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Skincare: Dermatologist-approved guide on home ingredients to use or stay away

As one Covid-19 lockdown followed another, homemade DIY organic face packs for a “quick fix glow” became our go-to buddy and if you, like us, crave fashion cues and beauty tips after the festivities or party sessions end, we got you sorted with easy skincare tips to add to your routine to nourish and hydrate your skin. The recent lockdown times have seen a surge of influencers recommending home ingredients for skincare and have been raving about items in the pantry being responsible for their flawless skin.

Experts highlight that home ingredient skincare seems like a boon for people who prefer inexpensive skincare products and have not seen any changes in their complexion issues with their use. However, even top doctors recommend that skincare begins from inside out and before you switch to home ingredients for skincare, it is essential to understand what factors are causing the skin issues and the best person to guide you is your dermatologist.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon at The Esthetic Clinics, shared, “Before you start using a gadget or a new product or making your own skincare from home ingredients, set up an appointment with you dermatologist. According to doctors DIY skin care might be good for skin if you know what products suit your skin type and how much to use.”

Insisting that there are certain home ingredients that might do more damage to your skin than good, Dr Rinky Kapoor offered a short doctor-approved guide of what you can use and what to stay away from. Listing home ingredients that one can use, she mentioned:

· Turmeric is the panacea of all skin problems since times immortal. Use it with milk, water, make it a scrub or just a face pack, it will give you a glowing, tan free and radiant skin.

· Aloe vera gel can be store bought (although read the ingredient list carefully) or you can scrape the gel from the plant directly and use it. It rejuvenates the skin and you can use it in place of lotion for moisturizing. It is used to treat sunburn, cuts and even an occasional pimple.

· Cucumber is excellent for naturally refreshing the skin and yes, it helps reduce the puffiness.

· Rose water can be used as a toner or in face packs for cleaning and calming the skin.

· Good quality honey is an excellent source of antioxidants and your skin will benefit greatly from its exfoliating, moisturizing and skin lightening properties. You can use honey directly or mix it with other skin ingredients such as yogurt, turmeric, olive oil etc.

· Raw milk is an excellent aid to preventing wrinkles and hydrating the skin.

· Olive oil is a blessing for dry skin

· Coconut oil helps repair the skin’s outer barrier and is antibacterial and therefore can be safely used for calming skin inflammation, promote skin healing and slowing down ageing. It is best for dry skin.

· Yogurt/curd is one ingredient that is just asking to be used for moisturizing. You can use it directly or combine with honey, aloe vera or turmeric or olive oil.

· Multani Mitti or fuller’s earth is an excellent remedy for oily skin. The Multani mitti face pack also reduces inflammation and helps control acne.

Advising that the trick to flawless skin is hidden in knowing what and when to use, Dr Rinky Kapoor suggested some tricks that can help one get maximum benefit from the home ingredients. She revealed:

· Add a few drops of vitamin C serum to your glowing skin remedy and it will give you the extra glow

· Add a few drops of hyaluronic acid or serum to the hydrating face pack to lock in the moisture in the skin for a day long dewy look.

· Use a jade roller for better absorption of the ingredients in the skin. It also improves circulation and curbs signs of ageing.

· Use sun screen daily if you want to preserve your skin elasticity and fight sun damage. There is no home alternative to sunscreen. Invest in good SPF 50 sunscreen to use.

It is no secret that what one eats, reflects directly on their skin therefore, Dr Rinky Kapoor recommended to include plenty of omega-3s, polyphenols in one’s diet. “These can be found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds,” she said. The dermatologist added, “Eating beta carotene rich foods will get rid of the pale complexion and keep the winter issues at bay. Eating the right food is a part of the lifestyle and not eating the occasional salad. Make sure that you include ample servings of vegetables, nuts, fruits in your diet every day. Add some extra protein in your diet in the form of beans and other legumes. These help in strengthening the gut and fight inflammation.”

Home ingredients to avoid:

Dr Rinky Kapoor shared a list of few home ingredients from your pantry that you should avoid. This include:

· Lemon at it can cause hyperpigmentation.

· Berries can cause staining therefore be careful of them when using.

· Toothpaste and baking soda irritate the skin and can only aggravate the problem.

· Raw eggs can cause skin infection.

· Vinegar when not used correctly can cause depigmentation and even a chemical burn.

· Spices such as cinnamon should be avoided as they can cause allergies and irritation on the skin.

“Always do a patch test before using any homecare skin ingredient. If you have a skin problem such as severe acne or dry skin or sensitive skin then consult a dermatologist as early as possible. It is important to know what is going on and in your skin,” Dr Rinky Kapoor concluded.

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