Change your lifestyle and invest in these accessories to shield your skin and digestive system
When you pray for the rain, prepare to deal with the mud and the filth that comes with it. Invest in the right monsoon apparel and change your diet and lifestyle.
Cotton clothes suit the humid weather allowing the skin to breathe. Lightweight synthetic clothes made of rayon and polyester are good, too. You may feel sticky and humid, so go for flowing rather than body-hugging or too-long clothes. Capris over full pants and bicycle shorts over jeans are a sensible choice for the rainy season.
Eschew closed shoes that take time to dry and may harbour germs, and go for flip-flops instead. Bata’s floaters, which cost Rs 550-700, are popular as they are waterproof. Melissa recently launched its Real Jelly collection ranging between Rs 3,999 and Rs 4,999. “The best footwear for monsoon season is flip flops, sandals, or boots which are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable at the same time. They are water-resistant, easy to care for, and simple to clean. One must totally avoid wearing heels during rain. Lastly, choose bright and pop colours over darker shades,” says Ruchi Sally, managing director of Melissa India.
A good raincoat or jacket should be of breathable fabric and have a sturdy hood that fits well. Bright and colourful umbrellas are a must-have this season. Krsnaa Mehta, founder of India Circus (Godrej venture), says: “With colours and motifs contrasting the dull hues of monsoon, these windproof umbrellas are designed and crafted to break the monotonous stereotype that umbrellas are useful only on a rainy day. Not only are these full-length walking umbrellas more attractive, but they are also more robust and don’t immediately flip over when the wind starts up.”
Allergies, skin ones in particular, are common in the monsoon as dampness, humidity and poor sunlight encourage bacteria and fungus. “The skin allergies can be prevented by wearing warm and dry cloths, washing hands and bathing in warm water (preferably with salt), hydrating your body optimum,” says Dr Manoj Kutteri, medical director and chief executive at Atmantan Wellness Centre, a Pune-based wellness resort.
“Besides, take Vitamin D supplements if you are low on Vitamin D and do exfoliation treatment with gram flour or salt. Massage the skin once a week with coconut oil. Do proper breathing exercises and Pranayama,” he says.
A common skin allergy in the monsoon is contact dermatitis or urticarial. “The high humidity during the monsoon months can cause sweat to run in rivulets over your body. This can create a build-up of dust, dirt, grime and other toxins on the surface of your skin. Skin will also have a tendency to go drier and get easily dehydrated in the monsoon season, so use a gentle cleanser unless you have acne prone or very oily skin,” says Dr Chytra V Anand, a Bengaluru-based dermatologist and founder & CEO of Kosmoderma Clinics.
She suggests using a soap-free cleanser (soap dehydrates the skin). For acne-prone oily skin, use a Salicylic acid-based cleanser once a day in the morning and a soap-free cleanser at night. Humidity can dehydrate the skin, so use a water-resistant sunscreen. This is the time to have detox facials that help drain the body lymphatics and toxins.
Food is an important part of monsoon readiness. In lower temperatures and humidity, many people develop indigestion and compromised gut health. Experts advise them to increase Vitamin C intake to strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses. Eat sprouts, fresh green vegetables and oranges for a Vitamin C-rich diet. Probiotics help to support your gut health. Make it a point to increase your intake of probiotic foods like yoghurt, buttermilk, kimchi, kombucha and homemade pickled vegetables. Avoid leafy green vegetables—they are more likely to have microbes—and eat karela, lauki, parwal, tinda, pumpkin, yam, and sweet potatoes.
Pakodas on a rainy day are a tempting snack but it is the season to stay away from junk food. “Oily, spicy and salty foods are to be kept to a minimum during monsoon, as this will make it hard for digestion resulting in bloating and also water retention,” says Atmantan’s Dr Kutteri.
“For boosting our immune system, we must consider local and seasonal produce [and] fruits such as papaya, pear, pomegranate, plus, apples, cherries. Jamun, guava are the best inclusions in your diet. Avoid unhygienic food, and untimely eating which can make the digestive system further sluggish,” he says.
Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain are commonly seen in people owing to the consumption of poorly handled roadside food and water. Drinking plenty of water helps the digestive system and flushes out toxins. One can also drink herbal teas made out of monsoon herbs such as ginger, clove, garlic, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, Ajwain, lime etc.
Cleanliness and personal hygiene will keep you healthy during monsoon.
|Price Range (Rs)
|Destinio, India Circus, Generic, Henglobe
|VIPOST, Sunpower, Bulfyss, The Clownfish, Ben Martin
|Waterproof Bag Cover
|Arythe, Solimo, Cosmus
|Bata, Melissa, Crocs, Generic
|Boot Freshener/Silica Gel Packs
|CILICAnT, Freshwind silica gel
|Monsoon skincare products
|SkinQ, Forest Essential, Neutrogena
|Carbamide Forte Probiotics, HealthyHey, Himalayan Organics