“Happiness is a habit” is what I read somewhere and upon contemplating it for some time I realized how true that was!

We yearn for happiness: through people, through our loved one, through our job and the list is endless. As a dermatologist, I have seen people yearn for happiness through the appearance of their skin.

The festive season is a time of fun, beauty, and indulgence. There is always excitement when Diwali is around the corner. But during this mood of elation and celebration, one forgets that what goes inside also shows up externally. With festivities going to be low-key this year, one could still style up their hair and put on make-up. This, coupled with excess fatty foods and late-night cravings could affect the skin and hair to a large extent.

Here are a few things that you could do to take care of your skin during the festive season:

1. Use sunscreen regularly. In a tropical country like India where the sun rays are harsh throughout the year, sunscreen helps in reducing your chances of a tan. There are Chemical Peels and Photorejuvenation treatments that help to remove not only the tan but also to make the skin healthy… but imagine the benefit if your skin was already protected from the tan because of your sunscreen!

Tip: Use sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and if you are out doing your Diwali shopping then reapply the sunscreen every 3 hours. Buy mini bottles and make your own mini pack to ensure that your sunscreen stays with you all day long!!

2. Use a moisturizer before going to bed. The skin undergoes a lot of damage due to the UV rays of the sun, the wind, and the sweat. 

Tip: It doesn’t matter if you have oily skin, dry, or combination skin. My personal suggestion is for oily skinned individuals to use lesser amounts of moisturizing lotion than people with dry or combination skins.

3. Do not constantly wash your face! If you have dry skin, excessive washing will only rid your skin of the Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF) making your skin look dry and dull. If you have oily skin, washing would make your oil glands (sebaceous glands) go into overdrive and produce more oil!

Tip: Limit washing of your face 2 or 3 times a day! You can always customize the number of times you wash your face depending on how 'dirty' the skin is.

4. Drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water. The basic functioning of each small cell of your body needs water. If you end up getting dehydrated then the skin starts to look lustreless.  But the common complaint all patients with drinking water is that they end up using the loo more often!

Tip: Here I want to advise that eating mint leaves or tulsi leaves is one very effective way in intracellular assimilation of water. Simply put, the water is ‘utilized by the cells' and not filtered by your kidneys!

5. Exercise 45 minutes every day! The glow that you see after you have exercised is unparalleled to any treatment or cream. A cardiovascular exercise helps improve the circulation not only to your skin but to all the vital organs of the body… and I deeply believe that a healthy body will always have glowing skin.

Tip: I prefer doing exercises early in the morning, simply because of my busy schedule throughout the day. That way I don't get a chance to give any excuses and miss my exercise! Because laziness can be a habit too!!

That day when I read 'Happiness is a habit', I couldn’t help but think, shouldn’t skincare be a habit too?!