How about monsoon spa?

GOODNESS GRACIOUS

How about monsoon spa?

The rains may bring much relief from the scorching sun, but they also mean bad hair days, sallow skin, poor immunity...

Preeti Verma Lal offers an antidote to all monsoon-related woes

The bard wove a pretty play about a midsummer night’s dream. But when the mercury steps beyond the monstrous 35 degrees Celsius, the midsummer night’s dream turns into a mighty nightmare. Thank god, the clouds are gathering and the raindrops will soon tame the sun. The mercury will drop, puddles will form, the leaves will be washed and lakes will swell. The time to sit on the window sill and sip a hot cuppa is nearly here. Wait!

Monsoon nudges summer out, but it can spell doom for your hair and skin. The hair gets frizzy, sweat feels like gunk on skin and humidity saps energy out of every sinew. Bad hair is a monsoon terror; sallow skin a rainy torment. No one knows the woes of monsoon better than a dermatologist.

Dr S C Bharija, chairman, department of dermatology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, spells out the monsoon devils. “As the monsoon arrives, humid conditions lead to increased moisture produced by increased sweating. This, in turn, brings ailments like bacterial and fungal infections in all age groups. Monsoon can be a hair and skin nightmare.”

Woes too many. Is there an antidote? A magic wand to vanquish the hair and skin despair? A monsoon spa is the answer. But, remember, not just any spa. A monsoon spa is very different from, say, a summer spa.  Do not repeat the summer beauty regimen. Monsoon calls for new spa rules. But why does one need a monsoon spa? What is its goodness?

Counting the goodness

Hayley Louise Dack, director, The Imperial Spa and Salon, New Delhi, stresses on the need to “listen to your body and skin for wellbeing. As each person is different, your skin will react differently with breakouts and congestion during the monsoons. So it is important to detox and cool it.” Green tea and herbal infusions are excellent means to flush out toxins and keep the skin clear. “Infusions of water, lemon, fresh ginger, lime and mint leaves will keep you hydrated, and fresh coconut water is fantastic to keep your body nurtured. Mud masks and
natural grain exfoliations are excellent and purifying for the face and body as it cleans congested pores caused by the heat and rains,” suggests Hayley.

When rain pelts in Goa, Dr Ratheesh Kumar, spa manager, Park Hyatt Goa Sereno Spa, digs into ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate the body. He settles for Varshacharya (monsoon detox), which starts with a lifestyle Ayurveda consultation, followed by a  detoxifying Indian clay herbal body wrap (a mixture of Himalayan clay, rock salt and herbs like rasna, thriphala, aswagandha, kottamchukkadi, bala and eladi choornam) followed by a dosha-specific Ayurvedic oil massage. Varshacharya concludes with a detoxifying Sarvangavashpaswedan yantra - medicated steam bath and a dosha-balancing herbal tea. The best way to conquer the monsoon humidity is to slip into a special ornate chamber carved of seasoned medicinal wood, where you will be enveloped in steam. The ideal way for your body to absorb the oils and their benefits, and step out glowing in monsoon.

At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, Amar Tiwari, spa manager at Club Oasis, recommends a warming thermal mud wrap to cocoon and detoxify the body from harmful trace elements and provide a tranquil space away from the damp air outside; followed by a rejuvenating massage to awaken all your senses. Complete the monsoon spa journey with a healing, purifying facial to remove all traces of humidity and density. It’s also worth trying the popular Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments or cleansing treatments to balance the vitiated doshas in the body and to restore vigour and vitality.

Mind-body wellness

Humidity is not the sole killer. The monsoon brings with it an increase in grime and pollution, which can intensify the skin and hair distresses. Pores tend to get clogged with oil and dirt, especially in people with oily skin. People with dry skin will notice their skin feel even more dehydrated during this season. However, the season also gives the best treatment results as skin pores open up easily.

Sasakamol Chamchoy, spa manager, Kaya Kalp Spa, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, knows that one can get back lustrous hair with an organic moisturising and balancing dry hair and scalp treatment with ylang-ylang, palmarosa and argan oil. Olive oil and shea butter emollients restore the natural hydration and shine to the hair and scalp.

Exfoliation is an essential drill in the monsoon and what better way to vanquish dead cells than a salt mousse that has high concentration of sea minerals and fruit enzymes that heal, repair, demineralise and provide antioxidant protection. When humidity acquires monstrous proportions, Sasakamol highly recommends a 40-minute Himalayan clay body envelopment that absorbs and draws out toxins from the body and delivers nutrients to the skin.

I am sure you have heard of unusual spas: from cashew and mango to chocolate and potato. But at ITC Grand Chola, this monsoon, there’s lava shell exotic ritual. Sounds exotic? It sure is. This Balinese monsoon spa uses heated tiger clam shells, which work on every muscle and focuses on complete relaxation of the mind and body.

If you are too busy and the spa is far away, listen to Abhimanyu Mehra, who owns Ranjit’s Svaasa Spa in Amritsar. He knows that intermittent rains and humidity can wreak havoc for the skin and loading it with chemicals and artificial lotions is not a healthy option. At Svaasa, the monsoon spa ritual is a five-course skin treatment. It begins with cleaning the face with cow’s milk and then peeping into the kitchen garden for skin-meal ingredients. Grated mash of potato is the best tan remover. Follow it up with papaya to soothe the skin and maintain the skin’s pH. Yogurt pumps nutrients into the skin and calms the fatigue of a sunny/rainy day. The five-course skin-meal concludes with grated cucumber for skin toning and releasing the heat trapped under the skin.

This monsoon, when those raindrops pitter-patter on your roof, head to a spa. Gather the goodness of monsoon spa. This season, look good to feel good!

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