Braving The Rains, Beautifully

The monsoons have finally arrived, bringing relief from the scorching heat of summer. However, the humidity and dampness in the air can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Nivedita Jayaram Pawar gets you expert-backed solutions for a glowing you through the rainy season.

The first showers of monsoon are always a welcome relief after the scorching heat of summer. But along with the heat relief, the rains also bring with it a host of skin and hair challenges—pimples, blackheads acne, fungal infections, skin allergies, dandruff, itchy scalp, frizzy hair, the list is endless! Here are a few easy tips on how to beat the rains and sweltering humidity for adewy, fresh look.

Skinny Facts
The change in weather also means it is time to change your skincare regime. Monsoons can cause your skin to behave unpredictably—extremely oily or at times dehydrated and stretched. It is important to adopt an appropriate skin care ritual to keep your skin feeling loved and supple.

“Cleansing, toning and moisturising should be your facial ritual during the day. Use an alcohol-free toner to prevent dryness of the skin,” suggests Disha Meher, National Expert, Skin and Nails, Lakmé Salon. With no sun in sight during the rains, there is a tendency to shove the sunscreen to the back of the cosmetic shelf. However, a skin rule to remember is as long as there is daylight, our skin needs protection from UVA and UVB rays. So, come rain or shine, a sunscreen lotion with a minimum SPF 30 must be an essential part of any skincare routine. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you step out and re-apply every three to four hours.

The skin tends to look dull during the monsoons. Using a facial scrub two to three times a week will help remove the dead cells and brighten the skin. Beauty and skin expert Shahnaz Husain suggests applying a mixture of rice powder, yoghurt and a pinch of turmeric on the face. Rub gently with small circular movements and wash off with plenty of water. “Keep rose water in a bowl in the fridge with cotton wool pads soaking in it. Apply this on the face several times a day. It helps to refresh the skin and add a glow.”

Fruit packs are ideal during this season. Mix together fruits like watermelon, mango, banana, apricot and apply on the face. Wash off after half an hour.
Oats, wheat bran, or ground almonds can be added to the pack.

Acne and pimples tend to aggravate in the rains. Washing the face often with plain water will prevent the build up of sweat and oil deposits. Do remember to apply astringent lotion after every wash. Sandalwood paste works beautifully on pimples. The powerful anti-bacterial properties of sandalwood help fight bacteria and fungi and prevent the breakout of pimples and acne.

Hair Rituals
Rainy days don’t have to equal bad hair days. The trick is to pick a style that works with the rain. Frizz is the most common problem of the season. “During the rainy season, humidity levels are very high so your hair is guaranteed to frizz. Choose a good anti-frizz serum that will keep your hair moisturised without weighing the hair down. Whilst the hair is still wet, run an anti-frizz serum through it with your fingers to lock in moisture giving a healthy shine and keeping frizz at bay. A hot oil massage every weekend or twice a week will help keep your hair soft and manageable,” suggests UK-based hair maestro Asgar Saboo. Tying your hair tight is not advised during the monsoons, as it leads to trapping of rainwater in your hair. Instead, opt for a loose bun or loose side ponytail to protect your hair from humidity exposure and tangled mishaps, he adds.

The excessive humidity levels, perspiration rate and drenching in the rain brings in scalp problems like stickiness and dandruff, which leads to hair fall. Avoid rich leave-on conditioners, as they lead to a build-up on the scalp.“Hot oil therapy is ideal for getting rid of sticky dandruff. Heat sesame seed (til) oil or olive oil. Apply the oil on the scalp with cotton wool, rubbing gently to dislodge the flakes. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Leave the oil on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash your hair after 20 minutes,” suggests Shahnaz.

Humidity and sweat also gives rise to a smelly scalp. Washing your hair at least four times a week may help. “Tea and lemon juice also make a wonderful hair rinse, adding shine to the hair. Just boil used tea leaves again, in enough water. Cool, strain, add the juice of a lemon. Use it as a last rinse after shampoo. The juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water can also be added to a mug of water to make a fragrant last rinse. Sometimes, you can apply the white of 1-2 eggs on your scalp before you shampoo, leaving it on for half and hour. This not only gives body to the hair, but is also a wonderful cleanser,” says Shahnaz.

Put your best face forward
It’s a good idea to keep things simple on rainy days. No woman looks good with mascara running down her face. “To build a smear-proof base, skip the foundation and start with a concealer. Choose a waterproof, matte product followed by a compact powder. When you apply the combination of setting powder and primer on your skin, it dissolves giving you light and flawless coverage,” reveals Sushma Khan, National Creative Director – Make-up, Lakmé Salon.
Avoid wearing lipgloss when it’s windy outside or you’ll end up with pieces of hair stuck to your lips all day long. Stick to your favourite shades in matte and long-stay finishes, suggests celebrity make-up artist Clint Fernandes.

When it comes to liners, waterproof is the way to go. Ensure you hydrate your lids before application. For a flawless matte finish, use a felt-pen liner because it dries quickly and stays put throughout the day. Experiment and go for coloured liners such as olives, pinks and blues to add a ‘pop’ to your monsoon look. Seal your look with a make-up setting spray. It features a patented Temperature Control Technology that lowers the temperature of the make-up, keeping it in place.

Rajendra .

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Rajendra .

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