Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 20, Tuesday November 23, 2004






Skin care

7 deadly skin sins

Some women (and sometimes men) have great skin but that does not mean they were born with it. You can curse them all you want but great skin has a lot to do with how you care for it. Some myths prevent many from getting that glowing complexion that Romeo thought was a light shinning yonder.

1: It's not just in the genes
Well, okay, genetics play a role in how your skin looks from the size of your pores to its texture and color. But if your mom looked like Michele Pfeiffer don't count on you looking like a younger version. Habits make more of a difference than genetics with the biggest culprit in aging being sun exposure as well as stress and sleep habits. Skipping sunscreen and sleeping on your side or stomach can all exacerbate and create wrinkles, adult acne and texture changes. Smoking and/or drinking doesn't help either.

2: The SPF number only does not tell you how much protection you're getting from the sun.
There are two types of damaging sun rays: UVA, which are responsible for aging the skin; and UVB, which are responsible for burning it. The SPF number on a bottle of sunscreen only gives a guide for how much UVB protection the product offers. It doesn't tell you whether or not the product protects from UVA rays (which are also responsible for melanoma). All sunscreens protect from UVB rays. To fully protect yourself, however, look for a product that contains UVA-blocking ingredients, too, such as zinc or avobenzone (Parsol 1789), and reapply often. Alternatively you could ask NASA to build you a high tech sun ray shielding hijab.

3: You don't necessarily need a separate sunscreen and moisturizer.

Sunscreens already add moisture to your skin because of their ingredients so if you have oily skin, you may want to skip the separate moisturizer. For those who prefer to wear both products, apply the moisturizer first; allow to dry, then apply the sunscreen. Either way, be sure to wear sunscreen daily because "Every day is sun day" even when the weather is overcast. Conversely, you could limit yourself to becoming a vampire and only going out at night.

4: Cosmetic creams don't turn back time for your skin.
Miracles don't come in a bottle, jar or tube. As you age, your facial bones shrink, you lose fat under the skin, and your skin begins to become loose. Rubbing on a cream isn't going to address these things. What's more, cosmetic skincare products cannot, by FDA law, include medications, which are the only things that truly change the structure of the skin. What cosmetic creams can do is temporarily plump up and hydrate your skin. Dermatologists can help in this regard. Problem in our country is that you first need help to find a good dermatologist.

5: Sun damage happens throughout your life
Recent studies have shown that by age 18, you've only accumulated 18 to 23 percent of the sun damage you'll incur over a lifetime. That means that there's still time to protect your skin from the sun and put off sun-induced aging. Do this by using sunscreen and products with sun-damage reversing ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol.

6: If your skin is sensitive to a specific ingredient.
Just because you react to a good ingredient in one formulation doesn't mean you'll have the same response to another formulation. Effective cosmetic skincare ingredients like AHAs, salicylic acid and retinol can be irritating. If you try a product containing one of these ingredients, start slowly to allow your skin time to adjust. If, after two weeks, you still notice irritation, try another product containing the ingredient. You may find that a different mix will agree with your skin.

Also sticking only with products that worked for you in the past may not be a good idea. Human bodies change as it ages so why shouldn't the skin? The products cease to be effective if your skin needs shift and you could also be missing out on new technologies and ingredients that will better suit your current needs. Don't be afraid to experiment but also don't go for material available just about anywhere! Leave the fear to the person who pays the bills.

7: Prevent pimples rather than curing.
A pimple can take weeks to form under the skin, so while you're treating the one that's currently visible with a spot treatment, you're neglecting the ones that will pop up in the future. The best bet is a preventative, full-face regimen to stop pimples before they even begin to form. Thank the natural decrease in estrogens/increase in androgens we experience as we age, plus our increasingly stressful lifestyles, for this common condition.

Information collected from interviews of dermatologists Katie Rodan, MD, and Kathy Fields, MD, creators of Proactiv Solution and the Rodan + Fields skincare lines.

Shop talk

Football Boots
After the drubbing that our cricket team got from New Zealand, you might want to forget about becoming a cricketer. Instead the prospect of becoming a footballer might sound appealing to you, as football is a sport in which we've at least had a bit of success in the SAF games. For those of you who aspire to become Bangladesh's David Beckham or Ronaldo, you'll definitely need a pair of football boots. If you go to Shaheen Sports (Hockey Stadium) you'll be able to buy them between Tk 350 to Tk 550.

Spring Chest Expander
The chest size of healthy men is greater than their waist size. Judging by this criterion, most Bangladeshi men are not healthy as their 'bhuris' measure more than their chests. Is there anything that they can do to rectify this situation? Well, yes there is. Besides cutting down on their intake of 'Kacchi Biryani', they can buy a spring chest expander from Shaheen Sports (Hockey Stadium) for Tk 250. By exercising regularly with a spring chest expander they'll gradually get a bod like Salman Khan.

If you failed to become a singer because your voice isn't good enough, you need not be disheartened. By learning to play the keyboard you can become just as famous as a singer, if not even more. Just look at Yanni for proof. Even Bangladesh's very own Manam Ahmed, who plays the keyboard for the popular band Miles, has made a huge name for himself simply by playing the keyboard. If you're interested in becoming a world-renowned virtuoso, first of all you'll have to go through the effort of buying a keyboard. By going to Surniketan (28/B Dhanmondi, Road # 1) you'll be able to purchase a keyboard within Tk 12000 to TK 50000.

Are you a fan of heavy metal? If so, instead of just listening to Iron Maiden, why don't you try to form your own band and start performing? Who knows, you might even be able to become as famous as Iron Maiden. One instrument that you'll definitely require to perform heavy metal is a drum. Why a drum? Well, without a drum you won't be able to make all that deafening noise! At Surniketan (28/B Dhanmondi, Road # 1) you can purchase a drum between Tk 6000 to Tk 12000.

If you have to travel a short distance, instead of travelling by car it would be good idea to ride a bicycle. By doing so, you'll be able to burn a few of those calories you accumulated while having all those mouth-watering dishes during Eid. At Fairways (Road # 1, Dhanmondi) the prices of bicycles start from Tk 3500 onwards. If you are on a tight budget, you can go all the way to Bongshal (Old Dhaka) and buy a bicycle for less than TK 3000. A word of warning though: on your way to Bongshal you'll encounter some serious traffic jams!

Bicycle Lock
As you're probably aware, Bangladesh has been rated as the world's most corrupt country for four consecutive years. Therefore, in this country if you decide to use a bicycle, you must also use a bicycle lock. If you fail to do so, your bicycle will be stolen in no time! Bicycle locks are widely available and they are relatively inexpensive. At Fairways (Road # 1, Dhanmondi) a bicycle lock is sold for Tk 100.

By Sayeed Mahmud Nizam




Home Remedies for Colds
There's nothing like the common cold to put a real damper on work, holiday and social plans. A cold usually lasts 7-10 days, with symptoms ranging from runny nose, stuffy nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat, cough, back pain and fever. Most colds occur in the Fall and Winter seasons when everyone spends most of their time indoors, but you can catch a cold anytime of the year, especially during extreme changes in temperature (e.g., walking into a cold office room from the warm outdoors). Unfortunately there is no cure for the common cold, but there are several home remedies to reduce the miserable symptoms that go along with it.

Plenty of Rest
Stress can often compromise your immune system and increase your chances of catching a cold. Once you get it, the best way to combat the illness is to decrease your obligations and pamper yourself with some good old-fashioned rest. Try to stay home and commit yourself to a good book or TV, and sleep whenever possible.

Drink Liquids
Water is beneficial to those with a cold, and warm liquids and soups can add some much needed nutrition. You probably wouldn't have much of an appetite, so try some natural hot tea, which will help hydrate your body, sooth your throat, and ease sinus congestion. Also, chicken soup can really alleviate some symptoms that accompany the common cold.

Take Vitamins
If you don't take vitamins regularly, now is a good time to start. Your body needs vitamins to combat the cold virus. Multi-vitamins that include vitamin C are good for recovering from a cold. Just remember to follow the recommended dosage and stick with it for other benefits as well.

Warm Washcloth
If you're dealing with a nagging headache, try putting a clean, warm washcloth on your forehead and eyes. This can give some relief to the stuffiness that goes along with a cold, and a throbbing headache. It's also a good relaxation technique to reduce tension.

Take a Warm Bath or Shower
We usually feel better after a warm bath or shower when we aren't ill. The same goes for when we have a cold, but there are some added benefits. A warm bath can help you relax and the steam will relieve sinus and chest congestion.

Gargle with Salt Water
The minute you feel a sore throat coming on, take the opportunity to gargle with table salt added to warm water. It will soothe your throat and can possibly prevent a full-fledged sore throat. Just add the salt to a cup of warm water and gargle whenever possible. You can heat the water again by putting it in the microwave for a few seconds. Be careful that you don't overheat the water and burn your throat. Use a spoon to stir the salt water and check the temperature before use.

Last but not least, call a doctor if your symptoms persist or a fever takes over. Severe colds can be hard to get rid of and can cause secondary illnesses such as sinus infection, bronchitis and pneumonia.

By Rubaiyat Khan






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