Temperature’s soaring and so are problems relating to skin and hair. Most people have two broad categories of complaints – greasy, lackluster skin and frizzy, high-maintenance hair. First off, it’s important to understand why weather change affects us the way it does.
What does increased temperature do to your skin and hair?
With changing weather, your skin also changes to acclimatize itself to the new temperature and humidity levels in the air. Extreme heat kicks the sebaceous (oil) glands into overdrive and oily skin naturally follows. Moreover, when it’s hot and humid, pores tend to clog more than they do in dry weather. Both these factors lead to greasy skin and acne.
Similarly, the hydrogen bonds in your hair are broken by excess heat and humidity, giving your hair that annoying frizz. Hair absorbs the moisture from the atmosphere and weighs down, making it difficult to keep it in style for too long.
How should you tailor your skincare regime?
1. Since skin is oily in summer and already well-hydrated due to humidity in the atmosphere, choose a cleanser which has low PH, so that it’s tough on oil and easy on moisturizing.
2. Your cleanser should contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid; both of them have properties to dissolve dead cells thereby unclogging the pores, decreasing oil production and killing the acne causing bacteria.
1. Go for lotions instead of cream as they have less oil and more moisturizer.
2. Choose moisturizers with humectants like hyaluronic acid, urea etc, which absorb moisture from the environment into the skin.
3. If you have oily/ combination skin, you can avoid moisturizer on the T-zone area of your face.
1. Use sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which reflect the sunrays off the skin surface and reduce its sheen.
2. After applying sunscreen, if your face feels oily, just dab compact powder over it to absorb excess oil, giving it a matt effect.
3. Go for gel-based or lotion-based sunscreens rather than cream-based ones.
How should you tailor your hair care regime?
Heat, chlorine, sweat and pollution damage your hair, making it dry, weak and more prone to damage – giving rise to split ends. Here are a few easy tips to combat the above problems:
1. Apply sunscreen to hair. Yes! It’s just not your skin that needs protection from the scorching sun, your tresses as well. A lot of serums in the market work well and smoothen the frizz.
2. Trim the split ends. Not only do they look shabby, but can travel further up the hair strands, if they are not nipped at the bud.
3. Always detangle tresses using wide-toothed combs to avoid breakage.
What changes should you make to salon treatments and make-up products?
1. Avoid creamy massage facials.
2. Go for make-up with ‘non-comedogenic’ (doesn’t clog pores) printed on them, especially foundations and make-up base.
3. Use lip balms with sunscreen.
4. Always keep a blotting paper handy to dab your skin and keep excessive oil at bay.
5. Go for facial exercises like facial yoga and opt for gel-based facial massages, which increase the blood circulation and help cut down oil production.
6. Keep make-up sponges and bath loofahs extra clean and allow them to air dry before putting them away, to avoid bacterial growth.
7. In case you’re a spa junky, make sure you don’t go for heavy oil massages which can lead to folliculitis (rashes) all over your body. Discuss with your Ayurvedic doctor to choose lighter oils best suited for summers.
Should you lookout for allergies?
In extreme heat conditions, heat rash and sun rash are on the rise. Heat rash is because of excessive perspiration and occurs in skin folds, like your armpits, where you sweat more. Sun rash happens due to excessive exposure to sun and usually occurs on exposed body parts. Sunscreen is the best solution to prevent these, along with protective clothing, avoiding the sun between 10 am to 4 pm and keeping yourself hydrated.
Skin diseases like Systemic Lupus Erythymus and Porphyrias also flare up during summers. You should check with your dermatologist on how to identify and treat these, before summer spreads its fangs..