Trivia: In the Indian subcontinent, monsoon refers to the south west winds bringing in heavy rains from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal from May end to September. It is not just any heavy downpour occurring anywhere at different times of the year. There are other monsoon patterns that occur in other parts of the world too.
1Pitta dosha, in the monsoon, is the villain of skin problems although an imbalance of any of the three doshas can also cause the same. High levels of humidity makes skin in the monsoon season look greasy/shiny and dull, especially if you have oily or combination skin. White/blackheads and/or acne breakouts spike during monsoon. Even normal skin can have an accumulation of pollutants that block the pores giving you skin bumps (comedones).
1check Ayurveda & Skin Type
So what do you do?
Ayurveda emphasises internal as well as external care for a glowing healthy skin.
Therefore start by taking care of what you eat. Keep off acidic food or if unavoidable, use less of them and balance with alkaline or neutral vegetables and fruits. Most fruits and vegetables fall under the alkaline category but release acid when they are cooked. A word of caution to non vegans/vegetarians - meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, some grains, nuts and alcohol are also acidic.
Acid-alkaline scale: acidic range pH 0 to 6.9; neutral pH 7; alkaline or basic range7.1 to 14.
Here are a few easy tips to mellow a dish:
- Add a peeled and cut potato to your tomato based sauce and remove after about 30 mins. The potato will soak up some of the acid.
- Simmer or slow cooking releases more sugar which counteracts the acid.
- Adding sea salt (pH 8) instead of common table salt will take away some of the acidic effect.
- Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sugars inhibiting some of the acid.
- Baking soda with a pH 8.3 will lower acid output from other ingredients in the dish.
- Sugar added in a small quantity helps stem acidic reaction in the stomach.
Drinking sufficient water through the day is always a good idea.
Normal and regular bowel movement is a big plus.
Let’s move on to external skin care. Cleansing and hydrating is the key to skin care in this season.
- Avoid makeup and if you can’t, do remove it completely before going to bed.
- Wash your face at least twice a day, thrice if you can. Bathe twice a day.
- Exfoliate. It’s not just about the face, the skin of the whole body will benefit from an exfoliation. This will unclog the pores and help generate new skin cells. Oats, coffee, ground flaxseeds, rice flour, fine sugar, lentil flour, neem powder are good exfoliators that are gentle on the skin and yet leave it clear and clean. Make sure to combine with cucumber juice or rose water or any neutral or basic. (check homemade exfoliating formulation in Ayurveda & Skin Type)
- Once you are done with exfoliating, cleanse your skin for it will have open pores and allow it to breathe. Use an oil free gentle cleanser. Neem, turmeric, aloevera, frankincense, cedarwood, lavender, chamomile, tea tree oil, hemp oil etc are some of the natural ingredients that deep cleanse. Pavitra Body Wash has been blended thoughtfully with the right ingredients keeping in mind the seasonal needs.
- Tone your skin with a natural toner. Cucumber water, rose water, chamomile tea or infused water etc make excellent toners.
- Hydrate with a light moisturiser. Hemp seed oil is good for all the tridoshas. Depending on your skin type, you can also apply organic coconut oil. Pat Pavitra Body Oil lightly all over your skin; as the body absorbs it quickly, the blend of hemp seed oil in combination with the other ingredients in it will optimally hydrate it.
Pavitra hopes you have a happy and glowing skin this monsoon. Take care.