The lustre of alabaster skin

The advantages of tonal dressing are many — wearing a single-coloured outfit immediately lends an air of quiet sophistication to your look without letting on that you are trying too hard to impress.

Skin care regime.

A smart plan to keep our weight and health in check is an eternal, coveted pursuit of all and so also is the dream to maintain a perfect skincare routine to look and feel the best. Here’s a quick guide that delves deeper into the concept of healthy skincare, decodes popular rituals and uncovers skincare gems that contribute towards alabaster-like skin!

“If you want your skin to look healthy and glowing, the most important regimen is the regular use of sunscreen. Exposure to sun causes wrinkles, age spots, and pigmentary disorders. Always use a sunscreen with minimum SPF 15. Using a night cream with a small amount of alpha or beta-hydroxy acids acts as a good anti-ageing formula,” reveals Dr Sachith Abraham, MD, consultant dermatologist, Dr Sachith’s Skin Clinic and Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore. 

Stressing on how the most basic, yet integral thing to do is follow a simple and doable skincare routine daily, Dr Chytra V Anand, cosmetic dermatologist, founder and CEO, Kosmoderma and Medispas, elucidates, “Cleansing should always be followed by toning and moisturising depending upon your skin type. Never skip the toner after cleansing if you have oily skin. The same rule applies with moisturising if you have dry skin. Include a cleanser with Hyaluronic acid if you have dehydrated skin. It’s also mandatory to include oral antioxidants and retinol into your skincare regime if you’ve crossed 25 years of age.” 

Citing how essential oils are a Pandora’s box full of antioxidants, Shubhika Jain, beauty expert and founder of Ras Luxury Oils states, “Essential oils are packed with vitamins and are vital for the skin. Each oil has specific uses which you can tailor to your skincare regime and use for their aromatherapy benefits. For your face, using a facial oil with pure cold pressed plant oils and essential oils twice a day will help lock in moisture, regenerate and repair damaged skin cells. It is important to know which face oil is suitable for your skin type. Go in for products with lightweight and non-comedogenic oils such as rosehip, jojoba and pomegranate.” She further adds, “Hydrating and toning using a steam distilled hydrosol-based (alcohol-free) toner will keep an even tone and balance oil production and reduce the size of pores. Slather deeply nourishing body oils for supple looking skin.”

Contrary to the mantra of majority wins, beauty entrepreneur Sunila Johnson, operations partner, Wink Salon and Spa adds, “Understand your lifestyle, skin type, skin condition, and budget before you dive into the world of skincare shopping. Never buy a product only because it’s popular. Most women are guilty of buying products without reading the instructions written on the bottles. Always read the key ingredients of a product that you’re buying. Sulphate and alcohol products are always ideal choices. And always opt for water-based make-up. And while focussing on skincare, don’t overlook the skin around your eyes which is very sensitive. The skin around the eyes is 10 times finer than the skin on the rest of the face.” 

Power of exfoliation

Despite having heard of how crucial this step is in the skincare regime, not many know when and how to exfoliate. Dr Sachith adds, “Exfoliating the skin helps to remove old cells and debris and reveal fresher, younger-looking skin. Regular exfoliation helps to induce new collagen inside the skin. Exfoliation can be mechanical using microdermabrasion machine or dermaplaning. Chemical exfoliation is using alpha or beta hydroxy acids and is one of the most common cosmetic procedures done worldwide. Lasers can also be used to exfoliate. Going by a similar ideology, Dr Chytra explains, “Once you cross the age of 25, the old skin doesn’t shed as efficiently and effortlessly as it did in your early 20s. Therefore, depending on your skin’s health, two kinds of exfoliation are recommended — once a deep exfoliation from a dermat every month and some DIY natural scrubs and home masks. Indian skin is sadly mostly dehydrated and tanned. Tan isn’t awful because of the enhanced pigment but because it is a sign of damaged skin. Always keep a mist that you can spray onto your face regularly as it helps in hydration.”

Entrepreneur Sharmeen Fathima, founder of Chennai Soap Company, avers the importance of a different routine. “The right skincare process is to choose good, natural or organic products which contain no preservatives and are gentle on the skin. Each one likes to follow a different routine but the idea should be to choose natural products. Exfoliating is very important to unclog pores and remove excess oil and dead cells from the skin. It helps oily and acne-prone skin. However, too much of it can make the skin dry. Once or twice a week is recommended,” Sharmeen adds.

Korean skin regime decoded

“Korean skincare regimen may not be suitable for Indians as our skin has unique issues which may not be addressed by these new fads. Indian skin tends to get pigmented easily but wrinkles less than that of Westerners due to the natural melanin in our skin. Indians tend to have a mixture of Western and Asian skin and each type of skin must be treated individually, as one treatment may not work for all kinds of skin problems,” says Dr Sachith Abraham. On the brighter side, Dr Chytra believes there is no harm in giving it a try. “They are quite revolutionary, and a lot of research goes into the regimen. Korean spa drug control is very strict in what they agree for. So, skincare is done with a lot of care. That said, Korean skincare per say doesn’t do anything different — except for newer research molecules. Koreans in general are after whitening and pore reduction. Some of their hits have been apple stem serum and snail serum, where mucus of the snail is used,” she adds.

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The lustre of alabaster skin

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