This month, Shahnaz Husain talks to MW about daily bathing, beard washes and easy-to-make face masks
I’ve been reading articles that claim that daily bathing strips your body of natural oils. Apparently, if you get through a few days without bathing, your body and skin settle down, and there is no body odour. Is this true?
Daily bathing is necessary. The skin contains sweat glands, which are distributed all over the body. The sweat mixes with surface bacteria and decomposes, creating body odour. The odour forms about six hours after we sweat. The waste matter that is secreted with sweat has to be removed, in order to avoid a stale odour. Bathing and scrubbing help to clear away germs, dirt and odour. All parts of the body must be washed well, specially the neck, armpits and feet. These are the areas where germs accumulate. If the skin is dry, use a soap-free bath gel or a glycerine soap. Immediately after bathing, apply body lotion while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture. During summer and monsoons, when the weather is hot and humid, talcum powder, colognes and deodorants also help.
Is there any difference between a ‘beard’ wash and a normal face wash?
For short and trimmed beards, a face wash is adequate to keep the beard clean. A gel-based product would be good. For longer beards, a soap-free bath or shower gel may be used. It should contain ingredients that cleanse, soften and condition the hair and also keep the skin healthy. Such a product would prevent dryness and an unkempt look. It is important to ensure that products with detergents and soaps will not only make the beard hair dry and rough, but also dry out the skin. Go for a mild, herbal beard wash, bath gel or shampoo.
Are the really expensive grooming products really that much more effective, or is it all marketing hype?
Today, branding is very important. Brand loyalty develops only after the consumer likes the product. Expensive products may contain ingredients that are more expensive. For instance, our Ayurvedic formulations contain essential oils and plant extracts that are more expensive than, say, mineral oil and other synthetic ingredients. Companies selling expensive branded products also spend on R&D, as well as quality and product development.
Therefore, expensive products are not all marketing hype, but actually cost more to formulate and market. As far as men’s luxury care products are concerned, it has been found that men would spend more on a product that helps to deal with a problem, like acne or hair loss.
I spend a lot of time outdoors. How should I protect my skin?
Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas. The back of the neck and arms are extremely vulnerable to sun damage too. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun exposure. If you happen to be in the sun for more than one hour, you should reapply the sunscreen.
Night time cleansing is a must to remove sweat, oil, dirt and pollutants that have deposited on the skin. This helps to reduce oiliness and protects the skin from pimples. Rinse with plenty of water. Use a facial scrub twice a week to keep the pores free, remove dead skin cells and also brighten the skin.
What are some of the home remedies for skin care?
Watermelon juice is a good skin toner. It cools, refreshes and softens the skin. You could also try these masks.
For all skin types: Banana, apple, papaya and orange can be mixed together and applied on the face. Wash off after 20-30 minutes. It cools the skin, cleanses dead cells and removes tan.
For cooling: Mix cucumber juice with two teaspoons powdered milk and one egg white into a smooth paste. Apply on face and neck and rinse off after half an hour.
For oily skin: Mix one tablespoon Fuller’s earth (multani mitti) with rose water into a paste and apply on the face. Wash when dry.
For oily and problematic skin: Take one tablespoon lemon juice and one tablespoon rose water. Add crushed mint leaves and let it stand for one hour. Strain the leaves and apply the liquid on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This helps to reduce oiliness and also refreshes the skin.
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