How about looking beautiful! 

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By: Shahnaz Husain

External beauty is what is visible. It includes the skin, hair, eyes, teeth, nails, figure and much more. For example, when we talk of the figure, we are not merely talking of height and weight, because suppleness, agility, good posture and grace of movement are all important for beauty. People think that cosmetic care will work miracles. But this is not so. Cosmetic care can give you short-term gains. If you wish to acquire, maintain and preserve all the aspects of beauty, you have to take some common factors and little things into consideration. These are physical fitness, nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress control and regular external care.

Yes, you do not have to be born beautiful. You can acquire it, because beauty is the outcome of good internal health and regular external care. Internal health and external beauty are closely related. A beautiful woman has a vitality that comes from sheer good health. Unless she is healthy from the inside, she cannot reflect true beauty. For flawless skin, shiny hair and a slim figure, good health must be on top of the list. A healthy woman is also better equipped to deal with the stresses and strains of day to day life. A body that is healthy functions well at all levels and this goes a long way towards preserving beauty and preventing many problems.

Some form of daily exercise is necessary for fitness, a slim and supple figure, good posture and grace.  Yoga, cycling, and jogging are great ways to work up a sweat. Do whichever suits you. Make sure to wash your face before working out, especially if you wear makeup. When you sweat, your pores open up and invite whatever’s around to come hang out. Shower right after you work out to avoid reabsorbing everything you just sweat out. Exercise, together with a balanced diet, can work wonders. Not only does it build up stamina and strength, but improves blood circulation to the skin and scalp. Every tissue of the body needs oxygen, so begin your exercises by doing deep breathing in front of an open window.  You should check with your doctor before beginning a regular exercise routine. Walking is a good physical activity, as it exercises all the muscle groups. About 25% of the body’s elimination occurs through perspiration-keep things circulating by sweating. Sit in a sauna, exercise, or do both! Exercising also releases endorphins, and we know being happy makes you that much more beautiful! Plus, getting your heart rate up will give your cheeks some color, while keeping your heart healthy.

I have observed that regular aerobic exercise can improve the skin’s composition. It makes the skin’s outer layer thinner and thickens the inner layers — the opposite of what happens as we age. This results in smoother, younger-looking skin.

The right diet is absolutely essential to good looks. The food we eat affects the skin, hair, eyes, teeth and nails.  Dark under-eye circles, dull complexions, dandruff, hair loss, brittle nails and so on, are some of the beauty problems which are linked to dietary faults. A diet for beauty should be high in vitamin-rich foods and low in carbohydrates and sugar. These foods include leafy greens, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, and fatty fish, such as salmon. Adding probiotics to your diet may help treat and prevent skin conditions, such as eczema and acne, as well as skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light. Healthy fats like those found in nuts, flaxseed, and avocados can help to replenish your body’s ability to make healthy and strong cell membranes, which can protect against environmental damage by restoring the skin barrier.

The answer is to choose from a variety of foods, to ensure a balanced diet. Fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouted grains and yogurt (dahi) should be included in the daily diet. Eating such raw foods ensures the adequate supply of nutrients. Eat whole grain cereals and exclude foods containing refined cereals (like maida). Reduce your consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol.

The over consumption of aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol can be a root cause for blood pressure spikes, diabetes, and liver and kidney diseases. On the outside, excess consumption can cause weight gain, skin dryness, premature aging, and can even trigger skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis. Instead of this, have freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juices, lassi and clear soups. Avoid fried snacks and foods.  Avoid rich sweets and confectionary items. After your meals, keep to fresh fruits instead. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. Drinking adequate water helps to eliminate toxins and wastes from the system.

Adequate sleep is also essential to beauty. Sleep is a way of restoring energy to the body and is nature’s best cure. It is a beauty treatment in itself.  Habitual lack of sleep can hasten the premature aging of the skin and leads to dark circles under the eyes. It can also make you lethargic and rob you of vitality.

A positive mental attitude is also important, because the mind and body are closely related. All of us encounter a certain amount of stress and anxiety in our daily life. Thinking good thoughts and maintaining positive thoughts and intentions will truly make you more beautiful. Sadness wears on us, physically as well as emotionally. Negative emotions like depression, anger, and stress can lead to digestive problems, weaken your immune system and decrease your life expectancy. These emotions can also make you look and feel tired, enhancing the appearance of dark circles and bags under your eyes.

It is a matter of learning how to cope with negative emotions . We have to train our minds towards positive thinking and relaxation.  Regular patterns of rest and exercise, along with hobbies and interests certainly help.  Hobbies, interests and new activities can actually be very relaxing to the mind. They also give another dimension to the personality.

Going makeup-less one day a week will give your pores a chance to breathe.

If going without makeup doesn’t sound fun to you, make sure you use mineral makeup so your skin doesn’t absorb toxic chemicals

Indeed, the finest foundation for beauty consists of these common factors, which we often overlook.

The author is Padma Award Winner beauty Icon famously known as Herbal Queen of India

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