Cellulite busters: Chocolate lovers rejoice!

Chocolate sans the guilt? Yes, it is possible – honestly!!!! This multitalented treat was not called the “elixir of the Gods” for nothing… it actually has a zillion benefits. To start with, chocolate not only prevents free radical damage to keep keep skin young and healthy, it’s also an excellent hydrator, skin softener and detoxifier.

And this is backed up by scientific evidence: A substance’s antioxidant capabilities are measured in ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) Assay units. Green tea has an ORAC of 1,686 units per 100 grams, while oranges rate just 750. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, scores a whopping 13,120, while milk chocolate has about 6,700. No wonder cosmetic-makers have been using cocoa butter as a moisturizer since the mid-19th century.

Besides this, chocolate is also excellent at getting rid of stretch marks and cellulite when massaged into the skin. Plus, cocoa is terrific for detoxifying, waste elimination and metabolism boosting properties, which has it increasingly cropping up in skincare creams like Biotherm Drain Choc, which tackles water retention, and Abdo Choc, which helps firm and tone the stomach. Chocolate as a fat-buster? The ultimate irony 🙂

And that’s not all. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine and serotonin, ‘feel-good’ substances naturally released when we’re happy or in love or feeling passionate – a terrific way to get yourself in a good mood. No wonder that these goodies are popping up in several zingy fragrances – the most famous one being Thierry Mugler’s Angel.

Would you rather just eat the luscious bars? In a complete turnaround of fortunes, dark chocolate is now being hailed as health food – as an anti-depressant and PMS-alleviator. However, remember that only dark chocolate is beneficial; the white and milk varieties are too low on cocoa content to show any benefits. Chocolate can be labeled ‘Dark’ if it contains at least 35 per cent cocoa. So, stock up and start seeing the goodness. Yippppeeeee!!

SPF On the Go

Its all perfect to keep talking about how we need to reapply sunscreen every few hours, but what is one to do when you are fully made up and need to step out into the sun during the afternoon? If taking off all your makeup, putting on sunscreen and then reapplying everything is not an option, try one of the new SPF-enhanced pressed powders. While most face powders don’t include too high an SPF (20 is normally the upper limit though some brands are now touching 30), they are sufficient to keep you protected for at least a couple of hours, while being easy to apply over existing makeup. For best results, ensure that you apply evenly all over the face, including the tips of your ears and neck. Some good options:

Understanding Your Sunscreen

It’s that time of the year once again when you either let your skin get burnt to a crisp or actually head out and buy a new bottle of (gasp!) sunscreen. UV protection is the number-one summer health and beauty helper, yet 75% people don’t bother to use any.

It’s a well proven fact that 80% signs of ageing (like fine lines, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and sagging) are accelerated by the sun’s rays, which penetrate deep into the skin to attack collagen – the spongy protein that keeps skin supple and firm.

New studies also indicate that regular SPF use allows skin cells to focus on tasks that actually improve skin – such as shedding dead cells and building collagen – rather than on fighting environmental effects. So you not only prevent further damage, but actually get repairing benefits as well.

And no, the bottle from last year won’t do, because sunscreens usually degenerate and lose their effectivity within six months of opening the bottle. Still confused about what all those numbers and rating signify? Here is a quick brush-up 101 to help you choose:

  • SPF: Higher SPFs don’t give better protection; they just allow you to be out in the sun longer without burning. SPF 15 works for approximately two hours, so it’s fine for everyday use, but on outdoor days go for SPF 30 or above to cut down on reapplications.
  • UVA/UVB: Earlier, SPF regulations only measured the product’s efficacy against UVB rays; however, studies have proved that UVA rays are equally damaging to the skin. So, the revised labeling system for sunscreens includes a four-star rating system for sunscreen protection against UVA light – one star represents low UVA protection, while four stars represent the highest protection available in an over-the-counter product.