skincare and hair care of utmost importance.

 

 

The endless pre & post Diwali parties leads to the blow drying, ironing, styling, make up, late nights, and on top of it all, the alcohol and cigarettes—how these affect your weight, lungs, and liver, let’s not even get there. Let us talk about your skin and hair.

 

What you need to pay heed to

> Sugar: It suppresses the activity of our white blood cells and thus makes us more susceptible to colds, flu etc. It also worsens allergies and causes damage because of the breaking down of good proteins, leading to advanced glycation end-products, very aptly abbreviated as AGE. AGE makes the proteins in the collagen and hair stiff and hard; thus, speeding up the process of skin ageing and making hair brittle. As a skin and hair expert, I know that one of the main reasons for wrinkles, deep lines, and sagging skin is AGE. So, gorging high sugar foods during Diwali can lead to fine lines and excessive dryness. My suggestion is to be mindful of what you are eating during this time and be aware of what’s going into your mouth.

> Smoke: Smoke and pollution damage your hair and skin. You will find your skin dry and scalp irritated or even itchy. Too much exposure can lead to boils/folliculitis, skin rash, and acne exacerbation. You will need to wash your hair and body thoroughly the day after to counteract the damage caused by smoke and ash.

> Excessive makeup and styling: You need to dress up and look pretty on Diwali. This means excessive makeup and hair styling products, blow drying, and ironing. Not all this is harmful, but what worsens the situation is when you are too tired to take them off after the party is over. You might end up missing your night-time skincare regime and cleansing your hair of all styling products.

> Alcohol and cigarettes: These worsen the condition of your hair and skin. Alcohol makes the skin flushed and dehydrated with broken capillaries. And cigarettes compromise the blood supply to your skin!

What are Laser Treatments for | Dr Rashmi Shetty

Lasers are of different kinds. The type of laser used on you depends on the specific problem that needs to be addressed. Your doctor is the best judge in choosing the type. Lasers do not understand skin, hair, or blood. They only work on colour or pigment. However, there are some laser treatments that work with water in your tissue as their target. 

Then there are different ways of delivering the beam to your skin. So your doctor can work with full beam, fractionated, or pixelated so it’s not bulk heating which leads to the unwanted effects of a laser. Depending on how much time is taken to pass the given beam, it could be long pulsed, or Q-switched. It could be ablative or non-ablative depending on whether it burns off a portion of your skin or just works with it intact. 

These can be administered by a qualified technician after a doctor’s consent. Different doctors do it differently. In my practice I do it all myself. Others choose to set the parameters and have the technician perform the treatment. Most of these have to be repeated multiple times to achieve results. You will also have to go for maintenance sessions later at certain intervals. 

Laser can be used:

> For collagen stimulation to improve skin texture, thickness, scars, pores etc. 

> To treat pigmentation problems like dark circles, tattoo, post-inflammatory, post acne, freckles, age spots, and tan. However, some conditions like melasma do not really respond well. The marks may even get darker on a rebound, so be careful. 

> For fat reduction. You can reduce cellulite and get spot weight reduction through a combination of various technologies like deep tissue massage, infrared, radio frequency, and ultrasound—all causing deep tissue heating. You can also try the newer fat freezing equipment.

> For wiping away scars, a combination of lasers and radio frequency with micro needling are all a good bet to choose from.

> Treat broken capillaries. A combination of lasers and radio frequency works wonderfully. 

A note of caution 

Before the Treatment:

> Be careful in choosing your doctor and centre. Make sure the equipments are FDA approved and not substandard Asian knockoffs. 

> No tanning before treatment.

> No active infection or open wound. 

After the Treatment: 

> Appropriate cooling for certain lasers.

> You might get burns after a hair reduction treatment since the diode laser used is in close contact with skin.

> Hypo pigmentation becomes a problem for some, especially those who tend to show healing with skin that is lighter in colour. This generally goes away after a few months. 

> Sunscreen and healing creams.

> Avoid sun exposure.

> No swimming to avoid sun and chlorine. 

Adult Acne: How it occurs & how to treat them?

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. 

Yet another cause could be wrong cosmetic products or make up and any other medication that you may be on. In such a case all you need to do is to stop the application of your beauty product, make up, or medication. Slowly reintroduce them one by one to find out the trigger to the skin irritation. Then go and consult your doctor.

 

> What do you do to deal with 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. 

 

> At your skin doctor’s 

First get the right medication to regulate your hormones. Then go for gentle peels. You can also opt for certain lasers and light therapy.

 

Do you have Open Pores?

This is one complaint that everyone has irrespective of their age, and why not? Even if you have absolutely clean complexion, if the pores are wide open, your skin does not look beautiful. The skin actually starts to look dull because it does not reflect light evenly. When this gets linked with oily skin, comedones (bumps on the skin that give it a rough texture), and acne, you end up hating this condition further. It is important you have your pores nice and closed so that your skin looks flawless and bright. 

 

Why do you get open pores?

Sometimes you are genetically prone to have open pore skin, maybe in combination with oily skin. Then as you age, your skin gets relaxed and the pores open up. Excessively steaming your face during a facial or while body steaming and sauna, or the latest craze of hot yoga, can lead to permanently relaxed pores.

 

 

How to deal with it? 

The simplest thing you can do is use absolutely chilled water from your fridge and splash it on your face. That acts like an instant toner which tightens up your pores. Also, make sure that every time you go to a salon, ask them to use cool mist after they have done the blackhead extraction and deep cleansing. Ask them to put a cold towel on your face while you are in a steam chamber. Splash cold water on your face after a hot shower. You can use ice cubes wrapped in a bit of muslin on your pores as a cooling pack. You can try a mask with kaolin clay or fuller’s earth (multani mitti) to tighten the pores. Apply calamine lotion to calm the skin.

Try mild peels on your own at home. Buy either Kojic Acid 6–20%, Azelaic Acid 10–20%, or Salicylic Acid of around 2%, which are all available over the counter. You can apply them one at a time and leave it overnight and see how your skin takes it. Once your skin gets used to it, you can mix all the three and apply it. Leave it on for a couple of hours and see how your skin reacts. Once it adjusts to the blend, you can leave it overnight. If you have oily skin, use this twice a week, and if your skin is dry, then apply it only once a week. Application of Tretinoin and Retino-A ointments at night over a period of time also helps. Look for pore minimizing creams or serums for wearing under your sunscreen during the day. 

At your skin doctor’s

You can also go to your doctor’s to get mild peels done regularly. Ask for Retin-A peels and medium depth peels. You can do mesotherapy wherein Botox is injected underneath your skin to shrink the pores. You can also opt for collagen remodelling laser treatment which shrinks the pores automatically.

 

 

Skin and Hair Care regime to follow while traveling

If you are packing your bags for an exotic travel destination, make sure your skin is prepared to face the environmental onslaught of that place. Holiday getaways can be refreshing for the body and soul and de-stress your mind, but when you loosen your knots and blast out on a new destination, you often tend to ignore the needs of your skin. The harsh sun of on island can leave sunburns and the dry winds of a mountain getaway can cause dryness. So, as you step out on a vacation, do not forget to follow this skin and hair care regime while traveling. You certainly do not want dull, dry, and patchy skin when you return from the holiday.

 

> Make sure you moisturize and hydrate your skin in advance of your travel plans. When we travel, we often get busy in other details and forget our skincare regime. Moisturize your skin and hair at least a week in advance—coconut oil is a good option for a skin and hair massage that will deeply hydrate the body and scalp. Some hydrating cosmetic procedures and hydrating facials can be beneficial, so is a session with hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers like Juvederm. This will provide you enough deep hydration to last for a few months.

 

> It is always good to take oral supplements rich in vitamins and Omega-3 for your skin. If you are going on a long haul, carry the supplements with you and consume them daily. Vitamins have powerful antioxidants that prevent free radical damage.

 

> If you are heading to a sunny destination, it would be good to take a Botox shot for your frown lines a week in advance because sun glare accentuates them and you do not want to return from the vacation with accentuated frown lines. This will also make you look fresh and relaxed at the holiday.

 

> If you have to spend the day out in the open, you should take care of removing the layer of dust and pollution or even bacteria that settles on top of your skin. Make sure to carry a face wash and a moisturizer in your handbag and keep washing your face and applying the lotion 2-3 times a day. Also carry quality wet face wipes that can come to your help in case you do not have clean water. When travelling, you want to look good 24/7, so you are bound to wear make up most of the time. But no matter however tired or busy you are, do not forget to remove your make up at the end of the day. If you are on a holiday, you are bound to spend most of the time outdoors even if it is a humid and hot destination. Excessive sweating in such situations can be a problem. It would help if you undertake a Botox procedure to cut down on underarm sweating. We all know how excessive sweating on the palms can be such a social and professional embarrassment. When administered under the arm, Botox can control the sweat glands and prevent sweating that can cause discomfort, patches on the clothes, and body odour.

Carry an emergency kit. Traveling, whether for leisure or meeting relatives, can give you a lot of stress. Add to it the food you are eating and the sleep you are being deprived of which extra stress to the skin too. In such a situation you may have breakouts, so an emergency kit with anti-breakout applicants is important.

It is also very important to ensure you are taking sufficient rest. Plan your itinerary in such a way that there is enough time for rest.

> Don’t forget to carry a good protective pair of sunglasses on a summer destination. They are vital to protect the eyes against the glare of the sun and also the delicate skin around the eyes. Better go for a UV protection offering product.

> Always carry a hand sanitizer, because we keep touching our faces with hands and you certainly do not want to infect your face skin.

> If your face sweats a lot, carry a spring water mist and keep spraying on your face and wiping with a tissue to keep yourself fresh. Also, do not keep reusing your hand towel.

> Drink enough water so that even if you are drinking a lot of alcohol or consuming junk food, your body should be cleansed. And if you are eating junk food or binging, make sure you take your vitamins and take out time for some crucial workouts to keep the body and skin fine.

> It is important to take care of your hair too. If on a beach, oil your hair well or use a sun protection serum. Even plain coconut oil acts as a very good sun protection agent.

Your skincare will also depend on the type of destination you are heading to.

 

On a sea side vacation

Depending on which place you are going to, among the most important things to carry in your bag is plenty of sunscreen. Carry liberal amounts for your hand and body as well. While you are under the sun directly, the reflection from the sea accentuates the glare. So, you not just need sunscreen, you need a thick layer of sunscreen for protection.

 

Also make sure you carry a calamine lotion or any other calming and soothing balm. Once back from the sea, bathe yourself in cold water to soothe and calm the skin and also to remove salt from your skin surface that can cause irritation. On a seaside, salt is not just in the water, but also in the air. Post washing, apply the calming lotion for it reduces chances of inflammation.

On a hill station

If you are on a hill station, cold cream is good for you. Having said that, sunscreen is equally important.

Also do not forget your lips. You so not want chapped lips at the end of your vacation, so do carry a very good lip balm or use plain cold cream for the purpose. Also apply cream liberally around your eyes and lips. In winters, it’s also advisable to carry a cleanser with glycolic acid. VIVITE can be a good option. Work on your skin for 2-3 minutes in small circular motions which will loosen the dead skin on top and make it more receptive to the moisturizer.

In a temperate zone

If you are vacationing in a temperate zone where it is very humid, make sure you carry a good face wash that does not dry up your skin but takes away excess humidity.

Instead of washing twice, do it thrice a day to remove grime and humidity. Another important prerequisite is to keep your body dry.

Also keep an anti-bacterial powder and cream handy. Take a very mild steroid cream with you, in case you have a reaction or rash and use it as an SOS medication.

Do tell us your views in the comments section about the Skin and Hair Care regime to follow while traveling.

A Complete Guide For Bridal Skincare Regime By Dr. Rashmi Shetty

As the big day approaches, it’s important the bride looks good form head to toe. Right from her skin to her face to her hair, the blog will take you through the right bridal skincare regime by Dr Rashmi Shetty.

 

 

General tips for hair, body, and skin 3-6 months in advance.

> First and foremost, consult the right doctor.


> Right nutrition and a proper diet are important for beautiful glowing skin.


> Supplements rich in protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B3, B6, B12, and antioxidants are very important and help in nourishing the skin.


> Weddings can be really stressful and the stress can lead to acne, breakouts, and rashes. For those who cannot handle stress well and want to avoid the above, make sure to apply and also take supplements rich in Vitamin A, C, and E and Coenzyme Q 10.

> A daily workout regime which includes yoga and routine exercises is a must. A good workout is not only a great stress buster but also gets the blood rushing, leading to the release of right hormones.

> Start off by using the right peels and Medi-Facials for your skin type. It is ideal that you start your bridal skincare routine at least 3 months in advance so any acne and pigmentation have enough time to clear up easily. Skincare is no magic and it takes time to get the best results. It’s also a good time to try lasers for any unevenness in your complexion or fractional lasers and micro-needling with radio frequency for old acne pit marks. These may also be used for those stretch marks that you got during your teenage weight loss days. Today, you have an array of gadgets to choose from to make your skin look perfect. If you have dull skin and if you are a 35+ bride then your skin could look great with micro-injections of hyaluronic acid.


> When it comes to your body, make sure you take cream and oil massages and keep your skin exfoliated. Focus on your feet, hands, neck, and décolletage.

> If you are considering laser hair removal, then it is ideal to start it at least 6 months in advance.

> To keep the hair luscious and beautiful, regular oiling, washing, and conditioning every 2-3 days is a must. I’d suggest doing Mesotherapy, a popular treatment that helps in making thin and weak hair strong and thick.

When you have one month to go                                                

> All the above mentioned steps should be followed.

> For tired looking eyes, I recommend under eye filler which will make you look fresh and reduce under eye lines instantly in just one sitting. Lip filler is another popular treatment that helps in plumping your lips slightly which further softens your face, making you look absolutely gorgeous and glamorous. It is not necessary that your lip shape needs to change when you do a slight refreshing of your lips.
N If you suffer from excessive perspiration or hyper- hydrosis, then this is the right time to try Botox injections instead of being seen with and ruining your most beautiful outfits with an embarrassing big, wet underarm patch.

 

 

1 week before the wedding

> Do not start anything new if you have not done it before. Sometimes things can go terribly wrong and you don’t want last minute mishaps as there is no time for recovery.

> Make sure you indulge in only the mildest peels or microdermabrasion and Medi-Facials.

> Everyone has heard of Botox and it’s a great way to shape your eyebrows and give you that glamorous arch. Filler, a no down time, very low risk method of non-surgical nose sculpting is also becoming very popular.

> Q switched NdYag laser is a safe and good option if you opt for lasers.

> Opt for regular, full body hydration, exfoliation, dermabrasion, and peels, and make sure you do not ignore the basics of sunscreen and moisturizer application.

Your SOS kit for the big day

> Calandula or Caladryl mixed with very mild steroid application—keep this as an emergency pack in case of a break out or a rash.

> Since you’re going to apply make up for long hours, keep a hydrating mist with you at all times. It will help you look refreshed.

> Keep a derma-shield ointment or petroleum jelly if you’re allergic to metal or any fabric or if jewellery doesn’t suit your skin.

Honeymoon skincare for brides to be

One important advice I would like to give to all the brides is to maintain your skincare routine even after you are married. Usually, before the wedding you go all out to do the best for your skincare, you go to the best doctor, get the best of everything, pamper your skin like never before for 3-4 months, and once the D-Day happens, its all over all of a sudden.

I have never seen a bride come to me asking for skincare advice post wedding. The next time I see them, is usually when they are panicking with a bad tan or a breakout. So to most of the women who come to me before their wedding for different treatments, I tell them that they need to take care of their skin before the wedding, through the wedding, and post wedding as well.

Make sure you carry on your bridal skincare routine as meticulously as you were doing it before the D-Day.

It might not be possible to go for regular treatments once you are married, as you have so many things to do, so many relatives to meet, before you go for your honeymoon.

So, in advance you should plan with your doctor about your post wedding bridal skincare routine.

Say, for example, if you are not doing a peel every week anymore, you should be doing some appropriate home treatments after the wedding in consultation with your doctor. Depending upon your skin type; there are milder peels that can be used at home.

To continue taking care, also make sure you do not stop the oral supplements that you’ve been taking.

On your honeymoon, you want to look good 24/7, so you are bound to wear make up most of the time, but no matter how tired or busy you are, do not forget to remove your make up at the end of the day.

Always an emergency kit at hand. A new relationship often gives you a lot of excitement and there are other things like travelling and meeting relatives that can also add on to a lot of stress. Add to it the food you are eating, the sleep you are being deprived of—all this adds extra stress to the skin too. In such a situation you may have breakouts, so an emergency kit with anti-breakout creams is important.

It is also very important to ensure you are getting sufficient rest. Plan your itinerary in such a way that there is enough time for rest.

In a nutshell

> Don’t give up your bridal skincare completely after the wedding.

> Continue taking oral supplements.


> Make sure you remove your make up at the end of the day.


> Keep an emergency kit to deal with sudden breakouts.


> Get enough rest, so that there’s no excessive stress to your body and skin.

On a seaside honeymoon

Depending on which place you are going to, among the most important things to carry in your bag is plenty of sunscreen. Also carry liberal amounts for your favourite hand and body lotion.

Make sure you carry a calamine lotion or any other calming and soothing balm. So, if you are on a seaside trip with a lot of sun exposure on the beach, make sure you apply sunscreen. Wash your skin post the sun exposure and apply the calming lotion it will reduce the chance of inflammation.

On a hill station

If you are on a hill station, cold cream is good for you. Having said that, sunscreen is equally important.

Also do not forget to take care of your lips. You so do not want chapped lips at the end of your honeymoon, so carry a very good lip balm or use plain cold cream.

Don’t Let Your Bad Hair Day Ruin Your Day

Hair and scalp care is one of the key things for healthy and well growing hair and great looking skin. If you are regularly dealing with bad hair days, then you should check out for Hair Oxygenation Treatment, as this is quite suited for the inflamed, infected scalp and for the hair roots that need more oxygen and care.

As step one, hyperbaric nascent oxygen is jet onto the clean scalp along with liquid concoction serum that is really good for healthy hair depending on the scalp and hair type.

The oxygen is jet under high pressure so that the liquid penetrates inside the scalp firmly, rather than simply applying it on the scalp.

After the procedure is done the scalp is gently massaged to drive all the ingredients further inside the scalp.

The hair oxygenation treatment is ended with a laser cap which stimulates, heals, soothes the scalp.

This treatment not only nourishes the hair but also relaxes the patients and helps in de-stressing which overall affects the health of the scalp.

To know more about the treatment, you can see this video:

 

Is It Possible To Prevent Ageing With BOTOX?

Don’t let your age define the way you look.

Our face is an interesting piece of art. A healthy facial appearance talks a lot about our personality.

Interestingly, as we age our facial muscles also age and lose elastin. As it is said, People who smile a lot tend to develop lines or wrinkles around it.

It’s time to go skin deep and rejuvenate our facial muscles and cells. Today we have safe options to helps us look youthful and defy our age…

All the muscles in our body work hand in hand, where for every physical action – one set of muscle that contracts there is another set of muscle that relax or expand. Likewise, in the face also we have say two sets of muscles, one set which pulls the face up and the other which pulls it down, for every facial movement or expression that we give.

 

 

What Botox actually does is – It knocks the muscles that pulls the face down and creates a tug between the two sets of muscle which are pulling the face up and down. Therefore making both the set of muscles equally strong to keep it to the centre.

Yes, Botox prevents ageing, and you slow down on your age to remain youthful!

Is Your Child Having Acne In The Teenage?

If you are wondering when’s the right time to visit the doctor for your child suffering from teenage acne, then there are some small things that you first need to take care of at your home –

Make sure that the scalp is clean

Have a good cleansing routine for your skin

Get rid of dandruff , if u have any

Do not sleep on dirty linen

Acne can occur due to many factors during the teenage. Some of them can be because of hormonal changes and at start of menstruation or some can be genetic, like if any of the parents had acne then there are chances that the child might also have it.

 

Depending on the symptoms and cause of acne we can decide on the treatment for it or if the acne can be cured with simply maintaining good cleansing techniques and good eating habits.

Is It Safe To Have Fillers On Face?

People are scared when they think about doing fillers on their face. Is it safe? What side effects are there, and a lot of other doubts in mind.

A lot of this is because of the unnatural results that you see where the complete look of a person changes, swollen and unnatural face, small little eyes, duck-like lips, and what not. But have you noticed why only such scary results are seen. It is because these are the fillers which are done unnaturally.

For the ones which are done naturally, you would not even come to know it is done. Since it so beautifully & naturally created that you don’t see anything crafter or unnatural about it.

Behind these unnatural faces there are hundreds of natural fillers done with artisan like created faces which you can’t make it out just like that because of the finesse in work.

Fillers can make you more beautiful and youthful. It brings out the best within you and preserves what is already beautiful in you for a longer time. Just be cautious of the place that you are getting it from, and choose your Specialist wisely.

 

The Ageing Timeline

Age 25–30: Visible ageing begins when the skin cell renewal starts to slow down.

Age 30–35: Expression lines become more prominent as collagen and elastin start to break down.

Age 35–40: Static lines begin to appear. Skin starts to thin. Skin becomes noticeably more dry. Shift of facial fats become noticeable.

Age 40 onwards: The change may suddenly be visible, especially with Indian skin types. If you are petite with a good bone structure and stable body weight, you would have enjoyed a blessed skin up until now, and at 40 it all seems to suddenly give up—skin, face, and body!

Age 50 onwards: Facial muscles sag along with the other structures like fat. Bone framework and teeth support is compromised and skin appears fragile