Get your glow back...

Summer can turn your skin dry and lifeless. Here’s what you can do to revive it, writes Shahnaz Husain

Protect your skin from the effects of the sun by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

It is necessary to care for your skin in all seasons, according to its needs. But taking care of your skin during summers is highly essential. The intense heat, harmful UV rays, dry air... all wreak havoc on your skin. Let’s get into summer skincare and what you can do to protect it from the harmful effects of the sun.

Cleansing first

Cleansing and refreshing the skin are 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 suntan, sunburn, skin sensitivity, heat rash and eruptions like pimples and acne. Cleansing the skin at night is of utmost importance, especially in summer. Cleansing helps to remove impurities, make-up and other pollutants. Use a cleanser according to your skin type. Carry wet tissues in your handbag during the day to cleanse, wipe, cool and refresh the skin. Then use compact powder.

Freshen up

Skin fresheners play a crucial role in a skincare routine, especially in the hot and humid season. They restore the normal balance of the skin, keep the pores unclogged, stimulate blood circulation, and keep the skin glowing. Rose water, cucumber, khus make for good skin fresheners. You can also use green tea, apple cider vinegar, potato, tomato, lemon and even white wine to refresh and tone your skin. Rose water is one of the best-known skin toners.

Don’t forget sunscreen

Protect the skin from the effects of the sun by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen 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. 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. Apply it not only on the face, but also on all exposed areas, like the back of the neck and arms. Apply a sunscreen lotion with high SPF if your skin is prone to pigmentation and spots. A sunscreen gel is more suitable for oily skin.

Cool down

For heat rashes, pimples and acne, apply a paste of sandalwood which has a cooling effect. Sandalwood helps to heal and soothe skin rashes, pimples, acne and boils. Mix the sandalwood paste with a little bit of rose water and then apply to your skin. Another important ingredient for such eruptive conditions is tulsi or holy basil. It has germicidal and antiseptic properties and helps to soothe rashy and eruptive conditions. Neem and mint leaves can also be used for such conditions.

During summer, skin toners and fresheners play a crucial role in the skincare routine. They cool the skin and restore the normal balance of the skin. 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 moisturiser or oil-free day cream in summer, especially for oily & combination skin.

From your kitchen

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 face scrubs. Mix these with water, or rose water, orange juice, curd or milk. Rub the scrub gently on the skin and wash off with water.

Last but not least, sunburn can be a big problem in the summer. Sunburns are characterised by dryness and reddening of the skin, sometimes leading to blisters. Aloe vera gel or juice can be applied on the skin to soothe and hydrate it.

(The author is a beauty expert)

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