Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
Monsoon is here. The term ‘monsoon’ describes a seasonal wind shift that brings moisture to an ordinarily dry area.
Everybody waits for the rain to enjoy the smell of wet soil, green trees, blossoming flowers, cool breeze and hot food. The first showers are here and the humidity in the environment can cause several skin issues due to the high moisture content in the environment. The sweat on your skin can catch pollutants and clog the pores with impurities, causing skin infection, allergy, fungus, acne and blemishes. Well, you need to understand that it is important to change your skincare regime, according to the changing seasons.
Following a basic skincare routine is key to healthy skin. During the monsoon, even when it’s cloudy outside, the sun’s rays can wreak havoc on the health of your skin. We should try to avoid sun exposure as much as possible, especially from noon till about 3 pm. Wear your sunblock three times a day at a gap of every 3-4 hours. It should be SPF 30 with a triple plus rating and it should provide protection for both UVA and UVB. If the skin is more sensitive, use sunscreen with a high SPF of 40 and above. The effects of sun exposure increase if you are near water or snow, as these are reflective surfaces. For oily skin, use a sunscreen gel.
The most important step to keep your skin healthy during this season is by keeping yourself hydrated. Drink eight glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of warm water and have it first thing in the morning. This will also ensure that your skin stays free of toxins, which can lead to acne and pimples. Nimbu paani, egg whites, milk, salad, and curd/ lassi must be included in your diet. Avoid too much tea/coffee. Consumption of coconut water is also important as it is rich in potassium and works wonders for the skin. You must add juicy and antioxidant-rich fruits, seasonal vegetables to your diet and avoid too much oily and spicy food.
Cleanliness and hygiene also extend to your clothes. Sweat clings to clothes and leads to a stale and bad odour. Wear loose linen and cotton clothes during monsoon, so that the cool, porous material helps the perspiration to escape and evaporate.
Good skin toner is a must in hot weather. Rosewater is ideal, as it is a natural coolant. Rosewater refreshes the skin and imparts a clean and fresh feeling. You can keep a small bowl of rose skin tonic, or rose water, in the refrigerator. This way, it is chilled and ready for use. Wipe the skin several times a day with it. It can be most refreshing. If you are out during the day, carry wet tissues.
Exfoliate your skin daily with any gentle scrub to get rid of dead skin cells. You can use mildly abrasive kitchen ingredients like coffee, papaya, yogurt, tea bag, baking soda, etc. to do the same and stimulate the growth of new skin cells. The pores must be kept unclogged and the oiliness of the skin must be reduced. Use a face wash containing ingredients like tulsi and neem. You should use organic and natural products only for your skin. All-natural and organic products give you long-term benefits and maintain the skin’s adolescence.
Apply a skin tonic after cleansing, using cotton wool. They restore the normal balances, stimulate blood circulation and add a glow. Night-time cleansing is a must to remove sweat and oil deposits, make-up, pollutants and impurities that have been deposited on the skin during the day.
Apply a facial scrub twice a week. It removes dead cells and brightens the skin. It also helps to discourage and dislodge blackheads. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin with small circular movements. Leave on for five minutes and wash off with water. This can be done after cleansing in the morning. Stubborn blackheads can be removed at a skin-care clinic. Avoid touching the face without washing your hands and never pick or pinch blackheads and pimples. If the skin is oily, avoid the use of oily creams and moisturisers.
During hot and humid weather, wear open footwear so that the sweat evaporates. This helps to avoid fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm, which grow on moist skin.
Apple cider vinegar helps against fungal infection. Mix the vinegar with water in equal quantities and apply to the affected area of the skin with cotton wool pads. Leave on for half an hour and then dry the area by patting with a clean towel.
Tea Tree Oil can also be applied. Mix it with aloe vera gel or olive oil in equal quantities and apply to the affected area.
Do not use imitation jewellery during monsoon, especially if you have sensitive skin.