It doesn’t take much to get healthy skin and bouncy hair. Just follow these simple rules this year and you’ll double your glow.
Say bye bye to all 1 year moisturisers
You might have dismissed the idea of a separate moisturiser for summer and winter as a marketing gimmick, but experts beg to differ. Your skin needs more moisture in the cold months, as it becomes drier, making your summer face cream the wrong choice for winter! Opt for a heavier moisturiser with humectants like hyaluronic acid, that draws additional moisture into the skin and in summer switch to a lighter, oil-free one, advises Delhi-based expert, Dr Varun Katyal. Try Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel, Rs 4,191, in summer and the same moisturiser in cream form for winter.
Invest in a good conditioner
Investing in a good conditioner should be on your priority list this year. “Irrespective of the shampoo you use, it is the conditioner which gives the follicles a protective covering and lends shine and volume to your hair. So pick up a good conditioner which is suited for your hair type,” says Katyal. Look for conditioneRs with keratin, a protein similar to crystalline which according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, can repair bleached hair. Try Tresemme Keratin Smooth Conditioner Rs 80 or Kerastase Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure Conditioner Rs 2000. Make sure you apply conditioner every time you wash your hair. If you’re hard-pressed for time, choose a leave-in conditioner instead.
Learn how to shampoo (right)
This may sound unbelievable, but turns out most of us are shampooing wrong. Experts say you should leave the shampoo in your hair for three minutes before you rinse it out. The right way to do it: dilute a small amount of shampoo in a mug and work the mixture through your hair, ensuring the lather touches your scalp and rinse out after 3 minutes, says Katyal. This activates the shampoo’s detergent and washes off excess oil from your scalp. Surprised? There’s more. It seems that the choice of shampoo doesn’t affect the hair quality much. As long as you use a good conditioner afterwards, you can choose to buy any affordable shampoo.
Start (brushing) from the bottom
Most hair starts getting tangled from the lower two-thirds of the strand, so it is a better idea to start combing from the tips of the hair and work your way up. “Avoid excessive combing as friction might increase breakage and hair loss,” says Dr Aman Dua, Ludhiana-based dermatologist. Then again, pat-don’t rub your hair dry with a towel to stop weakening of hair follicles, says Dr Nirmala Shetty in her book Beauty at Your Fingertips.
Schedule a lips day
Your lips need TLC. apart from your face. Our lips have no oil or sweat glands and are constantly exposed to irritants. “Simple solutions like olive oil can help prevent chapped lips,” says Dua. Try Oriflame Beauty Lip Spa Therapy, Rs 198, or Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer, Rs 149. Exfoliate them by gently scrubbing with your fingertips. You can use a homemade scrub by mixing sugar and honey. Try Forest Essentials Cane Sugar Lip Scrub, Rs 475, or Lush BubbleGum Lip Scrub, Rs 575. You can make your lips look fuller by choosing lipsticks that contain palmitoyl oligopeptide, an ingredient that boosts collagen; research shows that it may have a permanent effect. Try Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color Rs 2,199.
Never skip sunscreen
We know you know this already! But did you know sunscreen is just as important on cloudy days? Even on winter days of gentle sunshine, you are exposed to both UVA and UVB rays. The result: lines, wrinkles, age spots and even melanoma. “UVA rays can penetrate glass windows, therefore one is at risk while sitting close to a window, whether in a car, at home or in the office. In addition, up to 80% of UV rays can pass through clouds, so one should wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day,” says Prevention advisor Dr Rekha Sheth. A broad-spectrum sunscreen helps protect from harmful UV rays. Try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 50 Rs 499, or Lancome UV Expert GN Shield SPF 50, Rs 3,852. Apply it 20 minutes before you step out.
Shaving on dry skin
It may not be the biggest sin in the book, but it’s a good idea to avoid it nonetheless. Unfortunately, there aren’t any shaving gels in the market for women, so you can use lukewarm water or Gillette Series Sensitive Skin Shave Foam, Rs 229, or coconut oil.
Go easy on exfoliation
We know that exfoliating makes the skin feel amazingly smooth, but going overboard won’t help. Over-exfoliating removes the protective moisture barrier which locks in hydration and keeps out irritants, making the skin dry and vulnerable. “Steer clear of all walnut/apricot scrubs as their grains are big and might damage your skin,” says Dr Soma Sarkar, dermatologist, About Face, Mumbai. The wrong product on sensitive skin can lead to breakouts, redness and inflammation. Choose a mild scrub like Aroma Magic Coffee Bean Scrub, Rs 327, instead. Use it once a week and follow up with a ceramidecontaining moisturiser like Cetaphil Restoraderm Body Wash, Rs 1,495, to help restore your skin’s barrier
Wipe out dark circles
Wrinkles and dark circles can be a real beauty bummer. Your eyes require a separate skin care regime. For starters, the skin surrounding youRs eyes is the thinnest and most delicate. It’s two-thirds the thickness of skin on the rest of the face and its thinner moisture barrier makes it more vulnerable. Choose a product formulation (cream, gel) suited to your specific skin care concern (puffiness, dark circles). Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty recommends Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Rs 3,690 in the morning to soothe and hydrate and Midnight Recovery Eye Rs 3,378, to repair the area while you sleep. And make sure to use a gentle make up remover before heading to bed-no exceptions on this. As you get older, try a richer eye formula with shea butter or beeswax at night.
Stop being touchy
Picking at your skin or touching your face (or that itchy breakout) not only injures the surface but also spreads germs and may lead to further breakouts, redness or irritation, says Sheth.
Use a toner only if required
Not everybody needs a toner. Shetty says toners are meant to moisturise, hydrate and soothe skin, but are not an absolute necessity. Check with your dermat if you need a toner for specific needs such as an oily T-zone, pore tightening or collagen boosting. Most toneRs available in the market are alcohol-based or astringents meant to remove excess oil and might end up drying your skin. If you want to hydrate the skin post cleansing, opt for hydrating wateRs and toning lotions or just spritz rose water, instead, to freshen up a tired face.
Step away from the air conditioner
Yes, it works. Spending time in an AC room or in front of a heater can make your skin dry and stretchy. So use a body oil before or right after you step out of the bath. Avoid using perfumed oils as they dry the skin further. Try Khadi Sweet Almond Oil, Rs 450, Parachute Pure Coconut Oil, Rs 60, or Kama Ayurveda Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, Rs 325.
Target beauty blind spots
Chalky elbows, cracked heels, discoloured fingernails, never scrubbed back-these are just some of the body parts we forget think about. Devote one day of the week for blind spots TLC- scrub and moisturise your elbow, book a salon appointment for a mani-pedi and get a back brush to scrub those unreachable zones. Try Basicare Wooden Body Brush Rs 440 and Tatha Body Custard Harmony Rs 1,040 to moisturise.