We get it. Summers – particularly, Indian summers – are hard. The sun is unforgiving, the most fashionable wisps of satin and sheen are soaked through, and the skin is furnace-like to the touch. What of monsoons, then? A relief, obviously, you concur: the rains arrive in droves of black noise, the skies leak respite, and dinner tables creak under the weight of momo-pakoda-chais.
But, if you thought your skin got equal respite during the monsoon – after the more overt torment of summer – it doesn’t. Humidity rises during this season, and if we aren’t vigilant, can damage our skin simultaneously. That humidity can lead to excess sebum production in the skin cells, and clog our pores; being out and about in humid weather can also lead to dirt, grease, and impurities sticking to our skin like adhesive, while sweating can cause itchiness and irritation in areas that pool sweat the most, such as in the nooks of our elbows and knees, our torso, armpits, and breasts.
But fret not – because there is a lot you can do, still. For instance,
(1) Don’t Stop Sunscreen-ing: This is a must. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you can’t actively see the sun behind that clumpy mass of grey in the sky, that it isn’t there. UV rays can continue to penetrate and have the same deleterious effects on your skin, over time. Therefore, apply adequate amounts of SPF protection before you leave the house – because we know it’s easy to forget!
(2) Don’t Stop CTM-ing: We get it: you love the rain washing over your face – the pitter-patter, the soundtrack to your love story, to your thousand illusory yarns. That’s the best part of monsoon! But in all that frolic, remember to wash up even after you’ve been washed by mother nature. Outdoor pollution in the cities, the miserable moisture in the air before and after a rain spell, and the bacteria and chemicals that rainwater can carry over time can cause our skin to absorb numerous impurities. Be sure to use a soap-free cleanser on your face, a gentle toner right after – and a light, airy moisturizer, to protect your skin like a shield. If you’re wearing makeup, go light (aka, replacing your heavy foundations and concealers with a lighter cream) and follow the same process when you’re back home.
(3) Don’t Forget the Areas You Can’t See: Like, the skin under the breasts, the underarms, the crannies of the neck and elbows, et al. What we mean is – wash thoroughly. Make sure to take a good shower after a humid day out, or a sweaty gym session so that you don’t get itchy rashes and fungal infections in these areas, causing you a world of discomfort. Then, dry yourself immediately after. As with makeup, light and airy is probably your best bet in clothes – with cotton and linen fitting the bill.
And, of course, it goes without saying – what’s inside is probably best reflected outside. So, in order to retain your usual glow through the monsoon months, indulge in that occasional plate of cutlet-momo-fried joy by all means…but remember, also, to partake of healthy, nutritious, whole food as often as possible. That will retain antioxidants and keep you looking fresh, even as you bask in the crisp August air!