Indian summers come with a set of unique problems especially for our skin and hair. Greasy products used in winter do not give the same results in summer. Excessive sweating leads to smudged or runny makeup while the dry heat plays havoc on your hair, making it frizzy. Your feet and elbows need extra care so that that they continue to look soft and supple. The impact of the harsh dry weather can be damaging if proper steps to maintain your skin and hair are not taken. Dr Sirisha Singh of The Skin Center guides you on how to look your best this summer.
Follow your skincare routine:
The regular routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising should continue even during summer months. If the skin feels dry, toning may be avoided. The moisturiser used would have to be changed. A lighter moisturiser that is less occlusive may be more suitable for summers. If one has been prescribed regular medications, then this may be a time to visit the dermatologist to re-evaluate the skin. Exfoliating with a gentle exfoliant 2 times a week is also advisable. This will get rid of the dead skin layer and enable the products to penetrate better and will also impart a glow to the skin.
Pack the face:
Use cooling face packs regularly. My favourite is a pack made of sandalwood powder, gram flour and rose water. The fragrant sandalwood powder cools down the skin and can also reduce your tan. Instead of rosewater, you can use anything sour like yoghurt or a few drops of lemon. The sour ingredients are acidic and function as natural peel that reduce the tan. Ideally you should use a face pack twice a week.
Look after your feet:
Cracked heels, tanned feet, dirt under the toe nails, fungal infections and allergic skin rashes are problems commonly encountered during summer. Use a sunscreen on the exposed parts of your feet to prevent skin pigmentation. Dry out the area between the toes to prevent fungal infections. Moisturise the feet before wearing your shoes to form a barrier between the skin and shoes to prevent allergic skin reactions. Wear cotton socks as opposed to synthetic socks and regular pedicures will help you maintain your feet.
Face the eyes:
The skin around the eyes is the thinnest and is more prone to UV damage. It is of utmost importance to use a sunscreen in this tender part of the skin. UV protective goggles can give added protection and are highly recommended. At night, ensure that you remove the make-up thoroughly and massage a vitamin rich cream gently to soothe and hydrate the skin. It is also strongly recommended to use green tea bags in the eye area at night. Green tea bags which have been used can be stored in the refrigerator, when required they can be slightly soaked in water and then placed on the eyes as a pack at night. The anti-oxidants released are very effective in preventing pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles in this area. The cooling effect is also very relaxing and can help soothe tired eyes to get a good night’s rest.
Prevent hair woes:
The hair tends to get dry and frizzy in summers. Switch over to a milder shampoo and use a conditioner that is suitable for dry hair. One could also use a leave-on conditioner for more intense nourishment. Apply coconut or olive oil to hydrate the hair shaft. Avoid using styling products or hair-dryers and hair-straighteners as they further dry the hair shaft and can increase split ends. If one does need to use styling rods, it is better to air-dry the hair naturally and use a hair serum before using the styling rods.
Keep your lips soft and supple:
Lips tend to get dry and flaky during summers. In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, it is important to use a soothing lip balm regularly. Lip balms are also available with a built in SPF. These balms hydrate the lips and also prevent lip discolouration due to UV damage.