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  India   All India  18 Nov 2019  Poison in the air? Keep your skin safe

Poison in the air? Keep your skin safe

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
Published : Nov 18, 2019, 7:40 am IST
Updated : Nov 18, 2019, 7:40 am IST

Cleansing of the skin assumes more importance in order to get rid of the impurities and pollutants that are deposited on the skin.

People wear masks during a protest in New Delhi on Sunday, demanding the implementation of measures to reduce air pollution. (Photo: PTI)
 People wear masks during a protest in New Delhi on Sunday, demanding the implementation of measures to reduce air pollution. (Photo: PTI)

Pollutants in the air are making our cities increasingly hostile to our good health and well-being. Respiratory and lung ailments have become common health hazards. Among the other organs of the body, the skin is one of the first to bear the brunt of air pollutants, which not only attack the skin surface, but also lead to an accumulation of toxins. In fact, they are potent skin irritants. There are both long- and short-term effects of pollutants. Chemical pollutants hasten visible ageing signs and also disrupt the normal balances of the skin and scalp, leading to problems like dryness, sensitivity, rashes, acne, irritation or allergic reactions. All of us who live and work in urban areas need protective beauty care. For working women, the job may involve traveling long distances to work. The skin is thus more exposed to the pollutants in the air.  

Cleansing of the skin assumes more importance in order to get rid of the impurities and pollutants that are deposited on the skin. If you have a dry skin, use a cleansing cream or gel.  For oily skins, cleansing milk or face wash may be used. For oily skin, also use a facial scrub after cleansing. Look out for products with ingredients like sandalwood, eucalyptus, mint, neem, tulsi, aloe vera, and so on, when you buy cleansers. The anti-toxic and tonic properties of such ingredients have helped in clearing the skin congestion and eruptions that result from exposure to chemical pollutants. Aloe vera, for example, is also a powerful moisturizer and an anti-oxidant. So are ingredients like apricot kernel oil, carrot seed, wheat germ oil, and so on.

After cleansing, wipe the skin with rose water mixed with witch hazel in equal quantities, using cotton wool. This completes the cleansing process and refreshes the skin. Soak cotton wool in chilled rose water and tone the skin with it, patting briskly. It also improves blood circulation to the skin surface and adds a glow. Green tea also makes a good skin toner. If there is a rash or eruptions, add a little rose water to sandalwood paste and apply on the face. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes.

Nowadays, activated charcoal is used to detoxify the skin. It may be available at a chemist shop. Mix activated charcoal with aloe vera gel and rose water. Apply a thin layer on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash off after 20 minutes.

Use a scrub twice a week. Take sesame seeds (til), dried mint (pudina) leaves and honey. Crush the sesame seeds coarsely and powder the dried mint leaves. Mix them with a little honey and apply on the skin. Leave on for 5 minutes. Rub gently and wash off with water. Sesame seeds actually have sun protective properties and also soothe the skin. Mint has antiseptic properties and prevents rashes caused by pollutants.

Cover creams form a barrier between the skin and pollutants. A cover cream containing sandalwood would be ideal, as it would form a transparent protective cover, very much like foundation. Sandalwood soothes the skin and protects it from skin irritation and eruptive conditions. It suits all skin types.  

The writer is a pioneering herbal beauty entrepreneur who has taken the herbal heritage of Ayurveda worldwide

Tags: air pollution, cleansing