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Skin care should be adjusted according to seasonal needs. The needs of the skin during hot and dry weather are different from hot and humid weather. During the months of April and May, when hot winds blow, there is lack of humidity in the air. The skin loses moisture to the atmosphere and becomes dry.
A good skin tonic is a must in hot weather, to cool and refresh the skin. Rose water is ideal, as it is a natural coolant. Rose water refreshes the skin and imparts a clean and fresh feeling. Keep a small bowl of rose water, in the refrigerator. This way, it is chilled and ready for use. Wipe the skin several times a day with it, using cotton wool pads. If you are out during the day, carry wet tissues, which are easily available. Wipe the face with them to feel cool and refreshed.
Cucumber is also cooling and has an astringent effect i.e. it reduces oiliness and closes the skin pores. It brightens the skin. Mix cucumber juice with rose water in equal quantities and apply it on the skin, washing with plain water after 15 minutes.
Watermelon juice also cools the skin and relieves dryness. It refreshes and softens the skin. Apply on the face and rinse off the same way.
Try coconut water to tone and soothe the skin this summer. It also helps to remove tan and brighten the skin over a period of time. Apply on the skin and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes.
In summer, the effects of the sun increase. Avoid sun-exposure especially from noon till about 3 p.m. Protect the skin by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen. It provides protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. Apply on the face and all exposed areas, like back of the neck and arms. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun-exposure. If you happen to be in the sun for more than one hour, you should re-apply the sunscreen. Normally, a sunscreen lotion with SPF of 20 to 25 may be used. If the skin is more sensitive and tends to burn easily, use higher SPF. For oily skin, use a sunscreen gel.
Honey is a powerful natural moisturizer and also has several beneficial properties. It is suited to all skin types. Honey helps to make the skin soft and moisturizes the skin without making it oily. It also helps to improve the skin's ability to hold moisture. It soothes the skin in cases of skin-sensitivity caused by dryness. Apply honey on the skin and wash it off with water after 15 minutes.
For oily skin, mix honey with egg white or lemon juice and apply on the skin daily, washing it off after 20 minutes with plain water. Both lemon juice and egg white have cleansing effects, reducing oiliness, while honey softens and nourishes the skin.
(This article is authored by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations.)
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