Drink up (a pina colada!) for beautiful skin

My skin hates me at the moment ūüôĀ But with six weeks of continuous travelling, layers of makeup melting into every pore in the summer heat, three hours of sleep a night (if I am lucky) and loads of junk food, even I have to admit that it has good reason to pout and rebel. What I do hate though is its way of showing displeasure ‚Äď zits like I haven’t had since the age of 14 in places where I never had them even when I was 14, blotchy patches that make any kind of cover-up crease and crumble, skin that looks grey and lifeless. Ugh!

perricone, smoothie, skin, pina colada, recipe, skincare, summerSo, it’s time to make amends and when the legendary Dr. Perricone started talking of a recipe that combines pina colada delectableness with loads of skin soothing benefits, how could I resist? A quick trip to the market and 10 minutes in the kitchen later, I can honestly vouch for its deliciousness.

The skin benefits, I assume, will take a little more time to show up but when they do, Dr. Perricone promises hydration, an Omega buzz that ups detoxification, boosts blood circulation and raises energy levels, and medium-chain fatty acids that make the complexion glow. In the long term, this coconut-almond-and-avocado pina colada is also supposed to help lose weight, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. And yup, you can enjoy this healthy cocktail virgin (or not ‚Äď I definitely did nothing of the sort!).

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup pineapple pieces
  • 1 small piece of avocado (about 1/5 of a large avocado or ¬ľ of a small one)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 2-4 ice cubes
  • Half a cup of water
  • Rum to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy
  3. Drink up!

BB Tea: Worth the hype?

kusmi-BB-teaForget the green juices and wheatgrass shots: our new healthy beverage of¬†choice is¬†the humble cup of tea. Except that it’s not so humble any more, what with the blending in of innumerable exotic ingredients ‚Äď right from acai berries to rosehip chips ‚Äď in a single cuppa. Case in point: Kusmi’s BB Detox tea, which is inspired by BB Creams and packs a potent skin protecting-moisturising-detoxifying punch with¬†green tea, yerba mate, rooibos and dandelion ‚Ästall topped off by the subtle taste of grapefruit.

Sounds interesting but I am not sure what makes it different from the other beauty teas out there ‚Äď there is a brilliant one by Caudalie¬†and another one by Fauchon ‚Äď which are essentially a blend of green tea’s antioxidant and detoxifying powers, along with the skin boosting prowess of various herbs and botanicals. But then, I never really got the whole concept of BB creams either. Though, in this BB tea’s favour, Kusmi is definitely a terrific brand… it’s been around since 1867 and comes up with exquisitely delicious blends of¬†black teas, green teas and infusions. So, even though its BB Detox Tea seems more like a piggybacking-on-a-popular-trend version of their already famous (and effective) Detox Tea, it’s worth the experience if you have¬†‚ā¨11.80 to spare for a box of 20 muslin-wrapped sachets.

Your thoughts? Would you try a cup of this grapefruit-flavoured BB tea? 

What to do AFTER a spa treatment!

For all the admonishments we get to arrive at least 20 minutes before the appointment, switch off the cellphone, steer clear of the razor and clearly communicate any discomforts, there is¬†surprisingly little advice dispensed at the end of spa treatments on what to do in the hours ahead! But ignorance does not make for spa-bliss ‚Äď in fact, since your body is at its most vulnerable immediately after a massage or scrub, it’s important to take precautions. This will not only help avoid damage to your skin but also optimise the skincare, wellness and feel-good results you paid for (often through your nose!).

post-spa1. Stay off the alcohol and cigarettes

Most spa treatments expel toxins by releasing them into your blood stream, from where they are gradually pushed out of the body ‚Äď usually over 24 hours. Drinking alcohol and smoking can dehydrate your body and further increase toxicity,¬†so avoid these for at least a full day.

2. Turn to water

In order to flush away these toxins and replace lost hydration (which is common after spa therapies), drink lots of fluids ‚Äď namely water and green tea ‚Äď for 24 hours post-treatment.

3. Eat light

Avoid eating a heavy meal for a few hours after the treatment as your digestion needs all it’s power to eliminate toxins. For¬†optimum results, have a meal made with¬†garlic, which¬†lowers blood pressure, boosts circulation, reduces fat, and flushes toxins from the body. Your best bet? A light, Asian-inspired dish.

4. Load up on the fruits

Swap dessert for a platter of fresh fruits: chock full with vitamins, enzymes and water, these are the best option for maintain the health effects of any spa treatment.

5.¬†Rest, rest, rest… and then rest some more!

A massage reveals its optimal benefits over a few hours, so you need some “me-time” to fully absorb the results of any spa session.¬†By doing anything stressful, you might lose the effects of your treatment.¬†Plus, any strenuous, rigorous or exciting activities (including steamy sex!), which make you sweat, will cause dehydration, leading to extreme fatigue.¬†Instead, indulge in some quiet, relaxing pursuits like getting lost in a book or zoning away to music for¬†24 hours after your spa visit.

6. Resist the shower

Although it may sound counter-productive, if you have any treatments that use essential oils, creams or botanicals, refraining from rinsing off will allow your skin to soak up the minerals and anti-oxidants completely.

7. Skip the steam and sauna

You‚Äôve been cleaned and steamed… heating up the face and body is going to strip away that just paid-for glow. And that’s highly avoidable, right?

8. Go light on home products

This is especially true if you have had a peel or scrub: adding on potent at-home products after these is a surefire recipe for redness. So, give your skin a two or three day break after a treatment.

9. Stay out of the sun

After a massage, peel or scrub, you’ve got a whole new batch of vulnerable skin cells that can easily burn in the sun. Better to stay in the shade and avoid the skin damage.

10. Sleep on a soft sheet

Your skin is super-soft after a spa visit (which is good). However, this also makes it super-prone to allergies, dust and harsh fabrics that can easily cause rashes and other irritations (which is bad). To avoid, sleep on a soft sheet ‚Äď preferably silk or satin (sigh!) ‚Äď that won’t irritate your skin. And, yes, stay away from those rough towels as well.

The only beauty detox you will ever need

After a full week of back-to-back weddings, complete with shovelled-on makeup and ultra-late nights, every pore of my skin is crying out for mercy. Time for a hefty dose of Beauty Rx!

Step 1: Cleanse out the gunk

When an event runs from morning to night, it means multiple makeup touch-ups. Result? Skin that gets completely clogged over. And there can be no better way of scrubbing out the gunk from every pore than this simple-yet-potent natural exfoliator, which comes from a Greek buddy who has the most gorgeous skin ever!

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 drop vanilla extract (for a soothing fragrance; recommended but not essential)

Method

1.  Whisk together all the ingredients.

2.  Massage them into your face and neck for a couple of minutes, rubbing in circular motions.

3.  Rinse with warm water and a wash cloth (to remove the oil).

Step 2: Deep cleanse from the inside-out

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Truly beautiful skin needs to be nurtured from the inside out. And this old Russian recipe helps you do just that, upping your beauty quotient multifold.

Ingredients

3 cups water

1 bowl

3 tablespoons dried herb (chamomile soothes dry skin, peppermint controls excessive oiliness, while rosemary and parsley are great for congested, acne-prone skin)

1 tea infuser

1 towel

Method

1. Pour one tablespoon of the dried herb in a tea infuser. Place the infuser in a mug and add boiling water until the mug is full. Infuse for 10 minutes.

2. Boil the remaining water; place the remaining herb in a bowl and pour in the boiling water.

3. Lean over the bowl, draping your head with a towel so that you are inhaling the vapours from the herbs. Remain as long as you can stand the heat or until the water cools.

4. Pat face dry with a clean towel, sip the tea slowly and don’t go out into the cold for at least half an hour. You’ll have a glow that comes from the inside out!

Step 3: Lay on the beauty mask

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Exhausted skin is sluggish skin and you need to rev up the circulation. Besides its circulation boosting powers, this Russian recipe also simultaneously tones, hydrates and refreshes the skin.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon tomato juice

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1 tablespoon (unbleached) white flour

1/2 cup buttermilk (for later)

Method

1. Mix all the ingredients except the buttermilk to form a paste.

2. Apply the paste to your face and neck; leave it on for 5-10 minutes. It may tingle a little as the blood starts flowing. However, never leave anything on it if it begins feeling uncomfortable.

3. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat skin dry.

4. Soak a cotton ball in buttermilk and apply it all over the skin. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

Step 4: Toner

Sweeping a slightly slightly astringent toner across newly clean skin preps the perfect canvas for applying moisturiser and completing the beauty detox. There are various type of skin fresheners but one of my favourites is still one that good old mom recommended years ago.

Ingredients

2 lemons

1 1/2 cups cold mineral water

Method

Squeeze the lemons and and strain the juice into a small bottle. Add the mineral water. Use an astringent toner after any of the facial masques. Follow with your favourite moisturiser.

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