Dr Rashmi Shetty, leading cosmetologist and skin expert, Ra Skin n Aesthetics, Mumbai; author of ‘Age Erase’
India 26 September 2016: Come September and India sets on a long drawn festive season. Over the course of the next four months we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Diwali, Eid-al-Azha as well as Christmas, among others. It’s all about mingling with your friends and family and eating a lot of sweets and fried snacks. But what goes inside you, shows up externally – sometimes in the form of body fat, and other times in the form of skin issues. Then there are endless parties. Despite knowing the harms of excessive indulgences, you will still eat without resisting, attend late nights and miss on precious sleep, smoke with friends and sometimes also indulge in too much drinking.
This is what you can do to minimize the damage to skin and maximize the glow and radiance:
Festivals mean a lot of sweets but sweets contain sugar. Sugar suppresses the activity of our white blood cells and makes us more susceptible to infections like cold and flu. 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 proteins in the collagen and hair stiff and hard; speeding up the process of skin ageing. So, be mindful of what you eat. Consuming excessive sweets the entire festive season can cause harm to the skin, not to forget its effect on your weight.
Festive season means you will want to look glowing. Where does it all start, but having the right diet? It is important to eat the right diet that will give protection to your hair and skin from within. Have anti oxidants, multi-vitamins. Include two spoons of ghee or olive oil and flaxseed oil in your daily diet, or take Omega 3 or cod liver oil to give inner strength and protection to skin and hair. This will make your skin healthy from within. Anti-oxidants will also help fight the ill effects of pollution on the skin.
Apply an anti-oxidant cream which contains vitamin A, C, E or Q10 during the day underneath your sunscreen. This will save skin from free radical damage and help in repair.
Before the festive season begins go for detox treatments like hydra facials or oxygen treatment to cleanse deeply. During the festivities you will be indulging in a lot of experiments in make-up and detox treatments will keep your skin ready for this.
Since the season also marks the transition to winter, start oiling your skin every morning. It need not be an hour long massage. What you can do is apply oil all over body in five minutes and leave it for half an hour as you complete your everyday morning chores. Then rush into a bath and proceed for work as usual. It serves the purpose of hydration as well as anti-ageing. Oils like coconut based oils or bio oils give fantastic benefits like taking care of stretch marks, anti bacterial properties and collagen increase.
As you prepare for a long festive season, better get a durable solution for your facial flaws and wrinkles. Get a Botox shot to clear away your frown lines and crow’s feet. This will give you a fresh and younger look for the festivals.
You will not want to have acne breakouts during the festive season. So make skin hygiene a part of your daily life. Carry a facewash and wash your face thrice daily. Don’t let pollution particles stick to your skin. If washing is not possible keep wet wipes in your bag all the time and keep wiping clean your face followed by moisturizer and sunscreen.
To cool down and soothe an irritated skin, use an ice cube to run on your face every night. It not only acts as a cooling agent but tightens pores and prevents breakouts. You can also freeze rose water in the form of ice cubes and rub it on your skin every evening for comprehensive toning benefits.
You can also get Hyaluronic Acid based fillers like Juvederm administered under the eye and on the mid face. This will fill up the hollows, instantly freshen up the face and also provide hydration and elasticity, giving you a facelift and glow that will last the entire festive season.
Drink enough of water so that if you are drinking a lot of alcohol or eating junk food during the festivals, your body should be cleansed. And if you are eating junk food or binging, make sure you take your vitamins and ensure some crucial workouts to keep the body and skin fine.
Do not use mousse on hair. If you do, then wash it off at night or the next morning. Opt for blow drying with low heat since it is better than ironing. Ironing can lead to hair breakage.