What you eat is what will show. And when we talk of skin, make sure you get it right!

It really is the first thing a person sees when they meet you, and when they shake hands, they actually touch your skin, feel its texture and form an instant opinion about you — consciously or unconsciously. It is the largest organ that covers the body and needs to be kept well hydrated, looked after and healthy no matter what the season. You need to eat lots of peaches and cut the cream. Or, if strawberries are your favourites, eat them by the dozen and your skin will thank you for it. To keep the glow going from within, the ‘within' has to be fed right, while the outside has to be kept right.

Organic call

Stay away from the white — maida and refined sugar stuff. Pastries and deep fried food play the fiend to skin and body. Get as close to natural as you can. Go for the organic stuff. Luckily in India we are still protected from genetically tampered foods. And the more we ask for ‘organic' the more the awareness builds. Go for fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables — make them a priority.

Your skin will change. And so will your hair. Not overnight, but slowly you will begin noticing the difference. Wan and sallow skin will become plumper, healthier – even pinker than you imagined. “Being a doctor is one thing but being a believer is quite another. I changed. From being a doctor who simply prescribed medicines, I became a believer who led by example,” says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, a dermatologist with an awesome skin.

Smart options

What you put into your body definitely shows on the outside. Nutrition is not about eating the foods you hate. We need to eat to live and a healthy diet includes all the nutrients in the right quantity. Eat smart and eat right. It makes sense to visit a good dietician and get a proper diet chart to suit your lifestyle and your body's unique needs.

Off the cuff, I recommend you replace one meal, preferably dinner, with fruits and yoghurt. You will find you sleep quickly, wake up feeling refreshed and light instead of sluggish and heavy. “I will not tell you to eat this fruit or that one, as all of them contain natural nutrients. Instead, eat all the different coloured fresh fruits and vegetables available in the market. Go for the darker colours as they contain antioxidants that help the body resist toxins,” Dr. Deepali says.

Sun tan

Summers are hard on the skin. You need to keep it clean – no matter what or where. Splashing cool water on your face freshens you up in a few seconds, but remember to slather on the sun block (30 SPF or higher) as soon as you pat dry your face. Or you will get a few pieces of modern art – patchy and dry patterns on your skin that look dark and unsightly. Over time they will itch and turn flaky, all thanks to overexposure to the sun. Which, by the way, is not all bad. Your body does need sunlight for Vitamin D so it can absorb the calcium from your diet, which must contain lots of cooling milk shakes – made preferably from skimmed milk. Load up on soothing buttermilk (not the thick malai maar ke sort of sweet lassi stuff). If you like, you could go the South Indian way and add little garnishes like chopped curry leaves, coriander leaves, crushed ginger and maybe mint. Some roasted and crushed jeera adds to the zing and provides the body with iron.