I've always believed that building a strong relationship with your skin is the first step to achieving a smoother, softer and clearer complexion. Whether it’s following a new skincare routine or experimenting with a natural home remedy using the raw ingredients from your kitchen, we urge you to give them a shot. After all, it’s only after you try every trick in the book that you will be able to figure out for yourself what works best for your skin. Read up on reviews, get in touch with skin experts, eat clean and pay attention to your skin type before settling for any skin treatment. To make your life easier, we’re going to tell you everything under the sun about how to take care of your skin. Yes ladies, brace yourselves because, by the time you finish reading this piece, you’ll be a changed woman! Months from now, your skin will look and feel its best. (Good luck!)
Let’s break this down for you, your skin type is influenced by genetics, stress, diet, hormonal fluctuations, your skincare regime and, most importantly, how much oil your skin produces. According to these factors, your skin type can even change from time to time. The easiest way to zero in on what your skin type is to take a fresh facial tissue and use it to wipe your face when you wake up in the morning. After all, that’s when your skin is in its most natural form. Out of the 5 skin types, normal, oily, dry, sensitive and combination, we help you determine which one you have. Shall we begin?
Your skin is characterised by a greasy sheen, especially on the T-zone and the cheeks. Enlarged pores, blackheads and breakouts are problems you commonly deal with thanks to the excess production of oil by your sebaceous glands. Oiliness can increase in times of stress, hormonal fluctuations (during PMS, for instance) and a rise in humidity. The good news is that oily skin is less prone to wrinkling and ageing as compared to dry skin.
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You’re blessed if this is your skin type since you have a radiant complexion and the least problematic skin. With very few imperfections and skin that is supple and elastic, you don’t need to do much to keep yourself looking smooth and flawlessly young.
POPxo Recommends: O3+ Deep Concern 2 Brighten Up Tonic Normal Skin (Rs 920)
Your skin is often flaky and can feel tight from time to time, especially after cleansing, and it can also look pale and dull at other times. Fine lines, wrinkles and red patches are common for those with dry skin. When your skin is extremely dry, it can become rough, itchy and start peeling and even turn scaly on your arms and legs.
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A very common skin type, this is a combination of oily and dry. Women who have combination skin generally have an oily T-zone, accompanied with dry patches on the cheeks and the undereye area.
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This is, by far, the most problematic and delicate skin type. Sensitive skin can become very dry and tight and is prone to redness and gets inflamed very easily. It requires the maximum amount of care as you have to constantly watch out for irritation and blemishes.
POPxo Recommends: Aroma Magic Sensitive Skin Oil (Rs 375)
A great way to start the day is to stretch like a rubberband. As you wake up in the morning, make it a point to follow this skincare tip. You can lie on your bed and do this. Stretch your legs, hands and facial muscles. Lift your eyebrows, blink your eyes, open and close your mouth. Stretching every morning will improve your mood, flexibility, productivity, blood circulation and the elasticity of your skin. Yes, ladies, every stretch makes you even prettier!
The secret to beautiful skin has always been guzzling lots of water. Before you have your breakfast, make sure you have a tall glass of warm water on an empty stomach. You may not know this, but when you sleep, your skin loses moisture. Thus, it looks dehydrated when you wake up. Which is why you should start your day with a glass of warm water. It will improve the texture of your skin by making it feel smooth, hydrated and supple.
You want a piece of good skincare advice? Don’t skip breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day for your energy levels and your skin. Fill your bowl with lots of oats, berries and apples, as they’re packed with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants. Eggs and Greek yoghurt are also fabulous sources of protein. All these foods will keep your skin healthy and glowing throughout the day.
Swap your coffee mug for a cup of green tea instead. A healthier choice and the kind that does more good than bad. It’s packed with flavonoids, prevents skin inflammation, makes you look forever young, helps flush out toxins and speeds up metabolism. Now, with green tea as your super weapon, you can have the perfect skin and bod at the same time! Isn’t that amazing?
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If you ask us, this skincare trick is gold! For puffy-looking skin, using a facial mist is a must. Put your favourite facial mist in the fridge and spray some of it on your face when you wake up. It reduces puffiness, hydrates your skin and keeps you looking bright and fresh. (If you don’t have a facial mist, chilled rose water will also work like a charm!)
POPxo Recommends: Kama Ayurveda Pure Rose Water (Rs 250)
Never leave your house without applying sunscreen. Do it before you apply your make-up and re-apply from time to time during the day. It will protect your skin from getting damaged by the sun and reduce signs of ageing. Don’t just apply it on your face, but on your hands, lips, neck, legs, and the delicate eye area too.
POPxo Recommends: Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream Mild SPF 35 PA+++ (Rs 700)
Instead of working out at night, wake up early in the morning and do the drill! Whether it’s walking, running, skipping, cycling, squats, planks or hardcore gymming, do it in the morning. It will boost your mood, keep you energized and give your skin a healthy glow.
Not a fan of regular water or green tea? No worries! Organic aloe juice makes a fab alternative. Restoring your skin from dryness and burns, it also gives your skin a healthy glow by providing it with Vitamin E, B and C. It’s one of the best and most natural ways to look pretty all day!
If you have oily, tanned skin, tomatoes will benefit you immensely. Due to their acidic nature, you won’t ever have to deal with acne on your face, back or derrière ever again. Packed with Vitamin A and C, tomatoes help detan, reduce oiliness and give your skin a healthy glow.
Step 1: Take the pulp of a couple of raw tomatoes.
Step 2: Zest a lemon and sprinkle its peels all over the pulp.
Step 3: Add a few lemon drops and mix well.
Step 4: Gently apply the pack all over your body.
Step 5: Once the mask dries up, you can wash it off.
Try this twice every week!
For that healthy, radiant glow, you must give your skin the nourishment it deserves. Carrot juice and honey drops are perfect for the skin because it makes it baby soft and banishes any early signs of ageing. Why honey?! Simply because it has antibacterial properties and prevents acne and pimples. Carrots, on the other hand, contain Vitamin C, A and K, which help improve the skin’s texture.
Step 1: Pour 2 cups of carrot juice into a bowl.
Step 2: Add a tablespoon of honey to the juice and give it a good stir.
Step 3: Dip your fingers into the bowl and apply the orange paste to your arms, legs, neck and back.
Step 4: Wait for 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water after.
Do this once a week and you’re good to go!
Battling with marks and scars on your body? You need natural olive oil in your life. It has Vitamin D, C, E and antioxidants that help repair damaged skin cells and improves the skin’s natural complexion.
Step 1: Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl.
Step 2: Add the juice of half a lemon and stir using your finger.
Step 3: Apply it onto your face and give your skin a good massage.
Step 4: After 25 minutes, wipe it off using a warm, damp cloth.
Do this every alternate day for a month for best results.
Did you know that avocados are rich in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids that help give your skin a radiant glow? If that’s not awesome enough, you must know that bananas too are packed with potassium and vitamins that help promote healthy, smooth skin. When you mix both ingredients, you’re left with a nourishing skin pack.
Step 1: In a bowl, add 1 cup of avocado pulp.
Step 2: Peel one banana and mash it up using the end of the spoon.
Step 3: Toss the mashed banana into the bowl of pulp and add half a cup of water.
Step 4: Apply it to your skin and wash it off with warm water soon after.
Once every two weeks is more than enough.
Another fabulous natural ingredient used for treating oily and dull skin is pudina leaves! Including these minty leaves in your homemade skin pack will help soothe infected skin and strengthen tissues. You’ll have bright, happy skin in no time!
Step 1: Take a bunch of pudina leaves and mash them up.
Step 2: Toss the leaves into a bowl and add 2 spoons of rose water.
Step 3: Dip a brush into the cool liquid and spread the natural paste all over your body.
Step 4: Wait for half an hour before you wash it off with cold water.
Try this once a week for positive results.
Pamper your skin using aloe vera gel as it has minerals, vitamins and active compounds. Keeping your skin hydrated, nourished and fresh, you will be hooked on using this homemade skin pack.
Step 1: Scoop the gel out of one aloe leaf and empty it into a bowl.
Step 2: Add half a spoon of turmeric and drizzle some honey over it.
Step 3: Apply the pack to your skin and leave it on for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse off using lukewarm water.
Once at night and once in the morning and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Before we bid adieu, here are 10 skincare tips I think you'd find useful.
1. If you have dry and cracked lips, I would suggest that you layer your lips with a thick coat of honey. This helps to heal your lips and make them smooth and soft.
2. Go to bed early. Make sure that you are in bed by 10 pm as your skin tends to repair itself from 10pm-2am.
3. Remove your makeup with the help of coconut oil and don't forget to massage your focal points later. It helps to keep your skin soft, supple and boosts blood circulation.
4. Don't leave your home without applying sunscreen. Start at SPF 15 and keep going higher with time and post a consulting your dermatologist. It will prevent you from getting cancer, wrinkles and sunspots.
5. Make sure that your diet consists of leafy veggies, nuts and fruits. Walnuts, flaxseeds, apples, watermelon, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and other such foodstuffs.
6. As much as your tempted to pop that zit, do not! In fact, avoid touching your face. The less amount of time that you touch your face, the better. It prevents the transfer of germs and bacteria from your fingers to your face.
7. Drink around 6-7 glasses of water every day. It helps to clear up your skin and gives it a soft, radiant glow.
8. Twice a week, you can exfoliate. You can extend the duration of scrubbing, but make sure that you're rubbing gently.
9. Since the skin around your eyes is the thinnest, you might want to apply a bit of eye cream. You can even place cucumber slices on your eyes to keep the skin around your eyes relaxed and hydrated.
10. Just how Cleopatra once did, you too must bathe in a tub of milk and honey at least once every three months. Since milk contains lactic acid and honey has antibacterial properties, you'll have the softest and smoothest skin ever!
11. If you smoke, maybe now it's the time to call it quits. Smoking is not only terrible for your lungs, but it can ruin your skin as well as it speeds up the ageing process.
12. For fresh and clear skin, befriend the toner. Pick one up that contains no alcohol, fragnance, methol or colour as it can damage your skin and cause breakouts.
13. Make it a point to drink a cup of green tea every morning. These tiny leaves are loaded with antioxidants which are good for your skin and help it give a clear and radiant glow.
14. If that's too bitter for you, then you probably might want to sip on coconut water. It contains electrolytes which are super essential for your skin.
15. Before splurging on products, test it on a patch of skin first. If it agrees with your skin you can buy it, if it doesn't then don't take the risk of investing in it.
16. Use a body buffer once in a while to massage your body. It helps boost blood circulation and makes skin bright and oh so soft.
17. I might sound like your mother, but take it from me, too much of alcohol can damage your skin. It can cause it to dehydrate and age faster. What you need to do is after drinking a glass of liquor, down a glass of water after. Keep doing this with every shot and you will never wake up with a hangover or parched skin.
18. If you like making your own body scrubs at home, I suggest that you use olive oil and brown sugar as ingredients. These will make your skin smooth and nourished at the same time.
19. Before going to bed, apply a thick layer of Vaseline and put your socks on. In the morning, you'll wake up to soft, smooth and happy feet. Yes, just like a baby's bottom.
20. Berries make a yummy snack for your skin. You can either mash them up and use it as a paste or you can eat them with a bowl of yoghurt. Both ways your skin will benefit from them.
21. If your skin is prone to get inflamed I suggest that apply some yoghurt over it and wait for 5-10 minutes before washing your face. This helps to keep your skin cool and hydrated at the same time.
22. Instead of using shaving cream, apply coconut oil to your legs and then use the razor. Trust me, it makes a better shaving experience.
23. One way to boost the production of elastin and collagen is to eat foods that are rich in protein. Lentils, meats, fish, eggs, soy and cheese are the options you should go ahead with.
24. No matter how tired you are, don't go to sleep without washing your face. Keep your pores squeaky clean and you will automatically keep the bacteria at bay.
25. Speaking of food, keep away from junk food as it's oily and greasy. Opt for food that contains less or no oil and your skin will reward you by looking its best.
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