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How this model tackles sensitive skin

Neha Kapur on her approach to skincare and holistic wellness

By Mamta Mody  April 23rd, 2020

In The Beauty Breakdown ELLE talks to beauty obsessives about their desert-island beauty reccos, the experts on their speed dial, and everything they’ve learnt in their pursuit to achieving happy skin

In her quest to find something that would agree with her sensitive skin, Neha Kapur has gained encyclopaedic knowledge on skincare. The thick layer of make-up she wore as a model during runway shows in the noughties (remember cake-y foundation and frosty eyeshadow?) often triggered breakouts. She says, “I’d always go to bed with a clean face, but the next morning I would apply cold milk to reduce inflammation caused by all the scrubbing,” she says “The lactic acid in milk fights off microbes that cause clogged pores.”

Over time the self-confessed beauty junkie and derma-rolling enthusiast (it keeps the inflammation in check) has almost ditched make-up. “I used to wear a lot of make-up and blow dry my hair constantly, but it only made me look older. It put a lot of pressure on me to look a certain way,” she says. “Now I barely own make-up, and I believe in natural, clean skin, and have embraced my curls.” The biggest influence on her beauty routine was when Kapur was introduced to the concept of gut health two years ago. “Everything changed once I started clearing out the internal flora and fauna. My skin responded to this immediately, and I feel like this is the most natural way of getting good skin—cleansing inside out.”

Kapur spoke with ELLE about her skincare renaissance, a DIY routine she swears by and how keeping busy during self-isolation is helping her be positive.


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ELLE: What’s your beauty fixation?

Neha Kapur: I’ve always had sensitive skin and this dictates a lot when I go searching for new products. Oil-based products feel too heavy and lead to breakouts and clogged pores. Water and gel-based products are my only respite.

ELLE: We all love our time-tested beauty DIY recipes. What’s your favourite?

NK: My friend J’ai Lone (@jaiofbeverlyhills) who is a fabulous aesthetician taught me this method for an instant brightening and lifting effect: Mix one teaspoon yoghurt (full fat for dry skin and low-fat for sensitive skin), a teaspoon of oat flour with a pinch of turmeric and a squeeze of lemon. Apply this to the your face and leave it on for half an hour—don’t let it dry. Then, wipe it off with a damp cloth.

ELLE: How do you spend your self-care Sundays? 

NK: A great bath mixed in with epsom salt and some Penhaligon’s body oil is a Sunday must. I also love wearing a mask, lighting my favourite candle (Cire Trudon) and reading a book while in the bath.


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ELLE: What’s your day like?

NK: My day begins with a 21-minute yogic mediation practice on an empty stomach. It aligns the day for me and keeps me centred. This is followed by a cup of tea and some digestive biscuits. I like the idea of a structured day that is outlined by things to keep me busy. Since we have so much time at home the moment, I like to have time cut out for my virtual workouts, painting sessions, walks in the neighbourhood and reading. I’ve been making a conscious effort to remove any kind of negative thoughts or people from my day.

ELLE: How do you unwind and release tension?

NK: I like listening to Sadhguru when I feel like I need to get some clarity. I mediate daily, but I find that painting really helps me unwind in stressful situations.

ELLE: What are your top 5 beauty products?

SCBI Stem Cell Serum

It revitalises skin by giving it a lift, and since it’s anti-inflammatory it works beautifully for sensitive skin.


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BIO JOUVANCE Tri-venom Elixir Masque

It minimizes lines and wrinkles while enhancing skin’s natural ability to rejuvenate and rebuild. Especially good for tired, aged and photo damaged skin.


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J’AI Oxygen Cream

This lightweight cream is suitable for sensitive skin types that need nourishment without feeling too oily. I am obsessed.


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It’s the most exquisite shield I have I used in the longest time. It’s almost like a cold cream for the body without being sticky.


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This cream-based deodorant has a subtle fragrance and simultaneously moisturises the underarms.


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Photos: Neha Kapur (Instagram)