Love your skin - 5 easy, everyday ways
We can't stress this enough. On our "what to avoid" list: junk food (high in salt/sugar), preserved food, alcohol... and, hold it: fruit juices! High salt leads to water retention = puffy, unhealthy looking skin. Excess sugar (fruit juices often have more sugar than cola) is bad for collagen that keeps your skin firm and young-looking. Alcohol is a known dehydrating agent (dries your skin). If you've felt your skin looks & feels odd the morning after a party, it's due to all of the above.
What to eat: this is easier. Fruits (all brightly colored ones - in whole form, not as juices), vegetables, yoghurt (without sugar), nuts, sea food (minus oil and salt). We will cover the "why"s of these some other day.
Ditch the soap
May sound obvious, but the number of people we see who still use soap on their face, especially in the mornings, makes this a must-have on the list at No. 2. Soap has a pH of 10.5, whereas your skin is happy at 5.5. Putting your facial skin through this chemical reaction every morning is not loving your skin. Quick tip: use a mild face wash first thing in the morning, and don't soap your face when you shower. For the same reason, we recommend switching to shower gels and body washes, if you wish to be nice to the rest of your body (and if you have the budget).
It's funny that with a climate like India, we have to tell people to use SPF. Covering your face with a cloth and/or sitting indoors or inside a car or bus does not protect your face from UV rays that cause dark spots, ageing and much worse. We will cover SPF in detail later, but for now, remember to choose at least SPF15 in your cream. And anything more than SPF30 is overkill. More on this some other day.
Read the ingredient list
Don't believe everything you are told. Make it a habit to turn the pack around and read the ingredient list. So you know if what you are using is safe and effective. It may feel like a big task to begin with, but why fear when Google is here :). Just remember to use reputed sites like CIR and EWG to search for information on ingredients. We are happy to help, too.
Be comfortable in your skinThe human body is a wonder of nature. We are immensely lucky to be alive, to have people to love and to be loved, and to be a part of the wonderful world around us. Getting worried about dark skin and other "skin-deep" issues, and doing crazy things to oneself (such as chemical bleaching, constant use of chemical-laden creams, harsh peels and facials) just to "look better" in someone's eyes, is again, not loving your skin and the beauty of nature. To care for skin and keep it healthy is important, but to try and change it simply for cosmetic reasons - well, think about it.
Be comfortable with who you are, stay healthy, and Be Good! Happy Valentine's Day!!