To understand more about common mistakes, product combinations, and issues related to the skin, we had a chat with Dr. Saloni Vora herself.

There’s nothing more mysterious than just how different each individual is from the other in a holistic manner. The system, the delicate procedures that keep us alive and well is nothing short of fascinating. It takes experts to understand and give out answers to any queries that we might have regarding the same. Our skin and hair that covers most of the body happen to be one such intriguing part that will always leave us wondering. It was this same fascination that encouraged Dr. Saloni Vora to take up dermatology.

Saloni who initially planned on becoming a surgeon was attracted by how complex human skin and hair is. This want to learn more about how internal and external factors have an effect on our skin and hair made her take it up as a career. “Glowing skins and heads full of beautiful hair became my life goal,” says Dr. Saloni Vora.

She decided to be a part of the medical field and become a doctor because she believes that it’s one of the noblest ways to help and give back to society. She understands how many of us ignore proper skincare and take it lightly. Social media and Google has become the first option for many when they have any queries regarding their skin or hair. We’re constantly looking for ways to treat our skin and hair problems by asking Google and that gives us a generic solution. Saloni is trying to help people realize how important and different each skin type is. Through her social media, she keeps sharing tips and ideal ways that people should treat their skin. She had a bunch of things to share with us in one of our recent chats with her.

Here’s what Saloni had to share:

How did you decide on becoming a dermatologist?

My original love was surgery. However, it was during my internship year post MBBS when I got introduced to the practical world of dermatology. Skin and hair’s complex and mysterious architecture attracted me. I was fascinated by the fact that every single change in the body internally and externally affects skin and hair and made me realize that’s what I want to study deeply and practice for the rest of my life. Glowing skins and heads full of beautiful hair became my life goal. I love what I do.

How important is it for people to maintain a good skincare routine?

Indians have a sensitive and complex skin barrier. Our skin is constantly exposed to physical, mental, and environmental stress, pollution, harmful ultraviolet rays which disrupt the skin barrier every single minute, making it vulnerable to damage, infections, and early skin aging. Besides, damaged skin conditions also affect one’s mental health to a great extent. Therefore, it’s very important to have a basic skincare routine at the least.

As a dermatologist, what are the most common questions that people have regarding skincare?

Acne, pigmentation, hair fall, hair loss, fine lines, and wrinkles are the most common issues that my patients come with. Besides, I see certain fungal and bacterial infections and eczema patients depending on the time of the year.

We have seen many recommending various oils for glowing or aging skin. What are your suggestions for the same? Are these really effective?

Various oils like rosehip, argan, almond, marula, jojoba are anti-oxidants – they help eliminate free radical damage and hence have brightening and anti-aging properties. However, they do not treat specific concerns to a large extent. Hydration is their main target. In general, avoid using any kind of facial oils if you already have oily or acne-prone skin.

What kind of anti-aging products would you recommend and at what age should people start using them?

To begin with, look for moisturizers with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalane oil. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more and PA+++ every 3 to 4 hours on all exposed areas. Active ingredients like Vitamin C, retinoids, niacinamide exhibits excellent anti-aging properties. Use these with caution and only after a patch test. Ideally, one should start with an anti-aging routine from their 20’s, however, it’s never too late to begin.

There are various night and daytime products. How are they different and what basic product should a person include in their regime?

The 3 basics of skincare that every single individual must include are a cleanser, a moisturizer, and a sunscreen: cleanser + moisturizer + sunscreen in the morning, cleanser + moisturizer at night. Including any other skin-care ingredient or product totally depends on your skin type and skin issue. In general, an anti-oxidant serum like vitamin C or Niacinamide can be included during the day for added protection against pollution and UV rays and to prevent dullness. Night regime can include retinol which is great as anti-aging and anti-acne. One can exfoliate twice or thrice a week with salicylic, glycolic, lactic, or mandelic acid.

Talking of the night regime, how effective are eye creams, and are they really important?

To be honest, I do not believe in including a separate eye cream in your routine. The skin around your eyes also requires moisturization, anti-oxidation, and protection just like the skin of the rest of your face and neck, hence, I suggest applying your moisturizer, sunscreen, vitamin c/niacinamide/retinol, or any other activity that you already use, even around your eyes. In the case of puffy under-eye, creams with vitamin K or caffeine may help.

If people want to opt for a natural regime, are there any natural or traditional elements of skincare that you could suggest?

I do not suggest applying the food you eat to your skin. We need to understand that our skin has a specific pH and applying raw elements from nature may disrupt the barrier. Thus, be very careful in choosing what you put to your skin. Some traditional ingredients I would consider safe and effective are the age-old besan (gram flour)-curd-turmeric pack and Multani mitti pack that are great exfoliants but remember to do a test patch before using it on a large area.

Are there any skincare combinations that are harmful and should be avoided?

Avoid using 2 ingredients with exfoliating properties together in the same routine; this may over-exfoliate and disrupt the skin barrier, making it prone to irritation, inflammation, and infection. Retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic acid), beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide should be used in separate routines. Also avoid using these actives immediately after any physical exfoliation, shaving, or waxing.

Lastly, what does your skincare regime look like?

I believe, less is more. My routine depends on what my skin needs on that particular day. In general, after cleansing my face in the morning, I use a few drops of vitamin C over my entire face and neck which is followed by a moisturizer containing ceramides and hyaluronic acid. I never skip my sunscreen and I make sure that I use it in a generous amount. I try repeating the sunscreen every 4 hours. Before bedtime, I again cleanse my face, double cleanse on days I use make-up, moisturize and use a retinoid. I exfoliate twice a week.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding skin or hair, do check out her page on Instagram @dr_salonivora

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