By Khanak Mehta
The rainy season is like no other – the pattering of raindrops is super calming and soothing, and if you’re not stepping out (whew!), you can truly enjoy the view with a hot cup of tea and some samosas.
But, the monsoon can also wreak havoc on your skin – we're talking about the days you have to go to college or office, and come back home with your skin feeling and looking super oily and congested.
Lucky for you, you can skip the skin stress in advance with this handy guide, with some top tips from formulation scientist Dr. Aneesh Sheth.
Do the right prep
Sticking to your usual skincare routine? We vote 'no'. Since you’ll be out sweating in the harsh sun and humid weather, and dealing with lots of environmental stressors, you need lightweight products that focus on protection. Choose gel moisturisers over creams, and try dual-action formulas that don’t compromise on that airy feeling while keeping your skin hydrated.
A sunscreen with SPF 50 is non-negotiable, no matter how much SPF your moisturiser or makeup claims to have - and be generous with your application. "The average amount of sunscreen that seems to be enough is about 1 teaspoon for your face and 1 shot glass for your body," suggests Dr. Sheth. Pair it with an SPF-infused lip balm, and you’re covered!
Touch-ups are important!
If you’re not carrying a skincare pouch in your bag, you’re doing it wrong. Pack some face wipes; they act as a quick cleanser for your skin, and the cooling effect fights the heat. Plus, they can be used in a pinch to wipe any other sweaty areas.
Don’t forget to carry your sunscreen along, too. "You should ideally be reapplying your sunscreen every 2 hours, but it also depends on the kind of sunscreen you use. If you’re comfortable with water and sweat-resistant sunscreens, then you can reapply them less frequently," says Sheth. Powder sunscreens are a great option if you usually wear makeup.
Cleanse, soothe, and hydrate
Instead of making a beeline for the couch the moment you get home, head to the bathroom instead. Cleanse your skin to remove all traces of makeup, dust, and sweat—basically, anything that can clog your pores and invite acne. Then, follow it up with your usual skincare routine with a focus on gentle, reparative hydration. This means no acids that can irritate your skin, only actives like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and squalane.
If you have sensitive skin or are prone to redness and irritation after sun exposure, using an after-sun balm or cream will help your skin recover faster. If you can, avoid wearing makeup or using exfoliants for the next few days as well.