What No One Has To Know tells you right at the start is that age withers every face, and the process—the horror—starts by the time you hit the mid-twenties! To drive home the point, Dr Pai explains, in great technical detail and with dismay-creating illustrations, the ageing process of skin, especially that on the face, through the decades.
The good news that follows is that age, like most other things in our smart world, can be fooled; that there are simple ways to do so. Through the rest of the book Dr Pai, ‘one of India’s leading medical cosmetologists’ and owner of Blush, a chain of skincare clinics, tells us how.
The best way to use the knowledge this book imparts is to treat it like a supermarket. In other words, walk through it from one end to the other so that you know the depth and range of what is on offer.
Step two is to sit in front of your dressing table mirror. Continue reading. The different sections from skin analysis, to the three-step progamme of cleansing-toning-moisturising are marked as clearly as the supermarket departments with their products-laden shelves, but the book goes one step better by telling you what works for which type of skin.
Once you identify your skin needs, mark out the sections that matter to you for future reference. You will need it when you go to the real mall to buy the stuff recommended generically, or to visit your kitchen to create your own healthy foods for the face. Dr Pai generously proffers all options to readers.
Dealing with beauty holistically, Dr Pai also spells out a mantra that is a must to look 30 at 60. Her five-point programme includes Exercise, Exfoliation, Eat, and most important, Everyday. In other words, the pursuit of youth is as relentless a chase as that for the fabled Holy Grail. In her fifth E-led mantra, Erase, Dr Pai moves into high-tech skin care programmes, that range from fillers and botox to peels and microdermabrasion, as well as other procedures that a century ago would have provided grist for science fiction.
But coming from a certified medical practitioner of ‘Aesthetic Beauty’, whose clients range from those in their 70s to a two-month old whose parents (to her horror) came asking that she do something to lighten the baby’s beautiful dark skin, the book packs sound advice. More important, Dr Pai, with pioneering zeal, has tried out every treatment and procedure on herself, and adapted many meant for Caucasian skin for the wide variety of Indian skin tones.
Also important is the awareness she creates about maintaining the pH balance of facial skin. And to help readers do this, the book includes a set of colour-changing strips that can indicate the pH composition if the body of instructions are followed. Dr Pai’s dietary rules help correct any imbalance.
In an era when stress is a byword in most lives and the skin is the first to fall victim, this book is as close to a recipe for the elixir of youth as one can get, especially at this price!