The season of rains, romance and crispy delicacies is here! While snuggling in a blanket with a good, hot cuppa and a great book might seem like the best thing to do, life’s a little (or a lot) more demanding than all things love and leisure. Step out of your safe haven and you expose yourself to a host of puddles, literally and figuratively. Think, dry and frizzy hair, itchy scalp, oily skin, acne, and a host of other skin and hair problems that go hand in hand with monsoons. To enjoy what the season has to offer, while keeping beauty woes at bay, it’s important that you cutomise a self-care routine to suit the season. Find out how:

“Monsoon comes with a lot of humidity, making the skin sticky exposing it to bacteria. The best way to keep your skin fresh is to follow a routine which includes three steps – cleansing, moisturising and protecting your skin religiously with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients,” opines Rajat Mathur from Kiehl’s.

Beauty basics for the monsoons: Clean the sheen

Humidity and perspiration lead to excessive oil secretion that makes your face an easy bed for bacterial and fungal infectants. “Deep clean your skin twice a day with an anti-bacterial facewash in order to prevent unwanted bacteria from clogging the pores,” Mathur advices.

Switch to an oil-control, mattifying moisturiser
The moisture in the air requires you to switch to a light-weight, oil-control moisturiser to avoid clogged pores and acne, a common concern during monsoons. Opt for a quick absorbing formula for best results.

Beauty basics for the monsoons: Don’t’ skip sunscreen

Cloudy days might look like a hint to skip your sunscreen ritual, but it’s a big no-no. Even when the sun is not shining bright the UV rays are still harmful enough to cause skin damage. Choose a water-based sunscreen gel to avoid excessive oil secretion.

Blot. Blot. Blot.

Cleansing is significant, but overusing facewash will strip your skin off the natural oils. This will do more harm than good as rough, dehydrated skin is vulnerable to acne. Mathur suggests, “Keep a pack of tissues handy to get rid of excess oil between washes”.

Beauty basics for the monsoons: Use face masks

Relax your skin with an oil-control face mask twice a week. Mathur recommends masks with purifying ingredients like aloe vera and calendula that will help keep allergies at bay and provide the required nourishment to the skin, without making it feel greasy.

Tip: Apply banana-honey hydrating face pack for shine-free skin.
Step 1: Mash one ripe banana in a bowl.
Step 2: Add one tablespoon of honey and blend well.
Step 3: Add one to two drops of orange essential oil to the mixture.
Step 4: Wash your face clean and massage the paste on your face.
Step 5: Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse clean.

Pamper your feet

Humidity, shoes and sweat can lead to bacterial and fungal buildup. Rain water and puddles, in addition, make it trickier to maintain clean and healthy feet in this season. Resorting to open footwear is advisable to help your feet breath, as closed shoes tend to trap sweat. “Regular pedicures are an absolute necessity not just for the aesthetic appeal but also to avoid infections that your feet and nails are prone to when damp,” tells Sana Dhanani, founder of The White Door–a luxury spa and salon in Mumbai.

Tip: Exfoliate your skin every week with a homemade feet scrub
Step 1: Soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Add one cup warm milk in water to fight dry feet.
Step 2: Take half a cup of granulated sugar, two tablespoons of baby oil and one teaspoon of honey and mix well.
Step 3: Massage the paste onto your feet in a circular motion to get rid of dead skin.
Step 4: Exfoliate using a pumice stone.
Step 5: Rinse, pat dry, and moisturise.

Bask in a body scrub

Struggling with back acne? Dhanani explains, “The body tends to sweat a lot more than usual owing to the excess humidity during this time. This leads to body acne from the infectants that settle on the skin surface. Body scrubs are a great way to cleanse and hydrate your skin and keep it glowing.” Pick oil-based scrubs for intense nourishment. Addition of an anti-infectant essential oil can work as a shield against allergies.

Tip: Whip a homemade body scrub
Step 1: Take two tablespoons of brown sugar, one tablespoon olive oil, and one teaspoon of honey in a bowl and mix together.
Step 2: Add two to four drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the mixture.
Step 3: Rub the paste onto your skin, gently moving your fingers in a circular motion.
Step 4: Rinse clean

To help you keep your hair clean and healthy during monsoons, here are some tips by Samay Dutta, Director, Noir, The Luxury Blow Bar, Delhi:1. Nourish your hair with coconut oil and honey.
2. Boost hair and skin health with omega 3 and vitamin E.
3. Avoid tying wet hair.
4. Cover your head when you step out as the rain-water can be acidic and therefore damaging to your hair.
5. When exposed to rain, pat your hair dry as wet and tied hair catches more dust.
6. Limit conditioner application to the length and tips of your hair to restore the natural conditioning, and keep greasy scalp at bay.
7. Humidity can make the hair look flat and limp. Give your hair a beer delight to tame the frizz and add volume to your mane.
8. Use neem oil to prevent dandruff and itchiness.

Beauty basics for the monsoons: Fight the frizz with deep conditioning
On a rainy day, deep conditioning is to hair what a hot cup of chai is to soul. Kamdar presses upon the importance of a good conditioner to tame the frizz during monsoons. She recommends the nourishing benefits
of tea tree and lavender to combat dryness and knotting.

Keep your scalp clean
This weather can take a toll on the tresses, making the strands dry and dull. Treat your hair with a moisturising shampoo for intense nourishment. “Wash your hair two to three times a week in order to combat greasiness and damage from harmful pollutants. Ensure that you use a mild, clarifying shampoo that is paraben-free,” suggests Chandini Kamdar from Paul Mitchell India.
Tip: Dust baby powder to get rid of a greasy scalp between washes.

Treat your tresses with a hair masque
Besides using a conditioner, resort to DIY hair packs once in every 15 days; opt for foods like yogurt, honey, banana, egg or avocado, and pair them with oils like coconut, olive or almond for intense nourishment.Tip: Make your own DIY hair pack
Step 1: Prep your hair with a calming coconut oil massage.
Step 2: Combine one ripe banana with two teaspoons of honey, mix until the paste is smooth.
Step 3: Apply this paste onto your hair and leave it for 20 to 25 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo.

Go easy on makeup
The next few months are going to be high on humidity. Refrain from using layers of makeup as it can lead to product buildup. It’s best to stick to a minimal-to-no makeup look this season. If at all, opt for waterproof makeup. For lips, tints will make a better monsoon partner than thickly coated lipsticks.

Above all, to get the best out of your monsoon beauty routine make a conscious effort to drink 10 to 15 glasses of water every day in order to keep your hair and skin well-hydrated from within. Have a beauty-full monsoon!