“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kitten…” this classic song reminded us that the rainy season should be one of our favourite things. The weather brings with it joy, romance and cool fresh air. The flip side is that tip-tip baarish also brings humidity, sweating, fungal infection, and loads of problems for your skin. To avoid this, it is best to stick to a routine that is best apt for your skin type.
High moisture levels, pollutants and infections loom large this time around and attack the skin. For this very reason, your regime has to be tweaked a little during this season.
As per Dr Anup Dhir, the rainwater is clean, distilled and pure. However, with an increased level of dampness, this wetness in the atmosphere can wreak havoc and cause a lot of problems for your oily skin. Along with acne, there is also a strong chance that your skin may break into a fungal infection.
Note: As your skin is likely to get more oily this time around, Dr Anup stresses on using extra face packs, Fuller’s earth (multani mitti) or besan facemask.
Cleansing will ensure that your face is free from all the dirt and pollutant build-up. Look for oily skin specifics such as tea tree oil, neem and lemon in your cleanser. These also have anti-inflammatory properties that can ward off acne and fungal infections. Dr Anup advises to wash your face at regular intervals but not overdoing it as it will dry the skin and leave it open to infections.
Toning will not only ensure that all the excess dirt is removed from your face but it will also balance the pH level of the skin. The best part is that it will shrink the pores (as large pores are a major cause for worry here) and tighten the skin. Since breakouts are likely here, it is best to go for more natural and clean beauty products. Cucumber is all the rage for toning so you can opt for that. You even get specific products that aim at fighting acne and blemishes.
Lastly, moisturising will retain the suppleness and lustre of the skin. Dr Anup suggests going for something that light and water-based. A thick creamy product might further clog the pores. A gel-based moisturiser works best as it will intensely hydrate the face without making it oily. You can also look for oil-free moisturisers.
Exfoliation is a need of the hour as it unclogs the pores and helps it breathe. It further promotes the regeneration of new glowing skin. Opt for scrubs which come with the goodness of natural ingredients. Oatmeal, Fuller’s earth (Multani Mitti) and besan make fine exfoliators. Look for a scrub with ingredients that address oily skin issues. Some of them include glycolic acid that helps prevent breakouts, kaolin that absorbs extra oil and almonds that gets rid of excess oil and removes impurities.
Do keep in mind to avoid too much of exfoliation as the process will activate the secretion of extra serum!
If you have dry skin, it would perhaps be on its best behaviour this rainy season. The extra moisture in the air will keep your skin supple. Yet the flip side is waiting to emerge. Dr Dhir reminds us that this type tends to get flaky especially if you scratch hard. The infection is likely to spread as well.
Note: Dry skin is predominantly parched even though it will remain supple when it rains.
During monsoon, fungal infections can attack dry skin too. Dedicated cleansing will keep your skin infection-free but we must be aware of not overdoing the squeaky clean part. It could just aggravate the flakiness all the more.
Use a mild cleanser which is soap-free as it will cleanse and not dry your skin. Cleansing milk which gets rid of the dirt of the face gently is a good option too. Else, you can look out for those which have oils infused in them. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are ideal to keep the skin supple, so look for these ingredients. If your skin gets way to flaky, we suggest a hydra gel-based face wash.
The process of cleansing opens the skin pores which are like an invitation to the monsoon fungi. Once you are done with cleaning, use a toner to close all the open pores. Since your skin needs some extra love, opt for ones with Vitamin E or other boosting nutrients in them.
Several hydrating and moisturising options are available out there today. A water-based toner can help in eliminating the flakiness. Rosewater is one of those magical ingredients that suit all skin types, offering a soothing effect and maintaining the pH balance.
Once again look for something that is nourishing and augments the health of your skin. Think products infused with essentials oils, Vitamin E, plant butter and the likes. Keywords to look out for are repairing, replenishing and hydrating. Though keep in mind that monsoon activates the sebum secretion, so you might want to veer away from something too heavy and creamy.
For those with extra flaky skin, you can stick to fragrance-free moisturisers that come recommended by dermatologists.
Yes, dry skin needs to be exfoliated too. It removes the dead skin which is collected at the surface and makes the skin smooth and soft. Just ensure that the one that you are using is hypoallergenic and mild in nature. Products with AHAs an glycolic acid are proven to be effective too!
Popular known as T-Zone skin type, combination skin is where just your nose and your forehead is oilier than your cheeks. Your cheeks would have a normal to dry skin type.
With the excess moisture in the air, you may find the tip of your nose attacked with whiteheads, blackheads. Cheeks will, of course, vary from soft to dry which mean they too need attention.
To address all issues at once, you can opt for a gentle foaming cleanser that will remove the impurities of the skin without stripping it of its essential oil. Ingredients like aloe vera and green tea extracts are a good option as they heal and nurture along with cleansing.
Those concerned with blackhead can select a product with salicylic acid and charcoal. For stubborn makeup and impurities, Micellar water is the best bet for it gets the work done without being harsh on the skin.
Needless to say, toning is a step that can’t be skipped. Ingredients that can work wonders for this skin type are alpha hydroxy acids and chamomile. The former removes dead skin and refines the pores whereas the latter has antiseptic, antioxidant and antibacterial properties and can help in reducing skin irritation. Look for toners that are antioxidant-rich and hydrating too. If the product is skin balancing one, even better!
The keywords to look for here are lightweight, comedogenic and oil-free. If they are anti-bacterial and fragrance-free, that’s a bonus! Once again, glycerin and hyaluronic acid are the hero ingredients as they moisturise without making the skin greasy. You can even mix and match where you apply a heavier product on the dry part and the lighter one on the T-zone.
So, this is a tricky part, here you would require a mix of mechanical (formulas like oatmeal and sugar or tools like a brush or sponge that physically get rid of dead skin) and chemical exfoliation (lighter ones with AHAs, BHA, glycolic and lactic acids). Just ensure that you do not use both in a short span of time as it will irritate the skin.
General rain care tips by Dr.Dhir:
- Carry a small beauty kit with you which have your C-T-M-E (Cleansing-Toning- Moisturizing-Exfoliating) products. Use it whenever necessary.
- Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
- Never wear closed shoes if you are going to be in wet footwear for a long time. The dirty rainwater will seep inside and cause infection. Always carry an extra pair of shoes.
- Likewise, don’t wear wet socks. Carry a dry pair if you have to, but wet socks are a big ‘no-no’.
- If you want to ‘dance in the rain’ go ahead and enjoy. But soon after, take a hot water bath, dry yourself completely and be squeaky clean. Even if any part of your clothes is not wet, do not recuse them. Throw them for a wash.
- One can never underestimate the need for hygiene. Clean, clean and clean.
- Always wear dry clothes especially undergarments. If your clothes are damp, iron them thoroughly to dry them out. Keeping clothes overnight on a newspaper under the fan or in an air-conditioned room to dry them out faster.
- If you are fighting body odour, use a medicated powder prescribed by your doctor.
- Protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Wearing a sunscreen is a must when going out even if it is cloudy.
- Preferably wear light make-up instead of a heavy one and remove it before going to sleep.
- Ask your doctor and take antioxidants and other vitamins to will keep you strong from within.
Pay heed to these tips and face the showers stress-free!