How Ayurveda can help you stay healthy: Expert’s tips to improve skin, hair, and diet through natural medicine& |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
New Delhi: The natural mechanism of our body is such that it adjusts to the weather. However, hot and humid weather can cause oily and itchy skin, tanning, and sweating. It can also result in body odour. Hair and digestive problems also become common during the summer season. Unrestricted sun exposure, even during monsoon, can cause premature ageing in all skin types while oily skin may experience heavy breakouts. Your hair, nails, lips, and eyes, as well as your digestive system, can get affected in the hot and humid weather. Therefore, we need to take care of our skin and limit exposure to the sun, and at the same time, take care of overall health in a natural way.
Our face is the first thing people notice and it seems that the sunrays are no different. Therefore, this part of the body bears the brunt, quite literally. Make sure you are washing you face more with plain water for 3-4 times every day. Not only it helps your body to cool off, it takes off the dirt and grime that clog the pores and prevent the sweat glands from working. Unless these glands work, your skin will not breathe and therefore, will not be healthy. You must also use a natural exfoliator to make sure dead skin cells are off your face. You may use a homemade mix of gram flour and curd. If you have acne-prone skin, use a mix containing fullers earth (Multani mitti), sandal, rose water and basil. For dry and matured skin, choose egg white, lemon, sandal and curd with a pinch of turmeric and gram flour. However, if you have a sunburn or eruption or broken skin, wait for the area to heal before applying anything.
Though oil is not advisable for your hair during this time of the year, they are perfectly suited to cover your skin and protect it from harmful sun rays, just like SPF in sunscreen lotions. Many consider sunscreens redundant in monsoon but it prevents your skin from unwanted heat. Sunscreens available in the market are said to contain chemicals such as oxybenzone that leave an adverse impact on the hormones. Few indicative natural alternatives of SPF are:
- Almond oil: SPF – 5
- Coconut oil and shea butter: SPF 4 to 6
- Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide: SPF 2 to 20 depending on used quantity
- Red raspberry seed oil: SPF 25 to 50
- Carrot seed oil: SPF 35 to 40
Due to sweat, ambient humidity and dirt, our hair looks dull and limp in monsoon. Many of us also experience more dandruff. While using lemon is an age-old and tested method, fenugreek or methi seeds are also effective in resolving dandruff. It is not advisable to shampoo your hair very frequently as it takes out moisture and dries the scalp. But make sure you wash your hair with a mild shampoo. If you have an oily scalp, avoid using oil of any kind. Those who experience hair fall during monsoon can apply a natural mask of neem paste, a paste of hibiscus flower and leaves, powdered amla, reetha, shikakai, and eggs. Apply this from root to end of the hair, leave for an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo.
Sultry weather during monsoon often makes it difficult to digest the food we eat and result in food poisoning and indigestion. Eat light as eating rich, spicy food and leave some room in your stomach. Maintain a routine for meals and take small frequent meals instead of one or two heavy meals. At night, make sure your diet is light but has enough nutrition. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are the best way to beat a seasonal disease. Run your blender if you are short of time – fresh juice of fruits and vegetables are a good alternative and give an equal amount of nutrition and keep you hydrated. Drink plenty of water, tender coconut water to avoid dehydration caused by endless sweating, but avoid alcohol and cold drinks. Mix some sugar and salt with plain water – this will help maintain hydration and ensure electrolyte balance in your body.
Dr Bhushan Bhavsar is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.