YOUR SKINCARE RITUAL: ARE YOU DOING IT RIGHT?

What is your skin type? Do you have a skincare routine in place? Are you addressing your skin concerns correctly? I turned to Dr Jaishree Sharad’s book Skin Rules to help clear the air on having right skincare habits and techniques.

Being a beauty writer I have learnt to zero down on the skincare products that suit my skin and help me deal with specific concerns. I have also experimented with several home remedies over the last few years. However, there is never an end to learning. The more you know about right skincare tricks and products the better it is. This book I came across recently filled me up with more information, improving my knowledge regarding skincare and several important issues related to it.

 “Rose water or any micellar water is a better option than a harsh menthol – or camphor-based toner” – Dr Sharad

Toners are ideal for people like me with oily, combination and acne-prone skin, confirms Dr Sharad. However, she suggests avoiding ones that are alcohol-based and instead using rose water or micellar water. Those who have normal and dry skin can do away with toners completely as they can at times increase dryness.

“Charcoal masks, if used too often, the skin’s natural lipids may get damaged and result in rashes or itchy skin.” – Dr Sharad

Face masks are something that nowadays I reach out to address various skin concerns of mine. The most recent one trending the charts and one that is on my to-do list is charcoal mask. Dr Sharad says that masks with ingredients like charcoal and clay are good for oily skin. But at the same time she cautions about their overuse as they can leave the skin with rashes. It is best avoided by those with dry and sensitive skin. She recommends glycerine, hyaluronic acid and aloe gel instead for dry skin.

“Do not try home remedies without having your doctor examine your skin first and give you green signal.” – Dr Sharad  

For every small skin ailment I’m used to turn to home remedies and with an easy access to the internet I have always had numerous recipes to experiment with, though not all went well and few left me with a rash. This book confirmed my doubt that few home remedies might result in skin allergies, scarring, irritant contact dermatitis and post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Dr Sharad recommends doing a patch test first and leaving it for an hour. If no adverse effect is seen then one can go ahead with the remedy. Also ensuring that the ingredients mixed are not too old and the applicators that are used are clean. She also suggests consulting a dermatologist before going ahead with these home-remedies.

 “Avoid packs using milk, yogurt, milk cream (malai), limes, lemons, tomatoes or potatoes on acne-prone skin.” – Dr Sharad

Dr Sharad says milk, milk products and oils can cause more whiteheads increasing the problem for an acne-prone skin. And an already irritated skin might get more irritated with packs having lemon and tomatoes as ingredients.  Dr Sharad recommends fuller’s earth mixed with water or rose water as a pack for such skin type. And make sure no pack stays applied for more than 10-15 minutes, this applies for all skin types.

“Look for sunscreens which say ‘non-comedogenic’, ‘gel’, ‘oil-free’, ‘dry touch’, ‘for acne-prone skin’ or ‘matte finish’. – Dr Sharad

Though I know one shouldn’t step out without a sunscreen I try to avoid using one, reason that I break out more wearing it. Through this book I learnt that reason behind my breaking out is not using sunscreen but using a wrong one. With my skin type I need to choose one that is gel-based or matte with ecamsule. Dr Sharad says using oil or cream-based sunscreens clog the pores, causing blackheads and whiteheads. While silicon present in matte sunscreens don’t block the pores and also reduce oil secretion.

Get yourself a copy of this comprehensive book, you just might find answers to the skin issues which you may have been ignoring all this while.

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