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Date, Month 1998

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Colombo's newest fashion store 'Bond Street' opened up at the Crescat shopping centre last month. Pictured here are some of the fashions displayed at the opening. Pix by Kumara Dayawansa Nanneththi.

Polish the mirrors of the soul

The first signs of ageing manifest themselves on the delicate skin around the eyes. No matter how expert the make-up, lack of care shows through.

The eyes are, probably, the most wonderful part of the anatomy - and also the most revealing. The skin around the eyes is extremely vulnerable. It is thin in texture, and lines and wrinkles very easily. There are no sebaceous (oil-producing) glands in this region to keep the skin soft and smooth. Therefore, it is very important to know the exact treatment that eyes require.

Sleep is one of the most important factors for keeping eyes fresh and beautiful. Without adequate sleep, eyes can look puffy, blood-shot and can even be encircled by dark shadows. At least seven hours of sleep is the average daily pattern. Whenever you miss out on sleep, catch up on it as soon as you can. As and when time permits, take a few minutes off to just close the eyes and relax.

Your diet is equally important. Adequate Vitamin A (found in liver, egg yolk, fish, butter, milk, yellow and leafy green vegetables and carrots) is required for healthy, bright eyes. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Your fluid intake should be adequate. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, including fresh fruit juices. This is all the more essential if your eyes have the tendency to puffiness.

When it comes to taking care of the skin around the eyes, it is essential to choose products carefully.

Sometimes, make-up can cause allergic reactions. If there is itching, redness or soreness. discontinue use of all cosmetics and consult your doctor. Don't compromise on quality of eye-make products.

The skin around the eyes requires very gentle handing. Creams should be applied gently, without massaging them in. Massage in this region needs a professional touch. Never allow inexpert hands to touch it. Any pulling or stretching of the skin can cause damage to the delicate tissues. Use a very light touch to remove make-up.

Choose cleansers and under-eye nourishing creams that appropriate for the delicate area - like a light, moisturised cleanser and an almond based cream. Heavy creams should not be applied and no creams, or cosmetics. should be left on overnight.

When applying face masks, avoid skin around the eyes. Only masks specially meant for eye care should be used.

Regular care is essential to keep the skin in the eye area soft. moist and youthful. Therapy with cactus aloe cleansers and almond under-eye creams have helped to revitalise and rejuvenate the skin around the eyes.

Tired cyes can be soothed with eyepads, containing extract, of suitable ingredients. A rose-bascd skin tonic is good. Keep a small bowl with the tonic in the retrigerator. Dip cotton wool pads in this chilled liquid an use them as eye pads. Put the pads on and relax for at least ten minutes.

Cucumber juice, or cucumber slices also benefit skin around the eyes. Potato extract reduces puffiness and has a mild astringent effect on the skin. These treatments help to remove the fatigued look, and add brightness to the eyes.

Keep your eyes protcected from long exposure to strong sunlight. It is the glare created by sunlight that can harm the eyes. It is a good idea to wear sunglasses outdoors, but make sure you buy good quality sunglasses.

How to protect you hands from Eczema

Hand eczema is actually a general term that is applied to any dermatitis on the hands. "Housewife's eczema," "bartender's hands, "surgeon's hands," and "baker's hands" are simply examples of hand dermatitis common to various professions. This is, in fact, the most frequent form of dermatitis found in industrial workers.

The causes of hand eczema are numerous because your hands are exposed to so many different materials. Hand eczema can result from the inherent harshness of a compound or from the allergic response itself. For instance, reactions to soap are usually of an irritant nature; poison ivy, on the other hand, is an allergic response. Individuals with a history of atopy that is, allergies such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and childhood eczema are more apt to develop hand eczema. These individuals may also be more susceptible to irritants or have hand eczema as part of their atopic problem.

Environmental factors in the home and workplace are also often important. These include low humidity, repeated exposure to mildly irritating chemicals, and frequent hand-washing.

Men often neglect basic hand-care practices that could minimize environmental assaults. They don't wash off irritating substances right away and don't regularly apply hand creams to counteract dryness. They also are likely to have more significant industrial contacts.

People usually try to treat hand eczema themselves, making the problem worse. Sometimes inappropriate topical preparations may slow down the healing process. Preparations containing topical anesthetics, antibiotics, and antihistamines may result in development of an allergic eruption on top of ordinary hand eczema. Secondary infection may also develop. When the patient finally arrives at the doctor's office, there may be two or three separate problems to treat. But once these are cleared, the dermatologist can usually diagnose the basic cause of hand eczema and successfully treat the problem.

If you have hand eczema that has not responded to routine skin-care you should consult a dermatologist.

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