Skincare tips for the summer

As the summer rages on, protect your skin so you don’t have to suffer from the season’s skin problems.

Your skin needn’t take the brunt of the heat this season. We have for you, some tips that’ll help keep your skin fresh and dewy, even as the mercury continues to stay high.

Stay hydrated. Your body tends to lose a lot of moisture in the summer, so it’s important to regularly replenish the H2O. Drink a lot of water and liquids and your skin will stay soft and moisturised as well.

Go for a water-based moisturiser. Don’t make the mistake of skipping the moisturising routine altogether as its essential for your skin to remain hydrated. However, if you find your regular moisturiser too oily, go for a water-based one.

Cool your skin. Blending half a cucumber and 1 tbsp of yoghurt in the mixer can make another simple and effective homemade face pack. Apply this to your face for 15 minutes and feel completely pampered.

Ditch those aerated drinks. Most people have the tendency to reach out for an ice cold aerated drink to quench their thirst on a really hot day. However, it’s important to remember that these drinks are full of sugar that is not good for your skin or your figure. Instead drink some water, fresh lime, fresh fruit juices, aam panna (green mango drink) or coconut water to stay hydrated. It’s also best to minimise the intake of diuretics like alcohol and caffeine as they reduce the water from your system.

Get that warm, summer glow. Papaya is full of natural goodness and you can even use it as a homemade pack. Just mash 2 tbsp of papaya with a tsp of honey and 1 egg white. Leave the mixture on your face for about 15 minutes and enjoy the glow you get afterwards.

Cleanse your face twice a day. At least! This is important to do even if you’ve been home all day and feel like your skin is clean. Cleansing and moisturising your skin before sleeping is an absolute must.
Don’t like your tan? Gram flour can also be used as a facemask to get rid of an uneven tan. Mix it with yoghurt and a few drops of lemon and apply and leave it on your face till it’s dry. The citrus properties of the lemon are very effective in removing the tan.

Use a toner. It’s important to keep your pores closed and skin cool by using a toner. Look for a brand that suits you or try rose water. Its natural cooling properties make it an excellent toner for the hot season.
Skincare tips for the summer
Exfoliate. More than the rest of the year, it’s really important to exfoliate your skin in the summer to remove dead skin and improve blood circulation to the face. Choose from any of the cosmetic scrubs available in the market or make one at home. Try this simple one using 4 to 5 tbsps of gram flour, a pinch of turmeric, 5 – 6 drops of rose water and milk or yoghurt. Mix it into a paste and use it to exfoliate your face. Follow it up with a facemask and moisturiser.

Bonus tip. Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well! The holy trinity of good health and glowing skin holds true for the whole year. So along with all the tips above, don’t forget to eat a balanced diet, work out for at least 45 minutes everyday and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Enjoy the summer!

Sun protection. If you can, try and stay indoors between 11am and 3pm. That’s when the sun’s rays are the strongest and can have an adverse effect on your skin. Also, don’t forget to apply that all-important sunscreen 30 minutes before you step out. If you’ve been out in the sun for a few hours, touch it up again so you’re well protected.
Source -

Expert tips: Healthy hair and skin this Holi

Expert tips: Healthy hair and skin this Holi

Don’t end up red in the face after you finish playing Holi! Follow these tips to keep your skin and hair looking healthy and shiny, even after a day of fun and games.

Precautions to take before you start playing Holi

Prevention is always better than cure – even when it comes to enjoying the colourful festival of Holi! Take these precautions before you set out to play, so you don’t end up causing long-term damage to your hair and skin.
Buy only natural or organic colours that are water-soluble. Avoid glitter and paint and metallic colours, as they can be very harmful.
  1. Oil your hair well before you start playing. Coconut oil and olive oil are good options to protect your hair from harsh colours.
  2. Also apply some oil behind your ears, ear lobes and nails as these are points were the colour really tends to settle.
  3. You can further protect your nails by covering them with nail polish.
  4. Similarly, put lip balm or lipstick on your lips to protect those as well.
  5. Use a toner to close the pores on your face before you head out. This way, you reduce the chances of colour going in too deep.
  6. Don’t forget to wear waterproof sunscreen before you step out for a day in the sun!
  7. Wear clothes that cover most of your body. These clothes should be in a lightweight, easy-to-dry material. Avoid heavy fabrics like denim that don’t dry easily.
  8. It’s a good idea to wear a thick scarf or bandana to cover your hair.
  9. Don’t wear lenses when you go out to play! While Holi colours by themselves cause irritability, lenses have a tendency to absorb the colour, thereby making things worse. Wear glasses and keep wiping them clean from time to time.
After you’re done playing Holi 

While the precautions you have taken before playing will help you immensely, there are a few points you must keep in mind even after you’re done.
  1. Holi can be exhausting! But remember to clean up before you take a nap or start relaxing. The longer you let the colour stay, the harder it’ll be to remove.
  2. Remember to dust off the dry colour before you hit the shower.
  3. Use a mild cleanser, not a harsh detergent to remove the colour.
  4. Clean your face using cotton dabbed in moisturising cream or oil. It’s a myth that kerosene or nail polish remover help remove colour. Avoid those at any cost.
  5. If a mild cleanser doesn’t quite do the job, try using a scrub. An apricot scrub or even a homemade scrub should suffice. But excessive scrubbing or rubbing may damage your skin and can cause irritation.
  6. Wash your hair using a mild shampoo, but don’t overuse the shampoo. If the colour doesn’t come off your scalp in one try, just let it stay on and shampoo again in a day or two.
  7. All that colour and shampoo will tend to dry out your scalp. Definitely use a conditioner after.
  8. Remember it may take few days to get rid of whole colour, don’t try to remove the colour from whole body at the first go.
Reviewed by Dr.Bhushan Madke, Dermatologist
Source -


In an ideal world, a home should be a labour of love, a sanctuary you come back to after a hectic day of facing the world. Unfortunately, most of us live in structures of brick and mortar that really cannot be called homes. The love, warmth and joy that characterises a home has gone missing in our fast-paced life.

The reason for this is that in the hectic course of our lives, we have deviated from the ancient principles of Vaastu.

Vaastu Shastra is based on the principle that a home is an abode of a living soul, the dwelling place of the entity called the Vaastu Purush.

The Vaastu Purush, according to the Matsya Purana , was born out of the sweat of Lord Shiva when he was dueling with a demon. The droplet fell on earth and turned into the prostrate figure of the cosmic man, or the Vaastu Purush.

The resting form of this cosmic man has been the basis of Hindu architecture.

The figure is lying down on earth with his head towards the north- east, feet towards south- west, and the hands pointing north- west and south- east. It is these magnetic directions that turn a house into a home.

Here are some other tips for building a house according to the principles of Vaastu Shastra and thereby ensuring a confluence of positive energies: The kitchen should be built in the south- east corner of the house with the cooking area facing east.

The bedroom should be located in the south- west with the headboard of the bed facing the south.

The bathroom should be in the east and if for some reason that’s not possible, then the geyser should be installed in the south-east corner.
Source -

How to explain rape to a 5-year-old

Murder is kosher. War needs no introduction. Even school shootings make the cut at the dinner table. But rape? No. Never. We never talk about it.

My daughter, nearly five, can read. She reads fairy-tales aloud, she reads shop-signs from a moving car (we’ve successfully deflected her attention from the ‘Piles and Fistula’ clinics in the proletarian parts of town), she spots hilarious if confounding legends on the backs of auto-rickshaws (yes, we’ve had engrossing family debates over ‘Mother is god, lover is danger’) and she catches typos in the fliers that the paperboy gets paid for tucking into our breakfast reading.

When she’s really bored, she reads the newspapers.

At home we get two dailies, three on weekends. Since December 17, the headlines have consistently screamed a certain four-letter word in our faces. It has latched onto our consciences and eaten into the comfortable fabric of our lives. Despite such bombardment, we cannot escape being startled to violent, impotent rage every time it is uttered. The images it evokes are unbearably terrifying, even dooming. Yet, as we attempt to shrug away the deluge of horror stories now pouring out of the prisons where they have long been locked away, we hear and read that this – this thing – is more commonplace than we imagined. That it could be only a single frightening degree of separation from our sheltered lives. 

It is rape we’re not talking about. Although we have all read enough to be informed that we must talk about it. But when we nod our heads in agreement in a social situation we’re talking detachedly about the lives of others – people we don’t know, over whose pains we shall never lose sleep.

And the headlines they continue to scream, telling of shocking tragedies that we pray we won’t ever have the misfortune to endure. If we’re careful, we whisper soothingly to ourselves, if we’re careful. 

It’s only a matter of time before my daughter, who has learned to argue with conviction about her “fundamental rights”, asks me what rape means. We’ve discussed everything from butterfly migration (“Where are the blue butterflies we saw last year?”) to retail supply chains (“Where do the toys in toy stores come from?”), all in answer to direct, sharply framed questions from which there is no weaseling out. To her, I’m the fount of encyclopedic wisdom, the Jedi master who unlocks the mysteries of the Force. I can’t afford to let her down. Or she might go and find out from somewhere – or someone – else.

When I’m not Superdad, I’m a cog in a media machine where news is chosen not for its salience but for its propensity to turn casual, accidental readers like you into patrons who will come back for more. We media-types place rape high among our priorities, right up there next to the Bollywood starlet’s wardrobe malfunction and anything cricket. It’s a hot-ticket item with great stamina and shelf-life, what with all the moralistic chest-thumping and TV debates and candle-light marches and water-cannon-baiting protestors. Oh yeah, we devote a lot of space to rape. 

But we don’t talk about it. Not at home.

Murder is kosher. War needs no introduction. Even school shootings make the cut at the dinner table. But rape? No. Never. 

And not just because we fear or loathe it, but because somewhere in our heads we confuse it with carnal knowledge – an unwelcome, premature, irreversible initiation to life’s embarrassing truths. 

Talking about rape isn’t like clearing your throat, putting on a poker-face, and delivering a preamble on birds and bees and dogs and cats. Though it begins there. Sort of.

Unlike consensual sex, which a person has a right to experience upon attaining legal age for it, rape is an act of violence where the perpetrator does not always care if his victim has attained sexual maturity. Minors, toddlers, even babies – of all genders – are raped more frequently than we want to know, most often by people known to them. People they trusted.

There’s the rub. So, whom can you trust?

My wife, for reasons she can justify, distrusts men in general. In her book, no one is a saint. Everyone – no exceptions here – starts at a zero-trust level and then works their way up, if at all. It’s an approach that is effort-intensive and stressful; it requires her to keep a sharp, paranoid eye on our little girl at all times. Often, when she deputes me to stand in, I can tell she’s not entirely confident of my level of alertness to danger. I’m comfortable with that for the most part, but there’s one thing of which I’m watchful: I don’t want our daughter growing up fearing the world she must at some point confront on her own. 

We both want her to understand danger, to be able to read the warning signs, and to act appropriately to save her skin. We want her to be able to cope positively in adversity. We want her to be confident about her body, not resentful of it. We want her to feel proud of her femininity, not threatened or vulnerable on account of it.

There’s no easy way. We started the conversation with an iPad app for kids that confirmed her suspicions that male and female bodies are indeed different and work differently. While bathing her and dressing her, we encourage her to talk about her body without shyness or reserve. We tell her about parts of her body that are “private”, which only she and her caregivers can examine or touch, and in what circumstances it is all right for them to do so. We tell her about “good touch” and “bad touch” – and debate endlessly over the social mechanics of it. We drill her on how to respond and react if she thinks a touch is “bad” and how, and whom, to call for help. From time to time, when we get lost, we turn to The Yellow Book: A Parent’s Guide to Sexuality Education and other online resources

None of this, we know, is going to erase rape from the world, or keep the headlines from screaming. At least not until fundamental systemic changes take effect in our society. Meanwhile, the questions, when they come, will fly at us thick and fast. I try to wrap my head around the answers I will give. I try to frame them mentally so that they sound neither unconvincing nor terrifying. Both are undesirable outcomes – the last thing we want is to have her believe that sexual abuse or rape isn’t serious enough to be talked about, or develop a fear of it so overblown and irrational that it cripples her for life. 

I have but one chance to get this right.

Looking up from a book she is reading, my daughter smiles. Maybe she can read my mind.
Bijoy Venugopal is Editor, Travel.
Source - Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment


Daily Horoscopes