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The beauty fix

Rachel Lopez tells you how to look like a million bucks, without spending a bomb on lotions and potions.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 26, 2012 00:38 IST
Rachel Lopez

Choose coloured foods over plain white creams pay as much attention to what you feed your face, as you do to what you put on it, says dermatologist Dr Kamlesh V Bhagat. “Everyone knows that they need to have more greens. But it’s also important to get your beta carotene from coloured fruits, so that your skin retains its lustre and luminosity.”

Plums, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives cost far less than the genie in the bottle advertised in magazines. Keep it clean and simple Unless you’re suffering from acne or other skin concern, don’t fret over your cleanser. “You just need a cleanser with a neutral pH,” says Bhagat. Additions like neem and fruit extracts are good but “choose a reputed brand,” he adds. “It doesn’t have to be the most expensive one, but it has to be a brand that is serious about skincare.” Sunny side up “Don’t scrimp on sunscreen,” says Bhagat. “Buy a minimum of SPF 15, from a brand known for making high- quality sun protection products, and use it regularly.” Indian skin needs protection from UVA, which ups your risk of skin cancer and photodermatitis, Bhagat says.

Labels that list zinc oxide, avobenzone or titanium dioxide offer better skin protection. “Sunscreen not only shields your skin from the sun, but also from damage from cosmetics,” Bhagat adds. Creamy layer “Don’t get carried away by pretty bottles and film stars,” says Bhagat. “If you have a specific skin concern, like wrinkles, pigmentation, dark circles, acne and dullness, your money is much better spent at a dermatologist who will prescribe a specific cream, and not at an over-the-counter masala cocktail that claims to banish six age signs, 12 fairness concerns and the likes,” he adds. You can pick up a daily hydrating cream for the face and get a body lotion for everywhere else.

You don’t need night cream unless you’re older than 25. Raid the kitchen “Use milk cream to soften the lips, honey and cream face packs for dry skin, home-ground turmeric face packs for blemishes and mashed tulsi leaves for general skin health,” recommends Bhagat. Keep it on for just three to five minutes. Calm down Happy thoughts make for happy skin, believes Bhagat. “Why else do we find brides-to-be with such a happy glow?” he says. Meditation, good sleep and two litres of water a day is all your skin needs to glow.