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Every fried snack you eat can trigger an unexpected acne breakout. For every donut you devour, you may run the risk of saggy and wrinkly skin. For every night of heavy drinking, you get a dull and dehydrated morning complexion. In a nation obsessed with beauty and fairness creams can you afford to take such risks?

You are what you eat - Simply put, the food you eat has a bearing on your mind, body and health. So keeping a tab on what you eat and avoiding unhealthy food is of utmost importance. Nutritionist Niharika Ahluwalia says, "There's only so much anti-ageing creams, cleansers and toners can do. What's crucial is your body gets the right nourishment. You may have noticed your skin loses colour when you've got a bad stomach. In this case bulking up on greens and fresh fruits adds a glow like no other."

It's true you can't help external factors from influencing your skin but you can make smarter dietary choices to ensure your insides are clean and healthy. We did some research on what you should eat in order to maintain a clean and clear skin and stumbled upon the answers in our kitchen.

How to keep those years off your face

1. Dark Chocolate - It's true you can't fight ageing but you can keep it from reflecting on your face. Past research has listed many benefits of dark chocolate: it's good for the heart, helps control blood pressure and surprisingly also curbs weight gain.

Dark chocolate is extremely rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation of the skin, retain moisture, prevent wrinkles and also makes you look younger.

For soft and supple skin

2. Walnuts - These bite-sized, brown shelled walnuts are high on vitamins, minerals and nutrients. So feel free to add them to your salads or throw them into into your bowl of cereal. These tiny heroes are rich in Omega-3 fats that locks moisture in the skin, strengthens it and keeps it plump and glowing. They soak the moisture from the air and soothe dry skin, leaving it soft and supple.

For Cleaner and Hydrated Skin

3. Citrus Fruits - Oranges, green grapes, lemons and other citrus fruits are known to be extremely good for the skin. They're rich in Vitamin C and amino acids that keep the collagen active (by improving circulation) and the skin looking fresh and hydrated. They're especially recommended for those with oily skin and dark patches. Blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, broccoli, sweet potatoes and strawberries are some other Vitamin C rich foods you could also eat.

For Perfectly Radiant and Glowing Skin

4. Almonds - Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which works to neutralize the molecules that cause dull skin. They've also got Omega-3 fatty acids and the combination of that with Vitamin E works to regulate blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, increase energy levels and give you radiant and glowing skin.

For Acne-free Skin

5. Green Tea - Acne has given you many sleepless nights and worrisome mornings so we're hoping this helps you conquer the fight against that unwarranted beast. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that helps lower the levels of the acne-producing hormone in the body leaving you with healthy skin. Nutritionists recommend three to four cups a day for maximum benefits.



Vitamin C is an important vitamin required for the health of the skin and hair, as well as a healthy immunity. But this water-soluble vitamin isn't just important for making you look good. It has been known to fight common cold as well. The vitamin, which is found in abundance in citrus fruits and green vegetables, is also important for bone health as well as for absorption of iron in the body. But it is particularly important for stimulating collagen production in the skin and hence, for improving your skin quality. You can get enough vitamin C in your diet if you make sure to include a portion of fruits and green vegetables in your daily meals. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables available during summers that are high in vitamin C content.

It is essential to consume vitamin C-rich foods because this vitamin is not made by our bodies and hence, the requirements must be fulfilled through external sources like from food. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is about 70 milligrams for women and about 90 milligrams for men. There are a number of ways of ensuring vitamin C intake in your body and fruit juices are one of them.

Vitamin C-Rich Drinks For Healthy Skin:
1. Orange And Ginger Detox Drink Recipe
Orange is one of the best fruits to load up on, in order to get enough vitamin C in your diet. A 100 grams of orange contains 64 percent Daily Value of vitamin C as per recommendations by Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. This orange, ginger detox drink is great for your skin, as it contains turmeric, which is also an antioxidant-rich spice.

2. Mango Kiwi Fuzz Recipe
Mango contains 60 percent daily value of vitamin C, as per data by the United States Department of Agriculture. The delicious summer fruit goes incredibly well with kiwis in this recipe that is sure to make your skin grateful for all the pampering.

3. Mint Kiwi Lemonade Recipe
Kiwi and lemons are both rich in vitamin C. In fact, kiwi is one of the best sources of vitamin C out there. This lemonade is one of the best ways of beating the heat, while making sure you load up on some much needed nutrients for a healthy skin.

4. Chilled Mango Soup Recipe
This isn't exactly your regular mango drink - it contains, besides delicious mango pulp, ripe tomatoes, which are also rich in vitamin C as well as lemon juice for another punch of vitamins as well as flavours. This chilled soup is going to be your favourite this summer.

5. Pineapple Panna (Ananas Panna) Recipe
Pineapple is another fruit that is incredibly rich in vitamin C - 79 percent DV (as per the USDA data). This pineapple panna is a delicious twist to the raw mango panna that is so popular in India and contains roasted cumin, black salt and sugar.

A deficiency of vitamin C may cause scurvy, which is rare but a fatal disease. Include these delicious vitamin C-rich drinks in your diet to make your skin happy!

The wedding season is finally here! In order to achieve glowing skin and healthy lustrous hair for the D-day, the would-be brides who are getting prepared for the wedding vows will have to follow a disciplined lifestyle and regular skin and hair care program. Most of us fail to realise that stress and tiredness often tends to have a direct impact on our face and eyes and no amount of make-up will ever be able to change that. Work in advance on your body, plan your shopping and arrangements, discipline your lifestyle, eat healthy, and above all relax and rest! Treat your pre-wedding period as your spa period. Detox, eat healthy food and consume lots of natural liquids.

In the following article learn how to make your skin glow and body feel healthier and rejuvenated.
For Dry Skin: If you happen to have a dry skin, then the first and foremost thing to do is to keep it hydrated internally and externally. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Include lots of dairy products in your diet like milk, cheese, yogurt and clarified butter! Yes, you read that right! Add ghee to your dal, rice, chapattis, etc. If you have a dry skin, add dry fruits to your diet like almonds, walnuts, raisins, figs and cashews. Flaxseeds can turn out to be quite beneficial as well. Avocado is great for your skin and you should eat it and apply it on face to reap its maximum benefits. Here's a wonderful dry skin mask that you can use twice a week-

Ingredients:

Half mashed avocado
1 tsp honey
Paste of 2 walnuts and 2 almonds
Method:

Mix all the ingredients with milk and apply to cleaned skin. Leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water and pat dry.

Another wonderful way of bringing glow to dry skin is to massage it with 1 tsp of almond oil mixed with honey. Apart from this, drink warm honey lemon water everyday first thing in the morning as it not only clears your system but also brings a glow to your skin. Chironji, which is extensively used in mithais, along with ground aniseed and three whole marigold buds, make for an excellent mask for dry skin. Not only does it reduces blemishes but also moisturises the skin to a great extent.

For Oily Skin:
If you have an oily skin, then be careful about what you eat and try and focus more on raw foods and lightly cooked food, which is steamed, grilled or even baked. You diet should include lots of salad sticks, yogurt dips, hummus and fresh fruits. I recommend at least three oranges a day for all brides to build up their immunity levels and also to increase their Vitamin C intake, which will eventually help in clarifying the skin.

Water is your skin's ambrosia and 10 to 12 glasses of water is recommended for consumption besides cooling chaach, coconut water, vegetable juices, etc. Avoid fried foods, heavy gravy foods, and sweets.

You can make the following masks to reduce oiliness and make your skin glow:

Ingredients:

- 2 tsp fuller's earth
- 1 tsp fresh mint paste
- A pinch of camphor
- Rose water to mix to a smooth paste

Method:

Not only is this mask excellent for increasing blood circulation but it also has anti-bacterial properties that will help reduce oiliness, dissuade pimples and acne and porcelain your skin. Use it three times a week.

Keep your skin clean and oil free at all times. For this, it is important that you wipe your skin with rose water several times a day.

Another super mask is made from the following-

- 2 tsp basil paste
- 2 tsp fuller's earth
- 2 tsp sandalwood powder
- 1 grated raw potato

Method:

Mix well all the above mentioned ingredients and apply to the skin for 15 minutes. This will help reduce the tan and oiliness and the natural starch in the potato will help tighten your skin, giving it a younger and more youthful look.

For Normal Skin:
Be wise and take on a regular skin care programme. Massage with 2 tsp of either honey or yoghurt and wash off after 5-7 minutes. This will keep the skin well hydrated and moisturised. You could use the following mask cum scrub for improving your skin's texture-

Ingredients:

- 2 tsp rice powder
- 1 tsp sandalwood powder
- 1 tsp rose petal paste
- 1 tsp fresh aloe vera
- 1 tsp lemon peel powder

Method:

- Mix the ingredients with cold milk and apply to the skin until it is semi-dry. Dab with rose water, scrub gently and wash off with cold water.

- If you have a normal skin type, do not neglect your diet and continue to have lots of fruits and green leafy vegetable. Include soups, healthy homemade broths and stews in your diet. Eat light but healthy.

- Another super face mask for pre-bridal skin care is the flower power mask that I highly recommend to brides-to-be. Not only does your skin feel and look wonderful but you will feel luxurious and pampered at the same time as well.

Ingredients:

- 2 tsp ground frangipani
- 2 tsp fresh rose petal paste
- 2 tsp calendula petal paste
- 2 tsp mashed papaya
- 5 saffron strands
- 1 tsp china clay

Method:

A little amount of cold milk is enough to make a smooth paste. Apply the mask onto clean skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash off gently and pat dry.

Enjoy the wedding madness and most of all enjoy pampering yourself. Bring these face masks to your rescue and get going.

Coffee is one beverage that is loved by people across the world. It has become our ideal go-to beverage, without which most of our things may go for a toss. Don't believe us? Ask any coffee lover, they will tell you better. Imagine a day without drinking your beloved cup of coffee - your mornings will be sluggish, you will feel lazy all day long, you won't be productive at work; moreover, you will rely more on frizzy energy drinks to keep yourself active and focussed. But, thank heavens that we have coffee to keep our things aligned for us. Did you know that other than keeping you active and focussed (thanks to the presence of caffeine in coffee), coffee can also help your skin get soft, supple and glowing? Yes, that's right! Coffee scrub helps clear off the dirt and dead cells from the skin. Scrubbing your skin will not only give you a soft and supple skin but will also tighten your skin and reduce those unwanted black spots. Moreover, if findings of various studies are to be believed, coffee prevents wrinkles and fine lines caused by harmful rays of sun. If you're still not convinced, try these coffee scrubs and see the results by yourself.

Here Are 5 DIY Coffee Scrubs For Skin And Body:

Coffee Cinnamon Scrub
Coffee is an excellent exfoliator that helps gently clear off the dead skin cells and can give you a soft and glowing skin right after the first use. Moreover, coffee removes excess oil from the face and body, while cinnamon keeps all the infections and irritation at bay.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup coffee ground
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup sugar

How to make:

Take a bowl and heat the coconut oil in it. Now, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it cool down for some time. However, keep an eye on coffee, as it may dissolve completely in the oil. Once the mixture is cool, pour it in an airtight jar and apply it on your body during the shower every alternate day.

Coffee And Rose Water Face Scrub
Using rose water on skin has multiple benefits. Rose water consists of anti-inflammatory properties that are known to treat skin irritation, acnes and dermatitis. Moreover, rose water is an excellent skin cleanser that helps in removing dirt and oil that usually clog our pores.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup ground coffee
- 2 teaspoon rose water

How to make:

Take a bowl and mix both the ingredients in it. Apply the mixture to your face and body and massage in a circular motion. Put it on for not more than 20 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

Coffee And Aloe Vera Scrub
Aloe vera can be used in winters as well as in summers by people of all skin types. "Aloe vera is packed with multivitamins, including vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, which are known to nourish our skin and prevent premature aging. Moreover, aloe vera helps moisturise our skin, without making it too oily, which is a good thing for the people with oily skin," says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Skincare Expert.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup coffee grounds
- 5 teaspoon aloe vera gel

How to make:

Take bowl and mix all the ingredients in it. Now, apply this coffee scrub on your face or body in a circular motion. Massage it for 10-15 minutes. Make sure you massage it softly. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

Coffee Honey Face And Body Scrub
Honey is a fabulous skin moisturiser that works amazing on dry and patchy skin. Moreover, it is its antibacterial properties that keep all the infections and irritations at bay. As per beauty experts, applying honey onto your face in winters may keep intact the moisture in your skin and keep it hydrated.

Ingredients:

- 4 teaspoon ground coffee
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon honey

How to make:

Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients in it till a paste is formed. Make sure there are no lumps in the paste. Apply this paste on your face and body while bathing. Keep it for 10-15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

5. Coffee Shea Butter Scrub
Shea butter is believed to be a skin superfood. Why, you ask? It is packed with multivitamins like vitamin A, E and F, essential fatty acids and other micronutrients - all of which are important for the production of collagen. Moreover, shea butter protects our skin from the harmful UV rays.

Ingredients:

- 4 teaspoon ground coffee
- 4 teaspoon shea butter
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil

How to make:

Take a bowl and add melted coconut oil along with other ingredients to it. Mix well until you get a paste-like consistency. Apply the paste to your face and body and massage gently while bathing. Massage it for 10-15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

The best part of these homemade DIY coffee scrubs is that your skin doesn't have to deal with any chemical-laden skin products and is totally safe. But, before introducing any new ingredient to your skincare routine, make sure you consult your dermatologist.




Remember how our mothers used to give us handful of soaked almonds every day before going to school? We know that these crunchy nuts are an excellent source of plant protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and magnesium - all of which are known to improve our overall health. But did you know that almonds could also do wonders to your skin, if applied topically? Yes, that's right! As we know that almonds are packed with vitamin E - they help keep our skin hydrated and further make it soft and supple. Moreover, the presence of antioxidants in almonds keeps our skin wrinkle-free, young and glowing. But if you are still not convinced, then why don't you try these almond face masks and see the results yourself.

Here are some simple and easy DIY almond face masks that you can try this winter to keep your skin youthful and glowing:
1. Almond And Milk Face Mask For Tan Removal
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon almond powder
2 tablespoon raw milk

How to apply:

Take a bowl and mix both the ingredients in it. Mix it well till you get a thick paste-like consistency. Now, wash your face with lukewarm water and apply this mask on your face and neck. Keep this face mask for about 20 minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. You may apply this mask on your arms and legs too.

2. Almond, Milk And Grounded Oats Face Mask For Natural Glow
Ingredients:

2 tablespoon almond
1 tablespoon grounded oats
3 tablespoon raw milk

How to apply:

Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients in it. Make sure you have a thick paste without any lumps. Apply this face mask before going to bed. Clean your face with rose water with the help of a cotton ball. Once you are done with that, apply this mask on your face and let it stay there for 20 minutes, or keep it overnight. If you wash your face at night, use lukewarm water and apply your night cream after that.

3. Almond, Turmeric And Gram Flour Face Mask For Instant Glow
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon almond powder
2 tablespoon gram flour
1 tablespoon turmeric

How to apply:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make a thick pasty-like consistency. You may add a little rose water, if you think your mixture is little dry. Apply the face mask all over your face and keep it for about 15 minutes. Rinse it with normal water.

Note: Some of the almond face masks can be a little messy, especially the almond, milk and grounded oats face mask; therefore, you may rinse the mask off before you sleep. Also, don't forget to check with your doctor for any allergies.

Dr. Rajiv Srivastava
Dr. Rajiv Srivastava
Specialist, Cardiac Surgeon Cardiothoracic Surgeon, 20 yrs, Thane
Dr. Yogesh Gholap
Dr. Yogesh Gholap
BAMS, Ayurveda General Physician, 12 yrs, Pune
Dr. C  L Garg
Dr. C L Garg
MBBS, Family Physician General Medicine Physician, 46 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rajesh Jagdale
Dr. Rajesh Jagdale
BAMS, Pune
Dr. Abhinandan J
Dr. Abhinandan J
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 1 yrs, Pune
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