Hate it or love it, you can’t escape it! Yep, definitely talking about the infamous Mumbai monsoons. While sitting indoors and sipping on your chai whilst watching the rain pour outside may be an excellent way to pass time, a better way to do that would be giving a thought to your monsoon skincare. In case you weren’t aware, your skincare routine beckons a change with the change in season too. Now that summer’s left us and monsoons have graced us, it’s time to switch it up a little bit. 

However, you just got hella lucky because we had a quick conversation with Dr Madhuri Agrawal, Founder and Medical Director at Yavana Aesthetics Clinic who told us everything we need to know about the nitty gritties of monsoon skincare.

What happens to our skin in the monsoon season?

Monsoon is delightful weather with cooling rains. But the other aspect of monsoon are high levels of humidity that can cause unexpected skin problems. The skin is exposed to pollutants and acidic rainwater leading to irritable skin, and nobody enjoys that. In the monsoons, oily to combination skin tends to be prone to acne and clogged pores whereas dry skin can experience increased flakiness and itching.

What are the most common skincare concerns faced this season?

Monsoon is high humidity and wet season, basically. The clothes, hair and feet get wet and stay that way due to the incessant rains. Owing to this reason, the skin is more prone to skin infections that are fungal, bacterial and parasitic too. Skin allergies are commonly seen in this season as well! The wet clothes lead to fungal infections in the underarms, under the breast and groin areas of the body. Wet feet give rise to mixed infections or athlete’s foot commonly seen in males. This is seen in males as they wear closed shoes for long periods of time throughout the day. Bacterial infections like pyoderma, impetigo, etc are usually seen in children during this season due to the moisture-laden climate. Allergies and skin eczema tends to flare and increase in monsoon. People commonly approach dermatologists with eczema of hands and feet. Oily skin can experience an increase in whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. The skin can fluctuate with episodes of dullness and uneven texture as well.

What are your skincare tips for the monsoon?

1. Due to constant wetting, the skin tends to dry and there is a general body itchiness that is experienced. A lukewarm water bath followed by good moisturiser twice daily helps to minimise this discomfort and provides relief

2. Mild chemical peels/Medi facials under a dermatologist’s supervision help in rejuvenating dull skin during the monsoons and maintain the skin’s pH balance.

3. Consumption of plenty of fluids especially water is important. Dial up your intake of fruit juices in this season too!

4. Heavy makeup in the monsoons must be avoided. Ideally, waterproof and transfer-resistant makeup products must be utilised. Use of waterproof eyeliners, mascara and transfer-resistant lipsticks is advisable. Avoid heavy-based products and opt for lightweight mousse or souffle powders as a base. Ensure the complete removal of makeup at the end of the day followed by the application of a light moisturiser.

5. Make sure you sterilize the makeup tools like brushes and applicators on regular basis to prevent skin infections.

6. Due to constant wetness and humidity, fungal and bacterial infections are common in monsoons as these organisms flourish in moisture. It is necessary to keep the feet dry and clean. It is advisable to store an extra pair of dry (if required formal) footwear at work. Wear open footwear to work and change after completely drying the feet. Regular use of antifungal dusting powder twice -thrice daily helps to prevent these infections. Clean your footwear before wearing them to clear any fungal moulds in them. A proper cleansing with warm water containing disinfectants also ensures the infections are kept at bay. 

What is a basic skincare routine that one can follow this season?

1. Use a mild, soap-free cleanser twice everyday for washing the face. Ingredients like rice bran, orange blossom, liquorice root extract are a great choice since they offer a good cleanse. A chemical exfoliant for dead skin exfoliation twice a week with salicylic acid is recommended for oily, acne-prone skin!

2. Don’t forget to nourish using moisturiser to repair your skin . Ingredients such as ceramides, niacinamide, aquaxyl and squalene help to intensely hydrate the skin and heal it too.

3. A Vitamin C serum enriched with brighlette, alpha arbutin, and mulberry extract helps to correct dull, uneven patchy skin and exude a healthy glow.

4. A broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential even on a cloudy day since the UV rays can penetrate the cloud cover and harm the skin. Sunscreen must be used daily to prevent skin damage in monsoons!

5. Look for products that are dermatologically tested.

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