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Dull, rainy weather? Keep your skin glowing anyway

July 30, 2009 10:54 IST
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Monsoon is the season when your skin behaves a little strange and is often unstable; it can suddenly get oily and then turn dry and dehydrated. Hence, it is necessary that you take proper care of your skin in order to look your best all through the rains.

We spoke to three skincare professionals and here is their advice to you.

First up we have these tips from Dr Snehal Sriram, Head of Medical Services at Kaya Skin Clinic in Mumbai:

High humidity can cause eruptive skin problems, and make you look very dull. More so, if the skin is oily. Sweat and oil secretions are deposited on the skin, making it look dull, and this attracts dirt and pollutants from the atmosphere more easily. This is the reason why eruptive conditions like rashes, spots and pimples are common during the rains. Additionally, one is prone to patchy hydration and poor cell cycle turnover.

We tend to ignore our skin during this season. There is no visible sun, hence sunscreen is not used; due to increased humidity we do not feel it necessary to moisturise our skin. However, skin care is critical in monsoons to maintain a healthy glowing complexion.

Summer is the season for growth -- our skin cell turnover increases; this leads to piling up of dead layers of skin by the time the monsoons begin. Also, UV rays that harm the skin are invisible and do penetrate through the clouds. And without the right care, our skin starts looking dull and lifeless.

While monsoons spell pleasant weather and respite from the sultry summers, what would make this season even better is an effective skin care regime that will keep you glowing.

Simple treatments can be used to replenish the skin glow, and keep the skin healthy. An ideal professional treatment should combine:

  • Anti-oxidants (eg citric acid) -- These take care of the dullness, patchiness and impart an even tone to the skin.
  • Gentle exfoliating milk peels (eg lactic acid peel) -- These remove the dead and dull skin and stimulate regeneration.
  • A hydrating, lightening mask to add to your glow.

For optimal skin health, this treatment needs to be repeated once every 4-6 weeks. However, if your lifestyle includes a lot of outdoor activities and travelling, it may be advisable to repeat it once every 3 weeks. Complimented with the right daily skin care, it's the ideal remedy to keep your complexion radiant and glowing even in this dull weather.

Daily skin and hair care for the monsoon season:

  • Good and effective cleansing using a soap-free cleanser is recommended. You could also use a gentle scrub (with uniform mild beads) once a day.
  • Cleansing should be followed by toning, using an alcohol-free toner since increased humidity could open up your pores.
  • Use sunscreen even on a cloudy day, since the harmful UV radiation is capable of penetrating the clouds.
  • Use a light lotion-based moisturiser or serum with a lightening agent as well as lactic acid -- this will gently rehydrate your skin and also brighten it up.
  • Avoid heavy makeup and use waterproof cosmetics when necessary.
  • Remember to nourish your skin from the inside, too -- eat salads blanched in boiling water to disinfect them, vegetable soup which will keep you warm and healthy and drink the usual 8-10 glasses of water daily. Your skin is always thirstier than you are!

Next, dermatologist Dr Parul Kolhe provides these inputs:

  • Humidity breeds fungal and bacterial infections and staying in damp clothing after a rain shower is a surefire way to catch them. Always carry a spare set of dry clothing and do not allow moisture to accumulate, especially in the joints of your body.
  • Wash your hands and feet with warm water and soap as soon as you get home. If you've had to walk through dirty accumulated water, soak your feet and legs in warm water to which povidone iodine (Betadine or Wokadine) has been added in a ratio of a capful to each litre of water. Consult a dermatologist regarding all rashes and itches, even if they seem mild to you.
  • Use antifungal powders liberally on the body and feet if you're prone to infections.
  • Wear open footwear as far as possible. Invest in good quality waterproof floaters -- cheap plastic ones can cause allergic reactions.
  • Minimise the use of makeup to keep your pores unclogged. Continue using sunscreen, as ultraviolet rays penetrate the cloud cover quite easily.

And finally, here's advice from Prue Rajan, head cosmetologist and stylist of Rudra Spa and Salon in Mumbai:

  • Use products containing vitamins A, E and C during the monsoon, since your skin sheds post summer and needs extra nourishment.
  • Dont scrimp on sunscreen (a minimum of SPF 12 is required) because though you might not see the sun that much, but its rays can still harm your skin.
  • Moisturise your whole body -- don't just concentrate on your face, else it might result in pigmentation of the skin.
  • Cucumber juice is very good for tired skin, apply a few drops on your face to make it glow.
  • Wash your face 2-3 times a day and then moisturise well. Use a cleanser or mild soap, but not alcohol-based products.
  • Eat a diet of lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Dont use hot water while bathing, it will only dry your skin out.

Remember, your skin needs extra care this time of the year, because it is shedding, and therefore that much more sensitive.

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