Skin Care in Summers: An Ayurvedic Perspective
According to Ayurveda, each season of the year is associated with a particular dosha, and governed by a specific element. The summer season is marked by extremely hot days for a few months every year, depending on the geographical location. This season is related to the ‘Pitta’ dosha and the fire (Tejas) element.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, Pitta dosha underlines the principle of heat and metabolism and is associated with the qualities of transformation, burning, shining, reflecting, and sharpness. This dosha tends to increase during the summer season, and makes the skin sun-sensitive. The aggravation of Pitta dosha can lead to a number of skin conditions, especially redness of the skin or common eye problems and infections; and also cause heartburn, diarrhoea and other conditions.
Due to the Pitta imbalances in summer, it is important to follow a dedicated skin care routine, so that the skin can be protected against the damaging effect of the sun. Excessive exposure to the sun’s both UVA and UVB rays can result in the appearance of unsightly brown spots on the skin, can cause sunburn or even skin cancer. The free radicals generated by the sun’s UV rays can cause drying, tanning, and aging of the skin, and accelerate the appearance of wrinkles.
10 Valuable Skin Care Tips for Summer’s
Dermatologists or skincare experts recommend a change in skin care regimen according to seasons. Proper skin care is essential during the summer season because the overheating of the skin due to the penetration of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can burn up the moisturizing functions of the skin, and cause pimples, breakouts, rashes, and roughness. Moreover, it can also increase the production of the ‘melanin’ pigment that darkens the skin.
Top 10 holistic skin care tips which can be followed in summers by people with different skin types have been listed below.
1. Keep the Skin Clean and Refreshed
Cleaning the skin, especially the face, several times with a non-foaming cleanser can keep the skin dirt-free and refreshed in summer. Appropriate skin care products, like water-based lotions and moisturizers, should be used so that the skin can ‘breathe’ naturally. The use of proper skin care products in summer can draw out excess oil from the skin, and thereby reduce the chances of skin problems caused by clogged pores.
2. Follow the ‘Cleansing, Toning, Moisturizing’ Skin Care Routine
The time-tested skincare rule of ‘Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturizing’ should be followed during the summer months because the increasing use of air-conditioners can make the skin dry. When the skin is cleaned, toned, and moisturized properly at night, the skin pores that open because of sweating get closed. A proper skin care routine can also offer the much-required protection against the UV rays from the sun.
3. Use Scrubs to Exfoliate the Skin
Most dermatologists recommend regular exfoliation of the skin in summers. to remove the dullness of the skin and clear the accumulation of dead cells that may otherwise makes the skin congested. Different scrubs can be used for exfoliation once or twice a week, depending on the skin type. For dry skin, a scrub made from a combination of lemon, curd, turmeric chandan and besan can be used. For acne-prone skin, a scrub made with multani mitti (fullers earth), chandan (Sandal), basil and rose water can be used.
4. Include Antioxidants in Facial Skin Care Regime
The use of an antioxidant serum, and the addition of antioxidants to the diet, is also very beneficial for skin care during summers. An antioxidant serum can boost collagen production, protect the facial skin against environmental damage, and combat the harmful impact of free radicals. Meanwhile, the benefits from antioxidants in the diet, the intake of green/leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, green tea, and whole grains is recommended by skincare experts.
5. Ensure Proper Hydration of the Skin
It is essential to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated in summers. The use of a hydrating mask for around 10 minutes at night a few times a week can keep the skin clean and smooth, along with repairing and rehydrating it. A good hydrating mask can also eliminate the stress from the skin, reduce blemishes, and treat various conditions like coarseness, dryness, acne, or excessive oil. Besides using a mask, it is also pertinent to drink lots of water to eliminate toxins from the body and keep the skin tissue healthy during the summer season.
6. Use a Sunscreen
The use of a sunscreen is a ‘must’ in summers, particularly when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays for prolonged periods. The best sunscreen is the one with a broad ultraviolet spectrum — between an SPF 30 and SPF 50. Such a sunscreen can protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays and delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and to also safeguard your skin from the cancer causing effects of UVA rays. Sunscreen should be used on the face as well as on the neck, hands, feet, and shoulders as well as other areas of concern and should be worn daily, no matter your location whether indoor or outdoor.
7. Wear Loose, Cotton Clothes
The high summer temperatures can lead to excessive sweating and skin itchiness/irritation, especially when tight clothes are worn. Hence, to avoid skin infections and serious skin conditions in summers, light and wearable fabrics should be worn, in order to tackle the heat. Some of the best breathable fabrics for summers include cotton, hemp, and linen.
8. Take Proper Care of Eyes and Lips
Skincare in summers should also include proper care of the eyes and the lips because they comprise delicate skin which requires special attention. Towards that end, it is necessary that the eyes should be covered with UV protection sunglasses while stepping out in the sun, and the lips should be protected with a lip balm with SPF. In case there is a burning sensation in the eyes, it is important to wash the eyes with clean and cold water a few times a day.
9. Add ‘Cooling’ Foods to Daily Diet
The consumption of ‘cooling’ foods and seasonal vegetables/fruits are recommended in summers to balance the Pitta. According to skin care specialists, the summer diet should ideally include vegetables like cucumber, leafy greens, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower; together with fruits like melons, berries, grapes, pears, and peaches. The diet should also include white basmati rice and oats, and herbs like cilantro and mint.
10. Follow Lifestyle Practices that can Balance the Pitta Dosha
Pitta-balancing lifestyle practices should be followed in summers to keep the skin and the body healthy. These practices include early morning exercises, yoga, meditation, hikes in the countryside, spending time near water and other natural surroundings, and short walks in cool summer evenings.
Conclusion: Proper skin care during the summer season can have a Pitta-pacifying effect and protect the skin from getting damaged due to excessive heat. The balancing of the Pitta dosha is an extremely important aspect of skin care in summers because increased temperatures can lead to an over-activity of the sebaceous gland, resulting in open pores that get clogged with oil and dirt. The above-mentioned skin care tips for summers can be very handy while tackling the heat in a natural and effective manner. However, in case of serious or prolonged skin problems in summers, an expert medical practitioner should be consulted.