Ageing is one of the biggest fears of humankind. One glimpse of the first wrinkle, laugh line, sign of ageing skin, and both women and men panic. Well, put that panic aside for other things. Here are the seven secrets behind forever youthful skin.
Block the sun
Exposure to the sun is the primary external factor responsible for ageing skin, thanks to oxidative stress. Damage to the skin caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays is called photoageing. So it is not only important to use a good sunscreen, it is equally essential to know how and when to apply a sunscreen. Applying it over make-up, toner or day moisturiser does not serve the purpose. If you want to protect your skin from the sun, sunscreen should be the first thing applied to your face after washing it – even before moisturiser. Or else it will block the moisturiser, not the skin, and most of the effects of your expensive sunblock will be lost.
Your skin reflects what you eat. So, include daily servings of purple, yellow, green foods either raw or sautéd in your diet. A couple of walnuts a day will help maintain the elasticity of your skin, as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and copper, which help in collagen production. Have plenty of pumpkin, which contains a bio-pigment called carotenoid that has wrinkle and pimple-fighting antioxidants and pomegranates, that are rich in polyphenol antioxidant that improves blood circulation.
Raid your kitchen
The ingredients in your kitchen are good not just for eating, but for skin application too. Rub half a tomato on your cheeks for a natural blush. Since the essential oils of a citrus fruit are in its peel, rub a lemon peel on your face as natural bleach. Leave orange peel to dry in the sun for two to three days, and then grind to make a 100 per cent natural scrub. A few drops of lemon (for cleansing) and raw honey (to maintain elasticity) applied twice a week are all you need for fresh and youthful skin. Coconut milk is a great skin cleanser and make-up remover.
An exotic bath with natural ingredients like milk and honey will keep your skin young and supple. Also, moisturise your body after a bath with few drops of baby oil or vitamin E for soft skin without grease. If you are in a hurry, add four to five drops of oil in a bucket and bathe with it neck down. Use a loofah regularly to exfoliate the skin cells, especially on the hips and thighs.
Stand on your head
Since your face has 43 muscles. Which means it’s important to work from within and exercise the facial muscles. Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) is a great way to increase blood circulation towards the face. A regular headstand or handstand also increases blood flow towards the face, giving you an instant blush. Do this asana daily for three to five minutes. However, do consult a physician if you are prone to high blood pressure and learn professionally from a yoga expert before attempting this!
While taking care of your skin, do not forget your eyes. A drop of pure almond oil or badam roghan applied on your eyelids and under your eyes overnight will bring back that spark around your eyes, and hence in your eyes too!
Unmask your face
A golden mask made of natural ingredients can transform your skin overnight (pun intended). Mix one teaspoon each of sandalwood powder, multani mitti (Fuller’s earth), and rose water, with a pinch of turmeric and a few strands of saffron. Multani mitti tightens the skin, rose water provides moisture, and saffron and sandalwood give the glow. This is a very thin paste, but cover your pillow with an old towel so as not to stain it. Wash with regular water in the morning.
Dr Deepali Bhardwaj is a renowned dermatologist. She is the honorary dermatologist to the President at the Rashtrapati Bhawan and has been bestowed with international fellowships.
From HT Brunch, February 19, 2017
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch