The climate varies drastically as you travel around the country. Viseshika Sharma speaks to dermatologists from four cities to advise you on what your skin needs
With three-fourths of the year featuring varied shades of hot and humid weather, Mumbai is a tough city to survive. The stress and pollution only adds to your troubles, and this cocktail makes your skin dull, oily and sticky, making it prone to acne. Dr Bindu Sthalekar, a popular city dermatologist, adds, “In recent years, the most common problem for my patients is pigmentation. During the monsoons people tend to make the mistake of skipping sunscreen, as the sun’s visible rays are blocked, but they forget about the more harmful UV rays.” She stresses the importance of using sunscreen gel or spray during the summer months and lotion during the winter months, making sure that your sunscreen offers both UV A and UV B protection. “Due to the humidity, people also feel they can skip moisturiser at night, but air conditioning dries out the skin so you must use a good moisturiser before going to bed,” advises Dr Sthalekar. She suggests BB, CC and DD creams as good multi-tasking skincare options and recommends asking your dermatologist for a hydra facial each month, to exfoliate, lighten pigmentation and diminish fine lines and wrinkles. A great cleanser that suits you perfectly and a gentle exfoliant at least once a week are other must-haves.
Moist, hot, humid and polluted, Kolkata’s biggest threat to your complexion is the dirt and grime that can collect easily on your skin. “The climate makes your skin sticky so you must cleanse your face as much as possible. Use an anti-sebhorrhoea soap to keep your face clean of stickiness.
Also try to use a soap-free soap like Syndet. Normal soaps all contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, a chemical that is used as a foaming agent, but which dries the skin out and causes cracks,” says Prof. Rathindra Nath Dutta, a prominent Kolkata dermatologist.
Make-up and fairness creams can cause build-up and clog your pores so Prof. Dutta advises minimal use of make-up.
Cool and dry for seven months of the year and warm and dusty for the remainder, Bengaluru is considered quite idyllic to live in. Dr DS Krupa Shankar, a dermatologist associated with Manipal Hospital says the perpetual dryness exacerbates normal skin complaints. “Mild soaps with proper pH are essential,” he says. Photoaging is also an issue as people are unaware of cumulative UV damage and Dr Shankar too emphasises the use of sunscreen, going so far as to suggest that you wear clothing that fully envelopes you, at least during daylight hours. But Dr Shankar says the secret to great skin isn’t in any lotions and potions, in his opinion “nothing makes the skin glow like regular exercise.”
The only predictable factor about the weather in Delhi is that it is extreme. Winters are easy to handle, with appropriately rich moisturisers, but summers throw up all manner of issues. “Intense heat causes sunburn, skin lesions and prickly heat. Once the humidity increases so do bacterial and fungal infections. People also tend to have facials without considering their skin type and this can lead to acne for those with oily skin and irritant dermatitis for others,” cautions Dr Rohit Batra, of DermaWorld Skin Institute. Anti-bacterial soap is a must for Delhi, and people prone to fungal infections should use anti-fungal powders regularly to minimise the risk. “Irrespective of skin type, aloe vera gel is a good moisturiser that doesn’t cause breakouts even on oily skin and doesn’t cause allergy. Cetaphil cleansers are also good for any skin type. Most people go for expensive lotions and then believe that using even a little is more effective, and this is a wrong assumption,” says Dr Batra, before reiterating again the sheer importance of sunscreen.
SUPER SKIN JUICE
You are what you eat.
Dr Bindu Sthalekar’s recipe for an amazing complexion has rave reviews from the Verve team.
2-3 leaves of spinach
˝ cup water
Blitz all the ingredients together in a mixer, without adding any salt or sugar. This juice is rich in anti-oxidants, iron and fibre.
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