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COMMON SUMMER SKIN AND HAIR WOES

Some common conditions that most people seem to grapple with at some time or the other, surely these might sound familiar as someone known to you might have faced something similar. Read on!

‘Zebra Skin!’

The bane of Asian skin tones, uneven skin tone, is a common fallout of sun exposure. Parts like the face and arms tend to be much darker than the rest of the body. These are the sun exposed areas of the body where the pigment melanin tends to increase and cause tanning.

  • I advise all my patients the regular use of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30++, about 15 minutes before sun exposure.
  • It also helps if you cover up exposed parts with an umbrella or a scarf.
  • Many beauty salons offer de-tanning treatments which are basically bleaching treatments.
  • Regular use of home-based masks with lemon and tomato also helps as these are mild bleaching agents.

Too much shine!

Summer brings out the worst in oily skin… from the ‘oil-slick’ look to blocked pores and acne breakouts, oily girls bear the brunt of summer. This happens because the heat causes the pores of the oil glands to open up.

  • A simple solution is to use an oil control face wash in the oily area, leave it for a minute, and wash off. These face washes are easily available and ingredients like tea tree and salicylic acid might help to control oiliness. Products containing caffeine are said to help reduce pore size. 
  • Also, it might be necessary to use face products that are specifically meant for combination or oily skin. The drier parts of the face can simultaneously be treated with a moisturizer or even a lighter preparation like a gel. Heavy creams are best left for the dry winter months.
  • A lemon and chick pea face mask used once a week also helps to keep oily issues under control, as these are mild drying and peeling agents. lemon has natural fruit acids while chick pea has oil absorbing properties.

Ouch- it burns!   

Post shave burn tends to be a common complaint from the gentlemen. Regular shaving makes the skin dry and rough and can also cause issues like ingrown hairs, nicks and cuts. Regular shaving tends to erode the top protective layer of the skin and most of the inflammation issues are due to the exposure of the deeper, more sensitive layers of the skin.

  • Moisturizing the night prior and mild exfoliation can help to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
  • For that nasty razor burn, using a soothing, alcohol free post shave gel can help a lot. Ingredients like wheat germ, soya bean oil, vitamin E, aloe, chamomile and silicones help to protect the skin’s natural barrier and reduce inflammation.
  • It’s always recommended that one shaves in the direction of the hair growth rather than against it.
  • For dry, coarse hair, it’s best to use shaving gels with ingredients like camphor, clove flower oil, glycerin, hyaluronate and wheat germ extract.
  • For ladies who are into shaving their legs, using a mild moisturizer or a conditioner as a shaving gel might help keep those legs smooth and soft.

Hair, hair, everywhere!

Be it waxing or shaving, those pesky ingrown hairs are a constant impediment to beautiful skin. This happens because the waxing lifts away the top skin layers and also cause trauma to the hair roots.

  • Regular use of an exfoliating product, like a gel or a scrub about once a week, can be quite helpful. This prevents build-up of skin debris and the short hairs then grow in the right direction.
  • Using a pumice stone, a couple of times a week can also help prevent ingrown hairs.

More hairy issues!

Dry hair ends and split ends are a common result of exposure to the harsh summer sun; and pollution only makes matters worse. The oils produced by the glands in the scalp tend to dry in the summer heat and don’t reach the ends of the hair. Also, sweating in summers causes the hair to get coated and increases dryness.

  • Regular use of a conditioner and a hair serum on the hair ends can help prevent split ends.
  • Covering your hair with a scarf in case travelling in the sun can also be really helpful.
  • A supplement with hair nourishing ingredients like biotin and B complex vitamins can help in strengthening the hair roots and improve the quality of the hair.
  • Finally, the split ends have to be dealt with. A regular trim every other month will ensure that your hair is always at its shiniest best.

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