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ImageMonsoon is the time where your skin behaves a little strangely and is often unstable; it can suddenly get oily and then turn dry and dehydrated. Hence, it is necessary that you properly take care of your skin during this season in order to look your best through the rains.

High humidity can cause eruptive skin problems, and make you look very dull. More so, if your skin is oily. Sweat and oil secretions are deposited on the skin, making it look dull, and this attracts dirt and pollutants from the atmosphere more easily. This is the reason why eruptive conditions like rashes, spots and pimples are common during the monsoons. Additionally, during monsoons, one is prone to patchy hydration and poor cell cycle turnover.

During monsoons, we tend to ignore our skin. There is no visible Sun, hence sunscreen is not used; due to increased humidity we do not feel it necessary to moisturize our skin. However, skin care is critical in monsoons to maintain a healthy glowing complexion.

Summer is the season for growth - our skin cell turnover increases; this leads to piling up of dead layers of skin by the time monsoon begins. Also, the UV rays that harm the skin are invisible and do penetrate the clouds. And without right skin care, our skin starts looking dull and lifeless.

While monsoons spell pleasant weather and respite from the sultry summers, what would make this season ever better is an effective skin care regime that will keep you glowing.

Simple treatments can be used to replenish the skin glow, and keep the skin healthy

An ideal professional treatment should combine:

1.Anti-oxidants (e.g. Citric acid) – this takes care of the dullness, patchiness and imparts an even tone to the skin,

2.Gentle exfoliating milk peels (e.g. lactic acid peel) – this removes the dead and dull skin, and stimulates skin regeneration,

3.A hydrating, lightening mask to add up to the glowing skin

For optimal skin health, this treatment needs to be repeated once in 4-6 weeks, however if your lifestyle includes a lot of outdoor activities and travelling, it may be advisable to go for the above suggested treatment once in 3 weeks.

This treatment complemented with the right daily skin care would be the ideal recipe to keep your skin radiant and glowing even in this dull weather.

Daily Skin and Hair Care for Monsoon season
- Good and effective cleansing using a soap free cleanser is recommended. You could also use a gentle scrub (with uniform mild beads) once a day

- Cleansing should be followed by toning using an alcohol free toner, since increased humidity could open up your pores

- Use a sunscreen even on a cloudy day since the harmful UV radiations are capable of penetrating the clouds

- Use a light lotion-based moisturizer or serum with a lightening agent as well as lactic acid – this will gently rehydrate your skin and also brighten it up

- Avoid heavy makeup and use waterproof make up when necessary

- Remember to nourish your skin from the inside, too - eat salads blanched in boiling water to disinfect them , vegetable soup which will keep you warm and healthy and drink the usual 8-10 glasses of water. Your skin is always thirstier than you are!

Care of Feet
- Effective cleansing of feet is very important as they would be exposed to lot of grime and muck

- Do not forget to completely dry your feet so as to prevent fungal infections

- Avoid wearing boots as these would hold water for a longer duration, creating a soggy environment for your feet

- Effective cleansing of the insides of your nails using an orange stick dipped in hydrogen-peroxide would help prevent nail infections

- A home pedicure should be done once a week. This would consist of soaking feet in warm water to which you can add 3-4 drops of Savlon, for 15-20
minutes, followed by cleansing the inside of the nails with orange stick dipped in hydrogen peroxide and scrubbing the feet with foot scraper. Complete the pedicure by applying a light glycerine based moisturizer

- When you go for pedicure to a beautician, ensure that the instruments used are sterilized/ cleansed with disinfectants, or if possible use your personal instruments. Also instruct your aesthetician to avoid pushing the cuticles as toe nail fungal infections are very common in monsoons

- Good and effective cleansing using a volumising shampoo, twice or thrice a week as the hair tends to go limp in this season

- Post-shampoo use a volumising conditioner, once a week or as required

- If you need to blow dry your hair, apply a leave-on conditioner prior to it

- Avoid excess application of styling products, as this could make your hair very greasy due to increased humidity

- Do not tie-up wet hair

- Oiling once a week would help

- Food for hair – milk and milk products, nuts, soya products

(By Dr. Snehal Sriram – Head, Medical Services, Kaya Skin Clinic)