Monsoon: Skin Care

Take care of your skin to keep it glowing through the rainy season

In rain with umbrellaAt the first nip of cool monsoon air, most of us tend to relax our rigid skin care regime. While summer can certainly be harsh on the skin and the hair, the monsoons bring their own share of skin problems.

Here's your complete guide to skin care to keep you glowing through the rainy season.

Sun-screen for all seasons. You may tend to think that just because there is very little sunlight during a particularly active monsoon, you can avoid slathering on the sun-screen! This can spell danger for effective skin care. Though it may not be a particularly bright, or hot, day, the ultra-violet rays of the sun do play havoc with the exposed parts of our body. Prolonged sun exposure can even put you at risk of skin cancer. It is, therefore, important to make sun-screen an essential part of any skin care routine - come summer or monsoon!

Gentle cleansing for high humidity. The prevalence of high humidity during the monsoon months can cause sweat to run in rivulets over your body. This can create a build-up of dust, dirt, grime and other toxins on the surface of your skin. During these months, you'll need to adopt a gentle cleansing routine, especially if you are constantly exposed to wind and rain. Use a natural face scrub such as gram powder [avoid harsh soaps and astringents that further dry out the skin] and pat dry with a towel. Apply a skin toner and lotion immediately to dry areas, and repeat this cleansing-moisturising routine at night before bed-time.

Keep yourself hydrated. You may not feel as thirsty as you did during summer, but you'll still need to keep your skin hydrated from the inside. Monsoons are a perfect time to down those herbal teas and nourishing soups. Down your usual 10-12 glasses of fresh water a day. This is a pre-requisite for glowing skin.

Prevent fungal infection. Fungal infections are rampant during monsoon, due to friction of skin against damp clothing. Ensure that all laundered clothes dry out fully before you iron and wear them. Dust your feet and underwear with anti-fungal powder at the first sign of discomfort. Despite this, if you experience excessive itchiness, swelling or irritation, make an immediate appointment with your physician/therapist.

Be wary of skin-allergy triggers. The rains are an ideal time to offset skin allergies. Keep your home free of dust and avoid spraying air-fresheners or chemical aerosols. Be aware of various allergic triggers - for instance, if the mosquito menace rears its ugly head due to stagnant water outside, you might be tempted to go overboard with mosquito coils, but these too can trigger outbreaks such as rashes and allergies. Ensure that the mosquito coils are in place hours before bed-time so that you can remove them when you retire and be free of its fumes as well as get rid of mosquitoes before you sleep!

Monitoring air-circulation. You'll need to ensure that the air in your home doesn't become excessively dry - a necessary precaution for your skin, especially if you live in a hill station, or cold environ. Make sure you've central heating. Hang humidifying reservoirs from central heating radiators in winter, or monitor your heating system by not allowing it to run continuously - day and night.

5 Great Tips

  1. Washed out by the common cold? Frequent colds can leave your skin looking dull and lifeless during monsoon. An effective home remedy to combat this would be to boil some eucalyptus leaves in a large container or bucket of water. Wait till the essential oils from the leaves seep into the water and turn fragrant and green. Mix this with your bathwater. This fragrant mix will not only prevent colds but is also good for your skin — giving it a natural freshness and appeal.
  2. Anti-allergic face rinse. If you suffer from boils and allergic rashes this season, rinse your face in rice whey — the water that raw rice has been washed and boiled in. This liquid is said to have certain medicinal properties, including essential minerals that can cure bacterial infections clogging the skin.
  3. Powerful monsoon face-pack. Mix one teaspoon of gram powder with a pinch of turmeric powder. Add quarter teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime and mix this with fresh cream and honey. This face pack is good for all skin types. Honey adds a healthy glow to skin, fresh cream acts as a moisturiser, while lime and turmeric act as lightening agents, giving you that fresh, cleansed look that is appealing. Gram powder acts as an anti-bacterial agent that can remove the dirt from clogged pores, making the skin soft and supple.
  4. Degrease oily skin. To help degrease oily skin, a condition that is worsened by dust, grime and acute humidity, rinse your face with a combination of rosewater, lemon and orange peel. This acts as a natural face scrub with gentle abrasives that slough away dead cells from the surface of your skin.
  5. Natural de-tan and face cleanser. If you find yourself getting tanned [monsoon too can have that darkening effect on the skin, since people don't bother with sun-screen during the season], a thin application of egg-white as a face mask will remove the tan and dark pigments. This will tone and firm-up the skin as well. Rinse with a mix of gram powder and yoghurt which acts as a face scrub-cum-natural moisturiser. You can also apply crushed cucumber and potato juice to the face, under a piece of gauze or muslin cloth. This allows the skin to soak in the moisture and natural goodness. Both potato and cucumber juice are natural bleaches. They have it in them to curb and soothe outbreaks of pimples and other skin disorders.

Monsoon Make-up Tips

  • Foundation. It is better not to use foundation during monsoon unless you want to get caught in a messy position. Instead use face powder
  • Powder. Use powder only sparingly just so much that is necessary to remove the grease off your face and nose
  • Mascara. While using mascaras and eyeliners select water-resistant types; do not use kajal during monsoon
  • Eye shadow. Since creams can melt off the face, stick to powder formulas. Think sheer and pastel. Shades of brown, pink and beige are just right for easy maintenance in the rains
  • Blush. Apply blush lightly - it looks prettiest when you can't tell that you're wearing it. Cream blushers are yum and they are water-friendly too! If your face gets wet, all you do is dab it with a tissue and your blush stays put. Blending is the key word. So, be sure to blend the blush outwards so that it does not look like a blob of colour on the cheek. Shades of peaches and browns are a must
  • Eyebrows. Keep up with your tweezing/threading, but forget the eyebrow pencil for the time being. Instead, put a little hair gel onto a brow brush to keep brows looking shapely
  • Lips. Use the long lasting colour-stay/non-transfer variety of lipsticks. Avoid the creamy, glossy ones and opt for powder matte tones or creme matte tints.

- Team CW

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Kamala Thiagarajan
Kamala Thiagarajan is a Madurai-based journalist. Her writing interests encompass a host of genres including travel, health, entertainment and lifestyle. She is a full-time freelance journalist who works from her home in Madurai, South India. With ten years of experience in journalism, she has over four hundred articles in print in leading magazines across the globe. Her writing spans a variety of travel, health, entertainment and lifestyle features read by a diverse audience in over seven count

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