It’s that time of the year when chai becomes a little less favoured and nimbu-soda is available almost everywhere. Very soon, anything synthetic will be a no-no and cotton will be your go-to fabric. Umbrellas come out to give your sunscreen company, suede shoes get packed away. Yes, summer time is here. And with it, a whole host of skin care issues too. Oily skin gets oilier, and dry skin gets patchy. There are breakouts and pimples, rashes and roughness, and that acne just wouldn’t go away! Just a few simple changes in your everyday skin care regimen can ensure that you are all set to glow through this season too. Here are few summer skin care tips that can come quite handy. We spoke to Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, leading dermatologist and founder of Skin and Hair Clinics for expert advice on tackling the heat.
What does summer do to our skin?
According to Dr. Deepali, warmer temperatures mean it is time to change your skin care routine. The sunny Indian summer can be pretty harsh on your skin if you don't take care of your. So, just like your wardrobe, your skin care too definitely needs a seasonal change.
Too much sun is bad for your skin. Not only can you get tanned (which is not always a bad thing) but over exposure to sun rays can cause premature ageing of skin too. Our skin contains a pigment called melanin and too much exposure to sun causes more melanin to be produced. This is why a prolonged stay under the direct sun can cause a change in your skin colour or even tanning. This is also why sunscreens are recommended irrespective of your skin-type.
Here's a holistic list of summer skincare tips that would help all skin types.
1. Face care
Your face is your identity to the world, so you should look after it 365 days of the year. Summer months though, warrant a special skin care regimen – one that hydrates and keeps it clean and grime-free. Make sure you keep your face clean of dust and sweat through these hot months. A lot of people encounter break-outs and pimples in these months. If you are one of them, make sure you splash your face with water at least 3-4 times every day. No need to use a face wash every time, clean water would do just fine.
Dermatologist Dr Deepali also suggests exfoliation as a method to keep your face clean, "Using a scrub once or twice a week in summers for all skin types is important but, which scrub depends on your skin type. Acne prone skin needs multani mitti (fullers earth), chandan, rose water and basil whereas if you have dry and matured skin you should use egg white, lemon, chandan and curd with a pinch of turmeric and besan too".
2. Use weather appropriate products
The thick creams you were using through the winter months won’t do you any good now. Pack them away or use them for very dry areas of your body like the feet. Summer months need products that let your skin breathe naturally. Go for lighter lotions and serums. Products that block pores can cause more problems.
"Water-based moisturizers work best for normal skin types. For oily skin, gel-based moisturizers are preferred. For extra oily and acne prone skin, stick to facial sprays with minerals good for your skin', says Dr. Deepali. "Natural moisturizers like glycerin and rose water added to the bathing water helps a lot and applying plain curd for 10-15 minutes on all dry areas of the body before bathing works wonders too," she adds.
3. Stick to the basics
You may think your skin cannot get dry during summers but that’s a myth. Moving in and out of air-conditioned areas alone can cause your skin to dry out. This is applicable not just to facial skin but the entire body. Make sure you follow the age old principle of cleaning, toning and moisturizing at night before sleeping. Sweating can cause our skin pores to open up. You need to use a toner (after making sure the skin is clean) to help close these pores. Sticking to the basics during summers is even more important given the UV rays of the sun that could result in premature ageing and wrinkles.
4. Importance of sunscreen
Don't forget to wear sunscreen! UV rays can be harmful for your skin any time of the year, but more so in the summer months when our exposure levels are higher. Pick a sunscreen that gels into your skin and gets absorbed. A minimum SPF of 30 is recommended and must be applied 20-30 minutes before you head out into the sun. If you are going to be swimming, then keep re-applying as and when it gets washed out. Sunscreen application can go a long way in minimizing sun related spots and could even help delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.
Dr. Deepali suggests changing the brand you use every 6 months. And yes, people with oily skin must apply sunscreens too. “For oily skin, gel-based sunscreen is preferred, while combination and dry skin should use a sunscreen moisturizer with a matte finish if putting make up on it. Alternatively, use a cream based one which gets absorbed well without leaving a residual layer," she says.
5. Natural remedies
Never underestimate what your grandma said! There are ingredients in your kitchen which can help soothe the skin during summer. Lemon and tomato are very good for keeping your skin fresh. A quick way to use tomato is to juice tomatoes (don’t add water) and freeze the juice using your regular ice-trays. Use this as a gentle scrub every alternate day and let the juice dry on the skin before washing it off. The lycopene in tomato does wonders for the facial skin.
6. Don’t forget the eyes and lips
The sun’s rays are the harshest between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. during summer months. Avoid stepping out around these times. If you do step out, make sure your eyes are covered with sunglasses and lips protected with a balm. We often forget that the skin around the eyes is very delicate and needs extra attention. If too much heat is making your eyes burn, then wash them with clean and cold water. A couple of cold cotton pads dipped in potato juice can be soothing too. If the problem persists, do consult a doctor.
7. Maintain hygiene
Overall hygiene can go a long way in tackling the heat. Having a bath twice a day will not only keep your skin fresh, it will also help combat summer lethargy. If you are prone to prickly heat – a bucket-bath with neem leaves can help. People who suffer from body odour can also benefit from regular bathing. Chlorine water can speed up the process of tanning, that is the reason why we tan more in the pool than ordinarily. Make sure you bathe after a swim to get the chlorine off your body.
"Soaking hands and feet in water enriched with a pinch of salt will help boost blood circulation and after that applying a cream rich in urea and Vitamin C should help too," adds Dr Deepali.
8. Eat cooling foods
What we eat has a lot to do with how we look and feel. Eating heavy food is bound to make you sluggish in a weather like this. Additionally, it can make your skin oily and susceptible to breakouts. Go for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Stay away from sugary drinks that are full of calories. Make sure your intake of water is an optimum 8-10 glasses at least. Try vegetable juices and natural alternatives like nariyal pani to hydrate yourself and feel fresh.
9. Wear breathable fabrics
Cotton and lighter fabrics are a must to tackle the heat. Tight clothes can cause irritation and make sweaty parts of the body itch more. Prolonged conditions lead to rashes and sometimes even serious skin infections.
10. Don't fear the sun
Lastly, don’t be afraid of the sun as it is a mood enhancer. Sunlight helps us produce more seratonin – a mood boosting hormone. That’s exactly why days of no sun during winters can make you feel low. Just make sure you balance the outdoor travel with a good skin care regimen and protect yourself from the harmful impact of sun rays.
Pregnancy brings in many physiological and psychological changes in a woman. And you need to be very careful about things to do and not to do. You need to be prepared for certain unforeseen circumstances, but the trick is to know how to keep yourself free from some unwanted worries.
If you are pregnant and are eager to know about things to include and avoid during the nine months, MomJunction brings a guide for you.
Things To Avoid During Pregnancy:
There are many things you can’t do while pregnant, for your baby’s safety and good health.
1. Do not eat raw meats, unpasteurized dairy, raw foods, fried foods, etc. They may contain harmful microbes that can adversely affect yours and your baby’s health. Such foods also contribute to excessive weight gain.
2. Do not paint the nursery as the chemicals and solvents in the paints can be toxic and harmful. If you want to paint the nursery, then you can use natural or organic colors.
3. Do not go overboard on caffeine. It can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and you have to frequent to the loo. Also, caffeine passes through the placenta and increases the possibility of the baby developing diabetes.
4. Do not take medications without consulting your health practitioner. Certain medications may have specific dosage and should not be taken over-the-counter.
5. Do not wear stilettos and prefer heels that are three-inch or less, such as wedges, platforms, and kitten heels. Heels may make you uncomfortable as the body’s center of gravity changes. Also, you would feel better in flip-flops due to the swollen ankles.
6. Do not change the kitten litter as the feces can carry a rare parasitic disease, toxoplasmosis. Even if you do, wear gloves while changing and wash your hands after that.
7. Do not breathe secondhand smoke. It is linked to many complications including cancers, premature delivery, miscarriage, low birth weight babies, sudden infant death syndrome, and learning or behavioral issues as the baby grows.
8. Do not take alcohol including wine, liquor, and beer. It can quickly pass through the placenta and umbilical cord and affect the baby’s developing brain and organs. Alcohol also leads to premature birth, brain damage, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
9. Do not sit or stand for extended periods in the same position. It can hurt the ankles and veins. Take frequent breaks and move around to keep your legs elevated if you have been on your feet for some time.
10. Do not get carried away by contradictory information given in books, magazines, and online media. Trust your instincts and when in doubt, talk to your practitioner.
11. Do not take illegal drugs. Drugs are associated with increased chances of low birth weight babies, impaired neurobehavioral development in babies, birth defects, and withdrawal effects.
12. Do not eat hot dogs, cold-cuts, or other processed meats and soft cheeses as they possibly carry harmful bacteria listeria that make you and your baby vulnerable to many diseases.
13. Do not get in contact with reptiles such as lizards, turtles, iguanas, and snakes. Their feces pass salmonella virus into your system and can be dangerous.
14. Ensure there are no ticks as their bites can cause Lyme disease. The effects include permanent tooth discoloration in pregnant women and deformation of bones in the fetus.
15. Avoid vitamin A supplements unless advised by your healthcare practitioner. Having excessive vitamin A can lead to birth defects in the baby (2).
16. Stay away from video display terminals (VDTs), radios, high voltage power lines, telegraph transmissions, and various other common appliances and communication equipment. These emit harmful, non-ionizing radiations that may lead to abortions, birth defects, and genetic damages in babies .
17. Exposure to X-rays, especially abdominal X-rays, increase the risk of birth defects and cancers such as leukemia in babies later in life.
18. Do not stay near microwaves. They emit harmful electromagnetic radiation that could harm the fetus and lead to miscarriages.
19. Do not use an electric blanket. They emit low-level electromagnetic fields, which can be dangerous for the growing fetus.
20. Do not use a waterbed as the heaters used in them emit the same electric fields as electric blankets.
21. Do not drink tap water in early pregnancy stages as they are prone to contaminants and associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. You should have treated water.
22. Avoid stress especially at work. It can affect your immune system and increase the chance of infections leading to preterm labor and miscarriage.
23. Do not expose yourself to pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. They can have a variety of effects on your fetus, including miscarriage and preterm birth.
24. Avoid fumes from household cleaning products, paints, thinners, etc. They contain solvents, which on inhalation increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
25. Ensure that your body temperature is not above 101oF as it can be potentially dangerous for your developing fetus. The body temperature rises during flu, strenuous exercises, and fever .
26. Ensure good personal hygiene to stay away from contracting diseases such as herpes as it could lead to severe health complications in babies during delivery. In rare cases, it can also cause a miscarriage during the first trimester .
With so many ‘don’ts’ you might be thinking if there is anything that you can do during pregnancy. The answer is yes.
Being pregnant is amazing. During the 40 weeks of the pregnancy calendar your body experiences incredible change. Read on to find out what to expect during the three stages of pregnancy (trimesters), plus, learn some good tips to keep you and your baby healthy.
1. First Trimester (weeks 1-12)
There’s a lot going on inside your body right now. Every bit of you is beginning to discover what it means to be pregnant. This can include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Morning sickness
- Tender or swollen breasts
- Food cravings
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
2. Second Trimester (weeks 13-28)
You may find this trimester easier than the first. As morning sickness and tiredness fade, your bump will begin to show more. Before long, you’ll feel your baby move. You’ll also experience:
- Aches in your back, tummy and groin
- Stretch marks
- Numb or tingling hands
- Slight swelling of the ankles, fingers and face
3. Third Trimester (weeks 29-40)
You’ll now have a football ball sized bump. You’ll feel discomfort as your baby presses against your organs. As well as the need to go to the toilet more often, you also notice:
- Shortness of breath
- More pronounced swelling of the ankles, fingers and face (If this becomes extreme, contact your health care professional immediately)
- Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk fluid (colostrum)
- Trouble sleeping
##Top tips to prevent illness during pregnancy
Don’t ignore your body’s changes – a little person is growing inside you. Use these pregnancy tips to make some changes too:
- Go to bed earlier and get more sleep (while you can!).
- Eat a healthy nutritious diet.
- Avoid unpasteurised dairy products, mouldy cheeses, cold meats and soft boiled eggs which can carry bacteria. Consult your doctor for a full list of foods to avoid.
- Take folic acid supplements until your 12th week of pregnancy to help prevent your baby being born with harmful conditions such as spina bifida.
- Avoid cat faeces as it can contain an organism that causes toxoplasmosis (an infection that, in severe cases, can cause serious eye and brain damage to the baby).
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces around the home Dettol Hygiene Liquid or
- Dettol Antiseptic Liquid which kill 99.9% of germs
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- In case water is not readily available, use Dettol Wipes to disinfect your hands
Wherever you are on the pregnancy calender, enjoy it – the time will fly.
Watermelon is a delicious fruit that makes for a refreshing treat during summers. Filled with red pulp and sweet juices, watermelon revives our body from the scorching heat outside. No wonder we all desperately wait for summers to gorge on this cool summer fruit. Drinking watermelon juice increases antioxidants in our body, which help us to stay healthy and hydrated and keep many diseases at bay. Watermelons are also rich in vitamin C that strengthens our immunity system and protect us from seasonal allergies and infections. This juicy fruit not just revives our body from inside, but it revitalises our skin, if applied from outside. Its high water content nurtures our skin and makes it soft, supple and flawless. Here are 4 DIY watermelon juice face masks to detox your skin this summer.
1. Watermelon Juice and Honey Face Mask For Tan Removal
It is because of excessive sun exposure, our skin tends to produce melanin, which makes our skin look darker and tanned. Watermelon juice and honey face mask is a perfect solution for the ones looking for an instant solution from tanned and damaged skin.
How To Apply: Mix equal amount of honey and cold watermelon juice. Wash your skin with cold water and pat dry it. Apply it on your face and neck, and let it stay for 30 minutes. Wash it off with fresh cold water.
2. Watermelon Juice And Yogurt Face Mask For Glowing Skin
Yogurt is known do to wonders for our skin and hair. The combination of watermelon juice and yogurt can give you a supple and radiant skin. Regular use of this face mask will makes your skin look younger and healthier.
How To Apply: Take a small bowl and add half cup of watermelon juice in it. Add one tablespoon of yogurt, and mix both the ingredients well. Apply the face mask on your face and neck, and let it stay for 20 minutes. Wash it off with cold water.
3. Watermelon And Lemon Juice For Dry Skin
If you have a dry skin, then bring this face mask to your rescue. Lemon will gently exfoliate your dry, dead skin cells, whereas honey and watermelon juice will moisturise and hydrate your rough skin.
How To Apply: Take two tablespoons of watermelon juice in a small bowl; add one tablespoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey in it. Mix all the ingredients very well. Apply this face mask on your face and neck. Let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash it off with water.
4. Watermelon And Raw Milk For Brighter Skin
Milk is a great cleanser, especially raw milk, which makes your complexion fairer and brighter. It is also a great moisturiser that is known to heal dry skin cells. Milk is also known to treat sunburns and sunspots. Watermelon juice will rejuvenate your face and give you a fresh look.
How To Apply: Take one tablespoon of watermelon juice in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of raw milk, and mix them well. Apply the mask on your clean face and let it stay for 20 to 25 minutes. Wash it off with cold water.
So, what are you waiting for? Bring these refreshing watermelon juice face masks to your rescue and flaunt your soft, glowing skin this summer!
Talk about nutrition and carbs, proteins and fats come to the mind immediately. However, these are the macronutrients and are not the only group of nutrients. More important are the micronutrients, comprising of a group of very important substances known as minerals and vitamins.
Read on to know the most important vitamins and minerals that your body needs and the role they play:
- Vitamin A: Essential for healthy eyes, general growth and development and glowing skin. These are found in carrots, sweet potatoes and oranges.
- Vitamin B: These are essential for iron absorption, improved immunity and production of energy. Whole grains and unprocessed foods and vegetables like lentils, potatoes, bananas, yeast and molasses are good sources of these vitamins.
- Vitamin C: Required for iron absorption, blood clotting, elastic skin and antioxidant function. Found in good amounts in citrus fruits, guava, kiwi, grapefruits, strawberries, etc.
- Vitamin D: Extremely important for bone development, these are found in eggs, mushrooms and fish.
- Vitamin E: It improves blood circulation and reduces free radicals, which is essential for cancer protection. Almonds, nuts, tomatoes and sunflower seeds are good sources of vitamin E.
- Vitamin K: It is very essential for the process of blood coagulation. These are found in spinach, broccoli, kale and other green vegetables.
- Iron: Very essential ingredient for blood formation and muscle building. Clams, oysters, soybeans, lentils and spinach are great sources of iron.
- Calcium: Most important ingredient, as it helps in the formation of teeth and bones. Dairy products, tofu and cheese are very good sources.
- Zinc: A key ingredient essential for overall growth, immunity and fertility. Spinach, beans, oysters and dark chocolate carry a good amount of Zinc.
- Folic acid: Essential for iron absorption, cell regeneration, and in pregnancy for healthy development of the baby. Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, peas, seeds, nuts, lentils, beets, corn, etc. are good sources.
Trace minerals like iodine, manganese, copper, fluoride, selenium and chromium are also essential but in very small amounts. While these are not the only essential vitamins and minerals, these are the most important ones. The quantities of these substances required on a daily basis are very small, but critical for functions listed above. In addition, some of them also help in releasing free radicals, which provide protection against cancer and chronic inflammation. This helps prevent chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
An important point to consider is while there are multiple supplements available in the market today to make sure you get all of these nutrients, try to eat a wholesome meal and get these through natural sources to the maximum extent possible. The natural foods are the best source, and supplements should be used only when these cannot be obtained naturally.