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Monsoon beauty: Hair oil, skin serum and pedicures

Last updated on: July 13, 2010 13:54 IST

Dr Sangeeta Amladi, dermatologist and Head, Medical Services at Kaya Skin Clinic, tells you how to keep your skin and hair glowing this monsoon.

With the monsoons upon us and the change in the weather, the skin needs extra care and pampering in order to look and feel healthy in the rains.

During the monsoons, we tend to ignore our skin. We don't use sunscreen as the sun is not strong and we avoid using moisturisers due to the increased humidity. However, skin care is extremely critical in this weather.

While the monsoons spell pleasant temperatures and a respite from the sultry summer, what would make this season ever better is an effective skincare regime. If you are looking for a wonderful and easy way to keep your skin looking fresh and radiant till the end of the season, here are a few tips to follow:

For your skin

  • 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.
  • Use a light lotion-based moisturiser or serum which will gently rehydrate your skin and also brighten it up.
  • Avoid heavy makeup and use waterproof products 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. Your skin is always thirstier than you are!

The three-step regime

Cleansing: Your skin will require regular cleansing in order to keep it looking fresh and healthy. Avoid harsh soap products that strip the skin of protective oils. If you have dry skin, avoid deodorant or antibacterial soaps, since they might dry it further.

Moisturising: It's as important in the rains as it is in summer. The monsoon can have a de-moisturising effect on dry skin and an over-hydrating effect on oily skin. The skin gets wet often and with the constant wetting and drying, a lot of dehydration takes place. That explains the itchy feeling one sometimes experiences during monsoons. Use a non-water based moisturiser if you happen to get wet often. Otherwise a water-based moisturiser will do.

For dull skin: Exfoliation of the skin is very important. This not only helps to keep the pores free of hardened oil, but also clears the skin of dead cells.

For your hair

  • Opt for good and effective cleansing using a volumising shampoo twice or thrice a week, as the hair tends to go limp in this season.
  • Post-shampoo use a volumising conditioner, once a week or as required.
  • If you need to blow-dry your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner beforehand.
  • Avoid excess application of styling products -- they can make your hair very greasy due to the increased humidity.
  • Do not tie up wet hair.
  • Oiling once a week can prove beneficial.
  • Foods for your hair include milk and milk products, nuts and soya products.

Care for your feet

  • Effective cleansing of feet is very important as they are exposed to a lot of grime and muck in the rains.
  • Do not forget to completely dry your feet so as to prevent fungal infections.
  • Avoid wearing boots, as these hold water for a longer duration, creating a soggy environment for your feet.
  • Give yourself a home pedicure once a week. This consists of soaking your feet in warm water (to which you can add 3-4 drops of Savlon) for 15-20 minutes, followed by cleansing your nails and scrubbing the feet with a foot scraper. Complete the pedicure by applying a light moisturiser.
  • When you go for a pedicure to a beautician, ensure that the instruments used are sterilised/cleansed with disinfectants, or if possible use your personal instruments. Also instruct your aesthetician to avoid pushing into the cuticles too deep, as toenail fungal infections are very common in the monsoons.
Dr Sangeeta Amladi