During summer, our skin tends to act up and you have clogged pores, oily skin and acne. With the sun beating down, it seems difficult to get your skin to behave. Here are some tips that will make your skin shimmer throughout this summer.
- The first and most important step is to keep your skin clean, always. Wash your face at least 3 – 4 times a day. If your skin is oily, use an alpha hydroxy acid [AHA]-based face wash. Washing your face regularly will get rid of excess oil and dust particles, thereby preventing any unwanted bacterial infections. Moreover, the splash of water will make you feel fresh. Body creases or folds like armpits are the breeding grounds for bacteria during this season. So, take a good shower twice a day.
- If you are worried about getting an unwanted tan this season, apply sunscreen. even when you are indoors. Repeat at least 3 – 4 times during the day as one-time application is not enough. Start before stepping out of the house and apply it at regular intervals till the sun sets. While buying a sunscreen lotion, pick a brand that you trust and is non-greasy. A sun protection factor [SPF] between15 – 30 is a safe choice. Look for tan protection, which is indicated by a ‘+’ or ‘*’. An ideal sunscreen lotion should have at least 2 – 3 ‘+’ or ‘*’ signs. If your skin is oily and the sunscreen lotion makes it look greasy, dab your face with a little face powder. This gives it a matt look.
- It’s important that you hydrate your skin whenever it feels dry, as heat dehydrates your skin. You can use a moisturiser, hydrating lotion or simply milk for this. Milk helps hydrate your skin without making it too greasy. If you have inflammation or red patches on your skin, use calamine or clay lotion after washing your face.
- Avoid chemical facial treatments. Also, go easy on facials and chemical peels, as they might remove the top layer of the skin, which acts as a protective cover. Instead, go for a mild kojic acid or AHA peel that brightens your skin without causing any damage. Even an oxygen-infusion treatment is a good option to try. Don’t forget your lips, keep them moisturised with the help of a lip balm. It’s the best time to flaunt your natural features, so keep the make-up minimal.
- Consume the right things. Drink lots of water; with excessive sweating, you need to replenish your water requirement. Cucumber is a natural diuretic that gets rid of salts, toxins and excess water, leaving you with healthier skin. Lemon juice is one of the best juices for healthy skin. It contains minerals that eliminate acid waste and purify your blood.You can get creative and mix fruits with vegetables to make a yummy healthy drink. A mix of spinach, carrot and apple is a perfect example. Vitamin E from spinach, vitamin A from carrots and oxidants from apple contribute to the goodness of this mix. Just avoid using too much sugar in your juices.
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that wipe out free radicals [they speed up the ageing process, wrinkles and loose skin]. The folic acid, sulphur and zinc content in natural foods maintain a regular blood flow to the skin, thus rejuvenating it.
Apart from these, it also helps to include foods rich in carotenoids and biotin. While carotenoids [found in carrots and tomatoes] protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, biotin [found in oats and nuts] facilitates the growth of skin tissue and improves the health of the skin. Evening primrose oil can also be used as it rejuvenates the skin and acts as an anti-ageing agent.
- Experiment with your apparel; summer is a great season to do this. The fabric for the season is linen, as it helps your skin breathe and absorb sweat. Choose light and fresh colours like lemon green, pink, yellow or the noble white. It is advisable to cover your body as much as possible.
Skincare made easy
It is important to choose your cleanser, toner and moisturiser as per your skin type.
Those with dry skin should use a cream cleanser, while those with oily skin should opt for a medicated cleanser with salicylic acid designed to reduce breakouts. Loosen dirt and clogged pores with the help of warm water and then apply the cleanser in a gentle circular motion or with gentle, upward strokes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Never use very hot or very cold water.
Toners remove any residual cleanser still left on your skin. They close the pores and stimulate circulation. Those with very dry skin should use an alcohol-free toner, also called a tonic. The toner is used with the help of a cotton ball, using gentle, upward strokes just like the cleanser.
If you have dry skin, use an oil/cream-based moisturiser. If you have sensitive skin avoid moisturisers containing AHAs, perfumes and use those developed specially for the skin type using hypoallergenic products. Those with oily skin should use a gel-based moisturiser. Using moisturisers with in-built sunscreen is also a good idea. Apply the moisturiser using gentle upward strokes. For the under-eye area, use special eye creams.
Another important step to your daily skincare routine is to use a sun block with SPF 15 or 30 depending on your daily activity.<?p>
— Rohini Wadhwani is a cosmetologist and medical director running a chain of skin clinics called Skin Essentials in Mumbai. She is an acknowledged global expert in laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation.