Summer Skin Care Essentials

It is necessary to care for the skin in all seasons, according to its needs. Cleansing and refreshing the skin is important during summer to remove sweat and oil deposits. Impurities and pollutants tend to adhere to oily and sweaty skin. Exposure to the sun, heat and chemical pollutants in the water and air, lead to sun tan, sun burn, skin sensitivity, heat rash and eruptions, like pimples and acne.

Skin fresheners plays a crucial role in a skin care routine, especially in the hot and humid season. They restore the normal balances, keep the pores unclogged, stimulate blood circulation to the skin surface and keep the skin glowing. Rose Water, cucumber, khus (Vetiver) and many other ingredients make good skin fresheners.  You can also use green tea, apple cider vinegar, potato, tomato, lemon and even white wine to refresh and tone the skin. Rose Water is one of the best known skin toners.

Protect the skin from sun-effects by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen. A sunscreen is a product which forms a protective cover between the skin and the sun’s rays, while a broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. It helps to protect the skin from free radical damage and premature ageing signs. Apply the sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun, to give the skin enough time to absorb it. Apply it, not only on the face, but also on all exposed areas, like the back of the neck and the arms. Apply a sunscreen lotion with high SPF if your skin is prone to pigmented patches or spots. Sun-protection is also required while holidaying by the sea or swimming in open pools. A sunscreen gel is more suitable for oily skin.

For heat rash, pimples and acne, apply sandalwood paste, which has a cooling effect. Sandalwood helps to heal and soothe skin rashes, pimples, acne and boils. Mix sandalwood paste with a little rose water and then apply, as rose water is also a natural coolant. Another important ingredient for such eruptive conditions is Tulsi or basil. It has germicidal and antiseptic properties and also helps to soothe rashy and eruptive conditions. Neem and Mint (pudina) leaves can also be used for such conditions.

During summer, skin toners and fresheners play a crucial role in the skin care routine. They cool the skin and restore the normal balances. They also unclog the pores and add a glow. Rose water is a natural toner and coolant. Keep a small bowl of rose skin tonic, or rose water, in the refrigerator. This way, it is chilled and ready for use. Wipe the skin several times a day with it. Use cotton wool dipped in chilled rose water as eye pads. It removes fatigue and is most refreshing. Look for a matte moisturizer, or oil-free day cream in summer, especially for oily and combination skin.

Home ingredients can easily be used to exfoliate and brighten the skin, like almond meal, oatmeal, wheat bran or walnut power. Cucumber or pumpkin seeds, or orange and lemon peels, or even mint can be dried and powdered and added to scrubs. Mix with a liquid ingredient like water, rose water, orange juice, curd or milk. Rub the scrub gently on the skin and wash off with water.

Cleansing the skin at night is of utmost importance, specially in summer, when impurities and pollutant tend to stick to sweaty skin. Cleansing helps to remove impurities, make-up and other impurities. Use a cleanser according to skin-type.

Carry wet tissues in your handbag during the day, to cleanse, wipe, cool and refresh the skin. Then use compact powder.

Sun burn can be a problem in summer. Sunburns are characterized by dryness and reddening of skin, sometimes leading to blisters. Aloe vera gel or juice can applied on the skin to soothe and hydrate the skin. Visit a skin specialist if there is rash, or your skin has been severely affected.

Here are some home remedies:

Add 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this on pimples and acne.

For oily skin, a clay pack is ideal. Fuller’s Earth can be mixed with rose water and applied on the face, washing it off when it dries. It reduces oiliness and clarifies the skin.

Try coconut water to tone and soothe the skin this summer. It also helps to remove tan and brighten the skin over a period of time. Apply on the skin and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes.

Apply ripe papaya pulp skin like a mask, washing it off after 20 minutes. Papaya contains enzymes and helps to soften and cleanse the skin of dead skin cells. It also removes tan. Add curd or lemon juice to the pulp and apply.

Shahnaz Husain