The monsoon season has (finally) hit us and brought along some respite from the sweltering heat. You absolutely cannot ignore the intoxicating fragrance of rain, the lush green freshly bathed trees and the coolness of the breeze. What bliss! However, like every other season, it comes with its fair share of skin problems and as we all know, monsoon skincare is a different ball game altogether. Your normal skincare routine won’t cut it in the rainy season! The rain and humidity make your skin look dull and expose you to bacterial and fungal infections. Which is why, we got in touch with Dr Sachin Dhawan, one of the best and the most renowned dermatologists in the city, to give us some monsoon skincare tips. We promise this will be super helpful!
Dr Sachin Dhawan is a Dermatologist practising in Gurgaon. He is the Senior Consultant Dermatologist at Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon and also runs his own private practice in Dlf Phase 4 under the name of Skin n Smiles along with his team of Dermatologists, allied Aesthetic doctors and staff members.
So Doctor, talking of the scorching summers these days, how do you feel one can take care of their skin?
Hydration with 10 glasses of water or any healthy fluid, like, watermelon juice or coconut water is most important. Avoid smoking and alcohol and keep coffee intake within limits. With the heat, comes sweat, so keep cooling your skin down with either a thermal water spray or cold towels twice a day, especially after a workout. Clean your face twice a day with a micellar water-based non-soapy cleanser like Bioderma Sesnsibio H2O cleanser. Use an oil-free sunscreen at least twice a day.
What basic skincare regime would you suggest when it comes to hot & humid weather?
Wash your face twice a day with a face wash suitable for your skin type. And use an alcohol-free toner once in the evening. Avoid if your skin is rash prone. An oil-free moisturiser and sunscreen to follow. Acne breakouts are common in this season so make sure you have an acne cream containing an antibiotic like Clindamycin that you can apply on acne for 2-3 hours and wash. Cooling packs like cucumber or saffron – sandalwood packs are usually helpful but should be used after testing the skin.
What’s the ideal number of time one should wash their face? What kind of face wash is best?
The face wash has to suit your skin type, if you have sensitive skin then micellar water-based wipe off cleansers are the best. If you have an oily based acne-prone skin then salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide based face wash foams are preferred. If it’s combination skin then one has to look for a neutral face wash or use two different kinds on different parts of the face.
Because of sweat in the hot & humid weather, a lot of people shy away from applying moisturizer. What’s your take on that?
If your skin is really oily and pores and sweat prone and if you are young then it’s ok to not use moisturizer in summers, but such people are only a few. For the great majority, a water-based moisturiser like Avene Cleanance MAT moisturiser or Bioderma Sebium Hydra moisturiser should be used.
Now that the monsoon is here, what special skincare one must take in this season?
Use Cold packs and stay in an AC environment. If you get wet in the rains then wash your face upon your return to avoid the ill effects of the pollutants dissolved in the rainwater. Avoid fungal infections in the rains by using antifungal powders in the folds. Make sure to avoid dandruff which is common in the wet weather by using anti-dandruff shampoos. Use hair masks made up of Amla and Shikakai and avoid using hair oil.
Acne, oily skin & clogged pores are one of the most common problems in monsoon. What steps should someone take in such a scenario?
For oily and combination skin – Bioderma Sebium gel moussant for a face wash or Seba Med clear face cleansing foam can be used. One could use a cream with 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide for 1-2 hours in the evening and then wash, this reduces the clogging of pores. Use water-based creams as advised earlier. Sunscreen for oily and combination skin – Acne UV gel sunscreen, Photostable Gold SPF 55 sunscreen and Avene Clenance SPF 50 sunscreen.
What’s your take on anti-ageing creams & serums, especially for women over 30?
Skin ageing starts by 27 years so one should take care of it with lifestyle choices exercise and anti ageing creams and serums. But prefer serums with medical ingredients like Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, Ascorbic Acid and AHAs. First test and then use these serums.
Are night time skincare regimes really important? What’s a good skincare regime before going to bed?
The night time regime will include cleansing, toning and moisturisation. Followed by anti ageing creams like Ses derma Retiage cream.
Does a workout/different forms of physical exercise and yoga have a role to play in glowy skin?
Yoga, along with other forms of exercise are very helpful as they improve circulation. However, excessive sweating can lead to Acne, sweat eczema, dandruff and fungal infections. Make sure to use cotton clothes, change clothes after each episode of exercise and doing cold compresses.
Finally, what diet should one follow, especially in monsoon, to keep the skin fresh & glowing at all times?
Avoid very sweet fruits like mango, maida, fried and processed food. A very high protein diet is preferably avoided in summers. Take plenty of beetroots, papaya, pomegranates, berries cherries.
So, we hope this conversation was super helpful and you all took notes!
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