Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
Your teenage years can be particularly difficult to navigate; between a budding social agenda, extracurricular activities, and striving for academic success. Teenage is like a rollercoaster ride.
It is almost impossible to get through your teen years without a slew of complaints about your skin.
Acne, blackheads, and oily skin affects 9 out of 10 teenagers due to stressful schoolwork, peer pressure, grab-and-go meals and an erratic schedule.
Like pretty much everything in your early teens — your first crush, your first period, your first bra purchase — navigating your first skincare routine can be particularly confusing. If you don’t have a skincare routine in place yet, it is never too late to get started. Follow these morning habits to get clear and healthy skin.
Cleansing is the keyword for adolescent skin. The pores must be kept free of dirt, debris and hardened oil. Cleanse your skin twice a day, morning and night. In fact, night-time cleansing is very important to remove the oil and sweat deposits, as well as impurities deposited on the skin during the day. Use a face wash or cleanser that is specially formulated for your skin type. It’s best to use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser that doesn’t dry out the skin and isn’t heavy on chemicals.
Use plenty of water to wash off all traces of the cleanser. Buy astringent lotion and mix it with rose water in equal quantities. Keep it in the fridge. After cleansing, tone the skin daily with this chilled toner, using cotton wool pads. First wipe the skin. Then, pat the skin briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads. This improves blood circulation to the skin surface and adds a glow.
Using sunblock to protect the skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun also helps keep your acne breakouts from turning dark. Before you leave for school or college, apply a broad-spectrum moisturising sunblock or sunscreen (at least SPF 30 and higher) to all the exposed areas. If you are going outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats to protect your skin from the harmful rays.
If you are into sports and stay outdoors often, buy a sunscreen with SPF more than 35. If you spend most time indoors, one with an SPF of 15 is good enough. Pick an oil-free product, and look for cosmetics, like liquid foundation, that contain sunscreen.
If you use make-up, do not go to bed without removing it. You may be tired and exhausted after a long day at school or college but do not leave makeup overnight as it will clog your pores and lead to breakouts. It takes 10 minutes or less to take off the makeup and cleanse the face thoroughly. Using makeup remover wipes makes the job even easier.
Water is an essential part of healthy skin. Drinking enough water helps in maintaining the elasticity of your skin and keeping it healthy. Water contains nutrients which are good for your overall health. It helps in detoxifying and keeping the gut clean, which reflects on your skin.
For most skin types, you should moisturise the skin morning and evening, using a moisturiser that does not aggravate skin problem. Pick a light skin cream that’s suitable for your skin and addresses your skin issues (like acne or spots). An oil-based cleanser is ideal for night. It should be followed up with a soap-free foam cleanser. For the morning routine, you can choose a gentle foam-based cleanser.
If the skin is oily and prone to blackheads, spots, pimples and acne, avoid using creams and moisturisers. If the skin feels dry, as in winter, mix one teaspoon of pure glycerine with 100 ml rosewater and keep in an airtight bottle in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion to relieve dryness. For sun protection, apply a sunscreen gel 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
Exfoliating teen skin is a risky affair. Use a non-abrasive facial scrub twice a week. This helps to cleanse pores and brighten the skin. It also helps to discourage and dislodge blackheads. Don’t use products that have harsh, grainy textures or products that are formulated with sand or crystals, as these can irritate your skin.
Avoid scrubs on pimples, acne or rash. Make a facial scrub with ground almonds or walnut powder, mixed with one teaspoon each of rose water and curd and a pinch of turmeric. Apply the mixture on the face and leave on for a few minutes. Then, rub gently, with small circular movements, washing off with plenty of water.
Twice a week, mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it is dry. For combination skin, apply the mask on oily areas of the skin. Fruit packs are also great for adding radiance to the skin. Mix grated apples with ripe papaya pulp and mashed banana. Apply it on the face and leave it on for half an hour. Wash off with plain water. It not only adds a glow, but also removes tan and softens the skin.
A “pick-me-up” face mask can leave your skin clean and glowing. When the skin looks dull, mix lemon juice and egg white and apply it on the face. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. Then give the skin a compress with the cold rose water-soaked cotton wool pads. Skincare may seem a boring routine but your skin is your responsibility, so learn to take care of it.