It is said that our face is the window to our soul. Most of us are proud of our striking facial feature. For some it is their bright bold eyes, for some a sharp jawline, for others a dazzling smile, a chistled nose, and for a lucky handful all of these. I have however always believed that a healthy skin tops the list!
If genetics has given you the skin you love or hate, you cannot do much except try to maintain or improve with lifestyle routines. Your Lifestyle plays the biggest role on the quality of your skin.
Like any other teenager I used to have break outs frequently during school days. I blame the hormones, junk food and the hot Abu Dhabi weather for the same. I've had some friends who has had severe acne problems and some others who wouldn't even get a zit!
Some of the prime reasons for poor facial skin:
1- Hormonal imbalance: This is one of the causes of your excessively oily skin. And also if you are on certain types of medication, they could mess with your hormones. So always double check on this factor if you are suffering from terrible acne issues.
2- Weather and pollution: People who live in cold regions tend to suffer from dry skin (learnt from my experience after the tours to Europe). Those who live in hot regions tend to have breakouts with all that heat and sweating (Lived all my life in Abu Dhabi and summers gave me zits as red as tomatoes). Now those who live in horribly polluted cities tend to have really dull skin (from my current experience living in Mumbai).
3- Dabbing cosmetics daily: Most of us have reached a sorry stage where one cannot recognize us if we don’t have any make-up on. If you notice that your lips no longer have their natural colors or skin has lost the lustre you should know why. A basic kohl liner everyday will not hurt, but you got to understand that from your foundation to highlighters, every single product contains chemicals and it is bad on the long run.
4- Poor diet: Indulging in oily foods and sweets everyday? You are hurting not just the skin but your whole body. Not taking enough fresh wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy dairy products? You are not going to have your healthy skin for long.
5- Lack of water intake: Water is prime! Enough said.
Now for some tips you can follow to keep your face looking fresh and clear:
1- Water therapy: During a phase of irregular periods about 4 years ago, I was not keen on taking tables prescribed by my gynaecologist. This is when I started water therapy which set my monthly cycles on track and better yet started clearing my skin even in hot UAE weather. I suggested the same to others with similar issues and I was happy to know how most of them had their pimple problem resolved.
Water therapy is not too hard. Before bedtime keep a bottle of water beside you. Upon waking up in the morning drink the whole bottle of water and then proceed to the toilet. Initially you will not be able to drink more than 300ML in a go. But bring it up to 600ML and follow the routine religiously for visible results in just a month.
2- Moisturizing is vital: You’ve got to use a good moisturizer. Ditch that tube of Fair & Lovely. Go to your dermatologist and get good reliable moisturizer that is good for you. Brands like Cetaphil works well for a combination skin like mine.
3- Facewash and scrub is a must: Again a mandatory routine to follow. If you spend a lot of time outdoors you need to get rid of the dirt and sweat off your face. If you have the habit of sleeping with make-up on, that’s really bad too. DO NOT USE your ordinary soap on your face, it dries out the skin terribly. I personally do not use a store bought make-up remover. I use virgin coconut oil to get the make up rubbed off and then use my face wash cum scrub to remove the oil. I personally recommend the Neutrogena Invigorating scrub (It serves the purpose of a face wash and scrub and leaves your face feeling fresh and minty.)
4- Aloe vera as your night time moisturizer: Now I think I mentioned this on another post, but if I have to re-mention it you should understand how effective this is. Simple thing to do if you have aloe-vera growing in your garden: Cut a whole fleshy stem, wrap it in cling wrap and store it in your refrigerator. Every night before sleep, on your clean face, rub the cold flesh of a small cut piece from the chilled stem. Once it dries you won’t feel a thing. Sleep well and wash it off tomorrow. This is a very effective routine for youthful facial skin. Google why aloe-vera is good for you!!
5- SPECIAL FOR BRIDES TO BE: Coconut water on empty stomach: Now I don’t know if this is approved in science. But this sure does work like magic to keep your skin clear. Try drinking “FRESH” coconut water first thing in the morning and witness the difference in just a month! Again, I don’t know if your packaged or canned coconut water gives you the same effect, they don’t even taste the same as fresh. So just break a coconut every morning! This is self-pampering!
6- Choose beauty treatments wisely: Salon treatments claim a big list of benefits. Especially some of the highly priced services simply is a waste of money. If you have really close friends who worked as facial technicians ask them how truly beneficial are some of those treatments. Most of them suggest the expensive facials to desperate clients to mint some easy money. If you thought a single gold or diamond facial instantly gives you radiance you are so wrong. If you are ready to spend a nice bundle of notes on facial treatments, choose treatments that work in sessions at least to see visible results. Because one session will bring no change, rather make it a routine to have an effect. In all honesty a simple intense clean-up once a month or once in two months is good enough to clear pores and freshen up your face.
Some of my life saving home-made face packs:
Since I have a combination skin I have tried all the below and they are my absolute favorite home made face packs.
1- For dry skin: In a little blender add 1 teaspoon of fresh-cream and 1 fresh strawberry. Blend it till its literally a strawberry cream. Apply it for about 30 minutes and wash off. Try not to lick it! Alternatively you can also make a small batch and keep it stored in a jar in your refrigerator ONLY if you use it everyday (this mixture gets spoilt in about 3-4 days because there are no added preservatives and strawberry rots fast, so ideally make a small batch or make the required quantity daily.)
Note: Since cream is fat, discontinue use if you think you are developing pimples. This is a very recommended pack for extremely dry skin.
2- For all skin: Mix ½ teaspoon aloevera gel + ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil + ½ teaspoon glycerine to get a white paste. Apply for 20-30 mins and wash using your scrub. Ideal to follow twice a week.
Note: Make sure the aloevera gel you buy is from a good pharmacy/health store. Many brands online are not authentic. I buy mine from the health supplement store GNC.
3- For Oily skin: Mix 1 tablespoon gram flour + ½ teaspoon sandalwood powder + rosewater to make a nice paste. Apply until it dries and wash off with lukewarm water (no facewash required). If you have a bad tan you want to get rid of, replace the rosewater with a spoon fresh curd.
DISCLAIMER: Above tips and recommendations are from my personal experiences. I am not sponsored by any brands in this post to mention their products. What works for one skin type may or may not work on another. If you think you could be allergic to any ingredients please do a patch test before experimenting on the face.