Coping with the usual summer problems for Skin & Hair

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By Shahnaz Husain

Among the organs of the body, the skin is one of the first to bear the brunt of summer sun, leading to problems like sun tan, sun burn, dark patches, rash, pimples, etc. Exposure to the sun leads to sun tan, sun burn, or dark pigmented spots or patches.

If one is swimming in an open pool, exposure to the sun becomes a problem. Reflective surfaces like water actually cause more sun damage. The skin becomes tanned, which is a normal protective response of the skin. Sun-exposure can also cause dryness of the skin, while chlorine and other chemicals in the water deplete moisture and cause rashy conditions.

Protect the skin by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which provides protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. For oily skin, look for an “oil-free” product, or apply a sunscreen gel or light lotion. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun-exposure. Remember to apply sunscreen while swimming, holidaying by the sea or in the hills. Reflective surfaces, like water and snow actually increase the effects of UV rays.

Cleansing and toning are most important, especially during summer, when an oily and sweaty skin attracts more dirt and pollutants, leading to clogged pores and pimples. Use a mild cleanser or face wash, which is meant for normal to oily skin and contains ingredients like tulsi and neem. Rinse the face well with water. Apply an astringent lotion or skin tonic, using cotton wool. If there are no pimples, use a facial scrub once or twice a week to keep the pores free of oil.

Mix ground almonds with curd and apply on the face. Rub gently with small circular movement, especially on dark patches. Wash off with water.

Add a pinch of haldi to curd or buttermilk and apply on the face daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes with plenty of water

Add 2 to 3 DROPS sandalwood essential oil to 50 ml rose water and apply on the area.
Or, add 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this on rashy and eruptive conditions.

Summer affects the hair too. Exposure to the summer sun can make the hair dry and brittle, leading to split ends and hair breakage. Sweat also makes the hair matted and rough. Sweat and oil deposits collect on the scalp, leading to dandruff.

Dry hair may be washed twice a week, using less shampoo. Oily hair needs more frequent shampoos, but also using less shampoo. It is quite safe to even wash your hair daily, to remove sweat and oil deposits, but use very little mild shampoo and rinse well with water. One application of shampoo is enough. Short, layered hairstyles require frequent shampoos to maintain body and style.

For dull hair: Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg. Beat them together well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Then wrap the hair in a hot towel for twenty minutes, before washing the hair. This helps to add body and make the hair manageable.

Summer Hair Rinse to add shine: Have a tea-water and lemon rinse for shiny hair. Tea water can be made by boiling used tea leaves again in enough water. You should have 5 to 6 cups of tea-water after boiling. Cool, strain, add the juice of a lemon to the tea-water and use it as a last rinse after shampoo.

Have a small bowl of sprouts daily. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, leafy green vegetables, whole grains and curd in the daily diet. Drink plenty of water. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.

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