‘Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" – A saying we have all grown up with. Indeed fair skin is desirable and almost everyone aspires for it. A soft, glowing and healthy skin is now no more a want but a need. There are many readymade fairness creams available in the market that will lighten your complexion temporarily.
However, they use harsh chemicals that may damage the three layers of your skin. Lot of fairness serums and creams sold in the market are a dangerous cocktail of compounds like steroids, hydroquinone and tretinoin. The long term use of which can lead to lethal health concerns like permanent refractory pigmentation, skin eruptions, skin cancer, liver damage, mercury poisoning and others.
Our skin naturally produces a pigment called melanin that gives it its colour. External factors, like sun exposure, can enhance or control melanin production, causing our skin to develop a tan. It is difficult to change the amount of melanin naturally. However, you can always get rid of the tan and pigmentation by using some simple home remedies.
Milk and honey: They make an excellent fairness activator. Apply a mixture of milk and honey and massage lightly in circular motions for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with cold water. The natural enzymes in milk lighten your complexion and even out the skin tone. Milk also nourishes your skin and keeps it healthy.
Rose water: Cleanse your face every day with rose water. It not only refreshes and brightens but also soothes all types of irritation and rashes. It is specially good and effective for sensitive and oily skin types.
Jojoba oil: Take a few drops of jojoba oil between your fingertips and rub them together to warm it up slightly. Apply it to your face and massage in circular motions for two-minutes and then leave it on overnight. This is similar to the natural oils secreted by our skin and gets easily absorbed into it. It keeps the skin moisturised and balances the PH to give you a brighter complexion and a natural glow.
Saffron: Soak a few strands of saffron in milk for about an hour. Add some pure organic sandalwood powder to it. Make it in to smooth paste. Then apply it on your face and body and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then rinse off with water.
Orange peel pack: Mix orange peel powder with honey, milk and a pinch of turmeric paste into a smooth consistency. Apply this paste on your face and let it dry for 20 minutes and then rinse off with cold water.
Diet is equally important for getting a flawless fair complexion. Eating tomatoes and tomato-based food can help to clear your skin. The lycopene present in them helps to combat acne and stubborn spots. It also protects the skin from UV rays and improves the antioxidant status. Include tomatoes in your diet three to five times a week.
Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are all loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. These help your body to keep acne and blemishes at bay. Sometimes, blemishes occur due to oxidative stress. The antioxidants in berries will help to remove these blemishes. Vitamin C prevents inflammation and gives the skin a healthy glow. Use a supplement having Vitamin C, rose hips powder from the extract of rosa canina. Couple it with antioxidants which have alpha T acids and glutathione. These natural elements free from side effects will help in pigmentation and epidermal melanin reduction, discolouration, lightening your skin and giving it a healthy glow.
Adding fish and seafood regularly to your diet helps you maintain the optimal health of the skin. This is because the omega-3 fatty acids containing eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid found in fish and seafood slow down the aging process toa great extent. They can inhibit the secretion of the inflammatory chemicals and delay the appearance of premature signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles. They also help to fight acne, which is another type of inflammation caused by bacteria. Those who are prone to acne should eat three-four servings of fish every week. You can incorporate fish oil supplements as well in case taking fish is difficult. Yogurt is essentially rich in probiotics, and ensures a healthy gut. When your digestive tract is clean, your skin will automatically have a natural glow.
Drink at least three to four litres of water daily. This is called water therapy and along with it citrus fruit juices will make your skin fair and healthy. Hydrated skin is always healthy and plump.
Also include some almonds, milk and banana to your diet. They give you all the essential vitamins needed for a radiant glowing skin. Amidst all the vital points to remember, we sometimes forget the very basics. For instant glowing and fair skin, always keep these mantras in mind:
Follow the cleansing, toning and moisturising routine daily. It is also extremely vital to remove your makeup before you go to sleep.
A manual exfoliation can help to lighten the skin by removing the layer of dead cells. It only helps when your current skin tone is darker than your normal skin tone. This is because exfoliation reveals a new skin layer that is untouched by the sun.
Always apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you step out from home. A good sunscreen with SPF 30 and above will help to prevent a tan. Avoid the sun as far as possible.
Another key to flawless skin is a good night's sleep. It is very important for healthy and glowing skin. It repairs the skin and gives it the fresh look.
It is mandatory to add a few exercises to your regime to improve metabolism. Then the body can assimilate nutrients from food better. Make a smart choice by eating healthy foods and using natural ingredients instead of cosmetics.
Never use a household bleach or hair bleach on your skin. These will not work since they are not designed to reduce melanin. Rather they will cause more damage.
Try and avoid creams with greater than two per cent concentration of chemicals that lighten the complexion without consulting a doctor as they can damage your skin too.
Curtail your smoking habits, eating unhealthy snacks and alcohol consumption to avoid all your efforts to get a fair skin from going in vain.
You need to remember and realise that fairness cannot be achieved overnight, and one has to take good care regularly to achieve the desired fairness. Stress and busy schedules also leave us with no time to pamper our skin, so all we do is end up applying creams to look fair. Try to follow the easy tips and remedies regularly, and fair skin will be yours forever with time. Determination, dedication and discipline are all you need to complete your journey to achieving the gorgeous you.
The writer is celebrity dermatologist and cosmetologist, doctor of wellness, lifestyle medicine and astro beauty expert