As the scorching heat of the summer gives way to monsoon, it is time to make room in our everyday routines for steaming cups of chai and wistful staring out-of-the-window playlists. However, as humidity soars to new levels, you might find that your skin is commanding your attention as well with clogged pores and unexplained breakouts. To help you stay ahead of the curve, we asked the experts to help us devise an all-purpose skincare bible to get you through the rains safely. Listen closely and take notes:
What Does The Monsoon Do To Your Skin?
“The skin likes consistency, so any changes in the weather can act as a shock to the system,” says Dr Shibani Bhatia of Kaya Skin Clinic, Malad. “Due to increased humidity, the water from the upper layer of the skin is not able to evaporate and this leads to excess oil production from the sebaceous gland, making the skin feel greasy during the rains,” adds the Mumbai-based skin expert.
The notion is seconded by Innisfree’s resident beauty expert, Zoya Ali. “Due to high humidity in the environment, this results in more sebum secretion and more sweat secretion, making the skin prone to bacterial infection that causes congested skin, acne, oiliness and a damaged skin barrier resulting in sensitivity, itchiness and excessive sebum production to the extent of dehydrating the skin,” she says.
How To Change Your Skincare Routine From Summer To Monsoon
While skincare routines should change with the seasons, the core steps remain the same, believes Rajat Mathur, manager of education for Kiehl’s India. He explains, “Gel-based moisturizers are a saviour during monsoon as they are light on the skin, providing strength to the natural moisture barrier without generating oil. Skincare products that provide dual benefits should also be preferred, such as sunscreens with a CC cream, so that minimal coverage can help get the no-make-up look while protecting skin from the sun. Toners that provide benefits of exfoliation would be a great addition to your skincare kit, as climate change and harsh exfoliating ingredients usually lead to drier skin.”
Creamy textures are a definite no-no for the humidity-laden season, confirms Dr Bhatia. “Since the skin is generally oily during the rains, you’ll want to switch your cream-based cleanser to a gel or foamy one. For double cleansing, a micellar water solution can be used at night for getting rid of the excessive build-up of moisture on the skin. If you feel your skin getting dehydrated, it might be time to start using a hyaluronic acid serum after cleansing your face,” she advises.
The Ideal Skincare Routine For Monsoon
While different skin types require varied types of care during the rains, it helps to master the basics. Ahead, Mathur shares the staples of a good skincare routine for the monsoon:
- Start building your routine by using cleansers with calming ingredients, like calendula and glycerine that can gently cleanse away dirt, oil and other impurities, followed by a toner that soothes the skin.
- Reap the benefits of layering serums by applying them in the order of thinnest to thickest. This rule is especially beneficial when it comes to using two or more similar types of products, as it allows the skin to absorb each formula and receive its full benefits.
- Next on the to-do list is eye cream, it is important to take care of our eye area as we let go of sunglasses. In case of dark circles, a Vitamin C-based eye cream will help hydrate the area.
- Moisturising the skin to replenish any dryness is integral, so look to ingredients like glycerin and squalane for instant and lasting hydration.
- During the day, top it off with sunscreen as the skin needs protection from the sun all year long. On days you are feeling indulgent, a mask will pamper and provide the skin with extra moisturisation to keep dry and flaky skin at bay.
Dos And Don’ts For Skincare During Monsoon
If you are looking to make it through the season with minimal skincare problems, Ali shares a handy list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Drink an adequate amount of water. Due to the high humidity levels during the monsoon, your body produces an additional amount of sweat that can make your skin look dull and dehydrated. Keeping yourself hydrated will also flush out toxins that cause acne and pimples.
- Apply lightweight moisturisers. No matter what your skin type is and the weather, keeping skin hydrated all the time is important to avoid moisture loss which causes more oil and dullness.
- Exfoliate once a week, since bacteria is able to penetrate your skin with greater intensity during monsoon. Reach for a gentle formula like AHA and BHA once a week to buff away dead skin cells and unclog skin pores, so skincare products can be absorbed better.
- Don’t skip sunscreen. Many believe that it is unnecessary to wear sunscreen when it’s cloudy or raining, however that’s not true. The sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate through clouds and harm your skin even when you are indoors. If your skin has been feeling oily, it helps to switch to a matte or gel-based sunscreen.
- Don’t over-exfoliate the skin. Exfoliating more than twice a week with potent and concentrated ingredients can cause breakouts and create tiny cracks in the skin barrier, leading to dryness and inflammation.
- Avoid using harsh oil-controlling products which strip away the skin’s natural moisture and lead to damaged and dehydrated skin, making it look pale and dull.