Monsoon can be tricky territory, even for the most experienced of beauty enthusiasts. Tackling sudden breakouts and greasy scalps can feel like walking through a minefield and the barrage of unverified information available online doesn't exactly make the path very clear. So when it comes to caring for your skin and hair in the monsoon, your best bet is a beauty expert. Dr. Aparna Santhanam (MD, DNB) is a well-known dermatologist, cosmetologist, and hair and wellness expert working in the field of beauty, health and wellness for more than ten years. So there was no other better than Dr. Aparna to advise us about what to do for your hair and skin in the monsoon.
NDTV Swirlster: What are the biggest myths about monsoon beauty that people commonly believe?
Dr. Aparna Santhanam: There are many but my two favorites are 'I do not need moisturizer for my skin during monsoons' and 'I do not need to oil my scalp and hair'. Both are wrong as ambient humidity does not always hydrate skin, especially with more of our lives indoors and not nourishing the scalp and hair with coconut based hair oil is the single biggest hair mistake one can make.
NDTV Swirlster: 3 beauty habits that people should absolutely not skip in the monsoons
Dr. Aparna Santhanam: My top 3 are:
Not drinking enough water for hydration.
Not changing my cleansing, toning, moisturizing products as per the season like a PH Balanced cleanser, alcohol-free toner and barrier protecting moisturizer.ADVERTISEMENT
Not taking care of my scalp with regular TLC in the monsoons because oiling and weekly mask or pack for scalp and hair a must.
NDTV Swirlster: How does one treat excess oiliness for the skin and scalp in the monsoons
Dr. Aparna Santhanam: Natural sebum secretion can go haywire and become excessive in the monsoons. Excess natural sebum can break down into inflammation inducing debris which along with dead cells and sweat can irritate the skin and scalp. Most people assume that because of this, they do not need to oil the scalp. Conversely coconut-based hair oil loosens the debris, penetrates 10 times deeper to hydrate and coats the shaft internally protecting it from excess humidity. Further, coconut-based hair oil breaks down to lauric acid, a portent anti-inflammatory ingredient that protects against monsoon scalp infections. Hence oil regularly, use a gentle shampoo and avoid conditioner on scalp as it can make your scalp and hair greasy. For the skin, using a PH balanced oil control cleanser with an alcohol-free toner can help keep oiliness under control. Avoid excess use of moisturizers and always use lightweight formulations like gel and gel lotions.
NDTV Swirlster: How does one tailor their skin care routine for the monsoons?
Dr. Aparna Santhanam: First take a look at your skin care products. Throw out anything that has expired. Throw out products which contain alcohol and are excessively drying or moisturizing. For cleansing get a good PH balanced cleanser with oil control. Use an alcohol-free toner once a day. Follow up with a lightweight hydrator. Do not skip your sunscreen with full spectrum coverage. At night, use a good nourishing night cream with that has ingredients like Vitamin C or hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin.
NDTV Swirlster: What are simple skin and hair tips that people can follow at home in the monsoons?
Dr. Aparna Santhanam: For both skin and hair, it is important to eat a diet rich in protein and antioxidants. Ensure you have a good skin care routine and a good hair care regimen. Do not use old, expired products or products which are too drying and moisturizing on the skin. Ensure you massage your scalp with coconut-based hair oil at least once a week. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and protect your skin from the sun and hair from rainwater as far as possible to be your glowing shiny best!