Monsoon brings in a ton of feelings. Nostalgia of chai and pakoras, dancing in the rain, jumping into puddles, romantic walks and even your first love story. However, unfortunately this fun and dreamy also comes with a whole lot of skin and hair troubles.
From stubborn infections, rashes, excess sweating and acne breakouts to dandruff, itchy scalp, frizzy hair and more, you name a skincare woe and this rainy season aids in it. It’s time to put our armour on and prepare for any unavoidable concerns that may arise in the next few months. The good news is that we’ve spoken to our go-to skincare expert, celebrity Dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad, and asked her what’s the worst that could probably happen to our skin during the rainy months.
Below, Sharad shares her thoughts on how to avoid or treat these maladies as necessary.
Q. How prone is our skin to infections during monsoon?
Dr. Jaishree: “During the monsoon, your skin stays damp for longer than usual due to the rains and humid weather (especially in places like Mumbai or Kolkata). This damp, dark, gloomy atmosphere is a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria and all kinds of other microorganisms. So, our skin gets a lot more prone to infections in these months.”
Q 2: What should we do when we get skin infections in various parts of the body including our feet, intimate areas and underarms?
Dr. Jaishree: “The key is to keep yourself clean and dry. After you take a shower in the morning, make sure you dry yourself completely. Don’t wear clothes on a damp body. You can dust some anti-fungal powder like Clotrimazole on your body, underarms, neck, groin, under your breasts and the webbed spaces between your toes. Wear light cottons and carry a spare set of clothes in case you get wet. Also, you can use antibacterial soaps or body washes if you don’t have sensitive skin.”
Q 3: How does one deal with excessive sweating and rashes due to sweating during these months?
Dr. Jaishree: “With sweating you can get fungal infections that lead to rashes. After excessive sweating, say post workout or a walk outdoors, you must take a shower and use a candid powder. During your work hours, you can keep a bottle of micellar water or thermal water spray close to you. You can spray this when you’re sweating and wipe the sweat away with a dry tissue. Make sure you dust an antifungal powder inside your socks and soles of your shoes, or to be safe, stick to slippers in this weather.”
Q 4: How does rainwater and humidity affect our hair? How do we protect them?
Dr. Jaishree: “Rainwater can make your hair very frizzy. You can use a good oil or a hair serum to condition your hair. If you’re getting wet in the rain, always rinse your hair under a shower and apply a hair serum. While towel drying may keep your hair damp for a long time, hot air from dryers can cause damage. So, use the cold air function in your dryers. A good balance of vitamins and minerals is necessary during monsoon – Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, Chromium, Zinc, and a protein rich diet.”
Q 5: How does one avoid breakouts during this season?
Dr. Jaishree: “People with acne prone skin become even more vulnerable to acne due to the humidity. You can use a salicylic based face wash twice a day, exfoliate your face once a week or use a salicylic acid serum thrice a week as a chemical exfoliant. Avoid cream or oil based solutions —whether for your moisturizer or sunscreen and stick to water or gel-based formulas.”
Q 6: What are the common mistakes we as Indian women make during monsoons, specifically related to skincare?
Dr. Jaishree: “A lot of women tend to apply a lot of products on their skin. Instead of layering too much with skincare formulas and then with too much makeup, women should keep it simple and light during monsoon. Stick to a basic routine of a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and sunscreen. And use minimal makeup like a bit of blush and lip makeup. Do not cake your face as it might bleed and clog your pores. Another common mistake Indian women make is tying up their wet hair. Never do that. In this season, damp hair may cause a lot of hair troubles like lice, dandruff, and smelly scalp. Also, your hair will become very brittle if you make a habit of tying up wet hair. As mentioned before, dry your hair out completely with cool air.”
Q 7: What’s your advice to Indian women who rush to the salon to deal with skincare rather than to dermatologists for instance pedicures for stinky or corned feet?
Dr. Jaishree: A lot of women tend to do this. Smelly feet or yellowed nails may mean fungal infections. In such cases, the infections will only spread if you get a pedicure or any salon treatment. Consult a dermatologist instead who will not only prescribe an antifungal cream or ointment, but also put you on a necessary course of medication. If you’re prone to infections, your cuticles shouldn’t be cut, your nails and soles should not be scraped too much because it may end up damaging the skin. So, a big no to pedicures as a solution to any foot related troubles during monsoon.”
Nykaa recommends: Vaadi Herbals Anti-Bacterial Neem Oil & Ginger Hand Wash, Khadi Natural Pure Neem Soap, Biotique Bio Basil & Sandalwood Refreshing Body Powder, OZiva Skin Vitamins With Hyaluronic Acid & Grape Seed Extract, Himalayan Organics Plant Based Multivitamin with 60+ Extracts, Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid Face Serum for Acne, Blackheads, Pore Tightening & Oil Control, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel