Skin ageing makes its appearance with a few fine lines or dryness first, and triggers nightmares for many people. While it is impossible to stop the process, one can control or postpone it to an extent. It’s possible to have glowing skin even after 40, with a healthy and balanced lifestyle, experts say.
Dermatologist Dr Lakshmi Sharada strongly believes that healthy eating habits, hydration, yoga and cardio routine are very important for a healthy, glowing skin, in addition to a suitable skin care routine. She also stresses the need for smokers to break the habit.
Sana Chawla, Health Coach, believes that external beauty is achieved not from the application of creams and products but from inner beauty. “Consuming nutrient-dense foods, getting quality sleep and maintaining emotional wellness as well as exercising contribute to overall well-being and are non-negotiable,” she says. Pointing out that a weakened immune system impacts the skin, hair and gut, causing acne, mood swings, hair fall and inflammation, she advocates dry brushing, face yoga and Pranayama to slow down ageing and achieve an overall glow.
“As we age, our skin becomes less firm, collagen levels fall and fine lines and wrinkles show up. Including healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters and olive oil reduces inflammation and helps moisturize your skin from inside out,” she says. “Ditch dairy, sugar and processed foods to heal the gut, which is the most important organ in our body,” she stresses, adding, “Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to keep the skin supple and hydrated.”
Noting that fermented foods are known to boost gut health, she also recommends fasting to remove cellular waste and look younger. Have a consistent ‘Am n Pm’ routine, using products like Vitamin C and Retinol,” she says, and explains that the collagen content in antioxidants including retinol is what makes them important. “It tightens the skin to reduce fine lines and sagging skin later."
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Wellness Consultant, feels food habits and lifestyle are important in retaining health and youthfulness. “A well-balanced meal plan, which includes all food groups in the right quantities, along with adequate exercise, sleep and sunshine, is the way to go,” she says.
Many celebrities swear by various treatments for youthful, glowing skin, but according to experts, eating well is the key. Actress Anushka Sharma recently posted a photo on social media, and wrote, “My mornings start with a healthy routine of oil pulling. I call it yoga for the mouth. It’s simple but highly effective.” For the uninitiated, oil pulling is a traditional ayurvedic practice for removing toxins. The belief is that if you swish two tablespoons of a natural oil, like olive oil, in your mouth first thing in the morning, for at least 20 minutes, you’ll enjoy a clean and clear complexion.
Dr. Lakshmi, however, sounds a note of caution. “I don’t think there is a good scientific explanation or studies to show if oil pulling can help skin health, so I do not recommend it for skin health,” she says.
Sheela Krishnaswamy’s a diet plan to bring out the glow
* Eat at least 2 large cups of veggies, one fruit and a handful of nuts, every day.
* Incorporate whole grains and pulses in your meals.
* Take an adequate amount of dairy, if you are not intolerant to it.
* Minimize sugar, salt, oil and caffeine.
* Avoid highly processed foods, carbonated beverages, artificial colours and flavours.
* Exercise for 60 minutes a day, and stay active as far as possible.
* Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night, and 20 to 30 minutes of sunlight during the day.
Dr Lakshmi Sharada’s face-care routine
Vit C serum