Sunday 20 November 2011
Winter is just not about warm clothes, fireside reading, snuggling close to the pillows wrapped from head to toe with a comfy quilt. It is time to battle the cold winds that hampers your body and hair. A little care will keep the wintry troubles at bay.
You can also treat your hair with oil massage once or twice a week Olive oil can wonders in reinforcing moisture to your hair. Heat the oil before using and allow it to soak for a time lesser than the time you allot for the summer season. Too long a period of soaking hair in oil can get you ill. If you are used to treating your hair with or herbal oil do not soak it for a long time. Herbal ingredients are mostly cooling agents that are more suitable for the summer. Keep away from washing your hair too frequently.
Woolen clothing like hats, scarves and turtlenecks can cause damage to your hairline. Since they can cause breakage, first cover your hair with a silk scarf before exposing it to winter wraps.
It is the appropriate time for split ends to work their way up to the hair shafts. Hence trim your split ends.
Avoid exposing your hair to frequent coloring, streaking, or ironing as they can rob your hair off its moisture and it is advisable to avoid heating appliances on your hair.
Expose your hair to natural drying. Keep away from blow dryers. If you have to use, use one with a hood.
Always cover your hair with a silk fabric to guard it from the chill winds.
Pamper you skin with a little coconut oil before bath to heal dryness and chaps. Use a creamy soap that renders that extra suppleness to your skin.
Moisturizers and cold creams are a must in the winters. Apply some good cold cream on your face before going to bed. Moisten your skin with a good or a creamy hand and body lotion. My best buy is ' Jergens' hand and body lotion.
Add a few drops of oil to the water that you are using to bath. This will help retain the moisture lost when bathing. Avoid using very hot water during winter as it can decrease the natural oils of your skin. Instead shorten your bath time.
Hands, legs and nails
When treating your legs add a few drops of oil in the water that you use to soak them. With regards to hands, try using rubber gloves while immersing them in water. Use a base coat over your nails against the cold weather.
A good petroleum jelly will be an effective cover over your lips against the cold weather. Butter is effective in curing chapped lips and renders an extra softness.
So get ready to shield your body against the winter threats.
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Wednesday 20 July 2011
The thought of walking out that door with pressed clothes and neat hair is nearly frightful in the wet season. One downpour and your hair is all limp, your clothes are all drenched and your teeth are all clenched. But don’t go cursing the dark clouds. Put a little bit of thought into your dressing and you’ll be better equipped for monsoon. As someone correctly pointed out, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!
Girls - Keep it short and simple. Long is a big no-no this season. Choose shirts and jackets with short sleeves, or sleeves which end at the elbow. Avoid wearing ankle-length skirts and trousers. Go in for knee-length skirts or short shirt-dresses. It is better to wipe off dirty hands and feet, rather than enter the office with long sleeves and trousers that are drenched and murky! White shirts in monsoon are like inviting trouble. Choose darker hues like like olive green, brown, and indigo. For an evening dinner or a party, go for well-cut Lycra shirts, pants or suits that are easy to wash. Avoid layers altogether.
Guys - You can not help but wear full-length trousers at work. Choose fabrics like blended cotton and poly-nylon which dry away easily and do not crush.
Ladies - this is the time to flaunt your colourful kurtis. Team them with snug-fit churidaars. Put away your heavy salwaar kameez - with that long dupatta, it is just so messy and difficult for monsoon. And if you must wear a saree, wear rayon or even better, silk. Silk is lightweight, bright and easily manageable. Chiffon and crepe sarees should be avoided as they lose their sheen when they get wet. Cotton sarees are not so pleasant when drenched.
CasualsSay goodbye to harrom pants and long, flowy skirts. Bring in the capris and short denim skirts. But make sure your denim skirt is not too tight! You want enough ‘leg room’ to elope from a sudden cloud burst. Wear t-shirts in happy colours like lime green, hot pink and deep blue. They’re the perfect rejuvenator for gloomy surroundings.
Guys – say no to baggy pants this season. Pull out your denim jeans and cut them or simply fold them to a length comfortably higher than ground level. Or go the Ashton Kutcher way, sporting stylish mapris!
Monsoon hair is confused between summer stickiness and winter dryness. Wear your hair short, or select a style that can bounce back into place easily after being wet. Avoid hairstyles that require your hair to be straightened, crimped or curled since the high levels of humidity in the air will make the hair go limp. Hair also tends to get dirtier in monsoon. Wash it frequently with a mild shampoo. Avoid use of conditioner this season, as it will only make your hair limper. Guys - avoid use of hair wax and hard gels. You don’t want the monsoon dampness to ruin your style!
Foot wearOne rule for monsoon footwear – it should be good enough to protect your feet and protect itself! That’s why you should put your leather and suede shoes away until winter. But if you must wear shoes, wear socks. They act as a barrier between the skin and the leather, preventing bacterial growth. And pick water-proof materials. Flip flops often flap when you’re walking, causing long stripes of dirt on the calves. Go for sporty sandals or floaters with straps, which hold the shoe in place. Crocs can be very slippery. Go for rubber chappals – they are easy to wash and let the feet breathe. Lycra boots look great and survive monsoon. You could also experiment with gum boots and incredible rubber heels – some real fancy ones are available online. Enjoy the season!
Friday 3 June 2011
You could be one of those finicky sorts, determined to have a day cream and a night one too. You spend plenty on special skin care products such as astringents, toners and eye gels. Even though your friends laugh at you, you believe you are on the right track. After all so many celebs are endorsing your favourite products.
But are so many products really neccessary? We help you decide which of those bottles and jars are really essential.
BODY WASH OR SOAP BAR
The idea of using a bar of soap when there are so many fancy bottles body wash lining the shelves is surely unfashionable.
But which is more effective? Promoters of liquid cleansers claim that these are gentler than bathing bars as they contain large amounts of petrolatum - an ingredient that moisturises and lubricates the skin.
Undoubtedly soap bars are more alkaline and have a dehydrating impact on the skin. " Body washes are a more convenient and hygienic option for bathing and they spread easily over the skin. They have hydrating and nourishing ingredients too," says Dr Chiranjeev Chabra, dermatologist and cosmetic laser surgeon, Skin Alive Clinic.
On the flip side, conservatives claim that the moisturising property of liquid cleansers makes them less effective at removing dirt and reducing body odour.
"The reality is that both soap bars and body wash are equally good in cleaning the body. The selection should be based on individual skin requirements and the season," says Dr Anil Malik, senior consultant, dermatology, Sitaram Bhartia.
Moreover, many mild soap bars are now available in the market, which have a neutral pH of 7- 10 and don't have the same drying effect. " Earlier soaps had high per cent of caustic and this left the skin dry and stretchy. Things have changed now.
Special soaps are available too for acne skin which are antiseptic and help to dry the acne," says Dr Chabr.
Body wash is ideal for winter or hot and dry weather.
Use soap bars on hot and humid days, during the rainy season or if you have oily skin.
DAY CREAM OR NIGHT CREAM
DO we really need different creams for the days and night? Can't day creams be used at night too? Experts say no. Our skin needs different products as the skin's requirement varies according to the body clock. " During the day our skin needs protection from pollution and harmful rays. At night, the skin needs to rejuvenate itself and repair all the damage that goes during the day," says Dr Sachin Dhawan, head, department of dermatology, Artemis.
Day creams contain antioxidants and titanium dioxide ( or other sunscreens), which serve as proper shield for the skin. Night creams, on the other hand, have higher levels of active ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol and alpha hydroxy acids ( AHAs) that repair the skin and also moisturise it. Moreover, night creams are highly concentrated, thicker and stronger than day creams because the skin dries out more quickly while you sleep.
In fact, different categories of creams should be used by individuals of different skin types. In her book, The Skin Type Solution , Dr Leslie Baumann suggests that if your skin is dry, you need a hydrating night cream. Sensitive skin needs an anti- inflammatory night cream, while those with wrinkles should opt for a night cream with retinol or antioxidants.
If you use night cream during the day, the active ingredients can either get oxidised by the UV rays or cause skin reaction.
ASTRINGENT OR TONER
Astringents and toners were earlier part of female domain but are now popular among men too. " Our face needs intense cleaning to remove the proteins produced by the skin. These will otherwise block the pores, causing blackheads and acne," says Dr Dhawan. The purpose of an astringent and toner is the same - cleaning the skin, destroying bacteria that cause acne and adjusting the pH level in the skin.
But astringent is for oily skin while toner is for dry skin. Essentially astringent has an anti- bacterial quality that reduces oil, blackheads and cares for acne prone skin types. Toners, on the other hand, are milder and are meant for those who produce less oil on their face and older skins.
Astringents are alcohol based and intended for oily skin. Toners hydrate and tone the skin and are ideal for dry or normal skin.
EYE GEL OR EYE CREAM
NO ONE wants under eye pouches, dark circles or wrinkles and the solution seems to lie in over- the- counter eye gels and creams.
People assume these fulfil the same purpose.
But the reality is that eye gels and creams work differently. " Wrinkles are removed with a compound called matrixyl, which works best when delivered in the form of cream. Eye bags and dark circles, on the other hand, respond well to a chemical called haloxyl, effective when delivered in the form of a gel rather than cream," says Dr Urvashi Kaw, consultant, dermatology and cosmetology, B L Kapur Memorial Hospital.
Creams and gels are oil particles in water used in different proportions. Gels are less oily and tend to be absorbed faster by the skin. " Unlike creams, gels neither block the skin pores nor do they leave behind a greasy residual effect," says Dr Malik. " The skin under our eyes is 4- 5 times thinner than facial skin and is more porous. Therefore, the chances of pores getting blocked are higher under the eye," he adds. Hence, in general it's advisable to use eye gels as against eye creams in general.
Eye gels are intended to reduce puffiness, dark circles and eye sags, while creams may reduce wrinkling.