Covid-19 has altered the way we view health and wellness. Today, focusing on the right food, nutrition and boosting immunity no longer remains an afterthought. The pandemic has forced us to pause, rethink and have a holistic approach when it comes to our overall well-being.
While we pay attention to our health by eating healthy, it's also important to be mindful of what we eat from and ensure our cooking, consumption and storage utensils are safe, sustainable and eco-friendly.
While consumer behaviour is changing to support sustainable brands and eco-friendly practices, plastic still finds dominance in most homes. In fact, our kitchens are replete with plastic jars, containers, utensils, garbage bags etc. and their usage is increasing at an alarming rate. A recent survey states that India generates 6,000 tonnes of plastic every day, nearly 10,000 tonnes of which goes uncollected. Adding to environmental pollution, plastic also has a detrimental effect on our health.
Priyanka Kheruka, Brand Head, Borosil Ltd, said, "When food is heated in plastic, it releases phthalates from the plasticisers and as much as 95 per cent of the chemicals are migrated into our food. Fatty foods like meats and cheese are more prone to leaching and when these are microwaved in a plastic container, the phthalates released can directly affect the lungs, kidneys and liver. BPA on the other hand is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes."
"Unlike plastic, glass is free of toxic chemicals and also retains the natural flavour on heating. It's also environmentally friendly and can be easily decomposed without emitting toxic chemicals. Using airtight glass containers for storage cuts down on the usage of cling wrap to ensure cut fruits and vegetables and leftover food does not rot or absorb the chemicals from harmful materials used for wrapping. Having steel utensils to cook food can also have a positive impact on health.
Steel does not erode or leach harmful chemicals during cooking. It's durable, sustainable, helps in retaining the original flavour and is easy to clean, like glass. Replace plastic bottles with stainless steel ones. There are myriad styles and options available in the market today which come in beautiful designs. There are many brands that offer bottles that are 100 percent food grade and rust-proof and which help in maintaining the temperature of your drink," she added.
"Copper utensils are ideal conductors of heat and are hygienic and corrosion-resistant. The advantages of storing water in copper vessels and bottles are many, having a direct impact on the skin while also having a therapeutic effect. There are plenty of materials and metals to choose from when it comes to incorporating healthy cooking habits."
Being mindful and conscientious of how we utilize our daily utensils in the kitchen can go a long way in boosting good health for the family, community and society at large while also leaving a positive footprint on the environment.
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If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimetre of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs.
Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Refrain from Harsh Soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
Clip Your Nails Regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
Good Quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
Stop The Habit of Nail Chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Exfoliate Your Hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Don't Use Your Nails As Tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Be Aware of Nail or Cuticle Inflammation or Redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
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If there is anything that the past one year has taught us, it is that the health of one's body and the mind are of paramount importance, and need more attention than we usually give. Getting some type of exercise for both has become vital, and one of the easiest ways to do both at once is to practice Yoga.
The quality of life in yoga is measured through the transformation of a well-maintained body with absence of illness and pain, tranquillity of mind, cultivation of energy and ultimately reaching higher levels of autonomy in your practice. Yoga has a very precise, direct and practical approach towards every instance of life and towards yoga practice. But Yoga is not just what you do on the mat, its guiding principles permeate within the very essence of being.
If you're really keen on starting, here are some easy, do-able tips that can get you started on a journey you will not regret taking. Suggestions by Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA:
1. Set a specific time, separate space and focus on the yoga practice preferable at a time when your body has good energy after a restful period. It may be in the morning or evening, this time differs according to everyone's schedule.
2. Practice on an empty stomach. Set the time for practice after 2 hours of any meal consumption. Small amounts of liquid can be consumed in these 2 hours.
3. Always practice yoga on a mat or blanket to avoid contact with the floor while practicing yoga for your own comfort. It aids in ease of practise, it is easier on the joints and avoids energy transference on an otherwise cool floor.
4. Distractions are unavoidable, but setting up the practise in such a way that it's easier to focus on yoga for the whole duration is definitely possible. For example, maybe you can't put your phone on silent, but you can leave it in the adjoining room. Or maybe complete privacy may not be possible, but you can definitely invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones which will transport you into a space of focus while taking an online class.
5. Start the session with a good warm up to create good blood circulation all over the body before practicing asana for better results. Sun salutations are an excellent warm up before asana practice.
6. Pay attention to your breathing pattern for specific asana for an effective practice. Inhalation and exhalation patterns matter in each and every aspect of your practice. The wrong breathing patterns will cause cramps or pain or simply the inability to reach your true potential in the asana.
7. Be mindful of your injuries. If you've had a serious injury, severe pain or are recovering from a surgery, you may want to consult a doctor and of course inform your trainer of these injuries as well.
8. Practice yoga under the guidance of a Yoga Teacher. Whether you are practising in person or online with a group of friends, finding the right teacher is the best motivation you can get to continue your journey.
9. End the session with a proper cool down, relaxation and meditation for a refreshed finishing. Yoga is a psychophysiological art for the training of the mind which is just as essential as the body.
10. Lastly, be present every moment of the class. Thinking of cooking tonight's dinner or about the presentation that is due next morning will mar the experience of your Yoga workout. It's not easy, but that is why it is worth it.
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Monsoons are all about nostalgia, binging on deep-fried snacks and enjoying a hot cuppa. However, a major flipside to this otherwise beautiful season is the havoc it wreaks on the skin. The humidity in the air causes the skin to become greasier which leads to acne, inflammations, or breakouts. So how can one combat these multitude of problems with just a face serum? Read on to find out how Vitamin C serum is the beauty tonic to keeping healthy and radiant.
A good Serum is suitable for all skin types. It can provide lightweight moisturization for oily skin, rejuvenation, and radiance for dull skin. It can also help reduce spots, pigmentation, and uneven skin tone. For acne-prone skin, serum with Salicylic Acid works well, whereas for dry skin Hyaluronic Acid is a better bet. Also, look out for Vitamin C, it is a super antioxidant ingredient that removes spots, dullness, uneven skin tone and brightens the skin!
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Irrespective of the season, it is important to hydrate and nourish the skin. Considering that a serum is made up of smaller molecules that seep deeper into the skin than any average cream or moisturizer, it delivers an extremely high concentration of active ingredients. It also re-adjusts the excess sebum on the face to make the skin look healthy and well-moisturized.
Serums are water or emulsion-based formulations hence they have a light gel-like or watery, non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly into the skin-quenching the skin's thirst for moisturization and leaving it with a fresh, dewy smooth finish.
A serum is a hero product that can eliminate the need for single-purpose skincare products such as creams or moisturizers. Charmis Deep Radiance Face Serum is Dermatologist and Clinically tested to offer specific skin benefits of Hydrated Clear Radiance. It goes 15 layers deep into the skin with its potent ingredients of Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid and Salicylic Acid. Available for Rs 210.
A drop or two will provide much-needed nourishment and prep with your skin for monsoons. Use your fingertips to gently apply the serum to your face and neck and then lightly tap, pat, and smoothen it out and voila you're done!
Let the expert serum work hard to take care of your skin while you sit back and enjoy the monsoons.
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Our hair goes through a lot during the day. Without any hair care routine your hair can become damaged, tangled and dry, especially if you have hair colour or any other chemical hair treatments. There are numerous overnight hair treatments and hair masks you can prepare in the comfort of your home which magically repair your hair and maintain its health.
Throughout the day, hair gets subjected to pollution, rain, sun and sweat causing some amount of damage. We shy away from using oil and forget to use a heat protector before styling on many occasions. There are many ways to tame and nourish your locks it's worth the investment, time, products and energy, says Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, Director, Tressmart.
"The first step is to identify your hair type and hair concerns. You may buy the best products and be diligent with your day and night time hair care routines, but using the wrong products will most likely damage your hair further instead of doing it any good. If you remove your make-up at night and use products to rejuvenate your skin through the night to wake up to happier, healthier skin in the morning, why aren't you doing the same for your hair?" is what she asks.
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According to Naina Ruhail, Co-founder, Vanity Wagon, dedicating some time to her tresses before hitting the bed is her secret mantra for good hair. "Oiling helps keep the hair follicles nourished, soft and shiny at the same time. The best thing to do for your hair is to massage your scalp with some organic hair oil and leave it overnight. This will give the oil enough time to get absorbed by the roots and repair the hair shaft. Next morning wash your hair with a mild paraben and sulphate free shampoo."
Santosh Kumar, DGM, Kiehl's India suggests ways to help keep your hair healthy and damage-free overnight:
This overnight hair mask works best for dry and damaged hair. Mixing two teaspoons of olive oil, some aloe vera gel and two egg yolks in a bowl, massaging your scalp with this mixture for 10-15 mins, leaving it on overnight by tying it into a loose bun and wearing a shower cap and washing it with a good shampoo in the morning can help nourish your hair and scalp.
Serum it Right
To get your hands on the serum that is just right for you could be challenging but once you do, it's also life changing. And when you do get the correct one, you want to use it efficiently to obtain the best results in terms of solving your biggest hair problems such as frizz, dryness, etc. For gorgeous hair with megawatt shine, it's important to distribute a serum to the part of the hair that needs it the most, the ends. That way, it benefits your hair the most and you could also avoid annoying product build-up near your roots. Serum it right before bed and voila! Just like that, wake up to the most soft and shiny tresses ever.
Best of Braids
The key is to braid it correctly. Many choose twists as they help them achieve a more natural and carefree look. To have amazing beach waves the next day, braid your hair before bed and that will do the trick. Also make sure the braids are not too tight. Stressing your hair is never a good idea. Braiding will also help keep your hair in place so as to avoid too much friction which eventually causes breakage and hair fall.
Did you know silk pillowcases keep your hair hydrated? It also helps with brittle hair. People traditionally use cotton pillow cases as they are unaware of the fact that cotton is more permeable and hence absorbs all the moisture from your hair. But silk is known to do the exact opposite. It keeps the moisture right where it belongs. Hence, sleeping on a silk bed sheet and a silk pillowcase at night is highly recommended.
Old School Massage
If you are looking for a full proof way to grow your hair in a healthy manner, a scalp massage before bed is the way to go. Scalp massages are known to increase hair thickness by stretching the cells of your hair follicles. This encourages the follicles to produce thicker hair in return. It also helps dilate blood vessels beneath the skin thereby encouraging hair growth.
Vitamins are Your Best Friend
Healthy diet helps in keeping the locks luscious, a mix of vitamins and healthy fats is helpful. Like any other body part, our hair also needs the correct amount of nutrients in order to stay healthy. While factors such as age, genetics and hormones also affect hair growth, optimal nutrient intake is key. Vitamin A, C, D, E and B -- vitamins help our hair the most. Therefore 'eating right' all day, and eating food which contains vitamins is a good idea.
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Monsoon is a welcome change after the scorching summer heat but it comes with its own set of challenges. Increased humidity causes breakouts, dullness, and greasiness on one's skin. Increased use of face masks to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus also leads to moisture being trapped under the mask thus giving way to acne-causing bacteria and fungal infections.
A change in season calls for a change in skincare to adapt basis the new weather conditions. Making small, quick customisations would be key in ensuring healthy, glowing skin. Plabita Sharma, National Training Manager, The Body Shop India, tips to combat dullness during the rains:
Due to the increased humidity, there is a great chance that the skin will produce more oil thus attracting more dust, grime which in turn will lead to clogged pores that cause the breakouts. Choose a gentle, effective cleanser that suits your skin type always limit the washing to twice a day this will help avoid over washing and stripping away the natural oils and compromising the skin's natural moisture barrier.
Monsoon season tends to confuse the skin which changes the skin's type to the combination this can be easily identified with an oily T-zone but dry or normal cheeks, chin and jaw. Choosing a lightweight gel or water-based moisturizer would be key in such cases. This will help maintain the balance between the varied regions on your skin. Check for ingredients that have antioxidant properties like vitamin C, aloe, vitamin E etc. That will help fight free radicals while also soothing the skin. Hydrating the skin regularly can be a game-changer that helps to achieve plump and supple skin.
Take out a little extra time for your skin and care for it by following a weekly routine of exfoliating and masking the skin to get a healthy glow. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and adds life back into the skin. A clean and fresh layer of skin also absorbs products much more easily thus making them much more effective. Choose a mask based on your skin types like clay, peel off or sheet masks and you are set to welcome the change in season.
Though the weather looks pleasant and cloudy one must not avoid the protective shield. Modern sunscreen comes with a variety of textures and spray formats ranging from SPF 15-50. Ensure to opt for one that prevents the skin from harmful effects of the sun because skincare is always incomplete without SPF. It is a must-have despite the season or your exposure to the sun.
Different seasons may come and go but less is more always. Keep your makeup to the minimal and still look presentable with a dash of kohl and lip balms. Opt for subtle colours and just the right kind of texture that helps to enhance your features without the addition of extra ingredients that can react poorly with the environmental conditions.
And that's it, now you are well equipped to handle the comings and goings of the rainy season. Skincare in this season is simply dependent on balancing the pH levels of your skin and switching products as required. Follow these simple rules and ensure healthy, happy skin all year round!
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