In life and in skin it’s better to take precautions than repent later. For many times, damage cannot be reversed. Lack of knowledge may propel us to do certain things which may cause permanent damage. Going by the popular adage prevention is better than cure lets have the quick review of the common practices which should be avoided to prevent irreversible damage to skin and hair.

  1. Throw those fairness creams: Have you ever seen a single person getting fair with fairness creams? Still these Multinational companies manage to do business worth crores. They ploy the desire of Indians to look fair. Don’t fall for their marketing gimmicks.

Remember the fact that nobody, just nobody can become fairer than the color their genes have decided for them. Disadvantage of grabbing a fairness cream is you never what it contains. Many contain steroids. Now steroids might give you initial fairness, but on long term use (as in three to four months of continuous use only) would start showing its darker side on your skin. It may lead to skin thinning, skin darkening; pimples flare up, thin visible blood vessels etc. And once these changes appear it’s very difficult to reverse them.  At least,  not without spending a bomb on lasers.

Apart from steroids they may contain other harmful elements. The study for Science and Environment ‘s  pollution monitoring lab has found mercury in 44 percent of all the fairness creams . Presence of mercury in cosmetics is completely illegal and unlawful. Mercury is neurotoxin and may damage kidneys and lead to skin discoloration.

Aroma magic fair lotion, a product of Blossom Kocher Beauty Pvt. Ltd.  Has the highest mercury level at 1.97ppm, followed by Olay natural white (1.79 ppm) , a product of Procter and gamble, India and Ponds White Beauty (1.36 ppm) of Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Instead what one should target at is removing years of tan which one has accumulated over the years due to sun exposure. You must be shades darker now than what you were when born. So consult a dermatologist who would guide you how and what creams lasers and peels can help de tan you.

  • Never use hair removal creams: Hair removal creams are very strong chemicals which work by denaturing proteins. Thus, these creams have very high potency of causing skin darkening. They may cause darkening even after first use. Thus switch to other measures of Hair removal.
  • Never use razor where you don’t have hair or have very soft hair: In case you use razor at areas where there are hardly any hair, hair over that region might start growing thicker. Thus, restrict use of razor only to thick hairy skin regions. Never touch very thin baby hair , else they would turn thicker. It’s called paradoxical stimulation.
Never raze off or wax baby hair on face , else they would turn thicker. Just bleach them.

Thick hair can be safely waxed or razed off without fear of paradoxical stimulation. 
  • Never use Loofah every single day: Loofah gives micro injury to skin, which if delivered every day may lead to permanent skin darkening after long time. Thus, restrict its use to remove dead skin at once a week frequency. Daily use can lead to skin darkening called amyloidsosis. And there is no treatment for that.
Amyloidosis : Skin Darkening caused due to daily application of Loofah.

  • Never use SLS containing soaps: Commonly used soaps like: Lux, Life boy etc.contains a chemical called SLS. Using it is equivalent to using a harsh detergent on your soft skin every day. It’s bound to damage skin barrier and leave it prone to eczema and skin allergy. Thus, switch to SLS free soaps like:Dove etc.
  • Never keep laptop on your lap directly: Always keep a barrier in form of pillow or wooden table in between laptop and legs. Direct heat from laptop delivered to skin can lead to permanent dilatation of blood vessels underneath. This condition is called Erythma Eb Igne. Though harmless otherwise, it doesn’t look cosmetically appealing.
Eythema Eb Igne : Side Effect of directly keeping the laptop on laps.
  • Never get laser from saloons: One should approach only and only dermatologist who has complete knowledge of complex laser physics and it’s interaction with skin of various colors. Never from saloons, spas, Ayurvedic or homeopathic doctors who have no knowledge of skin and lasers. And majority of time they use cheap Chinese laser instead of US FDA approved lasers.
  • Never burst an acne: Else it would surely leave a scar.
  • Never use Betnovate / Panderm / Quardiderm without dermatologist advice: These are steroid based creams which can permanently damage skin in form of skin thinning,causing hair growth, pimple, stretch marks etc. at the region applied.
Side Effects of Steroid Application : Skin Darkening 
  1. Avoid very frequent steaming of face: Frequent steaming of face can lead to open pores.
  1. Avoid lip licking: Frequent lip licking done inadvertently, leads to drying of lips and its darkening.
  1. Avoid leaving oil on hair and scalp: oiling hair is a very good practice to get healthy hair. Apply oil half an hour before head wash, massage it , whatever soaps into hair root is beneficial for hair ,hats left over the scalp and hair just attracts pollution and dust , damaging the hair. Thus, never leave oil after washing hair, apply it half an hour before bathing and wash it off with good shampoo.
  1. Avoid cutting nail too deep at edges: Cutting at the side edges of the nail may cause to penetrate deep into skin and thus causing a painful condition called ingrown toe nails. Cut them straight at edges.

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