How to protect your skin from heat

IANS | By, New Delhi
Apr 24, 2010 04:21 PM IST

Gearing up to protect your skin from the summer sun? Water, sunscreen, an umbrella and cotton clothes are not enough. Experts say, to keep feeling soft and radiant...

Gearing up to protect your skin from the summer sun? Water, sunscreen, an umbrella and cotton clothes are not enough. Experts say to keep feeling soft and radiant, increase the intake of liquids, stock up on rose water and go for non-spicy foods.

Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain says a good skin toner is a must in hot weather. "Rose water is ideal, as it is a natural coolant. In fact, it is due to its cooling properties that it has become so popular in tropical countries. Rose water refreshes the skin and imparts a clean and fresh feeling," she said.

"You can keep a small bowl of rose skin tonic, or rose water, in the refrigerator. This way, it is chilled and ready for use," Husain said.

In summer, people with oily skin have a misconception that they should not apply moisturiser because it attracts dust and invites pimples. But Husain says this is a mistake.

"Oily skin can hold moisture better than normal or dry skin. But oily skin can also be short of moisture. This happens during the dry season, when there is a superficial dryness of the outermost layer of the skin. So apply light or oil-free moisturisers because they replenish your skin," suggests Husain.

According to Ajay Rana, a dermatologist at Berkowits Hair and Skin Clinic, one should be properly covered from 10 am to 4 pm because the sun rays are very harsh during these peak summer hours.

People often forget that a healthy diet is important for beautiful and healthy skin and survive on fizzy drinks and ice creams, saying they are not feeling hungry.

"Summer is a time when one feels like eating less which can lead to many problems like heat strokes, dehydration etc. Youngsters also take cola drinks at frequent intervals in order to beat the heat, but one should not forget that these drinks consist of high sugar levels that make you fat too," explained Sonia Narang, senior dietician at fitness club Finesse.

"A perfect diet is a must to avoid skin problems that come packed with the summer season," she added.

Narang also suggests that people should drink 'thandai' (milk and almond-based cooling drink) as a meal replacement. It is very filling and healthy.

In summers, the body gets badly dehydrated and the dryness leads to skin that is wrinkle prone, less elastic and allergic to various problems.

SO it's a good idea to keep the skin and body hydrated with vegetable juices, watermelon juice, aam panna, coconut water, barley, chana, sattu, jaljira and lemonade.

Also one should avoid diuretics like alcohol, caffeine, tea, coffee, chocolates and cigarettes that deplete water from the body. Also, one should minimise the intake of spicy, hot and extremely salty foods as they affect the skin adversely.

Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon at the Apollo Hospital, suggests that one can go for chemical peels to treat acne, fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage.

"A chemical peel is a treatment process that will improve and smoothen the texture of facial nerve skin. A chemical solvent is applied on the skin and then finally peeled off. The reclaimed skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the older skin," said Dhir.

"Chemical peels stimulate the production of new cells, tighten and tone the skin and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also help in lightening acne scars and sun damage," he added.

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