5 ways to beat the monsoon blues


Remember to take care of not just your face, but your entire body from head to toe

Prep your skin

Take a step back and let your skin cells heal from sun burn and inflammation that sometimes sets in when you’re overexposed to 45-degree heat. “To reverse the damage, use a soothing and calming day cream and follow it up with a mild night cream with berry extract, for 10 days continuously,” advises Dr Rashmi Shetty, Mumbai-based dermatologist. Apply liberally on your face, neck, and collar-bone area.

After months of heat, the monsoon season may come as a relief, but humidity and damp weather also take a toll on the skin. Once the rains begin, Dr Shetty advises the use of a face wash which has AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) that helps remove excess oil and stubborn grime from clogged pores.

Use your sunscreen, as UV-ray damage does not stop when you’re inside a building, with overcast clouds. Shetty recommends a silicon-based formula with an SPF of a minimum of 15 to 20. You could also replace your regular soap (which strips the skin of its natural oils) with Ayurveda powders such as Nimbadi choornam, Sidharthaka choornam and Mulgadi choornam which help calm the skin, advises Dr Perumbuduri Naresh, Senior Ayurvedic Physician, Ananda in the Himalayas.

Watch what you eat

The after-effects of binge eating (and we do some on vacation) reflect on the skin in the form of breakouts, says Dr Shetty. The weather elements are also at fault. Because of the dampness, appetites sometimes shrink. Small changes to your diet help adapt to the season. “Include appropriate quantities of ginger in your diet to help in easy digestion,” advises Dr Naresh. Load up on light vegetables such as pumpkin, zucchini, and squash and foods like moong dal, khichree, and oatmeal, which are great for the stomach, he adds.

“Keep away from spicy and salty foods such as pickles, chutneys, chillies and curries, as well as deep-fried foods, as they lead to indigestion, hyperacidity and bloating,” adds Dr Naresh. All this can reflect on your skin. Make sure you stay hydrated, says Shetty. Dr Naresh recommends switching to drinking water at room temperature, rather than chilled water from the fridge. He also recommends adding soups to your diet.

Change up your routine

Your immunity is at its lowest during the rainy season and making specific lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. For instance, avoid entering an air-conditioned room with wet hair and damp clothes and change into dry clothes as soon as possible. It’s imperative to keep your body temperature warm, as viruses attack immediately when the body temperature goes down, explains Dr Naresh.

Rain or shine, do not forget to moisturise, “just switch to a lighter, oil-free moisturiser this season,” advises Dr Shetty. Do you enjoy a post-lunch nap? It’s best to give your daytime siesta a break, as it can disrupt digestion and even slow down your metabolism, says Dr Naresh.

Wash your locks

As tempted as you can be to take a rain shower just like the movies, don’t. The high pollution levels, chemicals in the air, along with vehicular emissions, have made rain toxic and acidic. The chemicals in rain water cause severe damage to hair cuticles, making them appear limp, rough and dull. “To curb the damage, if you have gotten drenched, immediately wash off rain water and dry your hair properly,” says Dr Shetty. Also, ensure that your hair is dry before you tie it up. Since frequency of hair washing increases in the monsoon, use a milder shampoo.

Keep dry

Dampness can cause fungal infections, so change out of wet clothes and shoes right away. If you feel that you’re sweating excessively try an anti-fungal talcum powder. Consult a dermatologist if you suffer from extreme body odour. “Beware of over-the-counter creams with steroids which can cause serious damage,” warns Dr Shetty. Stick to wearing fabrics that dry easier, such as cotton and linen. You can also keep an extra set of clothes at work in case you get drenched. To avoid infections, you can keep separate pairs of shoes for transport and work.

The rain is a breeding ground for mosquitoes in puddles and sewers. If you’re spending the day outdoors, apply lemongrass-infused creams to keep mosquitoes away from your hands and feet, or grow citronella and lemongrass plants at home, which also repel mosquitoes.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:25:27 PM |

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