Rain-drenched scenic beauty, delicious evening snacks with tea, and floating paper boats - finally monsoon is here. While feeling excited and busy making a lot of happy memories, your skin has its own war against this changing season.
In simple words, monsoon isn’t just about spending leisure time in the rain. Monsoon is also about dealing with damp and humid weather. The high moisture level in the air invites a lot of fungal infections and skin problems like acne, breakouts, oily and dull skin, etc. regardless of the skin type.
Relax! All the skin concerns and infections can be prevented. The tip is - if the weather is changing, update your skin care regimen too.
Read below to know common monsoon skin problems and easy tips to prevent and treat them effectively.
5 Major monsoon skin concerns and their solution
1. Monsoon Acne
The damp and humid air is full of bacteria and allergens that can clog the skin pores, causing acne and breakouts. In addition, the excess humidity during monsoon leads to an increase in sebum production. It makes skin sticky and greasy which attracts lots of dirt, grime, and dust. This again ultimately ends up giving you clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.
Read below to manage acne during the rainy season.
Easy tips to follow
Begin with an antibacterial face wash to combat acne infection in the rainy season
Rains bring along multiple bacterial and fungal infections to the skin. To protect skin from acne-causing bacteria, opt for a face wash that has skin purifying properties and the ability to fight bacteria and manage sebum production.
A face wash that comes with ingredients like ZincPCA has excellent potential to combat acne bacteria and regulate sebum production.
Use gel-based products to manage active acne in monsoon
Use a gel-based product since a lightweight gel-based formulation will not add to the monsoon’s extra oil secretion. It will deliver the actives more quickly and efficiently than a lotion or cream. In addition, it will help keep your pores unclogged.
Salicylic acid works best for acne-prone skin. Since it perforates deep into your epidermis and sweeps away all impurities reducing the chances of irritation and breakouts.
Always wear sunscreen so that you don't have to embrace acne marks even after monsoon time
Unprotected sun exposure can worsen existing acne while increasing the chances of Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) aka acne marks. Sunscreens which come with broad spectrum properties have the ability to provide great protection to the skin against sun rays (UVA and UVB).
Keep your pillowcase clean because microbes are everywhere
Bacteria thrive in unhygienic environments. Not keeping your pillowcases clean will encourage bacterial growth. In addition, over the course of a few days the accumulated dead skin cells, oil, bacteria, and other microbes can cause irritation on the skin and can trigger more acne. So make sure that you clean your pillowcases frequently.
2. Extra oily skin in monsoon
If your skin feels greasy and sticky after a few minutes of washing your face during the rainy season, then you are not alone. We understand, skin starts to act up as soon as it is monsoon.
Reason - Excess humidity and moisture in the air make sebaceous glands hyperactive. Increased sebum production leads to flare-ups, clogged pores, acne, enlarged pores, and whatnot.
Easy tips to follow
Do exfoliation to avoid clogged pores and breakouts from excess oil and sweat
Too much oil congests your pores making skin unbreathable. Exfoliate gently to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum from pores. Go for enzymatic exfoliation as it decongests pores without damaging the skin barrier.
Don’t assume that it is “OK” to skip moisturizer for oily skin in rainy weather
Oily skin needs moisturization even in the rainy season. Oily skin doesn’t mean hydrated skin. Skipping moisturizers will dehydrate your skin further making skin rough and dull. While moisturizers will penetrate into the epidermis and make a protective layer on the skin to keep the moisture intact. They reveal soft, plump, rejuvenated, and hydrated skin.
Pro tip - Make sure you opt for a non-comedogenic and lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores and gets absorbed by the skin easily.
Ingredients to look for in a moisturizer for oily/acne-prone skin - Saccharide Isomerate, Cydonia Oblonga Leaf Extracts, Alpha Bisabolol, and Glycerin works effectively to keep skin hydrated and healthy.
Do not rip off your skin’s essential oils by over-cleansing in humid weather
Over cleansing can do more harm than good to your skin. It can strip off all essential oils from your skin making skin dehydrated, flaky, and more prone to breakouts and wrinkles.
Dermatologists suggest that cleansing your face twice a day is sufficient for healthy and happy skin.
Switch to water-based makeup products on rainy days
Since skin is already producing excess oil, using oil-based products will make skin look even more greasy and sticky. Use water or gel-based makeup products to balance moisture levels. In addition, opt for one that has a non-comedogenic term on labels to avoid clogging of pores and keep skin breathable.
3. Uneven skin tone/ hyperpigmentation during the rainy season
Uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and dark patches are quite common in monsoon season. This can either be the result of the overproduction of melanin due to sun exposure or the build-up of dead skin cells. In addition, excessive humidity and sweat make skin even duller leading to uneven skin tone.
Not to forget that the overproduction of melanin also takes place even when the sunlight is not too intense (just as during the rainy season).
Easy tips to follow
Never skip sunscreen even on cloudy and rainy days
Sun’s harmful rays have the ability to penetrate even through clouds. So even if it is a cloudy day, it still is not a good idea to skip sunscreen. On sunscreen labels, look for terms like non - comedogenic and broad spectrum. Why because your skin requires full protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Include an antioxidant (vitamin C) serum for radiant skin in the rains
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant. It fights environmental stressors and inhibits melanin production. It works effectively to manage dark spots while promoting even skin tone.
Opt for Ethyl Ascorbic Acid Serum, a derivative of vitamin C that works best for treating hyperpigmentation.
Use a face wash with skin brightening properties to tackle monsoon dullness and hyperpigmentation
AHAs help peel away the dead skin cells and increase skin cell turnover to reveal healthy-looking and clear skin. In simple words, they help even out the skin tone and leave a brighter complexion. Many research studies have found that glycolic acid (AHA’s) help to curb excess melanin production as well.
4. Eczema flare-ups in monsoon
Since your skin is exposed to increased humidity and sweat during monsoon, it tends to lose the ability to retain moisture and worsen eczema. As a result, this aggravates eczema symptoms and leaves your skin highly dry, itchy, red, and blistered.
Easy tips to follow
As a preventive measure wear gloves to avoid direct exposure to pollutants and rainwater
Wear vinyl or hypoallergenic gloves while doing house chores like washing dishes and clothes. Because exposure to bleaches and detergents can make the eczema condition worse. It will leave skin itchy and irritated.
Try to maintain skin hygiene to avoid fungal infection risks in monsoon
Monsoon season motivates fungal infections. When dealing with eczema, it is crucial to maintain skin hygiene to keep yourself protected from such fungal infections as they can worsen the condition.
Look for gentle cleansers, and body washes that are free from fragrances, and strong surfactants, and specially formulated for eczema-prone skin.
Use a moisturizer that can prevent TEWL due to the high humidity levels
Since during rainy days humidity levels are high which affects the barrier function of the skin and it increases Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), which leads to dry skin conditions. It’s time to upgrade your moisturizer to keep your skin well prepared for the humid and rainy season.
To repair your skin barrier, your skincare regime must contain ingredients with a suitable pH, and use a moisturizer that contains ceramides and humectants like hyaluronic acid to prevent TEWL.
5. Insect bites and stings
The rainy season does give some relief from scorching heat but it is also famous for insect bites and stings. Bites can cause pain or swell in the bite area. They may also lead to a rash, burning sensation, and blisters.
Easy tips to follow
Try to cover up exposed body parts
Cover up exposed body parts to avoid insect bites. Wear full sleeves clothes.
Maintain hygiene conditions at home
Do not let water stand. Use disinfectants while cleansing the houses as it will reduce the chances of insects to breed in.
Keep mosquito repellent at home
To avoid bugs and mosquito bites, use mosquito repellent and get rid of mosquitoes.
Try aloe vera home remedy to calm the inflammation
The antiseptic properties in aloe vera make it a great remedy for insect bites. Apply some aloe vera juice or gel directly over the bite for relief.
With every changing season, your skin undergoes the changes too. With the change in weather don’t just update your wardrobe but modify your skincare regime too. Since every season changes, the chances of skin becoming oily, dull, or dehydrated and attracting more fungal infections is high. Hence, make sure that your skincare products are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and rejuvenating in nature.