Edit & Opinion

Monsoon Showers: Take extra care of skin, hair

By Shahnaz Husain

Magical Monsoon is here again to provide respite from the hot and sweaty summer. The barren lands shall spring to life with lush green fields and rolling green hills across the country. Hope the rain Gods blesses us with a good rainy season this year and helps us overcome the pandemic blues and fear.

Remember, raindrops make your skin dull and cause skin allergies– hyper pigmentation, facial folliculitis, dull, frizzy hair – as the sudden downpour takes a toll due to bacterial and fungal infection. Your skin particularly needs extra care in the rainy season as humidity level escalates triggering excessive oil secretion in the body leading to itching, which may further trigger skin and hair related issues.

As mentioned, your skin is more susceptible to infections during monsoon due to excessive sweating, dehydration, photo-toxic effects of the sun and, of course, seasonal humidity. Prickly heat is one of the most common skin issues. If you suddenly notice skin allergies and skin infections on your face due to heat, humidity and rain don’t worry. A few simple tricks will help to keep your skin glowing and hair managed this monsoon.

In case of a skin infection, use an anti-fungal powder to avoid any further infection. Always keep your skin dry. Don’t wear wet clothes. Also, wet shoes should be changed instantly. These small precautions will go a long way in having a healthy and infection-free skin.

Beauty is not just a question of how you look, but how you feel, and at no time is this more relevant than during the monsoon. The rainy season isn’t such a great time for looking or feeling good. Both skin and hair suffer as sweat and oil deposits make them really dull. So, I always adjust my skin and hair care routine according to the season.

A flower based skin tonic is ideal. In fact, I just can’t do without a rose-based skin tonic during hot and humid weather. I keep a small bowl of rose skin tonic in the fridge, with cotton wool pads soaking in it. This way it is chilled and ready for use. One can do this with rose water too, a powerful natural skin toner. I wipe the skin with it several times a day. Rose is a natural coolant and most refreshing. The chilled toner also closes and refines the pores.

I also use cotton wool pads soaked in the skin tonic as eye pads. It is most relaxing and removes fatigue. Splashing the eyes with cold water also provides great relief. Sometimes, eye fatigue leads to puffiness. For this, I first wash the eyes with cold water and then with lukewarm water and repeat this alternate cold and warm water washing a few times. Sometimes, I soak tea bags in water and then apply them over the eyelids as eye pads. Tea helps to relieve puffiness.

For a monsoon face mask, mix 3 teaspoons oats with egg white and one teaspoon each of honey and curd. If you don’t want to use egg white, add rose water or orange juice. Apply it on the face and wash it off after half an hour. Use it twice a week. Almond meal or dry and powdered lemon and orange peels can also be added to the face pack.

Or, you can go for a fruit mask. These are most refreshing during hot and humid weather. You can also add cucumber pulp to the fruit mask, as it has an astringent effect and closes the pores. Ripe papaya pulp can be mixed with grated apple, water melon, pineapple and so on. Papaya and cucumber also help to remove tan. Mango can be most nourishing for dry skin. Apply the mask on the face and wash it off with plain water after half an hour.

During the monsoon, wash your hair more often. Tea and lemon juice make a wonderful hair rinse, adding shine to it. Just boil used tea leaves again, in enough water. Cool, strain, add lemon juice. Use it as a last rinse after shampoo. The juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water can also be added to a mug of water to make a fragrant last rinse.

You can prevent your hair from becoming dull and frizzy by applying a mixture of Apple cider vinegar and water. Mix a tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar mixed with half a cup of water to calm your tresses. Use a gentle shampoo to wash your hair and avoid using chemicals. We witness more hair fall during monsoons than the rest of the season mainly due to bacterial and fungal infection.  The best way to avoid Facial Folliculitis is to avoid perspiration and to keep hair dry as much as possible. This can be achieved by taking regular and more frequent baths.

We should be careful while using public toilets because there is a possibility of presence of infectious agents. Consume at least 10-12 glasses of water as you can and also apply plenty moisturizers to keep skin hydrated. A skin moisturizer is a must irrespective of your skin type. Sometimes, I apply the white of several eggs before my shampoo, leaving it on for half an hour. This not only gives body to the hair, but is also a wonderful cleanser.

Soaking feet in warm or cold water can be most relaxing and also reviving. I add a tablespoon of coarse salt and half a cup of lemon juice to about one-fourth bucket of warm water. Sometimes, I add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water. It keeps the feet free from skin problems. I soak my feet in this for half an hour. A cooling foot bath is also a great reviver during hot and humid weather. Add rose water, lemon juice and a splash of eau de cologne in cold water and soak feet in it to cool, clean and adds fragrance.

Maintain regular proper hygiene and keep skin fold area dry by using anti-fungal powder to absorb the sweat. Avoid sharing of clothes or towels. Wearing tight synthetic clothes will not allow the skin to breathe or the sweat to evaporate and hence it is advised to wear open footwear like chappals of breathable material, cotton socks and light loose cotton/khadi clothes.

Nails become discoloured, brittle and dull due to fungal infections during this season.  Do trim your nails regularly during the rainy season as long nails attract muck, thereby leading to fungal infection.

During the monsoons, the body loses fluids through sweat. I take lots of “nimbu paani” and fresh fruit juices. And I turn to home remedies for small ailments. For sore throat and cough, I find ginger tea most soothing with added tender tulsi leaves to it, when water is boiling. Take care and enjoy the season with your loved one.

The author is Renowned Beauty Expert

 

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