Monsoon is here and so are the skin problems that this weather brings along with it. Our skin really suffers during the monsoon season. The humidity in the air is a pain for people of all skin types. If you have oily skin naturally, the humidity makes it more oily leading to acne. If you have dry skin, applying moisturisers on the skin might also result in acne. And, don’t even get us started on the hair problems that monsoon season brings with it in a package deal.
India Today spoke to two Delhi based dermatologists Dr Shehla Agarwala from Mehak Derma and Surgery clinic and Dr Vivek Mehta from Centre for advanced dermatology and laser estetica to get the answers of the most frequently asked skin questions during monsoon season. The doctors also gave us some tips on how to tackle the excess hair fall that occurs during monsoon.
HOW TO HELP YOUR SKIN DURING MONSOON
1. Skincare routine that should be followed during monsoon
Dr Vivek says that our regular skincare routine should be followed which should include cleansing, toning and moisturising. For oily skins, he suggests a water-based moisturiser. He emphasised on the necessity to exfoliate the skin in order to get rid of dead cells. And especially during the rainy season a water-resistant sunscreen SPF 30 and hydration is must. It is not just your pretty face that you need to worry about during this weather. You need to take care of the skin on our feet too. Washing your feet with soap and water if you’ve been exposed to puddles or rainwater is a must.
Dr Shehla too had some interesting points to add in our routine while taking care of our skin. She says if you have oily skin, wash your face. The right thing to do is to wash frequently with Salicylic acid-based face wash. In cases of dry skin, sometimes over cleaning, being in the air condition all the time, hypothyroid patients and not drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water can lead to dry skin even in a damp environment. Use a mild face wash and apply an oil-free moisturiser to free skin of dryness.
2. Food that should be eaten to maintain healthy skin
Dr Vivek says humidity in the monsoon months can lead to eruptive skin problems like spots, pimples and rashes. Dehydration can lead to uneven skin tone. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property and can be used for acne, pigmentation. Cumin can be added for detoxifying properties. Bitter guard is a rich source of Vitamin C and can be added for glow and improvement in skin tone. Green tea is a good antioxidant which can neutralise free radicals and give a glow on the skin. Avoid dairy products to aggravate acne in monsoon season. Banana is ideal fruit to be consumed in monsoon season as it contains several vitamins and minerals which can provide healthy skin.
3. Food that should be absolutely avoided during monsoon.
According to Dr Vivek, root plants and green leafy vegetables should be avoided during monsoon because when these vegetables are plucked from their roots, the wet mud and dirt get tagged along too and if not washed properly they can cause allergies and infections. Avoid eating watermelon and muskmelon in monsoon as these fruits are high in water content and cause water retention in the body. Avoid gorging on too many mangoes as it may cause pimples.
4. Any special thing to avoid acne during monsoon.
Dr Shehla has some interesting points to keep the acne at bay this season. She suggests the best way to do it is by keeping the skin dry. Because of humidity a film of oil forms on the skin which in itself is an irritant that leads to itching, always dry thoroughly especially after coming from kitchen or work. Dab dry, never rub with the towel. She also asks people to use a lot of talcum powder. She insists that talcum powder should be used with deodorants instead of antiperspirants.
She also talks about the importance of face wash. She says pimples can appear and aggravate due to increasing oil production and its infection. Wash face 2 – 3 times per day to remove excess oil with mild soap or face wash. Do not use medicated soaps. Do not touch hands repeatedly, use tissue paper to wipe sweat. Another very important point that the doctor told us about dealing with acne is to ice compress. Applying ice directly on face, back and chest prevent prickly heat which is due to obstruction of sweat glands.
Dr Vivek too gave a few important pointers to avoid acne, use a waterbased moisturiser, toner and salicylic acid-based face wash to prevent acne during monsoon season. If there are blackheads use a scrub on blackhead prone areas. One can use a mud face pack to absorb excess oil on the face. Lastly, don’t forget to drink a lot of water and use non-comedogenic sunscreen and makeup. Avoid dairy and high glycemic diet.
5. Natural remedies for the skin
Dr Shehla says for oily skin, a multani mitti face pack should be used once a week as it absorbs oil. For normal skin, juice of freshly grated cucumber should be applied on the face to give the skin a natural shine. And lastly, drink lots of water.
Dr Vivek says the monsoon spells high humidity levels and that can definitely lead to nightmares, especially for those who suffer from intensively oily and acne-prone skin.
Keep the skin oil-free and squeaky-clean with this antiseptic tonic – Mix a cup of fuller’s earth with enough rose water to make a smooth paste and 1 tsp of powdered camphor. Keep this paste in the fridge in an air-tight jar and use a teaspoon of this mixture on the face several times a day. This will reduce oiliness and give your skin a clean feel.
He adds pomegranate seeds are loaded with anti-aging compounds like antioxidants and Vitamin C that help nourish dry skin. Blend two tablespoons of pomegranate seeds and one cup of raw oatmeal. Pour in a bowl and add two tablespoons of honey and buttermilk. Apply on your face for a few minutes, then rinse. It helps remove dead skin cells and rejuvenates the skin.
Another natural remedy that Dr Vivek told us about was to take two tablespoons of besan or chana ka atta. To this add half a teaspoon organic turmeric powder or haldi. Now add one tablespoon of curd to this and mix well. Apply this paste on your face and neck. Leave it on for around 10-12 minutes. Then spray rose water and gently wash off
HOW TO HELP YOUR HAIR DURING MONSOON
Special treatment for hair during monsoon
Dr Shehla says hair fall is a phenomenon which we experience to some degree daily but excess in some conditions such as the monsoon season. She adds that there is no need to be alarmed and following the normal hair growth cycle, the hair roots will be renewed by October. She adds, what an individual can do to reduce unnecessary hair loss in this season is to keep the hair clean so that an infection like dandruff do not add to the problem. People are afraid to shampoo their hair with the fear that they will lose more hair.
But shampooing is essential to avoid oily and greasy hair. When hair is washed they absorb water and become heavy and the hair that had to fall leave the scalp thus shampooing is not leading to a real increase in hair fall.
Dr Vivek Mehta adds, drink plenty of water. Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle hair. Wear a hat or scarf to protect from humidity, sun rays, dirty water. Wash hair regularly with water and shampoo on alternate days. Use an antifungal shampoo 2-3 times a week to treat dandruff. Coconut oil can be used before shampooing to condition the hair. Do not tie your hair when they are wet.