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There was a time when winter clothes used to be found in Indian wardrobes till March. Things have changed now, and as per the India Meteorological Department, February 2023 was the hottest on record in India since 1901! Going by the soaring temperatures and no rainfall, it looks like it will get hotter day by day. If you won’t care enough, the side effects of heatwave will be seen and felt on your skin. You can try out DIY cooling face masks so that your skin stays healthy and happy.
To find out what heatwave can do to your skin and the cooling face masks that can keep your skin health in check, HealthShots reached out to Dr Jaishree Sharad, a popular cosmetic dermatologist, author, TEDx speaker and founder of Skinfiniti Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic in Mumbai.
Heatwave and skin
It’s not just heat exhaustion that you should be worried about during the heatwave. It can have several effects on the skin.
During a heatwave, high temperatures and humidity can cause excessive sweating and fluid loss, leading to dehydration. Dr Sharad says that this can make the skin look dull, dry, and flaky.
Excessive exposure to sun during a heatwave can cause sunburn, which can damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.
3. Heat rash
Prolonged exposure to heat and humidity can cause heat rash, which is characterised by small, red, itchy bumps on the skin.
4. Acne and breakouts
Heat and humidity can also cause an increase in oil production, which can clog pores and lead to acne and breakouts.
5. Premature ageing
Exposure to UV radiation from the sun during a heatwave can accelerate the ageing process, causing fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots to appear earlier than they would otherwise.
It goes without saying that to protect your skin during a heatwave, you should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during peak hours. The expert says that it’s also important to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen the right way, and slip into loose-fitting and breathable clothing to prevent heat rash. Also, now is not the time to use those heavy cosmetics that can clog pores and exacerbate acne and breakouts.
DIY cooling face masks
While making a list of what to do during a heatwave, don’t forget to take out some time to make your own cooling face masks at home. Here are some of the easy ones you can try!
1. Cucumber and aloe vera mask
• 1/2 cucumber
• 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
• Blend the cucumber and mix it with the aloe vera gel to form a smooth paste.
• Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse with cool water.
Benefits of cucumber and aloe vera mask
Eating cucumber has many benefits. Applying it has a cooling effect on the skin. Aloe vera is also known for its hydrating and soothing properties. Dr Sharad says that together, these two ingredients can help to reduce inflammation and redness in the skin.
2. Mint and yogurt mask
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
• Crush the mint leaves and mix them with the yogurt to form a smooth paste.
• Apply the paste to your face and wash it off after 10 to 15 minutes.
Benefits of mint and yogurt mask
Mint helps to keep skin cool, and the lactic acid in yogurt can help to exfoliate and brighten the complexion. So, if you thought that you enjoy the benefits of yogurt just by eating, think again.
3. Rosewater and sandalwood mask
• 1 tablespoon sandalwood powder
• 1 tablespoon rosewater
• Mix the sandalwood powder and rosewater to form a paste.
• This also needs to kept on your face for 10 to 15 minutes.
Benefits of rosewater and sandalwood mask
Sandalwood is also good for cooling your skin. As for rosewater, it can help to hydrate and tone the complexion.
4. Cucumber and yogurt mask
• 1/2 cucumber
• 1/4 cup plain yogurt
• Blend the cucumber and then add the yogurt to it so that you can get a smooth paste.
• Apply it to your face and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off.
Benefits of cucumber and yogurt mask
Cucumber works as a cooling agent and yogurt can help to exfoliate and hydrate the complexion.
5. Green tea and honey mask
• 1 tablespoon green tea leaves
• 1 tablespoon honey
• Steep the green tea leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Strain the leaves and mix the tea with honey to form a paste.
• Apply it to your face and again, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well with cool water.
Benefits of green tea and honey mask
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has a cooling effect on the skin, while honey can help to hydrate and soothe the complexion. There are several ways to use green tea for skincare!
The expert says that these face masks can be especially beneficial during hot weather or after spending time in the sun.
Face masks to avoid during a heatwave
During a heatwave, it is best to avoid face masks that contain ingredients that can increase skin sensitivity to the sun or cause irritation. This includes masks with retinoids, AHAs, BHAs, and vitamin C, says Dr Sharad. These ingredients can make the skin more vulnerable to sun damage and may lead to skin irritation or sensitivity when exposed to the sun.
It is also best to avoid clay-based face masks that can dry out the skin, as they may worsen dehydration caused by the heat.