The monsoon brings with it, its own little treats. It is not only the season of colourful umbrellas and mouth-watering pakoras; it is also a time of celebration for people of the subcontinent. After all, they have their own love affair with the monsoon.
However, as the season progresses, the indulgence becomes a little inconvenient for the downpour brings with it power cuts, road blocks, spread of different diseases and mosquitoes due to stagnant water and improper sewage facilities. It is only a matter of hours before the blessing turns into a disaster.
In such circumstances, your skin suffers the longest lasting adverse effects. No matter what the skin type, too much moisture in the air triggers unusual activities on the surface of your skin. During these couple of months of increased humidity, a lot of people develop a variety of skin problems such as oily skin suddenly feeling dry and vice versa.
During monsoon, a lot of people complain about their skin behaving rather strangely and being unstable, and rightly so. The rainy season can be extremely tricky for your skin because of the increasing levels of moisture in the air and atmosphere. Your skin may get agonisingly oily or become completely dry and dehydrated.
Skin conditions call for immediate remedies, hence it is important to take care of your skin during this season in order to look fresh and beautiful. Light water-based moisturizers are a must during the rains to keep the skin hydrated and make up for the loss of body water due to excessive perspiration or sweating. Surprisingly, moisturizing your skin with light water-based moisturizers every day can prevent it from be coming too oily and also keeps away acne.
However, if your face is not washed and cleansed often enough, nothing can make your skin appear or feel better. During the rains, wash and cleanse your face thoroughly with a water-based facial cleanser or with an anti-bacterial cleanser for removing bacteria if your skin is sensitive or has acne, and then gently rub an ice cube on your face, leaving the eyes, for about five to 10 minutes. Icing contracts sebum glands and lessens facial sweating. For women, if done just before putting on makeup, it helps keep it on for a longer period of time.
Exfoliation is a key to beautiful, blemish and acne-free skin. Mild or light exfoliants can be used once daily, while hard ones should be used twice or thrice a week.
Both men and women with oily or even combination skin can use astringents while people with dry or normal skin can use toners after the icing to cool and refresh their skin further. Toning the skin at night to take off grime and dirt in the humid season can also rejuvenate your skin.
Exfoliation or scrubbing takes out hardened oils from the root of the skin and makes it appear healthier and cleaner. It also helps skin absorb moisturizers and skin care products better.
Chemical peels, a skin treatment performed by skilled dermatologists, is an excellent way to freshen up dull skin and the monsoon is the best weather for that, because there is no risk of direct sun exposure and sensitivity after the peeling session. There are a variety of peels available nowadays from skin-lightening peels, acne peels and peels for sensitive skin to special peels for under-eye circles. Consult your dermatologist for details.
People with oily skin may complain that their skin feels sticky during the rainy season. Interestingly, the stickiness is not caused by overactive oil glands. However, due to humidity in the air during rain, you are bound to sweat more. As the sweat evaporates from your skin, it leaves behind a sticky, moist layer. Wash your face with a light face wash and every now and again with plain cold water. Avoid using soap or face wash more than twice in a day because too much soap can dry your skin and steal natural oils.
Moreover, keeping yourself in those wet clothes for long can make your skin look and feel like your grandmothers’. Skin is made up of three basic layers; the top-most layer has keratin cells. When skin gets wet, the keratin absorbs the water like a sponge and your skin shrivels up. The only way to avoid this and make skin return to normal is by letting the moisture evaporate, Letting it dry out naturally for 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick.
If you are at work and your clothes are wet, it’s impossible to get them dry. For situations like these, carry an extra set of clothes with you to change into.
Though it is a lot of fun getting wet in the rain, it is important to know that when you do, your skin is exposed to a lot of water, dirt and grime, which can cause your skin to peel, especially the skin under your feet. Try and wear slippers every time you want to get wet in the rain so that the skin under your feet is not directly exposed to rain water. If your skin still peels, do not scrub it harshly using a hard scrub or a hard or rough object, for it will hurt your feet and skin.
Skin is also prone to infections in this weather. Candida, a fungus, is always present on our skin. If exposed to water continuously, it multiplies and causes fungal infection. It is difficult to keep your skin dry all the time, but dusting powders like clotrimazole or miconzole creams, available at the pharmacy are useful if you develop a skin infection.
Eat right, go easy on deep fried stuff, drink lots of water and remember to keep your skin clean, healthy and hydrated for a trouble free monsoon. Happy rains