The writer offers tips to deal with the problems caused by the rising temperature.

Ideally summer should be a time to relax and have fun. But the heat and humidity bring with them a host of problems. That doesn’t mean you have to stay hidden indoors. Follow these simple steps and make the most of this season.

Protect skin: Some amount of exposure to the sun is beneficial for the skin and essential for production of vitamin D. But prolonged exposure to solar UV radiation can be dangerous. If you are going to be out in the sun for a long time, use a sunscreen. Choose one that meets your requirements. For Indian skin, one that has around SPF 30 (SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor) is best. Apply the sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before stepping out and ensure you use it everyday, even indoors

The CTM ritual: Don’t forget to cleanse, tone and moisturise. To keep your skin acne-free, use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. Use a moisturiser enriched with aloe vera, almond oil and rose extracts to nourish the skin.

Exfoliate: This is a must to avoid dull skin! Exfoliants remove dead skin cells, toxins and other deposits and allow new skin cells to surface. Scrub your elbows and knees at least twice a week to get rid of dead tissues. Sprinkle sugar on a slice of lemon and rub over elbows and knees every alternate day to remove tan.

Mane matters: The heat tends to dry the hair so avoid any chemical products. Instead massage hair with a mixture of coconut, castor and olive oil regularly. Whisk two egg yolks with one tablespoon of mayonnaise and apply to the bottom 2/3rds of your hair. Wash off after 15 minutes. Use a gentle shampoo and a deep conditioner to replenish the loss of moisture.

Happy Feet: Wearing open footwear in the summer keeps your feet dry and gives them a chance to ‘breathe’. Use sunscreen during the day and apply a light moisturiser in the evening. Use powder to soak up excessive moisture that can breed fungi and bacteria. Get a pedicure once a week. Keep toe nails trimmed to avoid dirt and dust from accumulating under them.

Eat smart: Drink lots of water to hydrate your skin. Include fruits and vegetables like bitter gourd, spinach, cucumber, watermelon, orange, cherry, plum and lychee to your diet. These are highly nutritious with an abundant supply of fibre, vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.

Keep fit: Don’t let the temperature derail your fitness routine. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as they cause dehydration. Work out during the cooler parts of the day; early mornings and late evenings are best. Also, split your workout to avoid over exertion.

Style factor: Wear light-coloured clothes made of cotton or khadi. These are very light and keep you cool as they absorb sweat. Wear long sleeves to keep the sun off your skin. Put up your hair and keep accessories basic for a chic look.

The writer is the Head, Medical Services, Kaya Skin Clinic.