Skin and hair care tips by Shahnaz Husain

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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With increasing levels of pollution, it is important to take care of your skin, hair and eyes. That’s why we have this expert beauty guide for you!

Pollutants in the air have become increasingly hostile to our good health and well-being. Respiratory and lung problems have become health hazards. As far as beauty is concerned, the skin and hair also bear the brunt of air pollution, which not only attacks the skin and scalp, but also lead to an accumulation of toxins. The pollutants disrupt the normal balance, causing dryness, sensitivity, rashes, acne, allergic reactions, hair loss, dandruff and related conditions. They make the skin and hair lack vitality and become dull.

Cleansing is key

Cleansing of the skin assumes more importance in order to get rid of the impurities and pollutants that are deposited on the skin. When you buy cleansers, look out for products according to skin type and containing ingredients like sandalwood, eucalyptus, mint, neem, tulsi, aloe vera, etc. The anti-toxic and tonic properties of such ingredients have helped in clearing the skin congestion and eruptions that result from exposure to chemical pollutants.

Here are some ingredients that can help:

1. Aloe vera, for example, is also a powerful moisturiser and an antioxidant.

After cleansing, wipe the face with a skin tonic or rose water to tone the skin.

2. Green tea also makes a good skin tonic.

Take half a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Put green tea leaves in a ceramic bowl. Pour the hot water over it and keep for two minutes. Strain and cool the liquid. Apply on the face with cotton wool to tone the skin. Leave it on. Or, you can dip a green tea bag in a cup of hot water. Cool and use it to tone the skin.

You could also make the tea-water and keep it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Use the lotion to tone and refresh the skin. If there is a rash or eruptions, add a little rose water to sandalwood paste and apply on the face. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes.

anti-pollution skincare
Don’t waste those green tea bags, ladies. Channelise your inner jugaadu Indian and use them for your skincare. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Are anti-pollution cosmetics helpful?

Anti-pollution cosmetics help to provide protection and reduce the damage
caused by environmental effects. These are basically ‘cover creams’ that form a barrier between the skin and pollutants. A sandalwood protective cream protects the skin from environmental effects. It forms a transparent protective cover. Sandalwood soothes the skin and protects it from irritation, reactions and eruptive conditions. It suits all skin types and increases the skin’s moisture retention ability too.

Nowadays, activated charcoal is used to detoxify the skin. It may be available at a chemist shop. Mix activated charcoal with aloe vera gel and rose water. Apply a thin layer on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash off after 20 minutes.

Taking care of your hair amid pollution

The hair also needs frequent washing if one regularly travels long distances for their work. Pollutants also collect on the scalp. Shampoo, hair rinses, serums and conditioners help to restore the normal balances if they contain ingredients like amla, brahmi, triphala, bhringraj and henna. They also coat the hair and form a protective cover.

anti-pollution skincare
Take care of your tresses with oil therapy and natural ingredients. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s what you need to do:

Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg, or coconut oil. Massage the mixture lightly into the scalp. Leave on for half an hour and then wash the hair. Rinse well with water.

You could give your hair hot oil therapy. Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Leave oil on overnight and wash hair the next day.

Eyecare amid pollution

The impurities and pollutants can also affect the eyes, causing burning or redness. The eyes should be washed with plain water several times. Soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and use them over the eyes as eye pads. Lie down and relax for fifteen minutes. This really helps to remove fatigue and brightens the eyes.

So ladies, are you all set to follow this beauty routine?

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