The beauty spot

Worried about your skin? Our expert will come to your rescue

I am in my 30s. I wax my underarms regularly (depending on the hair growth) But I can’t get rid of dark patches. Are there any natural home remedies for this condition?
— Malini Menon

Dark underarms are a result of the accumulation of dead skin cells, hormonal changes, pregnancy, chemicals in hair removal creams, deodorants and perfumes, medical conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Creams containing kojic acid, glycolic acid, arbutin and vitamin E work to reduce the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the substance that gives the skin its pigment, the more the melanin, darker is the skin. Skin lightening agents reduce the pigmentation by inhibiting melanin from coming up. Using a sunscreen twice a day reduces the chances of sun sensitivity.

You can treat dark underarms by applying a mixture of honey, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder on the affected area and washing it off.

I am suffering from severe hair loss. What kind of hair regimen should I follow? Can you recommend some treatment for it?  — Ranjit Gowda

You haven’t mentioned your age. Often men not just in their 30s, 40s but even in late 20s have a receding hairline and suffer from hair loss. To help prevent this, increase the protein content in your diet. Also, take some oral supplements with vitamins like biotin and minerals like selenium, zinc, to help promote hair growth. Minoxidil-based hair solutions also help in stopping hair loss and increase temporary hair growth. But you must first consult a doctor, as it is always safer to be under medical supervision. You can also shave off your hair permanently or undergo a hair transplant.

I am in my 20s and I have sensitive skin. I have heard a lot about Korean beauty products and I was wondering what I need to keep in mind while trying a face mask or a cream.  — Naima

Yes, Korean beauty products are excellent, but since you have sensitive skin, you need to be extra cautious when you choose your products. Even a simple scrub bought over the counter can cause irritation or rash on your type of skin. It is best to allow a doctor to examine your skin and suggest the ingredients to look for in face masks or creams.

I am a working professional in my 30s and I wish to keep my feet healthy. I hardly have the time to go in for a foot spa or pedicure. Can you recommend a foot pampering routine that I can try during weekends? — Raji Prakash

Cracked feet develop when the skin on your feet get dry and it is a common problem in people who have to stand for long hours. Wear rubber slippers at home, don’t walk bare-footed. You can add half an avocado or the flesh of half a coconut to a blender along with a banana to form a thick and creamy paste. Avocados and coconuts are rich in several essential oils and fat-soluble vitamins. This paste will nourish your skin with the vitamins and oils it requires to stay soft and moisturised. This paste can be used to treat and prevent dry cracked heels.

Alternatively, you can soak your feet in water with juice of half a lemon, for about 10 minutes, and then rub it gently with a pumice stone. Lemon juice is a mild natural acid and helps in the removal of dead and dry skin.

(The author is the founder of SkinLab)

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