Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Stay protected

Decoding the lead look

Hair: Short and faded on the sides, longer in the centre and top. Textured and swept onto one side.

Brows: Well-shaped and defined.

Face: Clean shaved with a four-hour stubble.

Lips: Clean, wet, and luscious.

Body: Very well-defined abs, bulky arms. Moisturised body to keep it smooth, soft, and supple.

Others: Cut sleeve, thin, light, and warm vest jacket from Uniqlo, fitted sports lowers.

The Problems

Pollution takes away all the natural oil and oxygen from your skin, hair and scalp. A layer of dust and toxins gets formed over the skin which congests and blocks the pores leading to skin breakouts and making the skin tone dull, and the surface look dry.

Chemical pollutants disrupt the normal balances of the skin and scalp, leading to problems like dryness, sensitivity, rashes, acne, irritation or allergic reactions.

Air pollution leads to premature greying of hair, dry scalp and the build-up of pollution on the scalp, which can lead to hair follicle damage, causing issues such as dandruff and irritation, and consequently lead to hair loss. Toxic air can enter our blood stream and obstruct hair growth. It also makes the scalp become inflamed and your hair to become brittle.

The solutions

Hair

Oil up: Pay special attention to your hair. Restore the hairs moisture levels, which gets depleted. Oil your hair more often. Normally once a week is must, but in these conditions twice or even thrice is better.

Shampoo daily: Continue to follow your regular shampooing regime. Ideally shampoo your hair every day, just before bedtime so your hair and scalp can breathe and stays clean while you sleep.

Use a conditioner: Toxic and cold air can result in unwanted hair fall. It is therefore important to indulge in some deep conditioning treatments that add moisture to the hair, especially if you have hair with a very rough or dry texture. Use an effective conditioner after your shampoo. Remember, both the shampoo and conditioner must always be of the same brand.

Prevention is better than cure:

1.Applying a light hair oil daily, especially if you are stepping out will coat your hair and scalp and can be washed off at when you are back indoors.

2.Wearing a cap or bandana outdoor will protect your hair. Ensure this covers your hair and head all around. For the sake of good hygiene, change your headgear daily.

Skin

Surface cleaning: Us a natural face wash twice or thrice daily. Apply an alcohol-free toner or pure rose water to clean the build-up of toxins, pollution, and excessive oil on the skin. Use a minimum of thrice a week, if not daily. Scrub once weekly to exfoliate and remove dead, dry and flaky skin. All three regimes need to be done and one does not substitute the need for doing the other.

Deep pore cleaning: Apply a mud or clay-based face masque twice a week. Make a smooth paste, using water and spread out evenly on the face and neck. Allow the mask to dry and work into the skin for about fifteen minutes, then rinse well. Masks have the inherent quality to go into the pores of the skin and perform an effective deep cleaning action, which not only prevents the accumulation of pollutants but also makes you look fresher.

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Make your lips more kissable: Chap stick and lip balm are essential for men, both for protecting your lips from harsh winter winds and the effects of smoking and toxic air. Biting and licking your lips only makes them worse. Use only at night and never during the day.

Body: Don’t expose the skin to very hot water, as this will further deplete the skin of its natural oil and moisture. A warm shower should suffice. Ensure to use an effective and heavy-duty body lotion or moisturiser generously all over the body. This will leave your skin feeling smooth to touch. It will also coat your skin and prevent pollution and toxins in the air from getting absorbed into it.

Hydrate: To prevent dry or flaky skin, you need to moisturise and nourish your skin. As they can attract dust, dirt particles and soak up the sun, moisturisers should as a rule, always be used on a clean face at night. As cold winds can make the skin look weather beaten, ensure to keep your skin well hydrated.

Quick fixes:

1.Keep Washing: Make sure to wash the surface dirt from your face as often in a day as possible.

2.Cover up: Try and limit your skins exposure to the environment. Embrace long sleeve tops, turtlenecks, full length lowers and a wide face mask to cover as much of your face as possible.

Ten Products to Use

1.The hot + cool air purifier by Dyson


Clean air isn’t a luxury, but an essential and this effective purifier delivers just that by capturing 99.95% of pollutants, dust, allergens and even viruses

This is by far the most powerful and stylish air purifier available. It has an inbuilt heater which will effectively warm the room but will not dry or deplete the natural moisture levels of your skin and hair, like other conventional forms of heating do. Clean air isn’t a luxury, but an essential and this effective purifier delivers just that by capturing 99.95% of pollutants, dust, allergens and even viruses. My recommendation as the best solution to ensure minimum exposure to the harmful effects of toxins in your immediate surroundings. Ideal not just for your lungs, but also your skin and hair.

2.Face masks by Kayos


The Himalayan scrub, made with Himalayan salt, removes dead skin cells, excess dirt, oils, and other impurities from the surface of your skin

The Gold mask contains 24k gold with silk amino acids, collagen and vitamin E to reduce appearance of blackheads. The detoxifying dead sea mud mask helps you exfoliate and detoxify dead skin. The Himalayan scrub, made with Himalayan salt, removes dead skin cells, excess dirt, oils, and other impurities from the surface of your skin. It draws out unwanted toxins, dirt, pollution, and bacteria from your pores. The range is suitable for all skin types.

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3.The Kumkumadi Thailam by Ozone Signature


The ancient and time-tested Ayurvedic formulation contains saffron and reduces pigmentation, dark spots and reduces the size of the pores (Shutterstock)

This incredible night serum contains organic and natural herbs and should be used daily before bed on clean skin. The ancient and time-tested Ayurvedic formulation contains saffron and reduces pigmentation, dark spots and reduces the size of the pores, thus blocking exposure to pollutants. Ideal for skin that is weather beaten, dry, or damaged. Extremely effective for men over 30.

4.Essential oils by Atulya Herbals


Lavender manages acne and inflammation while jasmine nourishes hair

The power and benefits of aromatherapy are good not just for your mind but also your skin, hair, and body. Sandalwood has a moisturising effect and improves texture and skin tone. Lavender manages acne and inflammation, Jasmine nourishes hair, Tea Tree Oil is anti-bacterial and reduces blemishes and skin rashes while Rose protects from infections and fades away scars. The range pure and natural. Use directly or mix with any base oil. For other wellness benefits, add a few drops to water in a diffuser.

5.Derma roller by The Man Company


It creates micro-punctures on the surface of your hair and beard to bring sleeping follicles back to life

Activate your scalp or beard with this safe to use Derma Roller. This hand-held device is designed with a titanium finish. It creates micro-punctures on the surface of your hair and beard to bring sleeping follicles back to life. The micro needles penetrate deep enough to boost growth, increase blood circulation and supply collagen to efficiently improve hair health. Use with caution twice weekly. Helps deal with patchiness, slow hair growth and hair fall troubles.

6.Rose water by The Natural Wash


It is multi-purpose as it can be used as a natural face toner or facial mist

This pure rose water has been extracted by steam distillation. It is multi-purpose as it can be used as a natural face toner or facial mist. Helps remove dust, pollution, toxins and build-up of oil from the skins surface. Soothes the skin and calms acne and blemishes. Suitable for all skin types.

7.The plant based range by Arata


The Green Tea face serum is a light, antioxidant-rich serum that enhances your skin’s elasticity, boosts vitamins A, C, and E

The shampoo soothes the hair while the body wash cleans pollutants and toxins. The body lotion infuses the skin with shea, cocoa, mango and kokum butter. The Hempocado (Hemp & Avocado) oil is formulated to nourish dry and damaged hair, while strengthening your roots, and stimulating growth. The Green Tea face serum is a light, antioxidant-rich serum that enhances your skin’s elasticity, boosts vitamins A, C, and E, and prevents oxidative damage. The entire product range is plant based, vegan and makes use of all-natural extracts with no chemical additives, dyes or preservatives. The products smell good and leave your hair and skin feeling even better.

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8.Body Butters by The Body Shop


The butters are absorbed easily into the skin and don’t feel greasy or sticky thereafter

This range of intensely creamy vegan body butters leave dry skin feeling softer, smoother and intensely nourished with a 96 hour moisture lock in period. The butters are absorbed easily into the skin and don’t feel greasy or sticky thereafter. Available in an assortments of variants but my picks are the Shea Butter or Argan Oil formulations. Use after a shower or just before bedtime.

9.The bath set by Kimirca


Aloe vera prevents dry flaky skin and keeps the texture healthy and soft

This set is infused in the notes of Jasmine and Gardenia. Contains Ginkgo Biloba and White Tea Extract which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, promotes healthy youthful skin and helps improve skin elasticity. Aloe vera prevents dry flaky skin and keeps the texture healthy and soft and Vitamin E that has anti oxidizing properties, deeply hydrates and moisturizes the skin and makes it supple. Suitable for all skin types. Use daily. Both products smell and feel divine.

10.The head-to-toe care combo from The Ayurveda Experience


The combo includes a soap-free face wash that keeps the skin oil and dirt free without stripping it of moisture

This nine-product combo includes a face mask for cleansing and glow, a soap-free face wash that keeps the skin oil and dirt free without stripping it of moisture, a potent hair oil that controls hair fall, repairs damage, and promotes shine, an aromatic Ayurvedic body oil and an Ayurvedic bath salt that gently purifies, exfoliates, and hydrates the skin all at once. This Ayurvedic self-care combo brings the wisdom of ancient Ayurveda in a modern form and is suited for all age groups.

The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer.

From HT Brunch, November 21, 2021

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