Skin Ageing - The Inside Story!

Our skin begins to age in our early twenties –Shocked? Well it is the absolute truth. The effects start appearing in the late thirties but the damage starts much earlier.

Skin ageing is of 2 types:

Intrinsic – The natural genetic process and

Extrinsic - Depends on external factors like photo damage, stress, pollution and lifestyle effects.

Offcourse neither process can be halted but certain measures can be taken to slow down the process.

So, what really happens as the skin ages?

The most predominant effect is the reduction of collagen and elastic fibers in the deeper layers of the skin. This causes the skin to sag and lose its suppleness and elasticity. This leads to fine lines and wrinkles.

The skin also loses its moisture retaining capacity making it dry and dull.

The sebaceous (oil) glands produce less oil as you age making the skin dry and itchy.

Irregular pigmented spots appear, sometimes patchy pigmentation too can appear making the skin lose its radiance.

So, is there a solution?

There are a number of measures that we can take to minimize the effects of skin ageing as mentioned below

1.Healthy lifestyle and good eating habits with plenty of water intake.Foods rich in essential fatty acids found in walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon and olive oil help to maintain good skin health.

2. Sensible and regular sun protection - Sunscreen of SPF 30 at all times when outdoors even on cold days and in cloudy weather. It should be abroad spectrum sunscreen blocking both UVA and UVB rays.

3. Daily consistent skin care regime - Cleansing and moisturizing. And hey… while you pamper your face don’t forget your neck and hands too! These can otherwise give away your age.

4. Use of topical and oral antioxidants to reduce the devastating effects of free radical damage.

5. Oral and topical Vitamin C preparations – These help in skin repair and keep the skin supple and soft. Vitamin C also helps to protect against sun damage and reduces blemishes and age spots.

6. Avoid harsh soaps as these strip away natural oils from the skin. Use face or body washes with a balanced pH of around 5.5.

7. Always remove make up before going to bed - Use a gentle cleansing lotion.

8. Regular skin care treatments as advised by aesthetic physicians.

So, in a nutshell...

Start early…….and you will be gorgeous at any age!

Posted 2nd May 2015 by Dr Kshitija Rao

Eat To Stay Young - by Dr Kshitija Rao

Lotions, creams, cosmetic surgery…… There is a wide array of all these in the ever-changing anti-ageing industry. Every few months a new wonder drug is launched that promises to turn the clock back. Why not focus on preventing ageing or slowing down the ageing process while the body is still young!

We should focus on stayinghealthy and well so we can enjoy our favorite activities into middle age and beyond. Eating a balanced diet, which supplies all the necessary nutrients for health, is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Here are the key factors that influence your nutritional health as you age.

1) Calorie Needs

As we age our lean muscle mass decreases and our need for food too decreases. In medical terms this is defined as a decrease in BMR-Basal Metabolic Rate. That is why the frequent lament ”I eat the same amount I used to but still am putting on weight” That is precisely what should not do!

Increase your physical activity so you burn more calories.

Begin resistance training to strengthen your muscles and add muscle mass, which raises your metabolic rate.

Improve the quality of your diet by including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and nonfat or low-fat dairy.

Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

2) Protein

Despite the need for fewer calories as we age, it's important to eat an adequate amount of protein each day.

The average adult needs 45 to 60 grams .i.e 1gm/kg body weight.

Chicken, fish, non-fat milk, dals are good sources of protein.

3) Antioxidants

Antioxidants are abundantly available in dark and colored foods. That is why the old saying-‘There should be a rainbow on your plate”. Antioxidants mop up the toxic free radicals that are generated during our day to day activities at the cellular level. To put it very simply this helps in keeping the cells clean and healthy. Antioxidants are highly beneficial for glowing skin and hair health.

Foods rich in antioxidants are:


Bell peppers (especially red and orange)


Dark green leafy vegetables



4) Water

How important it is yet how often we forget about it. Adults need 2 - 2.5 liters per day. More when we undertake any intense physical activity or in summer.

Below are some important points to remember:

The sensation of thirst decreases as we age, which leaves us vulnerable to dehydration.

Focus on fluids that are not diuretics, such as decaffeinated beverages, fruit juices, nonfat or low-fat milk and of course plain old water.

When it comes to aging in terms of nutrition, Hippocrates said it best: "Let food be your medicine."

Posted 17th April 2015 by Dr Kshitija Rao

Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage This Summer

Summer is around the corner and its time to consider the effects of UV rays on your skin.

UV Rays are of 2 types UV A and UV B.

UV A Rays - Constantly present even on cloudy days. These penetrate clothing and even through glass.UV A Rays penetrate through the epidermis and the dermis i.e deep into the skin and are mainly responsible for development of fine lines, wrinkles, loss of skin & suppleness leading to "photo damaged and aged skin".

UV B Rays - These are not prevalent in the same intensity throughout the day and also differ in intensity depending on the season. More responsible for sunburn and tanning. Skin damage due to UV B rays manifests as tanned, pigmented skin, sun spots, freckles and a dull uneven skin tone.

Tips to minimize UV induced sun damage:

1. Avoid going out in the sun from 11 to 4 when UV B rays are at their angriest.

2. If taking part in an outdoor activity then wear a wide brimmed hat or carry an umbrella.

3. Most important is the proper use of sunscreen. Most of the time sunscreen is used in inadequate amounts and not applied repeatedly and not used indoors at all.

4. Apply sunscreen half hour before stepping out. It takes half an hour for it to start being protective.

5. Apply again after 3-4 hours as most sunscreens stop being effective after that.

6. Re-apply if you have sweated a lot or washed your face in between.

7. Use a water resistant sunscreen if swimming.

8. Use a a sunscreen even on a cloudy day and in snowy cold weather as UV rays are present even in them

9. Most important you should know how much you should apply. For face it should be equivalent to 1 tsp or 1 rupee coin and for neck same amount.

10. For Indian skin-a minimum of SPF 15 is adequate .In summer or if use is not proper a SPF of 30 is advised.

11. Apply sunscreen even indoors if sunlight enters through clear glass windows or doors.

Posted 21st March 2015 by Dr Kshitija Rao

Holi Fun - Not just for you, but for your skin and hair too!

Holi! A festival synonymous with fun, good times, colour and of course a little bit of madness too.!

But in all the Holi enthusiasm don’t forget that your skin and hair often take a real beating.

So, how do you make the most of Holi without any regrets. You have to remember the age-old saying that “Prevention is better than Cure”, so start before you actually go out on the Holi battlefield.

Damage Control Pre – Holi:

1. Wear a dress that covers as much of your body as possible. A loose cotton, long-sleeved salwar – kameez or a long-sleeved Tee shirt with track pants is ideal.

2. Apply a good thick moisturizer not only on your face but on your entire body.

3. Apply a good broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on your face, neck hands, arms and all exposed body areas. Use a water – resistant sunscreen.

4. Massage with olive oil into your hands and nails.

5. Apply Vaseline or moisturizing cream into your nail beds so that color will not get into them. Use 2-3 coats of nail polish on the nails.

6. Hair Care - Oil your hair with a good amount of coconut oil. Massage the oil onto the scalp as well as the hair shaft. This will prevent the colors penetrating into them. Coconut oil being light does not require too many washes thus prevent excess drying of the hair.

7. Tie your hair up to prevent it from tangling and breaking.

8. Use only herbal or organic colours and avoid chemical and metallic colours. Encourage others around you to do the same.

9. Stay within familiar surroundings and among known people only.

Post Holi Care:

1.After playing Holi have a quick bath so that the colours come off easily.Initially shower 2-3 times with plain water to remove as much colour as possible.

2.Use a gentle scrub to bathe to exfoliate the skin.Avoid harsh scrubbing as this will dry out the skin too much.

3.Again for the hair rinse out the colour with plain water 2-3 times and then use a shampoo for the final rinse.

4.Use a good conditioner and after semi-drying the hair use a leave –on serum to hydrate the hair shaft.

5.After a bath MOISTURISE the entire body


6.Continue a good hair and skin care regime for atleast a week after Holi.

Simple precautions like these will ensure that your skin and hair don’t suffer and look forward to the next Holi with enthusiasm.

Posted 5th March 2015 by Dr Kshitija Rao

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