Look Good……………… Naturally – By Dr.Nilam Kothari, Dermatologist

The quest for that elusive glow and radiance seems never ending; believe me it all starts with the food on your plate. To know what works best for you, first know your skin type.

This can be done by taking a simple skin test using a dry tissue strip, after cleansing the face with a gentle cleanser wait for 30mins, now take a dry tissue strip and gently dab it with minimal pressure across the face starting from one ear to the other, including the nose. Do this for about 2minutes. Now observe for oil spots over the tissue strip.

Normal skin shows some oil spots predominantly over the nose area.

Oily skin will show large spots all over the strip.

Combination skin shows more number of spots smeared over the nose area.

Dry skin shows very few or no spots at all. In very dry skin fine flakes of dead skin may be seen.

Knowing your basic skin type is the first step towards selecting a smart diet plan that helps you attain healthy and radiant skin that lasts longer. Apart from a balanced diet with ideal proportion of carbs, proteins, fats and micronutrients, inclusion of certain specific food items is highly recommended.

Oily skin type benefits well with diet rich in vitamin A, present abundantly in coloured (red & orange) fruits and veggies like papaya, orange, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.

Normal skin benefits with diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C & E like gooseberries, olives, nuts, tomatoes, coloured peppers, nuts & fruits.

Dry skin types need proper skin hydration; plenty of water intake does the trick. Also foods rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids help. Rich sources are olive oil, nuts like almonds, peanuts, dried apricot, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds. Fish such as sardines, tuna & salmon should be included in the diet.

Mature skin above 40 years of age is usually dry and may thus require diet suited to dry or combination skin type.

Also antioxidants (vitamins & minerals) are necessary for all skin types to combat the damaging effects of sunlight, pollution, smoking, alcohol & toxins present in processed food and water. Food sources rich in vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, magnesium & zinc are ideal. Selenium & magnesium rich foods include seafood, brown rice, chicken and whole wheat bread. Zinc is found in nuts, cereals and meats (beef, pork, salmon, and chicken). Green tea is power packed with most of the natural antioxidants.

Apart from diet modification, a specific skin care routine suitable to your skin type works wonders. To know more consult your dermatologist who will guide you better.