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You can make use of the self-isolation period to care for skin. Pixabay

Washing hands or sanitising them regularly with an alcohol-based handrub is one of the top ways one can avoid getting infected by – and further spreading – the deadly Coronavirus.

“As the frequency of handwashing has increased, there may be a worry of drying your skin in the process. The first and foremost rule is to prevent excessive usage of alcohol-based sanitizers, as they can make your hands dry and dehydrated. It is instead advisable to wash your hands methodically as per the medical guidelines, or whenever you feel you may have been exposed to cough, sneeze or contact of some unknown material or surfaces.

“In case of contact with any household items – which may not be infected – use a milder or diluted hand wash. After every hand wash, be sure to moisturise the skin with a non-alcohol-based moisturiser,” Dr Sharad Kulkarni, Kama Ayurveda told IANSlife.

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He adds, “Apply sesame or coconut oil to hands 15 minutes before stepping in for a bath. You can also apply olive oil to your hands every night before you sleep. In case of severe dryness olive oil can be mixed with ghee and applied each night.”

As the frequency of handwashing has increased, there may be a worry of drying your skin in the process. Pixabay

“Moisturizing your skin is one of the ground rules of skincare. Health experts have advised us to wash our hands frequently with soap to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. While the properties of the soap prevent the spread of the virus, frequent handwashing can also dry out your skin immensely. Dry skin can also feel itchy and appear wrinkled. To avoid this, make sure you always apply a moisturizer after drying your hands. This will leave your hands soft and supple,” Dolly Kumar, Founder & Director, Skinella suggests.

You can also make use of the self-isolation period to care for skin. Here’s how.

Avoid touching your face

Your hands come into contact with multiple surfaces throughout the day. Touching your face frequently will only transfer the germs and impurities from your hands to your face. Since facial skin is sensitive and soft, keeping it clean is necessary to avoid acne or any skin irritation/allergy. Cleanse your face with a mild face wash twice a day and multiple times with just water. Don’t forget to apply a moisturizer after patting dry!

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Time for some DIY

After every hand wash, be sure to moisturise the skin with a non-alcohol-based moisturiser. Pixabay

A majority of us have time in abundance and might be bored without being able to step out of our homes. This is the perfect time to experiment with some DIY face masks. There are several masks that you can make easily with natural ingredients. For example, you could simply mix some Aloe Vera juice, honey, and turmeric and apply it on your face for 15 minutes before rinsing to prevent breakouts and skin ageing.

Also Read- Stressed Due to Lockdown? Heartfulness can Help you Out

Hydration and exercise are a must

Your body needs to get rid of toxins and exercise and hydration are an excellent way to do so. Even though gyms are closed, you can try some simple home workouts without fitness equipment to stay active. Even a brisk walk on your terrace for 20-30 minutes will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. Stay hydrated with water and fruit juices throughout the day. Cultivating healthy habits is important, so have a balanced diet and avoid any junk food. (IANS)



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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)

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