If you’ve lived in India during the transition from summer to monsoon, you would know the various ways your lifestyle can change. That time of the year when hot chocolates and soups become your go-to comfort foods instead of the cooling summer drinks and ice pops that you’ve been loving for the last few toasty months. Your trusted sneakers are swapped for rubber clogs and gumboots. Your clothes become a bit thicker and your skincare, lighter.
But here’s the flipside. The most common change that can be spotted consistently in every Indian household is that everything gets covered in plastic. From books and bags to storage containers in the kitchen are all lined with polythenes, all the while attempting to safeguard yourself with raincoats and plastic ponchos every time you step out. Along with all the muck and mud, the streets are strewn with plastic waste (certainly not my cup of tea).
Monsoon in India makes a lot of people look to plastic, even those who religiously follow a sustainable lifestyle by default. It’s the cheapest and most functional material to combat torrential rains. While the frantic weather also makes the country greener and more beautiful, poor waste management can take a toll on the environment. The only way to make sure you don’t contribute to the piling waste during this season is to take small responsible steps starting from home. This year, I started doing my bit by being responsible with my beauty choices. You can opt for products that are designed plastic-free or have re-usable packaging, labels that help you reduce your carbon footprint in general, and promote toxin-free ingredients that don’t harm the environment when (and if) trashed. Ahead, I’ve shared a few reliable beauty formulations from my cabinet that I have transitioned to this monsoon (that are also good for the planet).
From Exfoliating Formulas To Gentle Cleansing
This climate calls for foam or soothing gel-based cleansers that are kind to the skin. Look for skin-loving ingredients that cleanse without stripping away your natural oils. Amongst some responsible choices, an editors’ favourite at the Nykaa office is The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash which is a harmony of wheat germ oil and vitamin E that are clean, earth-friendly, and ethically-sourced ingredients. WOW Skin Science Brightening Vitamin C Face Wash gives you the brightening and refreshing goodness of vitamin C in an inventive paper tube that reduces the use of plastic by a strong 45%. Blended with nature’s finest ingredients that are toxin-free (tender coconut being one of them), the Forest Essentials Facial Cleanser Sandalwood & Orange Peel face cleanser is packaged in an eco-friendly bottle made of glass for a mild and fresh cleanse after a long day.
From Drying Shampoos To Anti-Frizz, Nourishing Hair Cleansers
It’s a given that rainwater can make hair super frizzy. Shampooing your hair can get a little tricky as detergent-based shampoos (formulated with sulphates) can dry out and damage your scalp, and these aren’t very good for the environment either—sulphates reaching the soil can corrupt its fertility. I suggest looking for nourishing formulas that tame your frizz with clean, future-proof ingredients. I like Bare Anatomy’s Expert Anti-frizz Range because it’s made with vegan and cruelty-free ingredients (including the deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid) that strengthen and repair my cuticles that reduce frizz. Another vegan favourite is the Plum Avocado Soft Cleanse Shampoo which gently removes excess oil and dirt from my scalp while nourishing my hair and eliminating the possibility of getting split-ends. You can also try the L'Occitane Intense Repairing Shampoo that is brewed with naturally sourced and heavy-duty ingredients like sunflower oil and a mix of lavender, geranium and sweet orange oils. The best part about this product? You can reuse the same bottle over and again with their ‘eco-refills’ that reduce waste by 79%!
From Heavy Foundations & Concealers To BB Creams & Compact Powders
Foundations (whether liquid or cream-based) tend to bleed or feel heavy on your skin during the rainy months. To avoid the pore-clogging, oil-intensifying formulas, you can opt for more breathable elixirs. While some lightweight, waterproof foundations work perfectly well during this season, you can also try hybrid and multi-functioning products like BB creams with SPF that moisturise, lend a tint, and protect your skin all at once (while reducing the number of products used). Made with organic and wildcrafted ingredients, the Just Herbs Enriched BB Cream Skin Tint is great to achieve a barely-there makeup look and offers broad-spectrum UV protection. The Nykaa SKINgenius BB Cream SPF 30 is a cruelty-free multitasker that gives you the benefit of skincare in makeup. If you have oily skin and are looking for a mattifying product, you can try Mamaearth Glow Oil Control Compact Spf 30 With Vitamin C & Turmeric. It is a cruelty-free and plastic positive brand, which means they recycle more than they use.
From Elaborate Eye Makeup To Just Waterproof Mascaras
There’s nothing worse than investing hours in the morning in an intricate, bright eye makeup look for only the rain gods to completely ruin all your effort in a jiffy (talk about a disastrous makeup meltdown). Thus, a natural yet doe-eyed look with the help of a mascara that won’t bleed in the rain is a sensible choice if you ask me. You can look for classic environment-loving labels like The Body Shop, Kay Beauty, and Forest Essentials is a good place to start. Or you can try a few editor-favourites like the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and the Iba Halal Care Black N Bold 24Hr HD Mascara. Another smart staple that you can always keep handy is the Kiro Botanico Super Shield Mascara. It nourishes my lashes and protects them from breakage.