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Be Aware of Yourself

Yes!  Be aware of yourself, your body, your skin!!

It is important that we are aware of how our skin reacts to every situation, every contact; as well as the way our stomach reacts to everything we consume.  If you will remember from the earlier pages I have written, it is really important to have a clean stomach to have clear skin.

As for changes, reactions our skin exhibits to any situation or contact…… remember that we are constantly exposed to dust, exhaust fumes, contaminated water.  Again, if you will remember I had mentioned in one of my earlier pages that you should be careful what object you touch in public place and how you prevent contact of bacteria with our skin.

Always carry Hand Sanitiser and clean wet tissues. 

In summer, and if you have oily skin, ensure to keep your nose, chin and forehead free of oil accumulation.

Watch how you relax while sitting.  While sitting at a table or a desk, if you are in the habit of using your hand as a support pedestal and of resting your chin on the palm of this ‘pedestal’, then snap out of this habit as soon as possible.  Not  only are your transferring the dust, germs, etc. to your face from your hands, you are also putting stress on the muscles and cells of the skin resulting in loose, wrinkled and tired facial skin.

Some of us have the habit of constantly rubbing our eyes.  This is the main reason for those never fading ‘dark circles’ under the eyes.  There is very fine, microscopic blood cappilaries under the eyes.  Everytime we rub our eyes and under the eyes, we are hurting these cappilaries.  These cappilaries are so very delivate that, due to our vigourous rubbing, they get hurt and burst.  when we stop rubbing, these begin the healing process.  THis repeatitive action results in darkening of that particular area,  hence giving us constant dark circles and a tired and unwell look.  So, all thos with the ‘eye rubbing’ habit, please STOP rubbing your eyes….remember when you were a child, Mamma and Granny always stopped you from rubbing your eyes?!

Ensure to use scrub at least once a week on face and rest of the body to get rid of the dead cells.
It is extremely important to ensure we exfoliate our skin regularly; especially, a week or 10 days after we get waxing done, use scrub or loofa every alternate for 15 days, on our hands hand legs.  This will help to ensure, there is no ugly undergrowth of hair.  Do not forget to use astringent after exfoliating and mosturising before exposing your skin to extreme weathers.

If you notice any abscess, dry or flaky or reddish wrinkled spots, constant itching, warts on any part of your body, do not ignore.
First apply home remedies, if that does not help, rush to a good doctor.

Be aware of yourself….be aware of your body!!

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Cleopatra

Whenever we talk of beauty the names that come to our minds are Cleopatra!

CLEOPATRA
It is believed that Cleopatra used to submerge herself in a bath of milk and honey regularly, and this was believed to have been the secret behind her soft and radiant skin!
I am not surprised.  Both Milk and Honey have the properties that can provide holistic kind of nourishment to the skin.

 

Though my Granny did not know the benefits of milk and honey very scientifically, she swore by her teenage years to emphasise that there is no better moisturiser and de-tanner than MILK and HONEY.

She got me addicted to making sure I add either milk cream or sour curds along with honey in my weekly face pack.

When I was about 36 years old, I got this ‘pimple’ on the TIP of my nose!  A fine place to have a pimple I must say – like a signal light!!
I could not resist and I kept plucking at it despite knowing that by doing so I will have a scar or at least a mark left behind.  but I just could not bear the embarrassment of that pimple in that spot!!!

As expected, the bump went away from all the pucking and peeling but a nice 3mm diameter mark was left behind!  While I was admiring this trophy in the mirror one tuesday morning as I was getting dressed to go to work, my niece called up….she announced that she had taken appointment with GK Vale for shooting family portraits (photographs) on Friday!!  That was just 3 days away!!

OMG….OMG…OMG….what do I do about this mark on my nose?  Camera lens love to romance with such shameful sights.

I left for work feeling depressed and worried!  The whole day I kept breaking my head for a quick fix.  Then Eureka..!!!!!  On my way back from work it struck me and I kicked myself for forgetting such a valuable lesson learnt in teenage…..my Granny’s famous facepack!!

I did spot application of this pack on my nose twice a day starting tuesday night, ending friday morning for 20 minutes.  Also applied the pack on total face and neck on tuesday, wednesday and thursday nights for 40 minutes (20 minutes of spot application was in addition to 40 minutes of global application), and voila….. my face was as good as New!!

Recipe for this facepack is ………..
at the bottom………….

Benefits of Milk:

MILK
We all know Milk contains lactic acid.  This lactic acid helps in getting rid of dead cells from epidermal surface; so application of milk or milk cream is the easiest, quickest and most economical way of exfoliation.  This acid dissolves the protein binding the dead cells, thus helping in exfoliating and in revealing radiant skin.
The ‘animal’ protein, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants provide nourishment for stronger and decease free skin.
The ‘fat’ or grease present in milk hydrates and moisturises the skin making it soft and supple.

Milk can be used for treating skin in the form of curds as well.  When milk is curdled by a natural process it forms curds or yoghurt.

CURDS

Curds or Yoghurt is categorised as “probiotic” meaning “that which supports and is for life”.  It has been proved clinically that this substance is rich in zinc, calcium, lactic acid, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, protien and yeast along with good bacteria.
Curds or Yoghurt helps in treating pimples, cleaning and shrinking the pores (this prevents foreign deposits in skin giving raise to pimples), and improves the texture of skin. Enzymes in curds add natural oil to skin and provides a healthy glow.

Benefits of Honey:

And then there is HONEY!  Just the thought of Honey makes me believe that God created it simply because He loves us immensely!!  Honey is the greatest gift by God to mankind!  For many many centuries honey is being use for beauty and medical treatments.

HONEY

This natural nectar contains 80% sugar and rest of the 20% compiles of iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and amino acids along with Vitamin C, B and water.
Humectant qualities of honey promote retention of moisture, hence, its application on skin helps to keep skin supple and elastic and thus prevent wrinkles and dryness.
Antibacteria and antimicrobial properties of honey help prevent bacterial growth on skin and can be used for treating wounds, cuts, abrasions, acne, pimples.
Natural Antioxidants in honey protect and also fix the damage done to skin by Sun’s UV rays.  Hence, it can be used as sunscreen, de-tanner as well as scars and marks remover.

By exploiting the benefits of these two wonderful natural substances, this was the facepack my Granny suggested:
2 teaspoons of Besan (green gram powder)
1/8th teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of Rose Water

1/4th teaspoon of fresh Lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Honey

Required amount of sour (cold) Curd
Make a smooth paste of these and apply on face, leave it on for 40 minutes and wash off.  While washing, gently rub the pack in slow round motions to ensure complete exfoliation.

After washing off the facepack, do not apply anything else on face overnight.  Then in the morning, as done everyday, 15 minutes before taking shower, apply milk cream and wash off as usual.

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Milky Ways or Spirits in Smoke?

We all want to look young, but none of us really behaves young.
We all want baby skin, but sneer at and call those who have good habits as “babies” or “sissies”
What irony!!

We think that once we are adults, we should give up good habits like drinking milk.  Alcohol and cigarettes are more suited for adults, milk is for babies.

Baby Skin

Well then, in that case, why don’t you just settle for ‘adult’ skin – open pores, wrinkles, pigmentation, dehydrated, scars, acne’s….. I can go on and on….

From the moment we are born, we are fed milk.  Why? Because only in milk there are all the vitamins, proteins and minerals that are essential for development of each and every cell in our body!  When we talk of skin, well, the zinc and vitamin A help prevent acne from inside, B-complex vitamins and proteins help prevent the ageing of skin, lactic acid clears the dead cells, fat content helps to moisturise and keep the skin hydrated ……all this put together we have enough manure from inside to keep the skin firm and glowing from the outside!  Now we know why baby skin is so beautiful!!

In contrast, if we drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, we are figuratively, wringing out every ounce of water from our system.  Sure we drink water alongside while consuming these products, but then alcohol and cigarette even out the water we drink and not much is left for the skin to remain hydrated.

Left side is before getting
into habit of drinking Alcohol,
Right side is after contant
drinking for a week!

Alcohol has toxins that act as catalysts in cellulite (dead cells) build-up making the skin look blotchy and spotty.  most of us mix our spirits with cola (which already has caffeine), soda and other aerated drinks, this has completely reverse effect of drinking water.  A spirited drink not only dehydrates the skin, but also depletes the skin of vital nutrients.  resultant skin appears dull, wrinkled and aged.
The reason our face looks puffed and swollen the morning after a great party is because alcohol causes facial blood vessels to dilate.  Repeated or Over indulgence to this spirit can cause the vessels to dilate for good!
Also, any pre-exsting skin conditions becomes worse with alcohol consumption.

Similarly, smoking leads to premature ageing and wrinkles, along with serious conditions like cancer and psoriasis.  Even second-hand smokers are not spared of this curse!  That is why, at the risk of appearing rude, when I am with a smoker, I either ask them to put off their cigarette (if they are smoking) or do not give them permission to smoke (if they are decent enough to take my permission before lighting a killer).
Smoker

As per some scientific studies, cigarette smoke reduces capillaty and arteriole blood flow, thus, damaging connective tissues required for maintaining healthy skin.  Also, it has been proved through research that smoking causes skin to age much faster than harsh sunlight; and as expected women are at greater risk than men.

Why not cut down on alcohol and quite smoking, get addicted to milk drinking to help preserve those good looks?

Its no wonder that even at the age of 75 my mother looked radiant and 10 years younger than her actual age!  She never stopped drinking milk.  She drank at least 220ml daily before going to bed.
I always hated the taste of milk, but Mom made sure to get some of it down my throat every day till I got married!  So, maybe, 28 years of milk drinking has given my skin some strength to survive my vices till now!!

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You are what you eat

“You are what you eat…..and drink……”

Rather, I must say, WE are what we eat and drink!!

Almost everyone who has read my blog so far, comes up with the same question:”where are the tips?”

I started with the most basic tip yesterday and that went unnoticed! Why?  Because, the moment we talk about Skin Care, our immediate thoughts are ‘face packs, creams, lotions, cleansers….’
Sure these are definitely part of Skin Care, but, only a ‘part’ of it.  But these come much later.  First we have to have a good foundation to build anything on.

Yesterday my tips were:

  1. Being beautiful start taking roots in the teenage
  1. whenever there are hormonal changes in our system, we have to watch what we are doing with ourselves
  1. watch what you eat
  1. Quality over Quantity – this has to be the mantra of Mothers and Teenagers.
  1. “you are what you eat..”

But, for most of you these did not seem like tips, either because you are already doing all this, or because, you are not a teenager any more, or because you don’t have a teenager to take care of.
All of us are just looking for quick fix solutions.

This blog is not about quick fix. Only Television commercials have quick fix solutions, not even the products that they are endorsing!! Skin repair has to work from inside out!  Tough, but true.

You can start with a very simple regimen…. Drink Water!
Most of us don’t realise how little water we really consume.  Our lifestyle these days is such that we lose a lot of water from our system but don’t even feel it until it shows up in various forms of medical problems.

About 30 years ago, as students our outdoor activities were plenty and we didn’t have scooties, televisions and mobile phones, as professionals we didn’t have A/C offices, cars and personal phones & computers, for those at home like home-makers and senior citizens, not all houses had phones.  So,we literally had to ‘sweat it out’ to do things and to get things done.  These activities in turn used to remind us to drink water every now-&-then to keep hydrating ourselves.

In present age problem is that we don’t sweat, but a lot of our body fluid evaporates without really completely tiring us out.  We feel washed out, but can’t really put a finger on it!

Well, reasons for this type of dehydration are:

 

 
Dehydrated and uncared for Skin
  1. exposure to monitor rays of the computer dries the skin completely, especially face since it is in direct line of contact for these rays.
  1. Air Cons!  This system needs constant supply of water to keep the area cool.  So the air from in-let comes, makes contact with our skin, absorbs the moisture there and the air leaves from outlet
  1. Television rays…same as computer monitor rays….dries up the moisture in air and seeps out the same from our skin

We sit in front of the TV and PC for so long, immersed in what we are doing that we forget to take even a sip of water!  Just the way I have been doing for past 45 mins or so!!

These habits make our skin look lifeless, loose and aged – just as in the above picture.

 

When we were living in Sydney, we used to use room heaters.  Rented/Budget apartments are never centrally heated!  After three weeks, my skin started look very lifeless and scaly despite all the creams and oils I applied on it.  Then my sister told me, ‘even if it is zero degree Celsius outside, make sure you drink some water every 30 mins, and then, keep a bucket of water in front of the heater, make sure you change it every 12 hours’…. it worked!!  My skin returned to normal within a week!!

These are the environmental and lifestyle hazards that lead to de-hydration of skin.  If the skin is not well hydrated, no matter what soap you use or not use, what oils, creams, lotions, fruits packs you apply, its of no use.  Hydration HAS to happen from inside.

How much water to drink?

Frankly speaking…. drink as much water as your body asks for!
There cannot be a measure for the amount of water one needs to drink.  Since each of us has different life styles, each of our hydration or de-hydration levels would be different.

Ideally, human body requires 20 minutes to absorb 200ml of water and 30 minuted to purge the same amount from system. So, logically, we ought to drink 200 ml of water every 50 mins.  This again would differ based on individual physiological make up.

One needs to be extremely, extremely, disciplined and regimented to be able to make sure of drinking water every 50 mins!  So just go by the intuition and need.  But make sure to follow this easy regimen and it will soon become a good habit:-

  1. As soon as you wake up, drink one glass of water.  I do this even before I step out of my bed
  1. Brush your teeth, eat your 12 almonds and drink another glass of water
  1. Drink you coffee, have your shower, and as you come out of the bathroom, drink the 3rd glass of water
  1. Get ready,  have you breakfast, 4th glass of water
  1. Run to work/school/wherever, reach you desk, drink a glass of water
  1. 1st break after 2 periods at school or coffee time at work – drink a glass of water
  1. drink a glass of water 30 minutess before actual consumption of lunch – if possible.
  1. a glass of water 10 minutess after consumption of food
  1. tea time, school break – calls for a glass of water
  1. Students reach home – a glass of water.  Adults 5/6pm time for a glass of water
  1. Students back home from play, adults back home from work – a glass of water
  1. finished dinner, a glass of water
  1. bed-time, settled in bed – a glass of water

See, not so difficult.  If you will notice, these are the times when you generally drink water.  Just make sure you don’t miss out these glasses of water.  In addition, if you can gulp another glass of water here and there while breaking your head on a power-point presentation at work, or boring lecture in school/college, it will be ideal!

When our Vedic scholars wrote “Water is the Essence of Life”, they knew what they were writing!

 
Munnar, Kerala…..God’s Own Country

ATHARVAVEDA – CHAPTER 1

(3) APSVANTARMRITMAPSU BHESHAJAM |

————-(4/4 Atharvaveda)

Water is,the elixir of life, water has medicinal value.

Water is the primary necessity of the human body. Water is alike the elixir of life because of which the body is purified and we become energetic. Water also possesses medicinal value. It frees the body from different doshas (ailments) and is known as Bheshagya. It gives us good health, happiness and Contentment.

So, that means “Water is the Essence of Beauty”!!

Saddest part is that most of us know this, but avoid drinking water just to avoid visiting washrooms!  Well, we really need to get our priorities right!!

  • We know water washes away a lot of toxins from our system a cleans it.
  • We know water helps in digestion and absorbtion of protiens, vitamines and minerals into our system
  • We know 80% of our body is made up of water, so, we need to replace it whenever we lose it.

Bust still…. we all need constant reminder to drink water!!

See my next page for more ‘tips’.