Amidst the pandemic as pollution levels in Delhi are on the rise again, Dr Sonali Kohli gives some insights about possible ways to ensure healthy skin
With falling temperatures, the Capital is again faced with the infamous smog clouding the skies. Add to this the restricted movement and the changes in lifestyle due to the pandemic and Delhiites need to pay special heed to skincare to limit long-term damage. To get a better idea of what steps people can take in their everyday life to keep their skin from wilting under the changes, Dr Sonali Kohli, MD Consultant Dermatologist Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital shares a few valuable insights.
Increasing air pollution levels can be detrimental to skincare. “Skin allergies and irritations are very commonly seen with increasing pollutants suspended in the air. Clogging of the skin can also lead to increased occurrence of comedones and acne.” To reduce the chances of such skincare problems, people need to take special care.
To begin with, Dr Kohli suggests, “It is important to follow a double cleansing regime to ensure no grime is left on the skin. Using a micellar water-based cleanser prior to face wash is a good option, and is safe for all skin types. Oil cleansing is also popular; however, it is not safe for all skin types.”
Other than cleansing and regular face wash, she stresses on the importance of breathing fresh air for glowing skin and since the increasing levels of pollution put a damper on it, facial yoga and deep breathing exercises can help increase healthy blood flow to the skin. Dr Kohli also suggests consumption of oral antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E and Omega 3 that can also help fight internal damage. She also recommends the regular use of sunscreen to help fight skin damage.
When it comes to health, prevention is always better than cure, as such Dr Kohli suggests that people with sensitive skin should especially be more careful about the negative impact of pollution and take proper care. She says, “It is important to be aware consumers and read labels. For people with sensitive skin, all skincare should be free of perfume and parabens. Using mild foam-based cleansers is advisable. Typically, physical sunscreens are safe for sensitive skin.”
However, when it comes to skincare, it is also about overall health, therefore, watching what you eat becomes an active ingredient in ensuring healthy skin. And Dr Kohli has some good advice for people looking for that glowing skin. She says, “We are what we eat. Food is the basic element for healthy glowing skin. Eating a healthy, organic and GMO-free diet can help improve immunity and boost antioxidant activity in our body to fight the damages of free radical production due to pollution. Eating an alkaline diet is recommended, avoid sugar and high glycaemic index foods. A rainbow diet including equal proportions of all colours of vegetables and fruits can be very helpful in the maintenance of healthy skin.”
And when it comes to overall health, diet is half what it takes, the other half of a healthy individual’s lifestyle should be comprised of healthy workout sessions that help more than physical fitness. Dr Kohli says, “Spending time in nature, getting a daily dose of sunlight and practising meditation and deep breathing can help maintain our neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin etc. This helps maintain our Gut-Skin-Brain Axis thus not only helps us feel better but is also beneficial for healthy glowing radiant skin.
In times of the pandemic and increased pollution levels, when going outdoors means wearing a face mask, that can be a problem for healthy skin in itself. However, just like most things, there is a way around that too. Dr Kohli advises the use of “disposable face masks that should be thrown out and not reused as they can lead to clogging of skin pores and subsequent acne. All cloth masks should also be washed regularly. Following the usage of mask, double cleansing for the face should be used to ensure no leftover grime on the skin.” She adds, “It is important to wear minimum makeup and use lite moisturisers under the skin to prevent product buildup.”
Also, keeping in mind that going outdoors should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, Dr Kohli suggests a few tips for maintaining healthy skin through home remedies. She says, “Eating a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants and proper hydration can help achieve great skin. Home remedies like face masks containing gram flour, milk powder and granulated sugar can be used as mild exfoliants. Milk powder contains lactic acid which works as a brilliant peeling agent and helps brighten the skin. Rose water can work as a toner and for dried cracked heels a mix of glycerine and rose water can be applied.”
In this time of crisis, when people are faced with the double whammy of a pandemic and toxicity in the air, ensuring good skincare then is not as difficult as one may think: eat fresh and healthy, follow a cleansing routine and make sure to take care when wearing masks in the outdoors can help achieve glowing skin without having to go to great lengths.
Tips for healthy skin
- Follow a double cleaning regime, use a micellar water-based cleanser prior to face wash. It is safe for all skin types.
- Wash your face regularly, and practise deep breathing exercises.
- Take care of your overall health, opt for a rainbow diet with good hydration and antioxidants.
- Do not reuse single-use face masks as they can lead to acne.
- Avoid heavy makeup and use a light moisturiser under the makeup to prevent product pile up.
- Regularly wash cloth masks.
- Home remedies like face masks containing gram flour, milk powder and granulated sugar should be used as mild exfoliants.
- Use rose water as a toner for sensitive skin.