Aromatherapist Blossom Kochhar shows us how to keep our skin healthy and glowing this summer.
During summer, our skin deserves special attention as exposure to sunlight damages our skin in more ways than one; making it look dull, dry and tanned. It’s estimated that 90% of wrinkles are caused due to sun exposure. The harsh ultraviolet rays penetrate the deepest layers of the skin, damaging the collagen - the spongy protein that gives skin its structure, firmness and elasticity. Here’s how you can protect your skin from summer’s adverse effects:
— Start with cleansing, toning and moisturising your skin on a regular basis.
— Always use a sunscreen that has protection against UVA and UVB rays - SPF 15 if you’re indoors and SPF 30 when outdoors.
— Make sure you apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before stepping out and re-apply every two hours.
— Keep washing your face with water throughout the day.
— You can also use a moisturiser that contains sunscreen.
— Moisturisation is especially needed in summer as you lose most of your body salts through sweat. A water-based moisturiser is very effective.
— Steam your face regularly to open up the pores and clean your face (five minutes for dry skin and 10 minutes for oily skin). Pat dry with a tissue and moisturise.
— Avoid using heavy foundation. Just a BB cream will give you enough coverage and protection.
— Use kajal to make your eyes look bright. Avoid heavy eyeshadow and mascara.
— Coral, pink and brown are the summer hues for lips.
Summer also brings with it a wealth of delicious fruits that not only help our body stay energized and healthy, but are also very useful for our skin...
Watermelon exfoliates skin and is considered a natural toner.
— For fresh and glowing skin: Take 1 cup watermelon pulp and apply it on your face and neck. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse.
— To remove tan: Apply watermelon juice on your face/body. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse it off with cool water.
You can also mix equal portions of watermelon and cucumber pulp. Use it as a mask on your face to remove sun tan. It heals sunburn and lightens the complexion.
— To hydrate, heal and exfoliate: Mix equal quantities of watermelon juice and yoghurt. Apply on your face and neck. Leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with cold water.
— For aging skin: Mix 1 tbsp watermelon juice with 1 tbsp mashed avocado. Apply this mixture on your face and neck. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse it off with cold water. (Avocado is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E which work as antioxidants and make a powerful anti-ageing combination.)
Banana is rich in nutrients like vitamins A, B, C and E along with minerals like potassium, zinc, iron etc - all of which help in maintaining the natural and youthful glow on the face.
— For oily skin: Mix 1 mashed banana with 1 tbsp sandalwood powder and ½ tsp honey. Apply on your face and leave it on for 20-25 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
— To reduce spots and blemishes: Mash 1 ripe banana and mix it with lemon juice (approx 2-3 tbsp). Apply on your face and leave it on for 25 minutes before rinsing it off.
— To moisturise and exfoliate dead skin: Mix 1 tbsp sugar with 1 mashed banana. Apply it on your skin and rub it in a circular motion. Rinse.
— To get rid of cracked heels: Mash 2 ripe bananas and apply the pulp on your clean, dry feet. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
— To cure dry hair and itchy scalp: Take 3 ripe bananas, 3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp yoghurt and 1 tbsp milk (optional). Blend these ingredients thoroughly in a blender. Rinse your hair with warm water before you apply the mixture on your hair. Massage well onto your scalp. Wear a plastic cap and leave it on for an hour or more before shampooing it off. Condition your hair accordingly.
— Include at least two servings of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
— Avoid junk and fried food.
— Pay extra attention to the freshness of meat, fish and seafood.
— Drink plenty of water. It will keep your body cool and prevent dehydration.
— Fresh lime juice and coconut water are great options to stay hydrated in summer.
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