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By Dr Abdul Nissar ó Hot and humid conditions also call for extra skin care. The summer months can have its toll on our skin. People with oily skin have more problems during these months, as they are more prone to pimples, rashes and other skin problems. People tend to consume more sugar filled drinks and off course they are exposed to more harsh sunlight. It is important to take care of your skin throughout the year, but it is absolutely critical to take extra care during the summers, especially in the hot countries.

Most of the skin related problems are due to: lack of skin care, neglect of minor skin condition and /or due to wrong skin care products. A good, old-fashioned skin care can help in getting rid of skin contamination. When selecting skin care products, you should be extra careful. There are many products that can aggravate conditions like Rosacea. Avoid the use of toners and exfoliation products, if you have skin allergies. Also, avoid products containing witch hazel, alcohol, peppermint, menthol, alcohol, clove oil, eucalyptus oil and salicylic acid.
While choosing skin care products, please remember ó Different people respond differently to the skin care products. Every product is not good for everyone. Hence, it is important to keep a track of the products that you use. If you feel skin irritation after using any particular product, stop using it immediately and switch to some other brand, or consult a dermatologist. It is advisable to carry the product pack to the doctor, so that he can check the ingredients in the product.

We all have different skin types; following a general beauty care routine can be counterproductive. Following health life style, good skin care can really make you glow. Here are few suggestions, follow them as per your skin type:

1.Stay hydrated. I cannot emphasise this enough ó Drink sufficient water your body tends to lose a lot of moisture in the summer, so itís important to regularly replenish the H2O. Drink a lot of water and liquids and keep your skin soft and moisturised as well.

2.Protect yourself from direct Sun light. The worst thing we can do to our skin is: unprotected sun exposure. If you can, try and stay indoors between 11 am and 3 pm. Sunís rays are the strongest during this time, and can have an adverse effect on your skin. Also, donít forget to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you step out.

3. Use a toner. A good skin toner is a must in hot, humid weather, to cleanse and refresh the skin. Itís important to keep your pores closed and skin cool by using a toner. Cucumber juice and rose waterís natural cooling properties make them an excellent toner for the hot season. You can even keep a small bowl of rose water, in the refrigerator and apply chilled rose water once you go back home after spending time out in sun. It refreshes the skin and imparts a clean and fresh feeling.

4. Do not skip moisturising routine in summers. Skin needs moisturising irrespective of weather. If you find your regular moisturiser too oily, go for a water-based one.

5. Cleanse your face minimum twice a day with a medicated soap or face wash. It is important to do so even when you feel your skin is clean. Cleansing and moisturising is extremely important for good skin.

6. Exfoliate. More than the rest of the year, itís really important to exfoliate your skin in the summer to remove dead skin and improve blood circulation to the face. Choose from any of the medicated scrubs available in the market or make one at home. Avoid any scrubbing or rubbing of the skin area, if is affected.

7. Avoid sugar loaded drinks. Most people reach out for a chilled aerated drink to quench their thirst on a hot day. However, itís important to remember that one 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it! Instead drink some water, fresh lime, fresh fruit juices, and coconut water to stay hydrated.

8. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get 8 hours of sleep. Good health and glowing skin go hand in hand. Look beautiful all through the year and enjoy the summer!

ó The writer is a Muscat based dermatologist



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