It is that time of the year when the city has been enveloped by a blanket of pollution and our bodies are dealing with its aftermath. While sales of air purifiers and face masks have soared, a slight change in eating habits and skin care routine can also help reduce the effects of the smog, say nutritionists and beauty experts.
Eat fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C help boost immunity. “Fruits such as oranges, kinnow, and lime are citrus fruits that help. Amla, broccoli are also immunity boosters. Spinach, avocado and tomatoes are high in protein, which are building blocks of our bodies, so should be taken more,” says Tripti Tandon, adding one can make fruit- infused water and keep sipping it through out the day. She also recommends eating a block of jaggery before and after dinner. “Jaggery is rich in antioxidants and a cleansing agent so it flushes out the toxins and soothes the lungs,” adds Tandon.
Grapes are rich in resveratrol, which works very well for the coming season. “Grapes are great to help build strength,” says dietician Shikha Mahajan, who adds that turmeric is a great detoxifier so having haldi milk or water is great. She also recommends jal nethi – inhale water through one nostril and take it out through the other — for people who have a sinus problem.
Experts recommend kesar and haldi, ginger and jaggery milk. In a pan heat milk with turmeric, saffron and ginger. Give it a boil and then pour it into a cup. Garnish it with powdered jaggery.
Flax seeds and nuts are rich in Omega 3, which helps boost the immunity of our body. One can roast them and eat or sprinkle them over salads and sandwiches. Super foods such as eggs and wheatgrass are also some things that experts recommend. “Superfoods help strengthen the body and they are rich in Vitamin E and protein. Eggs, nuts, berries, yoghurt are a few things one can have during the day,” adds Mahajan.
The dirt particles and pollutants in the air make your skin dull and clog the pores, which lead to breakouts and acne. Hence, it is important to keep the pores clean. The three-step process of cleaning, scrubbing and moisturising comes handy here. Cleanse your face well once you enter your home. Moisturise your skin with bees wax, niacinamide, glycerin and lanolin. Scrub your face once a week so that the pores are cleaned.
Experts recommend a charcoal scrub. “A charcoal facial can be your answer to harmful effects of pollution or smog. It comes with the goodness of bamboo charcoal which is known for its skin purifying properties. Like a powerful magnet, the charcoal draws out all the impurities, dirt and pollutants to keeps your pores clean. It also keeps the excess oil in control,” says beauty expert Bharti Taneja.
Use a pollution defying essence or serum, which help to prevent the dust from getting inside the skin’s pores.
“They are rich in ascorbic acid and other antioxidants like Vitamin E which further help in building the skin’s defence system,” recommends dermatologist Gettika Mittal Gupta.
Clay-based masks with hydrating properties can help replenish the nutrients of the skin. “Curd (which is rich in probiotics) with honey and lemon juice with a pinch of turmeric can help. Curd hydrates and also replenishes the skin. Honey hydrates while lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C which removes the tan, while turmeric works as a detoxifier and an antibiotic to remove any allergies and bacteria,” adds Gupta.