The humidity during the rainy season leads to fungal infections in the skin along with aggravating acne. So it is very important we take good care of our skin during monsoons.
Don’t Forget the Three Steps to Clean Skin
A good skin-cleansing routine helps maintain clean skin, prevents breakouts and keeps premature ageing at bay. You can keep your skin radiant and glowing all day, by simply following three simple steps, i.e., Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturising, twice a day. A soap free pH neutral cleanser may be adequate for people with dry or normal skin, while people with acne-prone skin may benefit from using a cleanser containing salicylic acid. The high humidity will tempt you to wash your face several times a day but RESIST this temptation. Do not use a cleanser frequently as there may be an exacerbation of acne or allergic skin rashes. Instead, simply splash lukewarm or cold water on the face during the day to get rid of excessive sweat and feel fresh.
Use of a toner becomes more significant during this time of the year. People with normal to dry skin may need to use a toner only once a day and perhaps only in the T-zone. However, people with oily skin may use it twice.
The humid weather causes oily skin and the usual moisturiser may feel further heavy and greasy. Go for a light moisturiser containing soothing agents like aloe vera and an added bonus is if the moisturiser is fortified with vitamins.
The heat combined with humidity increases the chances of UV damage to the skin. It is quite a challenge finding a suitable non-greasy but cosmetically acceptable sunscreen. It is imperative to apply sunscreen every 3 hours as one tends to wipe the face frequently due to accumulated sweat, causing the sunscreen to wipe off. Opt for a gel based sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more and use a compact or translucent powder with built in SPF for the touch-ups. The compact also gives a matte finish which is an added advantage.
Break off From Dead Skin
Scrub and exfoliate your skin twice a week to remove the pile up of dead cells on the skin surface that makes the skin look dull and uneven.
Excessive sweating makes the skin feel greasy and crummy. Homemade packs containing fullers earth/ clay help in drawing out impurities from the skin leading to a gentle glow. My personal favourite is a pack made of sandalwood powder and gram flour mixed in cooling rose water. The sandalwood powder takes away the tan whilst the gram flour helps in deep cleansing. This pack also has a slight exfoliating action which helps the skin feel fresh, cools it down and leaves it glowing.
Our body usually requires 2 litres of water a day, however in this weather there is excessive sweating and the lost water needs to be replaced. It is highly advisable to drink about 2 litres of hydrating fluids such as water or tender coconut water through the day. Incorporating juicy fruits and vegetables in your diet also help keep the skin moist, hydrated and supple as they contain their natural fluids. Sweating leads to loss of salts as well which can be replenished with tender coconut water, fruits and vegetables.
Color Your Diet
Coloured fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants that help in fighting UV damage and free oxygen radicals generated in the body. One can get the full complement of anti-oxidants by including as many different colours in the diet as possible.
Work out for the Glow
Exercise and physical effort continues to stay important through year. 45 minutes or more of brisk exercise a day helps in pumping up the feel good hormones in the body and give a healthy glow to the skin.
Push the Snooze Button
Regular refreshing beauty sleep of 6-8 hours helps the body repair and replenish itself.
Turn Back the Clock
Consult a dermatologist and get prescribed regular creams to be used at home for fighting any signs of ageing. The results may not be dramatic and immediately obvious, they certainly help when used over the long period of time. I personally recommend creams containing retinoids and alpha hydroxyl acids which remodulate the skin and fight all the signs of skin-ageing. They also have a mild exfoliating action on the skin which allows vitamin containing creams to penetrate more effectively.
Sterilize Your Skin
High moisture levels in the skin cause fungal skin infections due to fungi that grow, multiply and lead to an infective rash. It is important to keep the skin as moisture free as possible and the best way is to pat dry after a bath, wear loose clothes made of breathable fabric like cotton or linen which help in airing the skin and reduce fungal overgrowth. This routine is particularly important during the night. And special attention needs to be given to body folds like underarms, folds beneath the breasts, toes and fingers, groin, etc as these areas are particularly prone to fungal infections. Some people are more prone to skin infections and they should ideally use a dusting powder containing anti-fungal ingredients in the body folds to prevent fungal colonisation.