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Five simple steps to a glowing complexion

Last updated on: April 8, 2010 15:51 IST

Five simple steps to a glowing complexion

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Courtesy Healthcaremagic.com

Everyone wants clear, healthy skin. But how is one to keep it that way when we are out facing pollution, toxins and junk food everyday? Follow these simple steps to help achieve it.

It feels nice to be complimented for a glowing, healthy complexion. And it also pinches a little to see it on someone else, doesn't it? Well, you don't have to sail in that boat anymore -- here are five suggestions to ensure your skin stays beautiful.

Step 1: Decrease excess oil secretion

  • Blemishes appear in areas of the skin where more oil glands are present, which means excess oil secretion. So you need to ensure that these parts of your skin are kept clean and dry.
  • Avoiding oil-based cosmetics helps. Using them can clog pores and lead to developing acne. Bare mineral cosmetics, which are light and powdery will be less likely to cause a breakout.
  • Use oil-free foundation for makeup. Washing the face with cold water before applying foundation is good, as it helps to close your pores. Wash off your makeup before bed, no matter how tired you are.
  • If you are using sunscreen or moisturiser, use an oil-free one depending on the SPF requirement of your skin type. Look out for products that are labelled as 'noncomedogenic', as these will not clog your pores.
  • Avoid products such as pomades or gels which can clog your pores when your hair brushes against the face. Keep your hair clean using an oil-free, nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic shampoo.
  • If you have oily hair, wash it using shampoo daily. Cover your face when applying any sprays and gels in your hair.
  • Pull long hair back while sleeping such that it doesn't aggravate your skin. Hair contains oils that can cause breakouts -- even if you don't use hair products, be careful to avoid contact of the hair with the face.
  • Do not lean your face on your hands and also keep your cellphone away from it. Hands and phones are known to carry oils and germs that can irritate blemishes.

Image: Decrease excess oil secretion for a flawless face like Sushmita
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Step 2: Encourage routine shedding of the skin

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  • Using a peel is one of the easiest methods to promote regular and routine shedding of the skin.
  • Exfoliation of the skin results in releasing the build-up of dead skin cells, oils and bacteria trapped in the pores, which otherwise lead to the formation of blemishes.
  • Use of homemade peels is advisable to minimise the harmful effects of the chemicals contained in commercial exfoliating peels.
  • Papaya is an effective exfoliating peel containing glycolic acid that gently exfoliates the skin. It is very safe for weekly use.

Image: Routine exfoliation will give you fresh skin like Catherine Zeta Jones
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
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Step 3: Minimise the spread of bacterial infections

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  • Using an astringent to disinfect the skin significantly reduces the presence of bacteria on the face, limiting skin inflammation and the likelihood of pimple development.
  • Avoid rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based astringents and toners on your skin, even if it is oily. These products are known to strip the skin of its natural, protective moisture, causing irritation and making acne worse.
  • Avoid frequent and vigorous washing that can irritate your skin and worsen acne. Wash acne-prone areas twice daily with a mild soap and warm water.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin well-hydrated. It is useful -- as you sweat, your pores get washed out.

  • Image: Keep your skin well-hydrated for Ash's fresh glow
    Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
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    Step 4: Enhancing fat metabolism

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  • Free fatty acids irritate the skin and provoke acne eruptions. Therefore, reducing the consumption of foods containing hydrolyzed fats will improve fat metabolism.
  • Remember, however, that essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 are useful -- these are found in foods such as salmon and olive oil. These essential fats aid in eliminating pro-inflammatory substances, which reduces the possibility of experiencing acne lesions.
  • Exercising burns off excess fat and energy, which can clog the skin. Exercise or a workout twice a day is good. It also helps in reducing stress.

  • Image: Exercise will leave you with a healthy flush like Gwyneth Paltrow
    Photographs: Eric Gaillard/Reuters
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    Step 5: Eating smart and reducing inflammation

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    • A strong immune system is a buffer against inflammation.
    • Sleeping well boosts your immunity. Sleeping at least 8-10 hours a night is vital to healthy, glowing skin.
    • A diet supplemented with or rich in B-Complex, zinc and vitamins C and E enhances the effectiveness of the immune system.
    • Accutane, a derivative of Vitamin A reduces the secretion of oil by oil-producing glands.
    • Consuming foods that supplyVitamin A and beta-carotene (which gets converted into Vitamin A by the body) is good.
    • Foods rich in Vitamin A include: liver, oily fish, whole eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, colourful fruit and vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, and peppers.
    • Vitamin E also has a good effect on the skin. Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are rich in Vitamin E.
    • That oily foods and chocolate cause pimples is a myth. If you do figure out that certain foods seem to cause breakouts, try to avoid them. Try to avoid crisps and fried foods -- you can replace them with fruit.

    Follow these steps for two weeks and see the results for yourself -- you'll enjoy the feel of a great, glowing, healthy complexion!


    Image: Eating smart is not only great for your skin, it can help you attain a figure like Shilpa's
    Photographs: Vikram Bawa
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