By Dr Renita Rajan
CHENNAI: The Indian weather is actually very skin friendly when we look at it from a point of skin ageing. The high humidity, especially in South India, actually keeps the skin’s moisture levels up and naturally restores the skin’s barrier. But what we see in practice is that this humidity can be a problem for those with congested, acne-prone skin, as the monsoon may increase breakouts. This is mostly from an increased sebum and sweat production in this season. Here are a few skincare tips to navigate this monsoon season.
Firstly, do not completely change your entire skincare routine in one go. How much ever you are tempted by all the skincare ads to do a total overhaul, changing all your products at one go this season, may do more harm than help.
Next, if you are observing more congestion on the skin, see if you can cut down on using moisturiser. With the high humidity, you can get away with lesser moisturiser, as the skin tends to become greasy anyway in this weather. You can either reduce the quantity of the product, you can skip one application, or can move the moisturiser step to the evening. Water-based aqueous moisturisers are the perfect choice for the monsoon season.
Use an exfoliator. Exfoliators are easily the next big thing in skincare, right below sunscreens. Regular exfoliation is a great idea to keep the skin decongested.
Sunscreen choices may have to be fine-tuned. If you have dry skin in general, you need to add a moisturising step ahead of your sunscreen, or you can move to a moisturising sunscreen. If you have oily acne-prone skin, use a zinc-based sunscreen, which can help with acne control.
You can consider a deep cleansing facewash or a pH-balanced cleansing bar for this season. Cleansing bars which are pH balanced are much liked by people, as they give a mild cleansing, with the traditional squeaky clean feel that most of us expect from a cleansing product.
Water intake becomes a lot lesser in this weather for obvious reasons, but it shouldn’t be so. 3 - 3.5 litres per day is always recommended for most individuals. If you are someone that engages in activities that involve a lot of sweating, you can consider adding more water input – we call such kinds of fluid losses as insensible water losses. And these must be replaced, even in monsoon climates.
Hygiene of intimate parts and areas like the feet is especially important in this weather. Let’s imagine a typical scenario where you went out wearing jeans and ended up getting drenched in the rain. The tight clothing and the long hours of soaking the skin, can together, produce skin irritation and maceration in areas like the groins. You can handle this by using any baby diaper rash cream to reduce skin irritation and discomfort. To prevent this, use loose-fitting clothes that keep your skin comfortable.
Considering that monsoons are a given where we live, knowing how to tweak our regular routine during these seasonal changes, goes a long way in keeping our skin happy.
— Dr Renita Rajan, chief consultant dermatologist, Render Skin and Hair.