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Why:To rejuvenate the skin, it is essential to know what kind of skin you have and what kind of products best suit you. Every woman has unique skin and as the days of standard measurements of oil, dry and combination are things of the past, this latest technology helps you discover skin truths.

WhatThe pond's skin analyser employs the latest cutting-edge proprietary technology in skin quality recognition. It transforms the business of skin care with an engaging experience. The pond's skin analyser takes a measurable approach to skin care, revealing what your mirror and best friend can't. Developed by combining the worlds of pattern recognition science, optical imaging, and dermatology, this diagnostic tool provides a scientific assessment of skin and skin care.

How:Developed to study Indian skin, the Pond's skin analyser will capture a series of skin images that measure hydration, melanin levels and sun spots and the presence of fine lines and wrinkles. These images will be abalysed against ideal Indian skin attributes and the final graph will reveal the unique skin condition.This will serve as the diagnosis for the pond's beauty advisor to recommend the ideal products that will strengthen, repair and nourish troubled skin of our readers.


Good skin care regime and skin treatments go a long way in maintaining healthy skin over the age of 35 Beautiful youthful skin has a great deal to do with your diet, lifestyle, digestion, hormone levels, stress levels and the state of your, entire nutritional health. Anti-aging skin care means maintaining a properly balanced diet; drinking plenty of water, regular exercise; developing a positive attitude to maintain a healthy, desirable and glowing skin. With proper amalgamation of these tools, most women over the age of 35 years can continue to enjoy desirable skin.


Whether you are a working woman or a housewife, exposure to the sun is the number one cause of skin damage, including wrinkles. So protect your skin by always wearing skin cream with a built-in sunscreen of at least SPR 25. Additionally makeup will give you added protection. Apply it on top of sunscreen. Also wear protective hats and clothing to limit skin exposure to the sun's harmful rays.


PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease) is common in this age group. This manifests as irregular periods, thick facial hair, acne and weight gain. If you feel you fit in to this profile, please consult an endocrinologist(hormone specialist) for hormone correction. For the thick facial hair, NdYAG laser hair removal is an excellent option.


Your skin requires natural supplements to keep it glowing. Consult your doctor in case your skin shows any vitamin deficiency.


Fine lines are often brought on by dry skin cells. Therefore, keeping your skin moisturised can help to minimise their appearance.


This is the right age and time to start using an anti-aging cream. There is no shortage of wrinkle creams available, and the selection is ever-increasing. Seek a dermatologist's help for prescription products, which will be customised, to your skin and the skin problem. Anti-aging skin care will diminish the fine lines and wrinkles, while some of the anti-aging skin care products will put moisture and nutrients back into your skin. Other anti-aging natural skin care formulas and natural ingredients such as cucumbers, papaya will provide soothing relief for puffiness, swelling, lines and wrinkles.


These become a must after you cross your thirties. Remember that if you have oily skin and are prone to acne breakouts, avoid doing facials altogether. You must stick to cleanups and avoid massages. Water based and gel products need to be used. For the ones with dry and normal skin, once a month facial and once in three months, skin polishing is a must.

During these years, attention is drawn to the neglect that your skin has got all these years. If you follow good skin care regime and are still seeking more dramatic improvements, consult a dermatologist, who in addition to skin care products, may recommend some anti-aging cosmetic produres. Don't be scared. He/she will not place you directly under the knife. With the development of new technologies every day, there are plenty of non-surgical, non-ablative procedures available for patients.

The commonly performed lunchtime anti-aging procedures are:

Microdermabrasion(skin polishing)This is a skin-freshening technique that helps repair facial skin that takes a beating from the sun and aging. The aesthetician uses a device like a fine sandblaster to spray tiny crystals across the face, mixing gentle abrasion with suction to remove the dead, outer layer of skin.

Muscle-relaxing botulinum injections to soften the dynamic action lines like the frown lines, forehead wrinkles,crow's feet etc .

Wrinkle filers, which can be collagen, your own body fat or those containing hyaluronic acid. These again can be used for filling laugh lines, frown lines, crow's feet, plumping up lips, or a chin lift.

Lasers and light based technologies to stimulate skin collagen and reduce fine lines. Lasers are used for hair removal, wrinkle reduction, skin tightening and reversing other signs of aging. New fractional technology, which has just arrived in India, is already getting popular.

Laser skin toning-The name comes from the effect that the Q switched NdYAG Laser has on the skin. It removes the fine hair, blemishes, fine lines and increases the skin glow.

Indian Carnivorous Plants headed towards the medicine cabinet

Researchers investigate the anti-fungal agents in carnivorous pitcher plants found in India that might be a cure-all for almost every kind of fungal infection Carnivorous plants trap unsuspecting prey in a cavity filled with liquid known as a pitcher. The moment an insect falls into a pitcher, the plant's enzymes are activated and begin dissolving their new meal, obtaining nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen which are difficult to extract from certain soils.

Carnivorous plants also possess a highly develped set of compounds to aid in their survival. These compounds could serve as a new class of anti-fungal drugs for use in human medicine, says Aviah Zilberstein of Tel Aviv University's Department of Plant Sciences and his associates. The unusual components from the plants' pitchers were found effective as anti-fungal drugs against human fungal infections widespread in hospitals.

"To avoid sharing precious food resources with other micro-organisms such as fungi, the carnivorous plant has developed a host of agents that act as natural anti-fungal agents," says Zilberstein.

"In the natural habitat of the tropics, competition for food is fierce, and the hot, moist environment is perfect for fungi, which would also love to eat the plant's insect meal."


After initial tests of the plant proteins and enzymes that dissolve the chitin of fungi could in the right clinical conditions develop effective anti-fungal drugs.

The team has just published a paper exploring that potential in the Journal of Experimental Biology,based on the biology of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes Khasiana.

Currently there is a need for additional broadly effective anti-fungal drugs. Even mildly sever forms of athlete's foot or other skin fungal infections lack effective treatments. The problem becomes more dire at hospitals, where patients acquire fungal infections during their stay as patients.

"The pitcher of the carnivorous plant produces these compounds in a gland,"says Zilberstein.

Until now, no one has published or discussed the anti-fungal compounds found in the trap liquid of this plant, she added.

"We're hoping that these compounds are working together to keep fungus at bay. Our aim now is to get funding for pre-clinical tests of these compounds in an animal model, so we can investigate their animal model, so we can investigate their effectiveness against the two very acute fungal pathogens found in hospitals worldwide,"she said.

The idea that liquid from a plant pitcher could stave off infection has been documented in the folk literature of India, where people drink carnivorous plant pitcher juice as a general elixir.

"There is a lot of room for developing compounds from nature into new drugs', says Zilberstein.

"The one we are working on is not toxic to humans."

Home care for skin in winter

Boil cabbage in water. Strain it and use the water to wash your face to make your skin look radiant. Mix yoghurt with cucumber water. Apply on your face and wash it off.

Cocount milk is excellent for skin care, especially in winter. Take half a cup of coconut milk. Use half of this portion to apply it over the face and body. Mix the rest with red sandalwood powder or sandalwood powder to make a paste. Apply it over the face. It can also be applied all over the body. It exfoliates your skin excellently.

Is your skin looking dull and lifeless? Mix coconut water and thick pine apply juice. Add Multani Mitti and apply it over your face and body.This works as an excellent face pack. Do not scrub vigorously; wash it off with ice cubes or cold water.

Do you travel a lot and feel that your skin is always looking tired? Here's a way to make it look refreshed. Mix one teaspoon vinegar with one teaspoon rosewater.Apply on skin and leave for 10 minutes.Wash it off with ordinary water.

A combination of honey and tomato juice can give excellents results in skin care. Mix one teaspoon honey with one teaspoon tomato juice. Leave it on the face or body for 10 minutes and wash it off with ordinary water.

Multi –Therapy For Allergic Dermatitis

ALLERGIC DERMATITIS or Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by red, blistering, oozing or dry, scaly, thickened lesions. The commonest types of eczema are Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis Jewelery Dermatitis, Seborrhoeic dermatitis, stasis Dermatitis and Neuro Dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis: Also known a infantile eczema , is a disorder characterised by an extremely itchy and hypersensitive skin. It starts as a simple red rash and then spread all over the body in form of dry or oozing scaly eruptions, very often localizing at the elbow bends, back of knees and the neck. Hereditary factors are believed to be the main cause of the disease. Atopic dermatitis is often accompanied with other allergic colds, like rhinitis (common cold) and in severe cases even with even with asthma. There have been certain cases where the two conditions alternate with each other, ie with the flare of skin eruptions, the asthma settles down and is followed by a phase, where there is relief from the skin eruptions and the asthma gets worse. The common triggers of Atopic dermatitis are dust, pollen, animal dander, cows milk eggs, sudden change in temperature, weather, and excessive use of soaps. It is also noticed that in children, extensive emotional trauma caused perhaps die to bereavement or separation of the points can aggravate the condition.

Contact dermatitis: This is a very common skin disorder that can arise from housework. It can occur as an irritation to the skin or as an allergic reaction to some agent. Allergies are often individualistic and what may dramatically affect one person, may not affects another person at all.

The best precaution is to avoid all contact with the offending agent, practically speaking. However, this is not possible for it would mean foregoing all housework.

Jewelery dermatitis(nickel allergy):This refers to a skin condition, which is medically called nickel allergy. This condition develops when a person becomes allergic to nickel and on contact with the metal, develops a reddish, itchy rash followed by tiny water blisters with peeling of skin. It is believed that jewelery dermatitis most commonly develops whenever the damaged or broken skin is exposed to nickel allowing the metal to easily pass into the deeper layers of skin.

This is women it starts most commonly during ear piercing, in which nickel containing studs are used. Common household articles like scissors, needles, thimbles, Zips, press-studs, pens, filling cabinets, taps, keys, key rings, watch straps, and stainless steel kitchen utensils can also aggravate the condition. Green leafy vegetables, acidic food like apples, citric fruits, which are cooked in stainless steel vessels are also common culprits.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis: This is characterized by the appearances of waxy scales on the skin especially of the scalp leading to reddish, scaly eruptions. The commonly found areas are behind the ears and the scalp. Infants and adults of middle age are most affected by it.

Stasis dermatitis: This type of eczema occurs in the portions of the body where the blood circulation is very poor, like around the ankles, and has a great tendency to form ulcers. It is often associated with some circulatory disorder like varicose veins etc.

Neuro dermatitis: This is used to describe eczemas, which are primarily psychometric in nature where stress is the triggering factor.

Multi-therapy treatment:

Allergic dermatitis can be treated through multi-therapy, by using a combination of therapies like Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy, and Nutritional therapy. By employing a multitherapy approach patients will get both immediate, as well as long term improvement. All the above therapies work at different is to control and reduce the hypersensitivity of the skin to various agents. In most of the skin cases the patients show a lot of resistance to treatment. This is due to the long-term intake and applications of various medicines in the past. To counteract this, non-needle Acupuncture sessions are given at regular intervals. This makes the skin more receptive to the rest of the treatment given, enabling a better overall response to the medication.

After consultation and a detailed case history, local applications consisting of essential aromatherapy oils are prescribed. These essential oil molecules are very minute and have an incredible ability to quickly penetrate the skin. Bergamot, sage, Juniper and tea three are some of the oils, which are generally food for Eczema. These essential oils are rich in gamma linolenic acids and liquid wax esters. These are substances that reduce the skin inflammation thus alleviating the dryness and itching. Some oils also contain phospholipids, sterols and other active phyto compounds. These compounds are immune system and cell builders and are therefore very vital in treating allergic dermatitis.

Further their anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties prevent and kind of super added infection non the existing lesions. Simultaneously, the patient is also prescribed , Homeopathic medicine, which act as immune system builders and thereby strengthen the body resistance to various allergies and idiosyncrasies. Additionally Nutritional therapy involves advice regarding certain foods, which are healing for Allergic dermatitis.

Some self-help measures

It is advisable for people suffering from atopic dermatitis to keep away from places and objects, which are likely to gather dust like carpets, mattresses, curtains and stuffed toys. Animal skin and hair are known to aggravate this condition. Therefore if you have pets, which molt, do keep them away especially if there is a child in the house suffering from atopic dermatitis. Wool and coarse silk are especially known for making this condition worse. If one uses strong washing detergents, the residue remains in the clothes due to improper rinsing. This irritates the skin and increases the rash. In case of Nickel Allergy, the best thing to do is to identify the offending agent and avoid any contact with it during the course of treatment.

A combination of therapies like Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy, and Nutritional therapy, can control and reduce the hypersensitivity of the skin to various agents. Consumption of watermelon and a combination of carrot (200 ml) and spinach (100 ml) juices daily is very effective for patients iof Allergic Dermatitis

Babe: Pig and the Pretty

Defy gravity and turn to hyaluronic acid fillers say dermatologists that erase lines without using pig, cow products.

IT's an issue about tissue that had divas diving for cover. Beauty products that promised to erase lines, plump lips, get ride of eye bags... basically undo all that gravity does, used to contain pig and cow tissue. Consequently, both religous zealots, vegetarians and people who found out what was getting under their skin avoided use.

Now, a hyalurnoic acid filler by Allergen, the makiers of Botox, that can be used by doctors to erase smile lines, fill out eye bags and accentuate pouts joins similar other products that offer women natural skin fillers.

"People who would research on fillers would naturally be a little apprehensive about using collagen from cow or pig tissue to all out their faces. Religion is a very important part of our lives and since there are new acid now there will be no problem in people accepting and using such a product to enhance their looks," said dermatologist Dr Shrilata Trasi, who has seen a number of women come in asking for fillers for eye bags.

Au natural

According to Trasi, hyaluronic acid fillers that contain a natural gel like substance already present in the human body gives far better results than other fillers that require allergy testing. "We tried to import and use bovine and procine fillers, but they were never accepted," said Trasi.

Other dermatologists agree that the acid fillers give better results."At the end of the day, you're introducing a foreign substance into your lip or under your eye. Imagine the reprecussions of a bad reaction. We've had cases of lumpy lips with bleeding and frankly, it's not worth it," said dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty .

Model Shamita Singha said her choice has and will always be the natural one. "I don't even use of such products by Muslims was absolutely forbidden."A product that uses pork would be haram. Even the use of such a skin cream is forbidden never mind something that is injected into your face," he said.

Similar sentiments were echoed by the Vishwa Hindu Parished secretary Venkatesh Abdeo, who said such products offened the traditions of Hindu culture. 'Golden ratios' key to beautiful face

Washington: A new study has helped researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Toronto discover "golden ratios" for female facial beauty.

They have found that the distance between a woman’s eyes and the distance between her eyes and her mouth are key factors in determining how attractive she is to others.

Pamela Pallett and Stephen Link of UC San Diego and Kang Lee of the University of Toronto successfully identified the optimal relation between the eyes, the mouth and the edge of the face for individual beauty.

They found two “golden ratios”, one for length and one for width. Female faces were judged more attractive when the vertical distance between their eyes and mouth was approximately 36% of the face’s length, and the horizontal distance between their eyes was 46% of the face’s width. These proportions correspond with those of an average face.

For the best of nature's bounty

What better way than holidaying with the spirit of the land? Well, Orange County's tag line reads just that, with promise of a holiday amidst Coorg and Kabini's natural bounty. In the heartland of Indian Coffee, Coorg (Kodagu), just four and a half hours away from Bangalore by road, bordered by the 50,000 acre Dubare forest and the serenely flowing river Cauvery, lies an enchanting Orange County resort. This globally renowned premium brand of luxury resorts belongs to the multi-faceted business group, House of Ramapuram in Bangalore. With nearly a century of tradition in planting, this organisation has its origins in the coffee and spice plantations of Karnataka. Well-known for its hospitality and superior taste, it was but logical for the minds behind Orange County to enter the hospitality segment in 1994. George Ramapuram, managing director and architectural visionary behind each Orange County resort says, "We believe in providing an exquisite holiday experience while preserving the purity of nature and culture of the land. It reflects in our tagline 'spirit of the land'. All our holiday experiences are customised around this central thought." So amidst 300 acres of coffee and spice, one gets to enjoy an exquisite holiday experience that provides tranquillity to the body, mind and soul. Staying in spacious Kodava styled villas with pools or in cottages, one gets to experience a plantation lifestyle reminiscent of the colonial era, blended with native Kodava heritage. Forest treks, visits to an elephant camp and plantation walks await the traveler even while one gets to enjoy a plethora of ethnic cultural activities under starry skies. Waking up to the calls of wide range of enchanting bird life and taking early morning walks down grassy trails is refreshingly magical. An infinity pool, a coffee lounge, an Ayurvedic centre and three fine dining restaurants - Granary, Peppercorn and Plantation Leaf provide a wide range of cuisines adding flavour to the holiday. The Orange County resort at Kabini is great for a wild life holiday and stay in authentic tribal style. Steeped in luxury and situated on the banks of the river Kabini, this resort is located in the land of the Kadukuruba tribe of the Nagarhole forests in Karnataka. Kabini is renowned not only for the tiger, but also the largest congregation of Asiatic elephants. Living in tribal-style pool huts and jacuzzi huts reminiscent of the mud walled Hadis (villages) of the Kadukurubas is an enthralling experience in a land of sweeping panoramas. There's the nature trail that brings one close to small flora and fauna or a bicycle ride to a tribal settlement that completes the village trail. An exhilarating jeep safari into the Nagarhole National Park and a boat safari along the river Kabini, brings the best of wildlife in this land alive. A coffee lounge, an exquisite restaurant, Ayurvedic spa and an exotic array of native cultural activities at night add to the magic of the holiday. And for those who love to gaze at faraway constellations, all one needs to do is settle comfortably behind the telescope! For more details about Orange County, visit:

5 things your skin needs everyday

Your skin needs attention not just once a week, but daily if you want it to be healthy.

If you depend on just fortnightly clean up sessions or the monthly facials to prep up your skin, you're not doing your skin any favours.

Here are simple things that your skin needs everyday...


You skin is sensitive - take good care of it and nourish it with moisturizers. Moisturize twice a day is important if you want your skin to look healthy, blemish-free and improve your complexion.


When you drink water, it flushes out toxins from your body and allows cells to absorb vital nutrients. It also makes sure that your digestive system works properly. And your skin needs water the most to keep it hydrated. It also removes skin impurities, which cause acne and pimples and keeps the skin looking healthy and smooth. Ensure that you have at least eight to 10 glasses of water daily if you want glowing skin.


Antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, certain fish and oils. Antioxidants have free-radical-fighting activities, which kill molecules that damage healthy cells. Are you getting enough Vitamin C and E? While vitamin C helps build collagen for plump skin, Vitamin E protects cell membranes. Vit C is found in whole grains, apples and citrus fruits, while Vit E is present in wheat germ oil, almonds and peanut butter.


No matter how cloudy or rainy it is outside, wearing sunscreen is a must 365 days of the year. Sunscreen not only protects you from skin cancer but also delays the signs of ageing that are caused due to sun exposure. So if you don't want discoloured, wrinkled, pigmented and flabby skin, ensure that you slap on that sunscreen no matter what. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it 20 minutes before you step out. Re-apply every few hours so that the effects are maximum.


If you want to remove dirt and grime from your skin and keep it oil free, daily cleansing is an absolute must. Cleansing also removes the residue of all the skin products you use and keeps your skin looking fresh and clean. Use a cleanser that suits your skin type and is soap-free so that it is gentle on your face. Women with extra dry skin should opt for a creamy cleanser while those with sensitive skin should opt for an alcohol-free cleanser. If you have an oily skin, use an acidic cleanser, which breaks up sebum — your skin's oily secretion that causes clogged pores. When you use a cleanser, gently massage it into your face for about 30 seconds so it gives good results.


Its not just your taste buds,you can now treat your hands and feet to some ice cream as well...

Who says ice creams are only meant to be eaten You can now pamper your nails and feet with it, thanks to the concept of ice cream manicure and pedicure. Read on to know more...


At a time when exotic skin treatments like chocolate and wine facials are gaining popularity, an ice cream manicure and pedicure shouldn't come as a surprise. Farheen Shaikh, who works at a suburban nail spa, says, We wanted to start with something in luxury services. Everyone provides manicure and pedicure services, but we had to think out of the box. Thats how the idea of luxury ice cream manicure and pedicure was born. Delicious-sounding beauty treatments like these are generating curiosity among consumers, says Shaikh, adding that its especially popular among students and working women.


An ice cream manicure/pedicure has a lot of benefits. Here are some of them... It gives a rich and aromatic feeling. The treatments use epsom salt, which removes toxins from the body. It also makes the skin smooth and cuticles, soft. Its especially good for dry feet and hands as it hydrates the skin and removes tan.


Nail technician Pratibha Chakraborty says these beauty treatments are safe for everyone as they use only natural ingredients.


Ice cream manicure and pedicure cost 950 and 1,000,respectively.


Sonawale explains how its done... An ice cream fizz ball made of a unique six-oil blend, purifying minerals, indulgent fragrances and epsom salt is used for pedicure. The ice cream melts instantly when submerged in water and releases nourishing minerals and aromatic oils that will hydrate, moisturize and enrich the skin. The next step is nail care and foot filing. Callus is removed and a sugar-based body scrub, rich in jojoba oil and Vitamin E, is applied. It is also ideal for daily use it ex foliates, cleanses as well as moisturises the skin. It leaves your skin smooth with long-lasting fragrance. Then, a marshmallow foot mask is applied while wrapping warm towels on your lower legs and feet. This helps stimulate the skin. This is followed by a massage, which includes vanilla body icing for extra moisturizing and relaxation. Lastly, nail colour is applied.


When talking about ice creams, flavour cannot be ignored. Nail expert Kalpana Sonawale says that for manicure and pedicure, the flavours offered are Chocoholic, Pumpkin Pie, Gotta Have It Pomegranate, Lemon Verbena, Summer Rain, Papaya Nectar, Land Of Milk N Honey and Strawberry Kiwi.

All for healthy radiant skin

With the festive season on in full swing, its time we take special care of our skin and look our best on the d-day. Here are some simple tips that you need to follow...

With the festive season on in full swing, its time we take special care of our skin and look our best on the d-day. Here are some simple tips that you need to follow...

Use a sunscreen

Dermatologist Dr Apratim Goel says, "This is a must for all skin types. An SPF of at least 20 should be used on your skin every time you are out in the sun. This is a must for all ages. Also the sunscreen should be used at least 15-20 minutes before leaving the house. If you need to apply any makeup, it should be applied after the sunscreen."

Cosmetologist Dr Jamuna Pai says, "The key is that one needs to re-apply sunscreen. Every few hours the effect of this protective cream wears off and so, every single time you are going out of your house you need to re-apply." Even while at home, make sure that you are applying sunscreen at least thrice a day, say experts.

Eating right is important

Your diet should be balanced and nutritional. Nutritionist and clinical dietitian Pooja Makhija says that one should eat at regular intervals to keep up the body's metabolism. "You should eat to burn," she adds.

Vitamin requirement differs with all age groups and also sex. Generally, for anybody above 20 years, it is important to start taking an oral antioxidant preparation in the form of a capsule.

Follow a skincare routine

A good skincare routine suited to your skin type is very essential. Though it sounds cliched, the cleansing-toning-moisturising routine is a must at least twice a day. Dr Goel says, "Soaps should be avoided on the face and a face wash according to your skin type shouldbe used. If heavy make up is applied, then it should first be removed with a make-up remover, then deep pore cleanser and then a face wash. Toning after cleansing is good for open pores. A gel toner is preferred over a lotion. Moisturiser is to be the last thing applied to you skin at night. The type of moisturiser depends on your skin, but it should contain rich nourishing ingredients."

See a dermatologist

A skin specialist can not just gauge your skin problems, give you the right products to use, prescribe the proper medicines for your skin problems but can also beautify your face with dermal fillers and other procedures to boost radiance.

The bubble has burst

Diabetes, known to affect only the middle-aged, is now hitting 30-year-olds. Hypertension, acidity and ulcers now strikes 25-year-olds. 'Poor man's diseases' like tuberculosis and skin ailments like psoriasis, known to breed in unhygienic and malnourished conditions, are now common mong the well-off. Doctors at Delhi's National Institute of Immunology say that in the last five years, there has been a 10 per cent rise in the incidence of coughs, viral fever and influenza in the country. These seemingly unrelated facts have one common thread: they are all the result of a new scourge, a battered immune system. "Our immune systems have been thrown out of gear," says physician Dr Zubin Vaid. "Either our immunity is poorer, making us vulnerable to a host of bacterial and viral infections, or our immune system is forced to work overtime against external allergens." Immunity refers to the body's natural defence against illnesses in the form of antibodies produced in the blood to fight off millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses and parasites. The body's resistance is lowered when these antibodies are not produced properly. Another actor governing immunity is pH or potential hydrogen, the number of hydrogen ions or the acidity levels, of the body, says natural health counselor Pramod Vora. The pH of a healthy body is slightly alkaline; when it becomes more acidic, it creates a breeding ground for germs. "Immunity is compromised when this pH is allowed to drift to acidic levels," adds Vora. This happens for a number of reasons.

Bronchoscopist Dr Salil Bendre says changes in lifestyle - stress, long and irregular work hours, lack of exercise and sleep, tobacco and alcohol - all contribute to a weakened immune system. Poor eating habits, with people skipping meals because they have no time, or living on processed and junk food, are next. "Today 70 out of 100 patients complain of irritable bowel syndrome, which was not so common before," says Dr Bendre. "People's stomachs and immunity levels are taking a hit. Their diet is deprived of the hundreds of micro nutrients the body needs and no amount of supplements can compensate." Even forgetting to drink water, as Vijay Dholakia found out aggravates the problem. The 33-year-old banker works long hours, grabs a quick bite at his desk and used to forget to drink water. Till he started getting headaches and nausea every evening. "I realised that whenever I was unwell, it was only because I needed water," says Dholakia. Substituting water with colas can also weaken the immune system Aerated drinks have a highly acidic pH of approximately 5.0, says Vora, so overexposure has driven the pH in youngsters' bodies to acidic levels and compromised their immunity. Factors like pollution and vehicle emissions are common to every metro, but Mumbaikars are particularly vulnerable to bronchial and respiratory tract ailments because of this. "Overcrowding and train travel is like slow poison,"

Says Dr Neeraj Goel, head of CMPH Medical College. This is certainly true for 30-something Vinay Pandya, who moved here from his hometown in Uttar Pradesh two years ago. He suffers at least two asthmatic attacks every monthnow, as opposed to a handful for most of his life back home. "I try to use a face mask or a handkerchief, but it doesn't work," says Pandya. Adds professor Avadhesha Surolia, head of National Institute of Immunology: "A change in the environment has led to a dramatic increase in asthma and breathing disorders. It's clearly a combination of pollutants and lowered immunity." Over time, says Dr Vaid, these can intensify into irreversible lung disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which affects breathing and the airways. College student Rohit Kalsekar, 15, has a persistent lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) — manifest in continuous bouts of coughing and mucous secretion - from taking a bus to his college in Malad from his Andheri home every day. He suffers bronchial infections several times a month, and has tried everything, from antibiotics to homeopathy and ayurveda. "I find I'm much better during vacations, when I stay home," he says. In a bizarre twist, the youngster’s pill-popping could further damage his immune system."The very drugs we take to treat simple things like colds and sore throats have, in fact, led to lowered immunity," says Vora. "This in turn, can make one catch repeated and more frequent infections." The solution to this problem, like others, is to eat and live healthy. In short, take care of your immune system because it's a lifetime's fortification against diseases. "There seems to be a correlation between a healthy mind and the immune system," says Surolia. "When stress and other factors impinge on our happiness, they weaken our immunity." That's certainly a clear warning.

Home remedies for low immunity

Almonds Eat a handful of almonds for your daily dose of vitamin E. Studies have found that vitamin E deficiency causes problems in the integrity of the immune system. Crab: Zinc acts as a catalyst in the immune system's killer response to foreign bodies, and protects the body from invading cells. Three ounces of fresh or canned crab will give you one-third of your recommended daily allowance. Guava: This tasty fruit gives you more than twice your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C acts as an immune enhancer by helping white blood cells perform at their peak. Chicken. Selenium is a trace mineral vital to the development and movement of white blood cells. A 3-ounce piece of chicken gives you almost half your daily needs. Wine: Have a glass of red wine and you may help your body take out a few harmful foreign bodies. Certain components in wine seem to help in killing infectious bacteria, such as salmonella. Don't drink too much; a glass a day should do fine. Yogurt: Yogurt seems to strengthen white blood cells and helps produce antibodies. One study found that people who ate 6 ounces of yogurt a day avoided colds, hay fever and diarrhoea. Garlic: Garlic is well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. It's even been thought to help prevent cancer.

Method to Evaluate Allergic Contact Dermatitis

1. Introduction

Traditionally, different types of metal alloys have been used in restorative dentistry. The common criterion for all these materials is their permanent existence in the oral cavity for a prolonged period of time and this exposure may sensitize patients. The clinical manifestations of contact allergy to dental alloy are not uniform. Diseases such as pustulosis palmaris et plantaris,lichen planus, systemic or palmoplantar eczema, symptoms like glossodynia, cheilitis related with ions released from these metals are well documented [1-6]. Furthermore, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare reported in 1997, allergy affects approximately 30% of the population in Japan and recently, the frequency of dental metal allergy has risen significantly [7-9].

Between metals, Nickel is the most allergic element in Japan, however; in recent years Palladium showed high positivity to path test. This might be to the well-known high toxicity of Nickel and the fluent use of Gold-Silver-Palladium alloys since the 80’s that is covered by the national health insurance in Japan for dental restorations [10-17].

Allergic reactions induced by the metals are described according to the classification presented by Coombs and Gell [18]. The sensitizing metals are haptens which are not themselves able to act as antigens. There is evidence that combination of the metals with circulating or tissue protein gives rise to new antigens. Type IV hypersensitivity reaction of the skin takes place © 2013 Sakanashi et al.; licensee InTech. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. following exposure to the metals, and the diagnosis of metal-induced allergic diseases is usually made on the basis of allergological tests with metal antigens including radioallergosorbent test for specific antibody, skin patch test, and blood test such as lymphocyte transformation test.

Patch testing is the primary tool to diagnose allergens causing allergic contact dermatitis. On the other hand, this method is strongly dependent on the experience of the observer, and distinguishing irritant and doubtful positive from positive patch test reaction for different metal reagents remains difficult[19-23]. For that, in clinical diagnostics, as well as in routine dermatology, the need for more accurate non-invasive diagnosis is increased. Reflectance confocal laser microscopy (RCLM) has been used to provide a virtual window into tissues in vivo without staining process or destruction of the skin and it is a useful device to observe and measure living skin on time. More recently, diagnostic criteria with RCLM were investigated to characterize features of skin reactions and may be a promising new technology for longitudinal noninvasive studies of contact dermatitis. Moreover, RCLM can reliably visualize cutaneous changes at subclinical degrees of contact dermatitis, which suggests a possible role for RCLM as an adjunctivetool in allergic skin diagnosis.

2. Allergic reaction to metals

Gell and Coombs developed their widely accepted classification of hypersensitivity reactions into four types (Table 1).

Classification Effector Mechanism Typical Clinical Manifestations

  • 1) Type I (Immediate) IgE anaphylaxis, angioedema, urticaria
  • 2) Type II (Cytotoxic) IgM, IgG, complement, phagocytosis Cytopenia, nephritis
  • 3) Type III (Immune complex) IgM, IgG, complenent, precipitins Serum sickness, vasculitis
  • 4) Type IV (Delayed) T lymphocytes Contact dermatitis
  • 5) Other (Idiopatic) varies Nonspecific rash

Table 1. Gell and Coombs classification schema of hypersensitivity reactions. The reactions can be viewed as describing broad strategies that the body uses in order to combat classes of allergen agents.

Metal allergy is classified as Type IV hypersensitivity reaction; that compromise T cells (CD4 and CD8), macrophages, natural killer cells and other leucocytes and destruction of host cells ensues, by a combination of apoptotic death and cytotoxicity.

Allergic reaction to metals is presented as dermatitis by external skin exposure or by intestinal absorption in ingestion of food containing high mount of the allergen. Dental metal alloys frequently induce local symptoms such as oral lichen planus, gingivitis, cheilitis on mucosa in direct contact or systemic symptoms like palmoplantar pustulosis, and eczema (Figure 1). 142 Confocal Laser Microscopy - Principles and Applications in Medicine, Biology, and the Food Sciences.

Figure 1. Symptoms of Dental metal allergy. a). Oral lichen planus on the buccal gingiva and mucosa caused by gold alloy restorations: erythematous, erosive lesions are showed between white lacy streaks on the oral mucosa; b). Oral lichen planus caused by mercury from amalgam filling: white lacy streaks are observed on the cervical mucosa of the lower left second molar; c). Cheilitis caused by nickel from orthodontic device: lip inflammation; d). Pustulosis palmariset plantaris caused by palladium from Gold-Silver-Palladium alloy restoration: chronic recurrent pustular dermatosis with a background of erythema, scaling and fissuring of the skin; e). Eczema caused by mercury from amalgam filling: dryness and recurring skin rashes are observed. Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Dental Alloys:

Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment in Japan...

3. Dental metal allergy in japan

Dental metal allergy produced by mercury in dental amalgam was first described by Fleischmann in 1928, symptoms of which included stomatitis and anal eczema. In Japan, Nakai reported in 1960 gingivitis related with chrome and nickel, and Nakayama in 1972, oral lichen planus by mercury from detal amalgam filling[1, 2]. Although, various symptoms associated with different metals have been reported in many countries. The increase of high percentage of allergy in Japan, lead to the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare jointly with the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) with cooperation of other 12 universities, analyze the frequency of metal allergy related with dental alloys, the demographic and epidemiologic distribution of the dental allergic population, and, the mechanism of allergic reaction from years 1989 to 1991. Between the results, over the 20% of the patients with skin or mucosa diseases showed positive reaction by patch test to dental metal present in the oral cavity [24]. Since them, the number of patients who visited Dental Allergy Clinic of TMDU has risen significantly (Figure 2). Figures 3 and 4 showed the positive rates to metals by patch test between gender, from 1998-2002(n: 881) and 2003-2007(n: 1112).

This study indicates that the metal to which most patients reacted was Nickel(1998 to 2002:24,7%; 2003 to 2007:36,8%), Cobalt(1998 to 2002:17,6%; 2003 to 2007:17,7%), Mercury(1998 to 2002:14,4%; 2003 to 2007:19,4%), Chrome (1998 to 2002:12,5%; 2003 to 2007:8,1%)and Palladium(1998 to 2002:9,6%;2003 to 2007:15,9%).

Figure 2. The number of outpatients who visited Dental Allergy Clinic of Tokyo Medical and Dental University's hospital from years 1998 to 2009. 144 Confocal Laser Microscopy - Principles and Applications in Medicine, Biology, and the Food Sciences

Figure 3. The positive rates to metals by patch test between genders, from years 1998 to 2002. Total of 881 outpatients; 697 females, 184 males.

Figure 4. The positive rates to metals by patch test between genders, from years 2003 to 2007. Total of 1112 outpatients; 893 females, 219 males Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Dental Alloys: Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment in Japan...

An important finding was the high positive rate to Palladium than that from 1998 to 2002. This increase is speculated because of the opportunity for Palladium sensitization. Although Gold-Silver-Palladium alloy is the primary choice for metallic restorations and fixed prostheses for the Japanese health insurance system, so many citizens could be exposed to this metal. Past studies showed that Palladium is unstable in the oral cavity, releasing metal content into the saliva that could cause a serious allergic reaction [17, 25, 26]. The cross-reaction between nickel and palladium is also reported [27]. As well as dentistry, Palladium is increasingly used in industry and in the manufacture of fine jewelry, so sensitivities to this metal must be carefully considered. On the other hand, the positive rate to Mercury showed lower positivity in recent years. This is speculated for the decreasing use of dental filling amalgams, thermometers and mercurochrome. Between genders, there were significantly more women reacting to dental metals than men in all ages. This might be caused by the difference of life style, in particular wearing jewelries and accessories such as ear piercing since young ages. However, another possibility should be considered; the patch test reagent for metals in its different approaches and materials could lead to variations in the results and the selection criteria of the tests should be considered and to need to structured to obtain more accurate result of allergic contact dermatitis and differentiate from irritant skin reactions.

4. Diagnosis of metal hypersensitivity

A diagnosis of hypersensitivity to metal is usually done by epicutaneous patch testing; because of it is delayed type of reaction. The patch testers with the respectively metal reagents are applied on the skin and removed 2 days later on day 2 (48hs). Skin readings are performed on day 2, 3 (72hs), and, 7 (1 week) according to the clinical scoring criteria recommended by the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group (Figure 5).

The instrument used for clinical assessment is a combination of vision and feel in the form of palpation with the clinician’s finger, and this measurement is a totally subjective method based on the examiner’s knowledge and experience; and interestingly, past reports of patch test readings have shown the disagreement on scoring among examiners under the same conditions [28].

5. Reflectance confocal laser microscopy

The Reflectance Confocal Laser Microscopy based on an optical fiber system, allows the noninvasive in vivo determination and analysis of different levels in the skin with a high, quasihistological resolution and in real time up to a depth of 300μm, namely upper dermis in normal human skin except palms and soles; and it's represents a useful measurement for determining an individual's skin hypersensitivity[29-31].146 Confocal Laser Microscopy - Principles and Applications in Medicine, Biology, and the Food Sciences

The human skin

Under physiologic conditions, human skin maintains a number of structural, sensory, mechanical and metabolic functions. The uppermost layer is the stratum corneum which is formed by flat dead cells-the corneocytes and intercellular lipids which are located between those corneocytes. Among others properties, the stratum corneum represents an important barrier to the environment and protects the body from water loss and the penetration of harmnful elements and microorganisms. The average of thickness of stratum corneum except palms and soles is between 15 to 30 μm, however there are significant topographical variations depending on body site and exogenous factors such as mechanical stressors. The stratum granulosum and spinosum lie directly below the stratum corneum and consist of livingcells with central nucleus, which differ significantly from the corneocytes in structure size and morphology.

The number of inflammatory, irritative or allergic processes is associated with significant disruption of skin barrier function and skin conditions with established associations to a dysfunctional skin barrier include wound healing, and contact dermatitis. The routine histological sections obtained from skin biopsies but the preparation process leads to significant tissue shrinkage, delipidation and artifacts due to tissue processing, fixation and staining. An exact determination of the actual thickness of the skin has therefore not been possible. Additionally, the process of obtaining tissue biopsies remains highly invasive, i.e., it is painful and leaves a scar.

Figure 5. Severity of skin readings for patch test according to the clinical scoring criteria recommended by the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group. Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Dental Alloys: Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment in Japan...

5.2. In vivo reflectance confocal laser microscopy

Non-invasive imaging modalities have received increased attention in recent years. In contrast to vertical histological sections obtained from biopsy specimen, RCLM evaluates skin in horizontal sections at a near-cellular resolution comparable to routine histology without preparing tissue processing and staining. In a RCLM, near-infrared light from a diode laser is focused on cellular structures having different refraction indexes, and this reflected light is captured and recomposed into a two-dimensional gray scale image by computer software (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Reflectance Confocal Laser Microscopy In dermatology, in vivo RCLM has been utilized in investigating benign and malignant tumors of melanocytes and keratinocytes, inflammatory skin lesions including allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) or irritant contact dermatitis (ICD), pigmentary disorders, vascular lesions and other skin conditions including normal skin [32- 34].

Moreover, RCLM allows a descriptive and qualitative cellular and morphologic analysis of skin barrier function, by visualizing individual cornecytes, cell-to-cell cohesiveness at the level of the stratum corneum and features of disruption.

The efficiency of the RCLM in grading the severity of allergic skin reactions and the correlation with routine visual patch testing results was also evaluated. A commercially available RCLM (Vivascope 1500 Plus, Lucid Inc, Henrietta, NY) was used to produce horizontal (surface) images of skin sites with X,Y, and vertical (in depth) images with Z plane micrometer screws.

This device use a diode laser at 830nm with a power less than 16mW at tissue level. The X30 water-immersion lens of numerical aperture 0.9 was applied to the skin. It was immobilized with a tissue ring and template fixture device to provide standardized mechanical contact with the RCLM. In each of the skin sites analyzed, a systematic 4mm2 X-Y mapping was performed and 5 images were captured in Z plane per 1μm in depth, beginning at the stratum corneum and going through the epidermis and into the upper reticular dermis. The suprabasal epider‐ 148 Confocal Laser Microscopy - Principles and Applications in Medicine, Biology, and the Food Sciences mis (from the surface of the stratum corneum with presence of corneocytes to the bottom of the cells in the uppermost portion of the stratum basale) were used to calculate thickness before and after patch testers were removed on day 2, 3, and, 7. In positive patch test reaction group, an overall increase in suprabasal epidermal thickness, intercellular edema, acanthosis and vesicle formation was observed, especially in metal elements with strong proliferative response of keratinocytes and T-cell involvement. On the other hand, in doubtful positive patch test reaction group, the RCLM images showed different aspects, such as irritant reaction with superficial disruption in the stratum corneum, or, an increase of suprabasal epidermis thickness at level which could recognized as positive reaction (Figure 7a to 7c, 8a to 8e).

Figure 7. Clinical images and corresponding RCLM images of patch test on day 3. a). Irritant reaction with punctate erythema and slightly hemorrhagic around hair follicle openings; b). Doubtful positive reaction shows spongiogis I stratum supinosum by RCLM; c). Positive reaction, with vesicle formation in stratum supinosum. Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Dental Alloys: Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment in Japan...

Figure 8. Regression analysis of suprabasal epidermal thickness and elapsed period of time by days on patch test. a). Nickel positive reaction; b). Nickel negative reaction; c). Cobalt positive reaction; d). Cobalt negative reaction; e). Cobalt doubtful positive reaction. This study demonstrated the potential of the RCLM to assist in more accurate interpretation of patch test result between allergic, doubtful and irritant reaction, differences and the degree of the skin reaction between allergen, rather than by using visual assessment alone [35].

5.3. Future possibilities of RCLM

In vivo RCLM offers quasi-histological resolution tissue images in real-time and does no damage to the tissue. Thus, it is suitable for monitoring longitudinal follow-up study for overtime. Furthermore, in vivo RCLM has obvious advantages as compared conventional skin biopsy in investigating esthetic dermatology because it is acceptable to patients who does not want scar. 150 Confocal Laser Microscopy - Principles and Applications in Medicine, Biology, and the Food Sciences Skin biopsy remains the golden rule for microscopic diagnostic up to now in dermatology. Although stacked horizontal gray scale images give us different information form that vertical colored sections of traditional microscopy, reading gray scale horizontal images is challenging for dermatologists or pathologists that are not experts in RCLM. Therefore, a prolonged and relevant training is needed before the dermatologist becomes confident with the obtained RCLM images. With the RCLM, each horizontal scan line is generated by each facet of the quickly rotating multi-faceted polygonal mirror, and the vertical shift occurs during the oscillations of the galvanometer. Scanning is performed at a rate of 9 frames per second, and the resulting image is equivalent to an en face 0,5mm x 0,5mm horizontal microscopic section.Moreover, this device can capture a series of focal planes at different depths by changing the focal length of the beam, and it has the capability of imaging 300μm below the skin surface. A series of images is typically captured from the top of the stratum corneum, through the epidermis and down into the dermis, forming a vertical image stack (Figure 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 9e, 9f).Figure 9. Horizontal section in XY planes of the RCLM images. a). stratum corneum; b). stratum granulosum; c). stratum supinosum above papillary dermis; d). stratum supinosum between papillary dermis; e). stratum basale; f). interface between epidermis and dermis. From individual images, cellular size can be measured, and, cell organelles and microstructures, such as melanin, keratin, and collagen provided contrast in images by differences in refractive index, appearing brighter than other cell structures. Other cellular details such as inflammatory infiltrates, dendritic cells, and capillaries can also be imaged by RCLM. Total light is reflected back when structures appear with, while no reflection is represented by black becoming an important guide for the clinician. The dominanting antigen-presenting cells in the epidermis are the Langerhans' cells, which constitutively express the MHC class II molecules and the invariant chain. To differential epidermal expression of the invariant chain in different contact dermatitis

5.4. Limitations of RCLM

One of the main limitations of this technique is the fundamental inability to images deep objects in the dermis in normal skin. In the skin of palms and soles, even living layers of epidermis is hardly observed due to its thick stratum corneum. In addition, acanthosis due to intercellular edema, vesicle formation and keratinocyte proliferation can also restrict the visualization. Moreover, not late-stage, grown-up tumor but early-stage tumor is suitable for examining due to its depth limitations.Furthermore, higher and better contrast is desired in order to distinguish different cells and determine pathological characteristics.

Home remedies for split ends

When you hair doesn't get enough nourishment or lacks moisture, you get split ends.

The reasons for this can be plenty, like sun exposure, harsh shampoos, blow drying, straightening, dyes and bleaches. All these dry out the hair and damage the amino acids in your hair.

Dry and damaged hair breaks easily while styling or brushing. If you think your hair is not growing fast, then split ends could be a possible reason. Here are some easy tips to cure split ends.

Alcohol-free shampoos

Use alcohol-free shampoos every time you have to wash your hair as alcohol dries out hair. It is best to use shampoos that use natural ingredients. Also, excessive washing with harsh shampoos makes your hair ends dry. You should not shampoo more than thrice a week. It is better to wash your hair every alternate day, not every day. Also, never use hot water to wash your hair.

Let it dry naturally

Heat is your hair's worst enemy but it's hard to completely avoid hair dryers and flat irons. So try to avoid it as much as possible. It is best to apply a heat resistant serum to your hair before using heat. Towel-dry your hair before drying, this way you minimizethe damage of heat on wet hair. Also, use flat irons and curlers occasionally instead of every day.

Oil massage: Oiling restores hair moisture. Massaging your scalp with coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil or a combination of these three is very good for your hair. It's best to leave it overnight, but if in a hurry, at least keep it for an hour and then wash with a mild shampoo.

Egg mask: Mix egg yolk in three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey. Gently massage this mask in your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave on for half an hour and wash with a mild shampoo.

Papaya mask: Papaya is rich in proteins which your hair needs in order to maintain its shine, moisture and growth. Mash two medium slices of papaya with a fork or in a blender. Mix two tablespoons yoghurt in it, and apply to your scalp and hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap to lock the moisture. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash with shampoo.

Honey rinse: Another easy home-made conditioner for hair is honey. Yes, it sounds sticky but it will do wonders for your hair. Mix two tablespoons honey in four cups warm water and apply to your hair after you shampoo/condition your hair. Leave it in your hair. It will control hair dryness and frizz.

How scrubs harm your skin

That seemingly harmless TLC you want to give yourself may not be the best for your skin as excessive use of scrubs can cause damage,warn experts to Ismat Tahseen.

It's probably something most people write into their weekly itineraries, checking into the spa for some pampering with a sea salt, sugar or another exotic scrub. Often considered to be a detox, people tend to use a scrub more than their skin actually needs and this can be detrimental, says skin expert Ishween Anand. "Excessive scrubbing and rubbing as well as exfoliating can damage the skin, so one should not do so on a daily basis unless using an extremely mild homemade scrub," she states.

The damage it can cause

While scrubs are said to slough off dead and dry skin, we often overdo that. "Some scrubs that have mineral oils, synthetics (abrasive beads made of plastic) or chemicals that can be harmful if you skin is sensitive. If the skin has a cut or bruise, then avoid using a salt body scrub as it will aggravate the condition and burn the skin," adds Anand.

Dr Jaishree Sharad explains further, "The topmost layer of the skin is a protective barrier layer. Too much scrubbing will disrupt this layer and make the skin more sensitive to UV rays, leading to easy tanning, rashes and sunburns. Also, the creams used for scrubs can block pores and cause whiteheads and infection of hair follicles, known as folliculitis."

Can scrubs really get rid of dull, dry, or flaky skin, clogged pores, blemishes, white bumps and uneven skin tone? Dr Sharad busts some myths. "On the contrary, it is wrong to scrub dry flaky skin as this will disrupt the barrier function of skin making it extremely sensitive. Moisturise with a coconut milk-based moisturiser if you have flaky skin. Scrubbing will cause post inflammatory hyperpigmentation leading to darkening of blemishes," she avers.

How often should one use scrubs in a spa? "Maybe once in seven or 15 days. Every every three to four days is not advisable," says spa manager Sonali Kadam.

So, what works?

Natural exfoliants are said to be the ideal choice. Adds Anand, "Scrubs made with natural ingredients such as sugar, salt, carrier oils, honey work, assuming you are not over doing it. Also choose natural oils such as sweet almond oil, Jojoba and Avocado oil. These natural ingredients are great for the skin."

"Whipped scrubs are also great as the particle sizes of the exfoliants are much smaller and are better for sensitive skin. Try a grated coconut pack mixed in coconut water or crushed almond and mint leaves; it will cleanse the skin well," adds Dr Sharad.

Natural scrubbers

Sugar: It is considered gentle as it has smoother edges than salt. Can be great for sensitive skin.

Apricot kernels: Rich in vitamin A, which is vital for healthy skin, they are perfect for elbows, backs, heels and thicker skins. Nutshells and fruit kernels can have jagged edges so they aren't ideal for sensitive skin.

Peach benefits for your skin

Dhaka, July 13 ( With the advent of monsoons, markets are flooded with succulent, juicy and aromatic peaches.While you gorge on this delicious fruit, peach also has a positive impact on the skin. A rich source of vitamins, minerals,antioxidants and other chemical contents, the fruit goes a long way in invigorating your skin. In fact, studies have shown that the Vitamin A present in this fruit may also contribute to cancer prevention. Here are some other skin benefits of this fruit.

Good for dry skin

Peaches help to regenerate your skin tissue. A combination of peach paste and yogurt, when applied to the skin and rinsed off with lukewarm water not only moisturises the skin but also leaves it supple and soft.You can also rub peach juice on your skin to get its glow back. It can also be used in oily skin care regimens to improve the skin.

Reduces wrinkles

A great source of Vitamin C, peach helps to remove dark circles and blemishes. Its macro nutrients also help in removing wrinkles and hence, peach is a common ingredient in anti-aging face masks. It tightens the skin's pores and does wonders for a tired skin.

Heals skin

Peaches are a good source of proteins and contribute towards tissue repair, so when you have a cut in your skin or a more severe laceration, peaches can help heal your skin quickly. Eating this fruit also improves your immune system, helping to ward off skin infections.

Protects from UV rays

As peaches are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, and selenium, they help to protect the skin from hazardous ultraviolet rays. In order to prevent any radical damage to your skin, you can boil the fruit, mash it with a fork and apply it on your face once you are back home after venturing outdoors. You can also use the peel of this fruit to cleanse your skin.

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