Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
The weather is getting colder, the air is getting dryer and the sweaters are getting thicker.
Cold, harsh winter not only impacts your immunity system, but also your hair and skin.
Sometimes you may buy a dozen creams, lotions or moisturisers but your skin always looks lifeless and dull. Your skin is susceptible to the frigid climate that causes inflammation, redness and dryness, among many other common symptoms during winters.
So, what can you do to protect your skin despite dropping temperature?
You can moisturise and apply a few extra face masks each week, but instead of working from the outside in, consider working from the inside out.
It’s finally that time of the year again when markets are flooded with a variety of seasonal green vegetables like Palak, Methi, Bathua, mustard leaves and lettuce, among others.
And these tasty delights are brimming with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which not only give you the right nutrition but can also do wonders for your skin
Carrots: Carrots are available in very good quality during winter season. Though you can find carrots round the year, the colour of carrot that you can find during the other seasons would be orange whereas in winter season it is red.
Carrots are rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps your body produce collagen.
Carrots are high in vitamin A, another antioxidant that attacks cell damaging free radicals.
It has a soothing effect on the skin, making it soft, smooth and supple further preventing wrinkles and fine lines. In fact, it can be applied to soothe dry, sensitive skin. Carrots can be also be used as a face mask. Boil them in a little water. Cool and mash. Apply the pulp on the face like a pack and wash off with plain water after half an hour.
It’s recommended as a way to help clear up acne and allow your skin to become soft, supple and attractive
Cabbage: Cabbage is a wonderful ingredient among the vegetables which have good fibre contents. It’s nutritious, helps in weight loss and prevents cholesterol accumulation.
Cabbage is rich in skin-nourishing vitamin K, and also boasts of possessing anti-inflammatory properties.
Cabbage contains valuable minerals and are also very nourishing for the skin. It is said to have many healing properties, due to high sulphur content. Cabbage can be boiled in enough water. Cool the water and use it to wash the skin. It is a nourishing and soothing skin treatment.
Mix cabbage juice with ripe banana pulp and honey. Apply this hair mask after oiling your hair. Keep it for about 20 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.
Spinach: This leafy green wonder vegetable that originated in Persia is excellent for skincare. Spinach is a superfood, rich in Vitamins A, C, E and K as well as vital minerals which work together to help
your skin enhance its radiance, heal from scars or sun damage, and fortify its natural barrier. It can be incorporated quite easily into any diet, as it is cheap and easy to prepare.
Spinach helps to clear up acne. You can also use it as a beauty mask on your face by blending fresh baby spinach leaves with a little water and applying it on your face for 30 minutes. It is known to reduce oiliness and also inflammation. It also helps to tone and refresh the skin. It will act as an effective remedy in getting rid of damaged skin cells.
Lettuce: Eat plenty of lettuce, which is commonly available in winter. This lettuce also contains potassium which gives your skin a boost of oxygen and nutrients, helping it to improve circulation and giving you a covetable glow.
It is said to stimulate hair growth, as it contains Vitamins A, C and E, along with folic acid and zinc. It also prevents premature greying of hair and has several skin benefits too. It improves blood circulation and also makes the skin radiant. It delays the visible signs of ageing. Lettuce leaves are best eaten raw. Cooking them can strip off all the nutrients in them. Shredded Lettuce leaves are used in Salads. Certain proteins in lettuce like lipoxygenase, help control inflammation.
Tomatoes: Tomato also has beauty benefits. Tomatoes are rich in selenium; an antioxidant that gives you added protection from skin cancer and sun damage.
It contains lycopene, an antioxidant, and therefore, has anti-ageing benefits when applied on the skin. It can also help prevent the formation of age spots, wrinkles and fine lines thus keeping your skin smoother, clearer and younger-looking for longer.
Tomato pulp or tomato juice also helps to reduce oiliness and lightens skin colour over a period of time. It is particularly useful for oily skin. Keep these extremely nutritious veggies in mind next time you’re grocery shopping!