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Look Good Today or to Look Good every day?

- Sowmya Naga Dogiparthi, MD, FAM*

Looking good on special occasions means wearing the perfect dress or suit, getting hair set and for the women, it's perfect makeup besides all these.

When we introduce ourselves to a stranger, the first thing they notice is our appearance. Skin, Hair and Nails give each one of us an external appearance that one sees before knowing anything about the person.

For both men and women, racial Skin types vary from Fitzpatrick Skin Types I-VI; Type I being very Pale White Skin prone to burning all the time and at the end of the spectrum is Type VI skin which never is the pigment-producing cells being the product of both of the individual’s biological parents’ genetic makeup. The amount of melanocytes and the type of melanin production within the epidermis determines the skin and hair colour of an individual.

As an individual grows, Multiple factors play a role that alters the skin and hair. The most common factors are ultraviolet rays, nutrition, cosmetics, shampoos, hair serums and personal hygiene and habits.

Is it important to only look good on special occasions or is it important to look good daily? Here are some tips to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy to look good not only outside but also to feel confident from inside. Yes, cosmetics play a vital role to enhance beauty but do not camouflage your natural beauty with cosmetics all the time. Spending extra ten minutes of meticulous time on skin, hair, nail maintenance can win you the signs of ageing and delay its process.

Approximately 65%, the majority of the human body is composed of water. It is advised to drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. More water keeps the ceramides in the epidermis healthy. Inadequate nutrition can lead to pale skin, lusterless hair, hair fall and brittle nails. As suggested by the main scientific societies a daily diet should include a bowl of fresh fruits, a cup of sprouts and a bowl of oil-free vegetables and 2-3 almonds/day. Reduce the amount of oily and fatty food products, especially fast food; as these can increase the insulin levels in the body which in turn stimulate the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil leading to acne and dandruff. As smoking can enhance the ageing of the skin; leading to wrinkles at a very young age; it is advised to quit smoking to keep oneself healthy.

When coming to the usage of the right soaps and shampoos to cleanse body and hair. It is mandatory to use Syndet base Soap, a free non-irritating cleanser that restores moisture. A low pH shampoo is advised to rinse hair twice weekly followed by a conditioner application for 3-4 min only for hair and should be rinsed with cold water. Towel drying of hair is recommended over blow-drying or straightening as the latter two can form microscopic heat bubbles that damage the hair roots and break the hair. Anti-frizz serums of choice can be applied to hair strands to maintain the shine and to have manageable hair while combing. Avoid frequent colouring of hair, as chemicals present in the hair dye can lead to a skin condition called Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the forehead.

The primary function of the Stratum corneum is to act as a physicochemical semi-permeable barrier against both the environment and the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from the body. Frequent application of a good moisturizer recommended by a dermatologist not only prevents TEWL from the body but also restores the Ceramides in the epidermis and delays ageing in all seasons. Along with a moisturizer, a frequent application of sunscreen between SPF 30-50 is recommended to avoid harmful effects of UV rays and to prevent sunburns and tans. For further protection, it is recommended to wear wide brim hats, sunglasses, and light coloured cotton clothes during summer.

One’s genetic colour cannot be changed permanently but can be enhanced by cosmetic dermatology procedures such as chemical peels. Chemical peels are therapeutic acids with different strengths and compositions based on the client’s needs applied on the skin in sequential settings to enhance the look of one skin. In simple terms, it is a process of removing the “Dead dirty Skin” and regenerating “New Skin”. To maintain the effect of a chemical peel one should follow the pre-and post-peel guidelines given by their Dermatologist or Cosmetologist.

Finally, coming to Nail care. Both toenails and fingernails should be frequently trimmed to prevent fungal and dirt accumulation under long thick nails. Also, frequent nail polish application is not advised from a dermatologist’s perspective as there are toxic chemicals in nail polish that can damage the nail and can reduce the natural shine of the nail.

Following the above tips regularly, can help you look young even in your late sixties and be confident in your smile.

Courtesy: Dr. Sowmya Dogiparthi,



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