The first thing we notice about people we meet, is their complexion. It gives us an insight into their age, their general well-being, and even whether or not they had a good night’s sleep! Yes, shining eyes and a warm smile go a long way in compensating for a less than perfect complexion, but wouldn’t it be nice to have it all?
Here are 10 tips to get you started on the road to complexion perfection
1. “Ladies and gentlemen… wear sunscreen!”
“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.” Sage counsel, packaged into a catchy song by Baz Luhrmann and reiterated time and again by the best dermatologists in our nation, finds its way into the number one spot on our list, and with good reason. “Sunscreen protects against not just tanning and various other skin-related issues and illnesses, but also delays ageing. Apply it after moisturiser, and reapply two to three times a day, even if you are indoors. Don’t forget your neck, lips and hands,” advises Dr. Mukta Sachdev, MD, Consultant Dermatologist at Manipal Hospital in Bangalore. “Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.”
2. Watch what you eat
What you put inside your body largely determines what your body – and face – is going to look like from the outside. “Stay away from processed foods, greasy foods and excess sugar, as this could lead to breakouts,” says Shalini Manglani, Nutrition and Wellness Advisor and founder of KIO and Morinka Wellness. Consume healthy fats like cold pressed oils and nuts. Limit alcohol intake, and if you smoke, stop!
3. Get your beauty sleep
Your skin rejuvenates itself as you sleep by replacing old, damaged cells with new ones. Ensure you get at least eight hours every night. Bear in mind that the quality of sleep matters as well. Avoid drinking alcohol just before sleeping and turn off all electronic gadgets a couple of hours before turning in. Go old school and read a book instead of a gadget.
4. Protect skin during sleep
Invest in a satin pillowcase or cover your pillow with a satin scarf. Rougher fabrics pull lightly on your skin when you move about in your sleep, leading to more wrinkles over time.
“Start the day by drinking a litre of water with 30ml of lime, carrot or parsley juice,” advises Shalini. “As soon as you wake up, infuse your body with something alkaline,” she continues. “This is a must for good skin.” Drink at least two litres of water daily.
6. Cleanse well and moisturise
Cleanse your skin thoroughly morning and night with cold water. Hot water dries out your skin, while cold water increases circulation, which infuses your skin with oxygen. Use a cleanser suitable to your skin type and use a cleansing towel, brush, or fingers to massage it in with soft, circular strokes. Make sure your cleanser has a lower Ph Level, else, follow up with a toner.
Apply serum and follow up with eye cream and moisturiser. Don’t skip moisturiser even if you have oily skin. Instead, use one with a light formula, suitable to your skin type. Dr. Sachdev suggests applying creams and serums containing active ingredients like Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and azelaic acid. “This helps clear pigmentation and goes a long way in maintaining skin.”
Most of us skip using a primer. Primer fills out wrinkles, and also helps your make-up last through the day. It provides your foundation with a smooth canvas to work its magic on. Indeed, your skin will look far smoother if you use a primer. Apply it after your sunscreen, wait for a few minutes, and follow up with foundation.
8. Get the colour right
“When choosing a shade of foundation, ensure the colour is an exact match,” stresses bridal make-up artist, Shveta Raju. “If your skin is greasy, use matte foundation, while if it is dry or normal, it may be a good idea to get a foundation with subtle illumination.” Whatever you do, don’t go in for a lighter shade in a last-ditch attempt at fairness. Your face will look pasty and sallow. Beautiful skin equates to smooth, blemish-free and well looked after skin, irrespective of colour.
9. Use the right tools
“Applying foundation with a flat brush rather than fingertips gives you a perfectly blended, even tone,” feels Ajay Singh, MAC make-up artist. Alternatively, blend with a damp sponge or beauty blender, making sure to work the foundation into the edges of your face and down your neck. If using a brush, use downward strokes to work with the light layer of hair on your face and pat it downwards. “After applying foundation, apply concealer under your eyes and on any spots or pigmentation.”
10. Banish shine with setting and finishing powder
We love glowing skin, but shiny skin? Not so much. “Set your foundation and concealer with a powder to get rid of shine and help your make-up last through the day. Carry a compact with you and reapply if your face starts to look oily, but don’t apply too much or your face will look caked up,” cautions Ajay.
And if you’re going out for a special event, apply a light dusting of finishing powder. This will not only banish oily spots, but it deflects light in such a way so as to give your skin a soft focus, especially in photographs, so you can get your dream #nofilter Instagram shot every time. Say cheese!
(This article was published in the Deccan Herald on Feb 23, 2018)