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									W     hen it comes to glowing flawless skin, you may think only creams and lotions can do the trick.


We showcase some foods that literally feed your skin from within, making it healthier and more beautiful.

Oranges

What they do: They are loaded with Vitamin C, which protects your skin from damage from environmental
factors like ultraviolet rays.

Vitamin C keeps your gums healthy and helps your skin to make collagen, which is necessary to keep it tight
and wrinkle free.

How to consume: You need 200 mg of Vitamin C per day. There's enough in one orange for your entire
day's needs.

It's better to consume the whole fruit than just have the juice.

Smoking is a no-no as it decreases the absorption of Vitamin C into the system.

Conditions it helps:

~ Bleeding, tender gums.
~ Healing wounds.
~ Prevents skin from looking dull due exposure to the sun.



P   apayas


What they do: This delicious, low-calorie fruit is not just a dieter's delight; it comes packed with carotenoids
that release Vitamin A.

Vitamin A has an antioxidant effect; it protects your skin from damage and keeps it young. It is also known to
decrease the risk of cancer.

How to consume: About 200 gm (a big bowlful) is adequate. The part near the seeds is the richest in
nutrients, so it should not be discarded. Instead, just lightly flake off the seeds with a fork.

Conditions it helps:

Dry skin and dry mucosa (the lining of your mouth and eyes).




W     hole grains




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What they do: These are full of vitamins of the B group; these vitamins are essential for normal skin
functioning, growth of new cells to replace dead ones and to maintain the skin's strength against infections
and stress.

Niacin in whole grains also helps skin cells to absorb nutrients from the blood and break them to release
energy.

How to consume: Select breads, biscuits and pastas that mention 'whole grain' instead of just wheat flour in
the ingredients.

Try to eat unpolished rice (brown rice). You could also add wheat bran (husk of wheat) to your chappatti
dough.

Conditions it helps:

~ Peeling, cracked skin
~ Rough hands and feet.
~ Mouth ulcers, sore tongue, rawness at the angles of your mouth.
~ A disease called pellagra, where skin becomes dark, flaky and burnt.



S   unflower seeds


What they do: These light, crisp, nutritious morsels are filled with the goodness of essential fatty acids.
They help your skin secrete natural oils that lubricate it and prevent water loss, keeping your skin soft.

They improve hair texture and decrease blackheads.

How to consume: A few teaspoons once or twice a week is enough. Alternately, use sunflower oil for
cooking.

Conditions it helps:

~ Diseases like psoriasis, where you get pink, scaly patches on your skin and cracked soles.
~ Diseases like atopic dermatitis, where skin is excessively dry and sensitive and keeps breaking into
rashes.
~ Some forms of acne.



G   reen tea


What it does: Green tea is loaded with flavinoids and antioxidants. Drinking it is the best gift you could give
your skin.

Sunlight, UV rays and free radical (chemicals) in the atmosphere can damage your skin cell's structure and
leave it incapable of repairing itself, making you look older and wrinkled before your years. It may also cause
skin cancer.

Antioxidants in green tea battle these agents, helping your skin stay younger.




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How to consume: Soak a tea bag or a teaspoon of tea leaves in a cup of hot water for at least three
minutes to get the full extract. This is available at any pharmacy. Adding milk neutralises the antioxidants, so
it is best to have it black.

Conditions it helps:

~ Wrinkled, aged looking skin and sunburns.
~ Rashes due to sun exposure.
~ Pigmentation due to menopause or pregnancy.



P   ulses


What they do: Pulses are not just a rich source of protein that helps your skin cells grow, they also contain
a nutrient called biotin, which helps decrease dandruff and is effective in controlling hair fall. Regular intake
keeps your nails stay strong as well.

How to consume: Pulses must be cooked well to break the outer protective coats and release the vitamins
inside.

Whole pulses are better than the de-husked variety. Whole moong or urad dal are the best.

Body builders beware; eating raw eggs prevents absorption of nutrients like biotin, causing its deficiency.

Conditions they help:

~ Dull lifeless skin gets a glow with a high protein pulses-rich diet.
~ Stops hair loss, decreases dandruff.
~ Helps brittle, dry nails.



A   loe Vera


What it does: This miracle plant's products have no end to their virtues. Drinking aloe juice is beneficial for
patchy, irritated skin, preventing and treating acne and preventing pigmentation.

How to consume: About 30 ml daily is enough. Buy packaged juice only, which is available with chemists.
Don't try to eat the plant jelly directly as you could take in harmful inedible substances from the leaf surface.

Conditions it helps:

Acne, pigmentation, skin rashes, heat rashes and allergic reactions.



N   uts


What they do: These may be high in calories but they are also rich in zinc, which is needed for skin cells to
grow, multiply and protect themselves from free radicals.




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It is also helpful in maintaining immunity (capability to fight infection) of the skin and helping in normal hair
growth.

They also contain essential fatty acids that prevent dryness of skin and hair.

How to consume: A fistful of groundnuts, walnuts, almonds and cashew nuts once or twice a week will give
you all health benefits, without shaking the foundations of your calorie count chart. Do remove the skins if
you like, but have whole.

Avoid coffee and tea as they decrease absorption of these nutrients from nuts.

Conditions they help:

~ Children with sensitive skin or skin allergies.
~ Hair loss and rough, unruly hair.




Skincare tips for your wedding day!
October 7, 2008


The wedding season is fast approaching and those of you about to tie the knot know what I'm
talking about when I say it's difficult to maintain good looks under stress. Trousseau tussles with
ever-delaying tailors, wedding planners saying they can�t procure orchids for the decor at the
last moment, running around to confirm your venue bookings and honeymoon tickets and
hanging nightmares about your future mother-in-law all take their toll. It's enough to make anyone
break out in rashes and pimples! The trick is to start working on your look and caring for your skin
right now instead of looking for last-minute solutions a week before the wedding.
 Start a routine skin care regimen -- invest in quality products. If you have dry or sensitive skin,
for instance, start using a soap free-cleanser like Cetaphil, or use a pH-balanced cleansing bar
like Sebamed for normal to oily skin. An alpha hydroxyl product used once or twice a week can
revive dull skin (try AHAGlow face wash by Torrent Pharma). Cleanse your face at least three to
four times a day, use a toner immediately after to normalise the skin pH and then use a sun-
blocking moisturiser. Always remove makeup before sleeping, no matter how late you�ve come
back home and use a good quality nutrient replenishing night cream (try B-left Rich Lifting
Complex by Wockhardt).
 Detox your skin: Festival season be damned! Stop eyeing those sweets and festive goodies if
you want flawless skin for your wedding. Drink two glasses of vegetable juice daily. Take plenty of
fresh fruit and vegetables of different colours (5 helpings a day). Try yoga, especially Pranayama
and Kapal Bharti -- they are excellent stress-busters.
 Supplements: Cheat a little on nature! Give your body a temporary boost with a mega dose of
skin nutrients -- take an antioxidant capsule in the morning, an omega-3 supplement in the
afternoon and calcium citrate at night and watch your skin and hair become super-lustrous. Ask
your dermatologist for a prescription for these supplements.

Get some professional help




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Ditch the so called �bridal facials�. Get smart, get scientific, get with the 21st century -- ask
your dermatologist to start skin-peeling sessions or microdermabrasion (skin polishing) or even
laser resurfacing (laser facials) for your face (depending on your budget). They are all painless
and not at all time-consuming. Four to six sittings at 15-day intervals can give you an unbeatable
glow on d-day. They improve skin colour, texture and smoothen out patchy pigmentary
irregularities. Smoother, even-toned skin ensures compliments and better light reflectivity of the
skin ensures wonderful photographs!

You can also plan laser hair reduction for embarrassing facial and body hair (on the upper lip,
chin, chest, abdomen, bikini line, butt etc).

Last-minute checklist

        Waxing, threading, bleaching etc must be done at least four days before the big day to
         give your skin time to settle down and to combat any imitant or allergic reactions that may
         occur.
        If a reaction does take place, apply ice and then a maximum of calamine lotion (like
         Dermadew Caloe) and mometasone (Elocon lotion). Consult a dermatologist as soon as
         possible.
        Try out all new makeup a week to ten days prior to check for allergies.
        Ensure your makeup artist uses the best quality, hypoallergenic products to glam you up.
         Swollen lips due to a cheap lipstick allergy is enough to ruin a honeymoon!
        The last 48 hours try to stay on only fruit and raw vegetables and have water thrice a day.
         The intense hydration ensures better-looking skin.
        Stay calm -- mental peace and happiness reflect on your skin. Let your love put a glow on
         your face!




Tying the knot? Here's a wedding checklist!
October 3, 2008


So you're ready for the ol' ball and chain? To tie the knot? To take the plunge?
If we haven't scared you off marriage already and you're determined to have a wedding in the
next few months at all costs (and believe us, it will cost you!) we present the marriage checklist.

Budget

Yes, unfortunately, the unpleasant part comes first.

When you're planning a wedding, the first thing you need to sit down with your partner and
discuss finances. No, not just after the question has been popped and your poor fiancè has blown
a year's salary on a giant rock of a ring. If you do that, he just may decide that it's not too late to
take it back.




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But yes, you need to decide how much you both can collectively spend on your wedding and
engagement reception -- the latter is optional, by the way.

Parents usually do save up a nest-egg of sorts for their children's weddings but you are the best
judge of your personal finances. If you and your fiancè are planning on buying a house of your
own, for instance, you may consider a very small do instead of the Big Fat Indian Wedding.

It is best in such situations that the couple have a one-on-one discussion after separate
discussions with their respective families. If it turns into a free-for-all, it's very likely opposing
parties may have different budgets and opinions and things may take an unpleasant turn. So
arrive at a conclusion with your own folks and then get together.

When you have consulted with your families and arrived at an amount, you need to take into
consideration marriage factors other than the budget. Namely (in order of importance):

   Guestlist
   Venue(s)
   Catering
   Decorators/florists
   Trousseau
   Miscellaneous expenses (gifts for family members etc)




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