Skin Care tips for the monsoons
The onset of the monsoon is a welcome relief from the sweltering heat.
But don't be surprised if your skin doesn't share your enthusiasm. The bright sweat-inducing sun has now given way to gloomy skies and high levels of humidity.
This humidity that spells disaster for our hair also has the potential to wreak havoc on our skin.
So before you relegate your sun protection creams to the back of the medicine cabinet, listen to Dr Maithili Kamat, Associate Medical Coordinator, Kaya Skin Clinic. Here is a list of what you need to watch out for.
One of the main concerns this season is our tendency to develop fungal infections in our body folds.
This is mainly due to wet clothes and shoes. The danger-prone areas are the armpits, groin and the area between our toes.
One way to take care of this is to use an anti-fungal soap such as Savlon for bathing. However, this may cause excessive dryness so restrict its use to the fold areas only.
After bathing, apply anti-fungal powder on your feet. Clotrimazole, which is available at any medical store, is very effective.
Dr Kamat however cautions against over-the-counter applications. "When it comes to our skin, it is advisable to have it examined by a specialist, who can then prescribe a treatment customised to suit our needs. Those medications that are available over-the-counter have low potency and provide very little benefit," she says.
The atmospheric also humidity causes our skin to sweat and attracts dirt and pollutants more easily. When you step indoors, always clean your face to wash away the grime and dirt.
During the day, it may not be possible to splash some water or maintain a cleansing practice. To avoid accumulation of sweat and dust particles, use wet wipes.
Grandma's home remedies
Sometimes our kitchen is the best source for soothing any skin ailments/itching felt on facial skin.
Sun damaged skin
Apply a mixture of equal quantities of cucumber and potato juice. Both these ingredients contain properties that soothe the skin. They also work as natural bleaching agents.
Very dry/very oily skin
During the monsoon, our skin gets wet more often than usual. Different types of skin react to this problem differently.
Skin can either become very dry and prone to acne or it can become very oily and attract dirt and pollutants.
Those with acne-prone skins should opt for a water-based moisturiser. If our skin is dry yet pimple-free, then an oil-based moisturiser is better suited.
Dr Kamat endorses grandma's age-old recipe of chane ka atta and raw milk/ cream.
Apply a paste of the above ingredients, leave for 15 minutes and wash with cold water.
In one cup of rosewater, add two teaspoons of glycerine and rub all over your skin. These ingredients contain properties that soften the skin and leave it smooth to touch.
A daily regime
It is possible to enjoy healthy, glowing derma without a high-maintenance routine. Here are some rules that we need to adhere to.
i. Cleanse your skin
Washing the impurities away from our skin allows it to breathe.
"To protect the skin's natural oils, avoid anti-fungal and perfumed soaps. Instead use a non-soapy cleanser that ensures deep pore cleansing," recommends Dr Kamat.
This helps to tighten the pores and prevent pimples. "A non-alcoholic toner incorporated into your basic cleansing regime every morning and before going to bed will prevent skin infections and eruptions," says Dr Kamat.
People who spend a lot of their time in an air-conditioned environment need to keep their skin moisturised.
However, those with oily skin should do so only twice every day. Their skin's natural oils will keep it hydrated.
iv. Don't rub your face while drying it
The facial skin is very delicate so rubbing it with a towel can cause hyper-pigmentation. Gently pat it dry avoiding any kind of friction.
v. Don't step out without sunscreen protection
As long as there is daylight, our skin needs protection from UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you step out and re-apply every three to four hours.
So although the sky may carry a gloomy cast, you can brush off your skin woes and guarantee beautiful, glowing skin.