Turn on the glow show

Turn on the glow show

BATTLING HEAT & DUST  Use a soothing cleansing gel for deep cleansing without stripping natural oils from skin. GETTY IMAGES

The summer sun is back with a vengeance. While it is the ideal time to take a dip in the pool, holiday on the beach and flaunt those short dresses, the heat, humidity and harsh sunlight extract a heavy price from the skin. UVA rays lead to tanning, pigmentation and photo-aging, while UVB rays lead to sun burn. Increased production of natural oils in the summer also causes breakouts of acne.  It is estimated that 90 per cent of wrinkles are caused due to sun exposure. Additionally, there is increased incidence of prickly heat and fungal infections. So, instead of slipping into strappy dresses and showing off glowing, sun-kissed skin, most of us flee indoors and curse the weather!

Why cleansing is important

- Skin sweats more in summer due to increased dirt and grime. Wash your face with cold water every few hours.

- Cleansing is of utmost importance to remove grime and other pollutants completely from the skin.  Use a soothing cleansing gel for deep cleansing without stripping natural oils from skin.  Cleansing also makes the skin look and feel fresh.
 
Tone and moisturise

- Toning helps to tighten the pores and prevents spots and pimples.  It is recommended as a part of your bedtime skincare routine, after cleansing.  In intense heat, you can refresh your skin several times a day with a skin tonic, such as a daily care revitalising tonic.

- Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.  Staying adequately hydrated flushes out toxins and keeps skin looking fresh.

- If your skin is constantly exposed to air conditioning, make sure that you apply a generous quantity of moisturiser. Otherwise, apply the moisturiser at night before bedtime after cleansing and toning.
 
Use sun protection

-  For Indian skin, sunscreen creams with both UVA and UVB protection and at least SPF 15 are recommended.  On vacation or when outdoors, use sunscreen with SPF 30.  SPF only measures UVB protection and not UVA; so you should look for a sunscreen that also provides UVA protection.  It takes about 15-20 minutes for any sunscreen to work well, so apply it at least 20 minutes before stepping out in the sun. The sunscreen cream/ lotion should be re-applied every 3-4 hours when  you are outdoors for long periods of time.  A daily moisturising sunscreen (available with SPF 15 and SPF 30) effectively combats the harsh effects of the sun.

-The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so it is advisable to limit exposure to the sun as much as possible during these hours.

- Use sunglasses to protect your eyes. Try using an umbrella when you go out in the sun. This will protect your skin and hair.

- Indian skin, especially around the lips, is  prone to darkening and pigmentation. Do use a lip balm with sunscreen to prevent darkening.

Exfoliate

-  Exfoliate your skin at least once a week to remove  dead cells. Exfoliate gently using micro beads as opposed to harsh exfoliation with larger beads as this can injure the skin and make it sun-sensitive. After about 4-6 weekly rounds of exfoliation, bring it down to once in 2 weeks.

Shower power
-  A cold shower cools the body and traps natural oils and moisture in the skin. Don’t dry the skin roughly with a towel. Gently pat it dry. Leave some moisture on the skin so that when you apply the moisturiser the skin can absorb it and seal it in.

- Try and shower twice a day, to feel cool and refreshed.
 
What’s on your plate?

- A light yet nutritious diet is recommended to keep one feeling fresh and hydrated.  Foods rich in vitamin A help to protect the skin from the sun.  Foods rich in vitamin C help in repairing sun-damaged skin.  Both these vitamins can be found in vegetables and fruits including carrots, papaya, black grapes, and green leafy vegetables.

- Water, fresh fruit juices, fresh lime soda, and salads loaded with vegetables and fruits are recommended. 

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