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Updated: April 20, 2014 18:01 IST

A matter of choice

MOUSHMI KISHORE
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Lara Dutta says she follows a basic skin care routine.
PTI Lara Dutta says she follows a basic skin care routine.

Bad habits and poor health options may be sabotaging your appearance. Here are a few that make you look older

Have you ever looked at someone who appears 10 to 12 years younger than she is, and found yourself feeling jealous of her radiance and good genes? Well, according to research, your bad habits and poor health choices may be sabotaging your appearance. You slather on moisturizer faithfully, apply fruit pack; invest in priciest anti-aging salves all to keep your skin glowing. But simple seemingly innocuous habits like a daily cuppa of coffee may be undermining your best efforts. If you do not want your skins to age prematurely take care of these things.

Smoking: This is probably the worst thing you can possibly do for your body, including your skin. “Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes destroy the skin elastin and collagen, leading to wrinkles and fine lines”, says Dr. Satish.L.Wadhwa, consuntant dermatologist in Mumbai. Smoking also takes a toll on the skin’s blood vessels restricting oxygen flow and subsequently causing your skin to appear dull and sallow. “Research has proved that smoking accelerates aging and tended to show signs of approximately 10 years worth of added aging, compared to non smokers”, says Dr. Madnani.

Other vices: Turns out alcohol, junk food and caffeine are wrecking your skin too. Alcohol and caffeine act like a diuretic and prevent you from holding on to water, which can leave your skin looking dry, prune like and washed out.

Sleep You may think that you’re getting away with six hours of sleep a night, but your skin tells the real story. When you don’t sleep, stress causes the release of hormone cortisol which makes your skin greasy.

Dieting: Rapidly and repeatedly losing and gaining weight actually makes us look older especially if we lose too much weight in a year.

Sweets: When you consume sugars, they are converted to glucose in your body and enter the blood stream, where they search out and attack to skin proteins. Attacked, they form new molecules called advanced glycation end products or AGEs. The more sugar consumed, the more AGEs you create and these AGEs mess up with your body collagen and elastin, which help maintain your skin’s firmness and elasticity.

Lack of enough sunscreen: Once a day is not enough especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. You need to reapply sunscreen several times a day even in winter because the sun is still really strong and you can get burned easily. Sunscreen is the key to youthful skin. Make sure to choose one that provides broad spectrum protection and blocks both ultravioletA and ultravioletB rays. The minimum SPF, sun protection factor should be 30 in tropical countries like India.

Lara’s theme

“I take good care of my skin. I keep my skin healthy and hydrated. I follow basic skin care routine. I prefer using mixture of natural remedies as well as good products. I use gentle, mild, damage minimising foaming cleanser. I don’t use heavy cream based moisturizer. I use sunscreen before going out. I do not load myself with too much make-up. At home I never prefer using make-up. I always make sure to clean my face before going to sleep. As you age you need face treatment at least once in a month and is a must have. I follow balanced diet. I am a vegetarian so my diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables. I drink five to six litres of water everyday. I don’t prefer more of fried food. I work out five days a week. I firmly believe that one cannot get away from treating skin badly. I make sure as soon as I am back home, the first thing that I would like to do is to clean my face. I don’t exfoliate a lot. Be gentle while washing your face”.

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