Ever wonder what happened to that glow on your face, the time when you could just splash some water on your face and charge out of the house without the now mandatory regimen on foundation/Lacto/SPF base and compact, and then the slathering on of gloss or kohl to keep from looking like something that the dog chewed up and spit on the carpet? I do. I remember with yearning the days of my youth when the skin was so luminous it could light up a room. And now, when I catch a glimpse of myself bleary eyed and panda dark circled and patchy skinned the first thing in the morning, I jump back in alarm and threaten to disown me.
Ergo, I read Skin Deep by Dr Aparna Santhanam with great interest. For one, I have interacted with Dr Santhanam over the years for the various articles I’ve done on skin care for assorted publications, given she has been associated with Kaya Skin Clinic since its inception. And the premise of this book interested me. While we all know about the various treatments that can be done on the surface of the skin to make it look better, the fact remains that well nourished skin from the inside is much healthier, smoother and clearer than anything you could do to your skin from the outside. Which is why the mater always insisted I eat my fruits and veggies, which of course, I never followed resulting in thus pathetic state of skin.
The good doctor starts the book by speaking, a bit and not too much scientific detail thankfully, about the skin and what helps it chug along and shed its cells at a regular interval. She not only prescribes the skin care regimen required for each skin type but also puts down the ideal diet for each kind of skin, with its specific problems, but, thankfully for a kitchenophiliac like me, also details the recipes of each dish she writes about at the end of the book.
Tips? Vitamin A helps in controlling oily skin, ergo eat red and orange fruits and veggies to control your oily skin. Green tea has antioxidants that help maintain oil balance. For dry skin, up your intake of nuts and beans and add olive oil to your food. Avoid simple sugars for both your waist and your skin. Simple cards like pure sugar cause ageing and wrinkling, did you know that, I didn’t and now I swear I will run a mile from them. My waistline would thank me for that too, I think. Thankfully, she gives us carb-a-holics a list of the complex carbs which are good for the skin. And protein, which we learn the lack of causes puffy bags under ones eyes, in the morning, as well as thin, brittle nails and weaker hair. Ergo, throw that cottage cheese, Sprout salad, eggs, tofu or animal protein down your gullet if you want to see your hair and nails stronger and your eyes pack away their bags. And fat, much maligned, but essential as the good doc tells us. Low levels of fat can result in low vitamin D and bone thinning, to transport the vitamins vital for skin beauty and for proper nerve function. Scary. Go on a low or zero fat diet, and not only will your bones thin away, but your nerves will stop functioning as they should and your skin will wrinkle away to parchment. Good fats come from nuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, fatty fish like Salmon, flaxseed, soyabean, pumpkin, olives and include these in your diet to make sure you get the benefits for your skin. she also speaks about antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the benefits of plants, and what is best, she does an A to Z of foods that are good for skin health, speaking about each food, its benefits and how it can be consumed. I also like the AM PM skin care plan she has included which speaks of the basic skin care routine we should follow, but generally never end up doing due to lack of time, or laziness or a couldn’t be bothered attitude. For me, it is only after I crossed 35 that I realised the need to incorporate skin care into my daily routine, and rue my stupidity for not taking skin care seriously earlier and letting the skin reach such terrible levels of pigmentation and patchiness.
The best part of the book for me, the list of super skin friendly recipes at the end of the book. Am I going to try any? I sure will. Would I recommend you read this book? If you’re serious about getting your skin in ship shape, and will follow the advice given within, I’d say go ahead, buy it. If you have no time for your skin, don’t bother.
An Inside Out Approach to Looking Good, Naturally!
By Aparna Santhanam