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Thursday 13 September 2012

Three Beauty Mistakes We Are All Making

Thinking two litres of water are enough

Water flushes out the toxins to keep our complexion clear, rehydrates the cells to moisturise skin from the inside and maintains the vital balance of nutrients to keep everything soft, supple and beautiful. That’s why most of us religiously glug down two litres of water every day. However, research has now proved that these 6-8 glasses are not enough and water needs vary according to your weight, health, activity levels, diet and climate.

For example, a woman who weighs 165 pounds (75 kgs), exercises for 45 minutes, lives in a moderate climate and has one alcoholic or caffeine-laced drink should have approximately 2.9 litres of water through the day. What’s your number? Try the water calculator here. And remember that skin is the last in a long line of water recipients through the body – digestive systems and vital organs being the first – so any shortfall will show up in your complexion immediately!

Not applying enough sunscreen

Feel proud of yourself for remembering to apply that SPF 30 UVA/UVB sunscreen every single morning? Most probably, it’s still falling far short of the mark. Studies prove that almost all of us use about half the amounts at which the sunscreens are tested – which means that the label may say SPF 30, but you are actually getting just SPF 12 or 15.

So, what’s the right amount? According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, you need to apply sunscreen in amounts of 2 mg per square centimetre of skin. Since most of us are not really going to sit and calculate to this detail, here is a thumb rule: A teaspoon each on the chest and stomach combined, the back, and each leg; plus half a teaspoon each on the head and neck combined (including the ears) and each arm. Then re-apply every 2-4 hours, depending on the SPF and whether you are in the house or on the streets.

Not wearing sunglasses

While sunglasses have now become a fashion statement rather than a functional accessory, not wearing them when you step out of the house can be hazardous to the skin around your eyes. Skipping on the shades will not only increase your chances of vision deterioration and cataracts, it will also make your eyes look ghastly in the here and now. Remember that the skin under your eyes also has melanin, which reacts to sunlight and produces pigmentation that leads to dark circles. Plus all that squinting quickens fine lines, wrinkles and crows feet.

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