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   Skin Care
 

This summer promise yourself that you will look fresh and gorgeous. Even if you are barefaced without a trace of make-up. All youíve to do is be a true water baby. And by that we donít mean just splashing in the surf during your holiday by the sea. Water can be your beauty Aid No 1, whenever, whenever you are Ė holidaying, sweating it out at your office or unwinding on a leisurely Sunday at home. Decide that you canít do without water on your dressing table.

Aqua Skin

Moisturisation is the most important part of daily skin care, since skin needs more moisture (water) than it does color sheen or gloss. You may be surprised that your summer skin, which looked radiant throughout winter, suddenly looks dull, blemished and oily. "This is because, in winter your skinís natural oils solidifies, whereas in summer it flows freely," explains Kristina McHugh, South African beauty specialist. Because of this, most people need a lighter moisturizer in hot weather."

Although you must, as a rule, buy a water-based moisturizer, work out your skinís needs. Maybe just plain water works for you. Herbal beautician Shahnaz Husain says that flower-based lotions like rose water can be sprayed on the face to tone and refresh it. "A rose-based skin tonic or cucumber water (made by diluting cucumber juice with water) can be used to spray the face," she says. "Keep them cool in the fridge before use. Honey water helps dry skins more, because honey is a humecant. It dehydrates the skin. 

Besides this, make a habit of splashing your face gently with water for instant freshness (try and use mineral water). You can splash as many as 20 times as long as you donít use very hot or cold water on your skin (which can cause fine vein to appear on your face). Steam face regularly to release dirt (five minutes for dry skin and 10 minutes if it is oily). Pat dry with tissue and moisturize. Moisturizers should be used damp on the skin. This seals in the water and helps skin to hold the moisture better.

Soak Suds

Feet need TLC at the best of times, let alone in summer. And as they, unmanicured, peeling hands are a beauty sin! Blistering heat makes feet swell and sweat and sexy summer footwear means itís all on show. So, keeping both hands and feet clean with a liberal use of soap and water (followed by a moisturizer) is a grooming must. "Thereís nothing more off-putting than looking at cracked, dirty heels," insists Christina Fritzgerald of Sydney salon Smyth and Fitzgerald.

So there you are again, water is your only escape route out of unkempt hair and legs. Soaking feet and hands helps to get rid of fatigue, more so if you add a pinch of salt to the water you use. This softens the dry, dead skin around the your soles, easing its removal. Soak feet for 15-20 minutes. Shahnaz recommends hot and cold contrast soaks for the feet to help boost circulation. Soak your feet first in hot water and then in cold water for two minutes each. Do this for about 15 minutes, once a week.

Bye Bye BO

Have you thought how a small bottle with nothing but clean water in it can rid you of your nightmares? You can use herbal flower water too, to spray your armpits with. Add a few drops of cologne to the water, if you like, in the spray bottle. Earlier in the day, use a spray deo immediately after a bath on semi-damp skin. Water makes a better spray than strong cologne because some cosmetics block the natural and necessary process of perspiration. Spray twice or thrice a day.

The drink of life

Add more water to your life:

  • You know you should, but do you do it? Drink at least 15 glasses of water a day

  • Mix the fruit juice of your choice with mineral water for a healthy soda.

  • Is there a waterfall you can get under, or a brook to swim in? Donít pass up the opportunity. Great for blood circulation.

  • Sinking into a bathtub has a tranquilizing effect on the mind. Throw in mineral salts if you can.

  • Use water as mouth freshener along with a sprig of mint, honey and lime.

  • Make a compress for dry, flaky, irritated skin using water. Use gauze dipped in tolerably cold water. Apply on affected area and leave on for 10 minutes. Instant relief. 

  • Sebastian Keipp, who wrote My Water Cure, recommends using water as a healing power to cure disease. "Walk barefoot on grass or immerse your legs in cold water up to the knees. This increases resistance to illness."

  • With water, remember, more is always better.

Absolute hair highlight

The question that hair specialist Colleen Khan was asked most often at the 1999 Cosmo Show in Delhi was how often hair should be washed. "It is a total myth that you canít wash hair everyday," says Colleen. "Clean hair is the best hair highlight. It is overshampooing that should be avoided."

Shahnaz Husain agrees. "In the summer months, hair collects more dirt and washing it regularly is necessary. Especially in cities where chemical and pollutants to cling to the scalp. In summer, hair should be washed three times a week or more, if needed. But use a small quantity of shampoo and choose a mild, herbal one."

Give your hair a cold rinse prior to turning off the shower-it closes follicles so locks in shine.



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