Monsoons can look romantic on paper, but can often prove disastrous for the skin. Variable temperatures and excessive humidity make the skin prone to infections. But the most common offender on the list is the overactive sebaceous glands.
âMost people find more oil production on their skin during the summer season. The sebaceous glands start to produce more sebum in hot weather, even if it is monsoons when the heat is still on, âsays Kiran Sethi, owner and founder of Isya Aesthetics. The reason this becomes problematic is that it not only makes the skin more oily, but the excess sebum if not taken care of, or if you have a sedentary lifestyle, leads to several more. conditions such as acne, whiteheads, large pores, heat rash, dandruff and folliculitis (inflamed follicles) on the face or scalp, she adds.
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This can be solved by using the right skin care ingredients which not only reduce oil secretion but also act as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents. âMoist air during monsoons keeps your sweat from evaporating, which makes the skin sticky. Excess sebum also serves as a breeding ground for bacteria and yeasts responsible for acne, leading to clogged pores, blackheads and acne breakouts â, explains Niketa Sonavane, dermatologist and founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai.
Here’s what you can do to fix the problem: âThe first step to controlling oil in any season is a good cleansing and moisturizing routine. The next step is to use an active serum that can reduce the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands in your skin, âsays Dr. Sonavane. On the scalp, excessive fat can cause inflammation, boils and fatty flakes due to the overgrowth of yeasts, adds Dr Sonavane. Similar peeling can also occur at the corners of the nose and eyebrows, a skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis.
âYou can use retinol or retinoids (as a percentage as prescribed by your dermatologist) to cleanse pores and hair follicles and reduce sebum, which can help reduce and prevent acne,â says Dr. Sethi. . If you have acne, they work well in combination with salicylic acid, another ingredient widely found in cleansers. Only use retinoids if you are sincere with your sunscreen application, as this makes the skin sensitive to the sun and strong UV rays are present even on dark, sunless days. If retinoids aren’t right for your skin, you can either try using them in combination with hyaluronic acid or try bakuchiol, which is emerging as a less aggressive alternative to retinol.
Rather than using abrasive scrubs on your face, rely on beta hydroxy acids (BHAs, such as salicylic acid) to gently cleanse and exfoliate your face. âWhen choosing a facial cleanser, look for active ingredients such as salicylic acid which reduces sebaceous gland activity and also exfoliates dead cells. This can prevent blackheads and acne from forming, âsays Dr Sonavane. Another ingredient the two experts swear by niacinamide on. âYou can use it safely during the day to reduce fat, shrink open pores and brighten your skin. Apply three to four drops of a niacinamide serum before applying your SPF,â recommends Dr. Sonavane. Niacinamide is a great anti-aging ingredient that regulates sebum production, maintains the skin barrier, and reduces inflammation, pigmentation, and fine lines. If you think you can skip your moisturizer because your skin is already a tide black, you can’t go more wrong. You need to keep your skin well hydrated with a light moisturizer (those that contain hyaluronic acid, HA, should be your best bet) to avoid reactive fat. “Reactive oiliness is when your skin produces too much sebum because it is dehydrated. At night, layer your HA moisturizer with a retinol serum. Retinol, along with its anti-aging and anti-acne benefits, cont fat in the skin is also effective, âexplains Dr Sonavane. The sebum on the skin oxidizes on contact with air and makes the skin dark (this is also why blackheads are black) and it can also cause your makeup to oxidize and change color. So, an anti-oil cleanser and moisturizing gel should be your first (if not the only) beauty purchase for the season.
Dr Sonavane says that excessive sebum secretion on the scalp has also been linked to hair loss. âThis is thought to be due to the presence of the hormone DHT in the sebum and the chronic inflammation of the scalp,â she says.
Two other ingredients that reduce oil and are antibacterial are tea tree oil and green tea. âA green tea toner can be sprayed on the face throughout the day to gently hydrate and care for your skin,â says Dr. Sethi. All you have to do, she adds, is brew a cup of green tea in water, then store it in a spray bottle in the fridge. Another effective DIY for excess fat is clay masks that decongest the skin. âApply a clay mask after cleansing your skin once or twice a week. Just make sure you don’t overuse clay masks as they can trigger reactive oiliness, âwarns Dr. Sonavane. It is common for sweat glands to get infected this season and cause folliculitis and rashes. To target this particular excess sebum, Dr. Sethi recommends benzoyl peroxide washes to reduce bacteria on the skin.
No matter how many skincare products you use, it’s a waste if you’re feeding your body the wrong way. Dairy products, foods high in sugar and salty, refined carbohydrates, and fried foods can trigger excess oil production and even ruin your gut health, which also leads to acne. Include foods rich in water and antioxidants such as citrus fruits and seasonal leafy greens.
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