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What do you do when you have a question about your skin? Say you have spots, itches or rashes? Do you google? Or ask your friends or that aunt who has flawless skin?

We ask our fabulous experts. All of us have different skin types, different textures and face different kinds of issues. Generalized remedies don’t work on such unique skin. Our best bet? Leave it to the professionals.

Our go-to dermatologist Dr. Bindu Sthalekar and celebrity cosmetologist, solves some of our skincare dilemmas for us, keeping in mind the different types of Indian skin. Dr. Sthalekar has been practising in Mumbai for over 29 years, with expertise in Indian skin and its care.

Beauty Book: Climate in India varies from region to region. How can women take care of their skin when they have to deal with heat, humidity, dryness, high UV rays etc?

Dr. Bindu Sthalekar: “A gentle cleanser is a must. It should be soap-less and alcohol free. Lotions are better for cold areas. You can omit moisturizers in warm areas, but don’t skip sunscreen. That should be applied in all regions. It should have broad spectrum to protect you from burning and aging. One teaspoon covers face ideally not just dab here and there. Apply it 15 minutes before stepping out. Re-apply after every two hours. Those with oily skin should go for sunscreen with matte finish.”

Our Advice: Stick to gel or glycerine based cleansers like Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel. It’s soap and paraben free. Also, sunscreens that are enriched with moisturizing properties are the perfect lotions for cold weather like Biotique Bio Sandalwood Ultra Soothing Face Lotion 50+ SPF UVA/UVB Sunscreen.

BB: One major problem that women face is dark underarms. What are the causes and what can be done about it?

Dr. BS: “It can be due to hormonal imbalance. Oral medication is given to people with this problem. They should also not eat refined food and try to lose weight. Deodorants might cause allergy leading to dark armpits. If you get mild itching, change your deodorant. There are skin lightening creams and laser treatments as well.”

Our Advice: Try a natural, coconut based scrub to clean your underarms like Tree Hut Shea Sugar Coconut Lime Scrub. Skin lightening creams like SANCTUS Underarm Whitening & Sweat Reduction Cream are safe to use.

BB: Eye bags around eyes are not unheard of. How can this be cured or prevented? 

Dr. BS: “Lack of sleep and heredity are usually the causes. But there are few people who rub their eyes frequently. Skin under eye is tender and loose. More you rub, looser it gets. This should be stopped in order to avoid formation of such bags. Temporary fix is putting cold cucumber slice under it for 15 to 30 minutes. If not cucumber, you can even use loose cold tea bag. Permanent would be opting for surgery.”

Our Advice: You can go for under-eye masks and creams that help in collagen renewal like The Face Shop Pomegranate and Collagen Volume Lifting Eye Cream or the LANEIGE Eye Sleeping Mask.

BB: Natural products are suggested by lot of brands. How far can we trust them? 

Dr. BS: “If you are staying in a place where humidity level and temperature are high, natural products need to have some preservatives. Heat and humidity will give rise to bacteria. In cold place like Alaska it’s alright. The brands either add some amount of preservatives or hide this fact from you. Preparing at home and applying it right away is different from bottling it and keeping for months. For instance, you can grind moong dal and apply on your face. Then wash it off. It helps in exfoliation in natural way.”

Our Advice: While most natural products come with some preservatives, as Dr. Sthalekar suggests, you can stick to ingredients that are a little long lasting. For instance, Vitamin C – Natural Vibes Ayurvedic Vitamin C Skin Care Face Serum, or green tea – MCaffeine Naked Detox Green Tea Night Gel.

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