Whether it is dry and windy outside, or scorching and sweaty, skin is the largest organ that comes in direct contact with the environment. It, thus, deserves special attention, not only seasonal, but also while we transition between seasons.
Dr Smriti Naswa Singh, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetic Dermatologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, Mumbai suggests top tips for maintaining a healthy skin and hair care routine during this transition period:
Skincare when under the sun:
Sunscreens are a must in all seasons, 365 days a year especially in a country like India. The SPF and the UVA protection factor has to go up when we are transitioning towards summers. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and repeated every three hours if you remain outdoors. Sunscreen does not substitute, but only complements the physical sun protection by umbrellas, goggles and scarves.
Moisturizers are the food for our skin. Moisturized skin looks and feels good, whereas dry skin is dull, lusterless and invites the chances of contracting Eczema, cracked feet, chapped lips, and other dry skin-related problems. While intensive moisturizing is the key to sail through winters, summer needs a transition from thick moisturizing cream to water based moisturizing lotions, which are lightweight. Serums are a good idea for the face.
Excessive sweating, heat, thick creams and make-up clog-up pores and increase the pent up secretions of the oil glands, making pimples pop. Oil control face washes containing Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid can help, however the usage of these face washes should be followed-up with non-comedogenic moisturizers.
Scrub it out:
Exfoliation once or twice a week is a good idea to open-up the pores. Homemade scrubs, professionally administered microdermabrasion, or peels, all help in achieving the same. Contrary to popular belief, scrubs should not be used on active acne, even microdermabrasion or polishing should be refrained from.
Salicylic Acid based chemical peels though help treat active acne. Exfoliating skin cleansers are a better idea than harsh scrubs. All this must be followed by moisturizing.
From the mousse-based and cake-based thick makeups, shift to lotion based make ups which can be removed with water. In summers, it is even more essential to remove make-up before hitting the bed, as summer temperatures lead to enlarged pores – these pores get clogged-up with make-up, resulting in pimples, black heads and white heads. Carrying wet wipes while out of home is a good idea in summers.
While dandruff is rather a rule in winters, summer comes with sweat. Hair needs to be washed often to control the sweating of the scalp, hair should also be adequately conditioned to prevent the frizz and damage due to repeated shampooing.
Wear dry, loose (well fitted, but breathable), cotton clothing; change your clothing including undergarments 2-3 times a day. Apply dusting powder on sweat prone areas (underarms, groin, etc.) to prevent bacterial infections, fungal infections and body odor.
Food, water and exercise:
Increasing fluid intake during the summers is of utmost importance. You can consume coconut water at 11 am, Buttermilk post lunch and fresh lime juice at 5 pm to keep electrolyte levels maintained, besides 2 litres of water.
Summer fruits like melons are inherently water-rich, they should be consumed on an empty stomach either first thing in the morning or in between the main meals (never with the meals). Raw or steamed vegetables in salad form before cooked meal, help provide all the requisite antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals one’s body needs.
To exercise and remain active is also important; these do not need any transition but a continuity in all seasons. Keep yourself hydrated, apply your sunscreen, wear a smile, and welcome the heat!