A number of changes take place when the rainy season sets in. Along with the requisite rain showers come increased humidity—meaning there is more moisture in the air—and lower temperatures. The cooler weather brought about by pouring rain often intersperses with our country’s characteristic tropical heat, sometimes within one day. And then there are the floods, which you may have to wade through if you’re unfortunate.
All these changes create a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive, which is why the common cold is much more common during the rainy season. Aside from battling airborne illnesses, you may also have to deal with some skin changes, like dryness or breakouts. Read on to find out about the little adjustments you can make to your skincare routine, the importance of moisturizing even when there’s more moisture in the air, and the benefits of skin exfoliation.
Your Rainy-Season Skincare Routine
The same old beauty advice of “cleanse, tone, moisturize” still stands when the weather turns, but here are a few more tips to help your skin adapt to the changing weather.
Hydrate. Due to the cooler weather, you may not be feeling as thirsty as you normally do on a hot summer’s day. Thus, you may not be drinking enough water. Dehydration can have a drying effect on your skin. After all, hydration primarily comes from what you put inside your body more than what you slather onto it, so drink up. Some research also suggests that dehydration may have an adverse effect on your mood, attention, and memory. Lack of fluids can also keep you sick for longer, or at least increase your discomfort (hello, stuffy nose!)—so as the usual advice goes, drink plenty of fluids to help keep both sickness and dry skin at bay.
Use sunscreen. Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean you should toss your sun protection aside. Even on a cloudy day, harmful UV rays can make it onto your skin, so put on your sunscreen year-round.
Cleanse. On especially cool days, you may not be inclined to give your skin a good cleaning—you didn’t sweat, so what’s the point of washing up? But the same humid air that carries the cold virus is also a playground for all sorts of bacteria that can stick to your skin. Bundling up in raincoats and jackets might trap some dirt and bacteria beneath your clothes. So it’s important to give your skin a good cleaning at the end of the day. Raindrops on your skin or floodwater seeping into your shoes may also carry dirt and harmful bacteria so be extra vigilant when it comes to cleansing. Choose a mild cleanser that’s made for your skin type to keep your skin from drying out.
Tone. With the erratic weather and changing humidity, your skin might be thrown off balance, so choose a toner that can help regulate your skin’s pH balance. If you’re worried about the drying effects, choose a toner that has no alcohol in it.
Exfoliate. Without a sun-kissed glow, your skin might be looking extra dull during the rainy season. Exfoliation may be the key to a more radiant glow. How does skin exfoliation work? It removes the dead skin cells to reveal a brighter complexion and help your skin absorb other skin-nourishing products better. The two types of exfoliation are mechanical (meaning you use a tool like a brush, a wash cloth, or scrub) and chemical (facial wash with ingredients like salicylic acid or facial peels).
You might be tempted to scrub away with gusto but remember to always treat your skin gently; vigorous scrubbing might end up irritating your skin. Your method of exfoliation will also depend greatly on your skin type. Does exfoliating help dry skin? It can. Sloughing off those flakes can will allow your skin to absorb moisturizing products better, but you should do it gradually. (Some experts say that chemical exfoliation is the better option for those with dry skin. If you have especially dry skin, it may be best to consult with your dermatologist first.) Once or twice a week is plenty for those with dry skin while those with oilier skin may be able to exfoliate most days of the week. One more thing to remember: Don’t exfoliate when you’re experiencing a breakout or other skin issue, or if you have an open wound as this may irritate your skin further.
Moisturize. It’s crucial to moisturize especially after exfoliating as the latter does tend to have a drying effect on skin. The fluctuations in weather—humid one day, scorching the next—can also do a number on your skin. Choose a lightweight moisturizer made especially for your skin type to help keep your skin feeling soft and dewy. Visit your nearest Healthy Options to see their selection of natural skin moisturizers that can provide you with the hydration your skin needs this season.