High humidity during the Monsoons poses a problem, especially for those with oily or combination skins. Oily skins look even more oily and dull, due to sweat and oil secretions. Sweat on the skin also attracts dirt and pollutants from the atmosphere.
Deep pore cleansing with a facial scrub is essential, to keep the pores free of hardened oil. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Apply it on the face and rub gently on the skin, using a circular motion. Then, rinse off with plenty of plain water. Make a facial scrub at home by mixing rice flour or ground almonds with curd. Dry and powdered lemon or orange peels can be added to the scrub. For acne and sensitive skin, avoid scrubs.
During the rainy season, wash the face several times with plain water. Night time cleansing is a must, to remove the impurities that have collected on the skin during the day.
A flower based skin tonic or freshener is a boon in humid weather. Rose water is a natural toner. It can be mixed with cucumber juice for oily skin. Keep skin tonic or rose water in the fridge. Wipe the face with it, using cotton wool pads. It refreshed the skin and also tightens the pores.
In humid weather, the skin can be prone to blackheads and eruptions. Mix oatmeal with egg white and apply only on the blackhead prone areas twice a week. Wash it off when it is dry. Stubborn blackheads can be extracted at a skin-care clinic.
If there is rash, pimples or acne, wash the face with a medicated soap or cleanser twice a day, morning and night. Buy an astringent lotion and mix it with rose water in equal quantities. Wipe the face with it, using cotton wool, several times a day. Apply sandalwood paste on eruptions.
Oily products, like heavy nourishing creams, should not be used when the weather is humid. For dry skin, a light, liquid moisturizer should serve the purpose, both to keep the skin moisturized and as a base for make-up.
Carry moist tissues when you are out during the day. After wiping the face with wet tissue, use compact powder. It helps to refresh the skin and remove the oily look.
If your skin is very oily, mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply daily on the face. Wash off when it dries.
For a monsoon face mask, mix 3 teaspoons oatmeal with egg white and one teaspoon each of honey and curd. If you don’t want to use egg white, add rose water or orange juice. Apply it on the face and wash it off after half an hour. Use it twice a week. Dry and powdered lemon and orange peels can also be added to face packs.
During the monsoons the hair becomes limp soon after shampoo and loses its shine, body and bounce. The hair also tends to swell and becomes matted and rough. The salt in your sweat, along with environmental grime, makes the hair rough and robs it of lustre and body.
Shampoo the hair more frequently during the Monsoons, especially if the hair is oily. You can even wash the hair daily, provided you use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo and rinse your hair well with water, to get rid of all soapy residues. Even short, layered hairstyles require frequent shampoos to maintain body and style.
Avoid rich conditioners, unless you have very dry hair. Try herbal hair rinse, instead of a rich conditioner. You can also use conditioning agents from your kitchen shelf.
Tea and lemon rinses may be good during the monsoons. Boil used tea leaves again, in enough water. Cool the liquid and use as a rinse after your shampoo.
Lemon juice can be added to a mug of water and used as a last rinse. A lemon rinse helps to reduce oiliness and also maintains normal balances.
You can also apply the white of an egg before your shampoo, leaving it on for half and hour. This not only gives body to the hair, but is also a wonderful cleanser, cutting down on oiliness.
Keep your hair simply styled and away from the face. Try to keep the nape of the neck free of hair. It will make you feel and look cool. Matted hair, sticking to the skin on the back, is most unattractive.
During the monsoons, the body loses fluids through sweat. Remember to drink more fluids to keep the system flushed. Good internal health also reflects on the skin and hair. Drink plenty of water, “nimbu paani” and fresh fruit juices. Avoid heavy starchy meals. Include salads, fruits, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Substitute your hot cup of tea with iced tea, lemon juice and a dash of honey.
Beauty is not just a question of how you look, but how you feel and at no time is this more relevant than during hot, humid weather.