KARACHI: What do women with incredible skin have in common? Those women with shiny, Barbie smooth, ‘just a touch of CC cream’ faces? Those Forever21 women who need just a slick of red lippy and never have a daana in sight? Skin so fabulous it needs nothing more than its own sweat to glisten like a Huda Beauty highlighter commercial. With a more minimalist beauty trend in place, any great look starts with great skin, so before you blow your paychecks on ordering from yet another Insta-famous clothing site, get yourself ready from the pores up first.
So, returning to our original question, what do these women have in common? As Cardi B put it, “All a bad b$tch needs is the money”. That’s right, nothing but the truth on Cutacut, if you want to have pore-less, plumped, glowing skin, you need to spend money. The more money you spend, the better your skin will be, so time to cash in those bonds, sell the gold bars and dip into the kid’s education funds. We spoke to Dr Naqiba Munshi (MBBS MCPS) of Elements Medi Spa for her professional opinions for these monthly budgets:
1. Broke AF – Rs. 0
Girl we hear you, sometimes there just isn’t anything left in the coffers for self care. In this case, you need to head to your mom’s garden and raid her kitchen for some au natural options. Unless you hit the genetic jackpot, these totkas won’t get you to that flawless filter finish, but you can look much healthier. Start with drinking lots and lots of water, we’re talking at least 2 liters a day. Stay out of the sun and improve your at home skin care regime with a biweekly DIY scrub and mask, like oil+seasalt and honey+yogurt. Every desi home as an aloe vera plant so cut off a leaf, skin the top and remove the gel like pulp inside and apply on your skin for multiple benefits.
Remove acne and hormonal stimulants from your diet like dairy, sugar, caffeine and gluten. Dietary changes can alleviate PCOS symptoms, reduce hormonal acne, water retention and improve your immune system. Most importantly, get tons and tons of sleep. Between eating nothing but ghaasphoos, going to bed at 8 PM and having to run to the bathroom every five minutes, your skin might end up being the least of your concerns. #Justkidding, changing your diet and adopting healthier habits will facilitate change, perhaps even encourage some savings by eliminating late night Chai Wala runs.
2. Making a little pocket money – Rs.1,000 – Rs.5,000
With just a little bit in the bank, you can start playing around with some better quality products and also visit the dermatologist for some superficial peels. Start at your local cosmetic/grocery store and upgrade your face wash and moisturiser. I personally love the Clearasil Face Wash and Scrub, which really leaves my skin fresh post workout and use Suntastic sunblock by Cube Organic, which gives me both sun protection and non-greasy moisture. Both are easy on the purse strings and highly effective.
At this price range Dr. Naqiba recommended a chemical peel (Rs.3,000) and/or a microdermabrasion (Rs.4,000-5,000) for a deep exfoliation and help with pigmentation and scars. I love microdermabrasion and try and schedule one every 2-4 weeks, for a deep clean. You should be using a retinol cream nightly under your night cream for better cell turnover.
3. Freelancing on the side – Rs.5,000 – Rs.10,000
This is a solid budget for getting some real skin care work done. Lets upgrade our products to more luxury brands like Clinique, Clarins or Kiehls. Your skin care routine should be a minimum of 45 minutes, and mornings should have a daily eye cream, day cream, serum, sheet mask/face mask as needed and finally sun screen. Nighttime has a slightly heavier cream mix with retinol cream, serum, eye cream and night cream, all massaged in with care. Your products should not be used sparingly and should finish every 4-5 months.
Speaking to Dr. Naqiba, she said to continue the peel/microdermabrasion and add on a laser hair removal package as waxing and threading leads to skin damage.
4. Werkin at an international company– Rs.10,000 – Rs.50,000
It looks like you’ve finally gotten that promotion, made your minimum savings quota and are ready to treat yo self! Keep your skin care at the imported level but increase your visits to the dermatologist. At this range you can add in some extra special treatments, taking you to Kardashian level. Spring for the hair removal package to stop those weekly parlor trips, and Dr. Naqiba recommends adding in nano lasers and some PRP treatments. Nano lasers help with everything skin care related from pigmentation to aging, so book your self a carbon facial or Hollywood peel ASAP. You need a number of sittings to see a difference, but with such high tech and concentrated energy you will. Join the global PRP movement with a vampire facial as well; this uses your own body’s platelets to encourage cellular regeneration. You need a minimum of three sittings to enjoy the full effect.
If you’re over 35, at this range you should start investing in Botox and collagen fillers to reduce the appearance of fine lines and halt the signs of aging.
5. NAB Most Wanted List! – Rs. UNLIMITED
This is when you get to take what God gave you as a suggestion and turn yourself into the face you always wanted. Up your skin care to Creme De la Mer and other unpronounceable brands. Treat the dermatologist like your local salon and as Dr. Naqiba said “with an unlimited budget I would tell someone to go to the plastic surgeon”. Who needs a skin care regime when you can just buy yourself a new face.