SKIN CARE | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 12, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015



Skin -- possibly the most ignored organ of our body! Considering It's the more respect than which we afford it.
Let me take you through the basics on what skin is before we look into its portection and care.

The top layer of the skin, the epidermis is made of several layers of living cells which are topped by sheets of dead cells. It constantly renews itself by the cells produced at its base. Top cells die and flake off and new ones are pushed to the surface by the arrival of new cells. Therefore here in this layer lies your chance of new fresh complexion.

This layer is also responsible for your colouring as it holds the skin's pigment.
The next layer or the dermis consists entirely of living cells providing elasticity and strength. The sebaceous glands also lie in this area producing sebum, skin's natural lubricant. Sweat glands and hair follicles are also located in this layer.

The epidermis can repair itself but the dermis can be permanently damaged by injury. When should one start taking care of their skin? ASAP I would say. We start off so well when we bathe babies, oiling their bodies first and then moisturising after. Once kids start school the process comes to a standstill.

Make your kids aware of the benefits of hygiene and healthy skin. Better still, lead by example, they will thank you later in life when they reap the benefits of a glowing healthy skin.

Now you don't need to get them started on facials but instill in them the importance of skin care in their daily lives. Keeping skin clean using face washes and protecting it with sun screen is all they need to do. Teens can take it a step further by using masks and addressing any issues they may have with professionals.
Most people in their 20s take their good skin for granted, the signs of ignorance appear in the 30s and half hearted attempts are made to address them. Alarm bells ring in the 40s and then the regret sets in -- why did I not preserve what I had? By 50 we are heading to Botox centres!  Having said that, no matter what your skin condition and age, it's possible to make it better. Do not have unreal expectations, at 40 skin cannot look 20 but it can look 30.

Most Bangladeshis have combination skin, with oily T-zones. It's quite resilient and thicker so tends to wrinkle later in life, compared to Western skin which is lighter and thinner therefore more delicate.

Skin care for combination skin
As this skin type has a combination of dry and oily patches it requires a twin approach to its care. Treating the face like oily skin will leave the dry patches drier, and treating it like dry skin will make it break out causing blemishes.

Different areas of skin have to be treated individually with products to suit them. This really is not as complicated as it sounds.

Use face wash to clean daily. Apply a light moisturiser all over the face.  Use astringent on a cotton swab and wipe only the T-zone or oily areas avoiding the rest of the face.

This removes the excess oil while leaving moisture on the drier areas. Aloe gel is a boon for troubled skin and will help eliminate any sort of rash, irritation or pimples and should be used regularly morning and night.

Skin care for oily skin
Foaming face washes will remove the dirt and grime without stripping the skin of important moisture.
Contrary to what everyone believes oily skin also needs moisture, however do not load skin with heavy formulations instead choose light watery fluid or else it may lead to excessive oil build up and pimples. Excessive moisturiser can be wiped off with astringent.

Keeping pores unclogged and clean will allow skin to breathe and blemishes can be avoided. A good quality gentle scrub used twice or thrice a week will aid in doing so.

Regular facials suitable for oily skin should be done twice a month, unless you have acne or serious breakout, in which case stimulation of the skin should be avoided as it may lead to more sebum production, and more blemishes.

Skin care for dry skin
Avoid soaps and harsh detergents to wash your face as dry skin is very delicate. It has less natural oil and therefore tends to get damaged quicker. There is a tendency towards premature ageing and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It requires soothing care to look its best.
Richer cream cleanser, day cream and night cream are a must.

Apply baby oil all over the body and the face before stepping into the shower and moisturise after bath again to retain moisture. Regular deep hydrating facials at least once a month will work wonders.
There are some points that are common to all skin types, high on the list of priority is skin protection -- enough cannot be said about the importance of this.

Prevention is better than cure so why wait for pigmentation spots, freckles & blemishes to appear? Sun exposure is the culprit for most skin issues, so provide skin protection. Use oil free sun screens for oily and combination skin type. Apply twice a day. Wear dark glasses in the afternoon when outside for added protection. Avoid being out at noon since the sun rays are strongest at that time.

Make use of a wealth of herbal products so freely available in our part of the world. The benefits of these were used hundreds of years ago and are still a part of our beauty regimen. So much so that the West is also returning to the herbal world after having experimented with synthetics for so long.

The fruits, vegetables, lentils, flour etc from our kitchens and refrigerators can be used to feed our faces with vital nourishing masks. So while you are cooking, watching TV, cleaning,  exercising or whatever make use of all the goodness of fresh produce that is available to us. Put them together in simple combinations to benefit from their goodness.

Face masks:
Oily skin

Yoghurt 1 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Flour 1 heaped tsp
Dry powdered orange rind 1 tsp
Mix with dash of water if needed. Apply 30 minutes for clean fresh oil free face.
Combination skin
Lentil powder 1  tbsp
Pinch of turmeric
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Tomato pulp 1 tsp
Mix and apply for 30 minutes.
Dry skin
Powdered milk 1 tsp
Cream from fresh milk 1 tsp
2/3 drops of almond oil
Papaya puree 1 tsp
Mix and apply for 30 minutes.
Acne skin
Aloe gel 1/2 tsp
Neem powder or neem leaves paste 1 tsp
Pinch of turmeric
Lime juice 1 tbsp
Mix and apply for 30 minutes.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed and Star Lifestyle Archive, Model: Brishty, Styling: Hridi, Model’s skin care and treatment: Sadia Moyeen, La Belle Spa
Make up of Bubli and Airin from Star Lifestyle Archive also done by Sadia Moyeen

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