A dedicated home-regimen is important to regain lost lustre
YOUR QUERIES and e-mails have been pouring in, and as promised, I will try to answer as many as I can. There are some problems related to specific skin conditions for which I have been receiving umpteen queries time and again.
This is a very common problem, which is caused by: heredity, lack of sleep, mental and physical fatigue, stress and improper diet.
*If your dark circles are hereditary, you can hope to lighten them and camouflage them by the treatment given below; but they will not vanish.
*Sleep is very essential to both health and beauty. Lack of sleep is immediately visible by the telltale dark circles around the eyes. Make sure you get your 6-8 hours of beauty sleep. Some people need more and some people need less. Skin revives itself when you sleep. This means 8-10 hours each night, not 5 hours one night and 11 hours the next.
* If you are suffering from insomnia or chronic fatigue something very common during menopause, consult your doctor and along with medical help, follow the daily treatment given below.
* A nutritious diet also goes a long way in preventing dark circles. It is found that insufficient iron, which causes anaemia, is also responsible for dark circles. So, to get rid of those dark circles or prevent them, include the following in your diet.
Eat a green leafy vegetable (keerai) daily.
If you are a non-vegetarian, include liver and egg especially yolk in your diet.
Iron supplement in the form of tablets can also be taken.
Figs, sultanas are also good sources of iron.
Wheat contains more iron than rice; so include wheat at least once a day in your diet.
Drink plenty of liquids, 6-10 glasses of water per day. Moisture is the key to complexion.
* Stress, mental and physical, also increases dark circles. To relax, close your eyes. Squeeze the juice from grated cucumber; dip a cotton pad and place it on your eyes. Put on some soothing music, lie down and just shut your mind or think of all the good things that you have experienced. Dark circles also increase if you have been watching too much TV or working on the computer for long.
Tips for treatment at home
At bedtime, cleanse the skin around the eyes using a herbal cleanser by applying it on the areas and wiping it off very gently with moist cotton. Apply an almond based under eye cream around your eyes. Remove with moist cotton after 10 minutes. Cream should not be left on the skin around the eyes when you sleep, or for long periods. For daytime you can try the following: Make a powder of almond and store in an airtight bottle. In the morning, make a paste with milk and apply around the eyes. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes and wash with water. Take care not to pull or drag the skin around the eyes.
Some parlours do a special under eye treatment and you could try that too. Specially formulated masks containing seaweeds are also available for the purpose. It has a revitalising effect when applied under the eyes. When it dries, wash off with water. This should be used once a day.
Fresh air and exercise
Oxygen is vital to your skin. It has been observed that if you are continuously breathing in stagnated stale air (for example, if you work for 12 hours in an air-conditioned office) you are prone to dark circles. To offset this, take a half-an-hour daily brisk walk and do some deep breathing exercises. This will do you as much good as an expensive under eye treatment.
Queries & Answers
Geeta wants to know how long she could allow henna to set before application. Whether she can use chemical dyes and henna alternately so that the frequency of chemical dyeing is reduced. Where can she get walnut shells?
Geeta Let the mixed henna set either overnight or at least for 2-3 hours as it gives better colour and conditioning. Henna only coats the hair whereas the chemical dyes put the pigment in the cortex of the hair. Alternating henna and chemical dye is not a good idea; instead, you could switch to semi-permanent dyes, which do not contain ammonia and hence, better for the hair. Walnut shells are the shells of unripe walnuts and they are available during September/October in North India.
Sapna wants to know of some cream-based hair dyes and where they are available.
Sapna Most of the cream-based hair dyes are available at salons as they are professional products. At present we are lucky to get some of the best international brands in India and you can choose one of them. Hema Bagwandas is allergic to all dyes and does not want to use henna as it may give a different colour.
Hema Even if you use henna for darker brown shade, it may give you an orange colour. I recommend that you use Bigeninstant hair colour powder, which is a Japanese product, packed and marketed in India. It has to be mixed with only water and it is cost effective, mild and is good for people with allergy. It is available in all popular cosmetic chain of stores. Please do a patch test before you use. Apply the dye behind your ear and leave it on for 24 hours. If there is no rash or itching, it is safe to use.
Vimala Baskaran has been using black henna and now wants to know of an alternative hair dye.
Vimala Bigen instant hair colour powder would be the best suitable. Use a brown black colour. This is a semi-permanent colour and may wash out the first time, but after a few applications, you will be happy with it.
Rosabelle wants to know the following:
-good shampoos and hair conditioners to be used after dyeing hair and the details of its availability - what is a pre-perm shampoo?
- a good dandruff shampoo?
For shampooing dyed or coloured hair, always use a shampoo that is specially formulated. Most of the salons sell these shampoos. So, wherever you get your hair coloured, ask for the shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair. It is very important to use conditioner after colouring and shampoo, as it helps to close the cuticles of the hair, and makes it smooth and shiny. You can buy L'oreal Vitomino colour shampoo and Vitamino conditioner or Osmos colour shampoo and conditioner. A pre-perm shampoo is a special shampoo used professionally before a perm so that the perm lotion can penetrate into the hair to change the bonds, especially in the case of very stubborn hair. Ayush is a good dandruff shampoo.
(The author is a therapeutic beautician and the Director of
Salon-2000, ITC Park Sheraton. Mail your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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