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Weather & Skin Care

White Petrolatum (vaseline)Image via Wikipedia

Dear Readers,
Thank you all for reading my blog while I was away on leave & your lovely comments. I hope you had a good Diwali!
I had a lovely vacation and I enjoyed it more than I thought.
My week long stay there was a very cruel reminder of the big role Mumbai’s humid weather plays in keeping my skin healthy & moist & my hair looking crappy.
Winter has already begun to set in the northern part of our country. The cold, dry, almost arid wind there blistered my skin in two days that I spent traveling in an open air jeep during a jungle safari. My cheek & under eye skin was so dry it was painful & flaking away.
My lotions were useless and would sting when applied. Thicker creams were unable to penetrate the top dry, dead layer and would just form a mask & sit on my face.  The skin doctor told me I had got windburn which in turn had caused Xerosis & advised me to use Aloe Vera gel, but it just made things worse.
Finally good old coconut oil (Parachute was all I had) helped reduce the redness, swelling & flaking to some extent in the last two days.
Finally when I reached Mumbai yesterday, I headed straight for my pot of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. It immediately seeped into my skin providing much needed relief.  But my fine hair which thrived & bounced in the dry air, crumpled fell flat within 30 minutes of Mumbai heat.
It has been 24 hours since I landed in Mumbai & my skin is much better and flaking a lot lesser. It should recover in a day or two.
This entire episode taught me the huge role the weather plays in the way our skin behaves.  Below are some tips to deal with weathers of all kinds when travelling so that you don’t make the same mistake I did

High Humidity weather (places close to the sea like Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin)

  • The challenge with humid weather is that the skin continues to be moist and it's hard for product to absorb into the skin. 
  • So if you will apply multiple layers of sunscreen, moisturizer, foundation and make – up  you will end up sweating and oiling up within 10 minutes of leaving home/AC environment
  • You can either use a thin layer of tinted moisturizer  with sunscreen (Ponds has an excellent tinted moisturizer with spf 15 for Rs. 215/- for 30 ml) that will provide sun protection, mositurisation & coverage all in one or, get the waterproof versions of sunscreen & foundations, something that is designed for swimmers or people who sweat a lot.  
  • Consider using a primer / underbase after applying moisturizer -- but before adding makeup. Primers provide a smooth base for makeup and help keep it from melting off in warm, wet weather
  • Be sure to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer because when dirt, oil, sweat and dead skin clog pores, your skin can break out
  • Moisturizers that contain humectants work best in humid areas -- they absorb water from the air and require a high level of humidity to be effective. Look for urea, glycerin or alpha hydroxy acids on the ingredient list
  • Use a stain on your lips and cheeks. The color lasts longer as opposed to creamier versions of lip color/blush which run & feather in humid environments
  • Use a waterproof/water resistant eye liners and mascaras in humid weather so they don't run, and as you wipe and dab at the moisture on your face they have less chance of smudging. 
  • For your eyeshades, a good matte high pigmented shadow will cling to the skin even through humidity.

Low Humidity weather (everywhere else in India during winter)

  • Go to bed with an oil based moisturizer. The oily moisturizers prevent skin excessive drying caused by the cold and low humidity during the night and most damage takes place then.  Ointments that contain 80 percent oil and 20 percent water are especially helpful. However, don't apply oil-based moisturizers on body parts that are acne-prone or likely to sweat -- this can cause breakouts
  • Hot water can further dry skin. Take short showers with warm water.

  • ·         When the weather is windy, using a shower gel -- which likely contains alcohol -- can further dry your skin. Instead, opt for a shower cream or a buttery bar soap to help your skin retain moisture.

  • Apply moisturizer/jelly/oil within three minutes of bathing or showering to help your skin retain moisture. Oil will be more effective than other moisturizers because it prevents water evaporation from the skin's surface. On days when I was too lazy to do it immediately my skin dried out even more than otherwise.
  • Jojoba oil is actually a wax that is very similar to sebum and makes an excellent moisturizer during winter weather.
  • Your elbows, legs and knees have fewer oil glands than your face and are likely to become dry and scaly as well.
  • Shaving can strip your legs/arms of moisture, so be sure to use a moisturizing shaving cream, and apply an oil or lotion that contains petrolatum or shea butter after shaving
  • Skip daily use of foundation if possible or else use a creamier foundation with built in moisturizer that will not emphasize dry, flaky skin. 
  • Creamier versions of lip color that combine color & lip balm nourishment are good for the lips.
  • Opt for cream blushes instead of powder that can absorb skin oils leaving it dry.  Leave the Mousse blushes for Mumbai.
  • While you don’t need water –proof make-up, use translucent powder before applying blushes, eye liners and shadows if you have used a cream foundation so they don't melt & run. Application will be easier then.
  • If you have skin that is dry & flaky, skip all make-up except sunscreen for a few days until the skin recovers.
  • Wind -- especially a cold, dry wind -- can be brutal on your skin. The best defense is to cover your body during windy weather. Cold, windy weather can cause dry patches to form on your cheeks and lips because these areas have fewer oil glands. Always apply a facial moisturizer before heading outside and be sure to wear a lip balm
  • If you know you're going to spend an extended period of time outdoors in cold, windy weather, you should layer on a series of products to build a barrier between the elements and your exposed skin.

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  1. Great post, its very helpful. I hadn't thought of using coconut oil on my skin, but I'll keep it in mind if my skin gets uber dry this winter!

  2. @ Clearly Beautiful: Thks for stopping by.. :D Coconut oil really works well for my hair & skin..

    I tend to use Parachute as Virgin Coconut oil (I only saw it once in Kerala) is very expensive. The parachute bottle says it is edible coconut oil.. so i just figured if it is safe to eat, it is safe to apply..

    Just as a note, please do a patch test first, some people report an increase in acne,

    conversely some ppl also report a decrease.

    So be safe & do a patch test!!


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