METRO PLUS

Homely touch to beauty

SKIN CARE at different stages of life is different. Here is what everyone from the age of 12 and 50 can do.

Up to age 12:

IF YOU have normal skin with no dry spots or blackheads, there is no special problem, although you should remember not to neglect it at any point of time. Always use a good soap or a face wash. Wash your face twice — morning and evening. Wash well to remove even the last trace of soap and splash with cold water. Apply light moisturising baby lotion to protect skin and keep it soft.

Teenage years:

THIS IS the most important time to look after your skin, as it is prone to get affected by hormonal changes that lead to oiliness and an outburst of acne. The skin is otherwise supple and firm, but greasy, and is inclined to be shiny with open pores and blackheads as a result of the over-activity of the sebaceous glands. To fight against this excess, do the following:

*Follow an appropriate cleaning routine to keep the pores free of clogged sebum. Wash your face in warm water using a non-alkaline soap. Nothing will do your skin more good than washing it twice a day, with a good face wash. After cleaning, you can either use a commercial brand of astringent or a natural one like rose water, cucumber juice or lemon juice mixed with water. This helps to close the pores too. Use face-packs once a week. Beat one egg white and add a few drops of lemon. Apply it on the face and keep it on for 15 minutes and wash.

*At night - Clean your face with soap/face wash. If you use make up, remove it with a liquid make-up remover - and complete the procedure by cleaning with an astringent.

*In the morning - After washing with soap and water/face wash, freshen your skin with a skin tonic having a small spirit content. Then apply a moisturising lotion specially formulated for oily skin or calamine lotion.

* Twice a week treat your skin to a face scrub. Mix oats with milk, apply on the face and scrub in a circular motion. Concentrate on clogged pores and blackhead areas. Wash thoroughly with hot water.

* Acne/pimples are the major problems during teenage years. This is primarily due to changes in hormonal levels in the system, which manifests itself by inflammation at the mouth of the sebaceous glands. If you suffer from acne, follow the steps given below:

Dos & Don'ts

*Avoid using oil-based creams, ointments and make-up products.

*Do not rub, squeeze or pick pustules.

*Follow skin-care routine scrupulously.

*Do not use any beauty soaps or moisturisers. Use a medicated soap.

*Try to have regular sleeping hours. Odd sleeping hours can flare-up all these problems.

*Supplement your diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, fruit juice and let there be B-Complex tablet and one Spirulina capsule intake.

* Avoid deep fried foods like puri, vada, samosa and so on .

*In case of severe acne, consult the doctor.

Precautions to be taken:

AVOID USING cosmetics which contain vaseline.

Choose non-alkaline soap/face wash.

Night routine for acne:

Remove your make up with a liquid make-up remover. Wash with soap and water and then apply an anti-pimple/acne cream or chandan paste made by rubbing a chandan stick on a rough surface with water and leave it on, whole night. Wash in the morning.

Morning routine for acne:

WIPE YOUR face with an anti-acne lotion. Let this lotion dry naturally. If you do not want to use an acne lotion, use an astringent or rose water. Apply calamine lotion. This acts like a protective lotion.

Aging of skin

THE SKIN conditions change as we grow older. The horny dead surface renews every 3-4 weeks, till the Twenties. In the mid-Thirties and Forties, the renewal process takes twice the time.

* Changes occur in the complexion and tone of the skin. The complexion looks dull and the skin tone vitality diminishes.

Facts on aging skin

* With age, the sweat and oil glands decrease in number and size and become sluggish. Hence, your skin requires more nourishing and moisturising.

* While the entire mass of the body shrinks with age, the overlying skin sags and creases in the form of wrinkles; hence face massage is good for you.

* As we grow old, there is a breakdown of collagen which gives the skin its elasticity. The body fluids dry out and the bones and muscles lose tissues.

* Lastly, there is substantial decline in the number of blood vessels in the skin resulting in the slowing down of circulation. The skin becomes increasingly sensitive to heat and cold.

From 20 To 35:

THIS IS the time when you peak endocrinologically (when you have reached your maximum hormone levels). Your oil and sweat glands are most active. Your sense of smell and taste are most acute.

* Oily skin is an ongoing problem; so as long as it persists, frequent washing with soap and water can be helpful. This is also the time when you may again get acne which is usually due to a hormonal imbalance. So, follow the dos and don'ts of acne, it will vanish as fast as it comes.

* Large pores are another problem you will experience during these years because oily skin and acne contribute to this condition.

* To control open pores - use astringent or rose water daily. Another thing you can do is to mix tomato juice and honey and apply on the skin daily for 10 minutes and rinse.

* Exposure to sunlight needs to be carefully done. This is the time when everyone is on a fitness binge and you spend your time more outdoors walking and swimming. So the amount of sun/UV radiation you get is bound to be considerable. Hence protecting yourself from UV radiation is necessary. Use a good sunscreen with SP 15 and above. Follow the routine given below:

Twenties:

SELECT A skin-care routine according to your skin type.

* Cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day.

* Protect your skin from the sun and pollutants.

* Remember to remove all make-up before bed time.

* Establish a healthy lifestyle of balanced diet at regular times.

* Take care to have eight hours of beauty sleep.

Thirties:

HAVE REGULAR salon facials to cleanse and tone the skin.

* If you have dry skin, increase your daily moisturisation.

* Pay special attention to areas around your eyes. Start using specialised products for cleansing and nourishing.

* These are child-bearing years for women and you can be prone to Chloasma (hyper-pigmentation). If pigmentation worsens, seek professional help of a dermatologist.

* Avoid the sun. If you go out, use a sunscreen.

Thirty-five to fifty:

IT IS about now that your skin is getting thinner, less elastic. It begins to show changes in pigment. Colour is no longer uniform. You have set groves on the upper lip, around your eyes and forehead. The skin glands become sluggish. Capillaries and veins become noticeable.

Follow this routine:

REGULAR EXFOLIATION with masks or scrubs helps to step-up cell renewal and removal of dead skin. Use oats and milk and apply on the face; let it dry - rub in circular motion and wash. Do it once a week.

* Salon facials, with massage, toning and nourishing is necessary once a month. Talk to your beautician and select your facial. The thermo-herb facial is the best for this age and is like a mini face-lift.

* Follow an intensive regime of moisturising.

Fifties:

WRINKLES AND creases show prominently. The skin becomes extremely dry. Dark brown spots would become too common.

Do the following:

* Once a week, apply a face pack. Take malai (paal aadai) or cream, add a few drops of lavender oil. Apply on your face, keep it on for 20 minutes and wash with warm water.

* For exfoliation, use the oats and milk scrub once a week.

* Dry skin is more of a problem as you get older. A standard moisturiser is not enough. Exfoliation helps for diminished skin-cell replacement as well as natural lubricant production.

Try the following:

* Scrub for dry skin - take a large pinch of crushed almonds, add � spoon of the nourishing cream you are using and massage well into your skin. Keep it on for 15 to 30 minutes and then wash.

* Separate the yolk from the white of an egg. Beat up the yolk with a little olive oil and spread the mixture evenly on your face and neck. Leave for 25 minutes and wash with luke warm water.

* Try almond oil with few drops of essential oil of patcholi (available at Health & Glow) and apply morning and night, and then apply moisturiser.

* If you are not a great follower of the beauty-routine, at least do daily nourishment with light massage. This will help to keep the skin soft - good for men too. Pay more attention to neck and use upward massage strokes.

* Continue daily care of the region around the eyes.

Remember your face is a mirror to your personality during any age. Take care of it right from the beginning.

LILY MADHOK