The current weather makes it absolutely impossible to sit without an air conditioner to keep us from feeling uncomfortable and sweat due to the humidity as well as the scorching summer heat.
However, the coolness and the comfort provided by the AC comes at a steep price for sure. Nope, we’re not just talking about the garam-sard giving you fever due to sudden temperature changes as you step in and out of an air-conditioned environment. We’re talking about its impact on your skin.
“The cool air coming from an AC can disturb your skin’s moisture balance. So, you may feel cool but what you don’t realise is that it is creating a severe imbalance of moisture levels for your skin,” points out Dr. B. Lakshmi Divya, consultant dermatologist, Dermiq Skin and Hair Clinic, Hyderabad.
“If you are already suffering from eczema, rosacea psoriasis, or any other skin condition, your skin might get even worse due to continuous AC exposure. Not to mention, the temperature change can hamper your skin’s elasticity as well,” she further explains.
The bottom line is that most of us don’t just require but prefer sitting in the AC given the rising temperatures of summer. However, you can check out these remedies recommended by Dr. Divya to combat the resulting dry-skin problems:
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has emollient properties. Basically, emollients fill the spaces between skin cells, creating a smooth surface. That’s why the saturated fatty acids that occur naturally in coconut oil can hydrate and smoothen the skin.
You can use coconut oil daily on even the most sensitive parts of your body. These include the area underneath your eyes and around your mouth. Another advantage of coconut oil is that you don’t need to mix it with anything. Coconut is gentle enough for everyday use.
Just apply it on the whole body 15 minutes prior to your bath and wash it off as you bathe.
2. Organic sunflower oil
Sunflower seed oil is another natural oil that helps the skin to retain its moisture. Sunflower seed is rich in vitamin E that traps moisture inside the skin cells and keeps it hydrated for a long time. The oil also prevents several diseases such as asthma, arthritis, and aids the cell renewal process as well.
Using honey on your skin is yet another effective remedy to cure dry, dehydrated skin. Honey has both moisturizing and antimicrobial properties. You can apply raw, organic honey to your dry skin, leave it on for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with water.
The next time you want to take a relaxing bath, add some milk to the tub. It will help relieve dry, itchy skin. Milk contains lactic acid which helps exfoliate dead skin cells. It’s also got anti-inflammatory properties which can help the skin to heal faster.
Dr. Divya recommends using whole fat cow’s milk or goat’s milk for this purpose.
To take a milk bath, simply use lukewarm water and add one to three gallons of milk. Soak in it for 15 minutes and be sure to rinse off afterward. If you don’t want to soak your whole body in milk, you can put a washcloth in milk and then place it on the affected area for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Plain yogurt can help moisturize your skin and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Apply a thin layer on the dry patches of your skin and rinse it off after 10 to 15 minutes.
Smash one half of an avocado on your toast and save the other half for your face! Avocado is loaded with skin-healing vitamins A and E. That’s a nutritional duo that moisturizes and protects the skin from the damaging UV rays of the sun. Spread the avocado on your face, massage it in, then rinse with warm water after 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Petroleum jelly
Dry-skin solutions don’t have to be expensive. If you have petroleum jelly with you, you’re all set. It can seal moisture into your skin just as effectively as an expensive product would. After a bath, try rubbing it onto the dry and chapped areas of your skin.
Don’t’ forget these pointers though…
Apart from using these remedies to combat your dry-skin problems, Dr. Divya recommends drinking lots of water, at least 8 cups, at regular intervals to keep yourself and your skin hydrated.
She also suggests moisturising your skin with a good lotion regularly. This can undo the drying effect caused due to excessive use of the AC.
“Also, make sure you change your AC filters once every three months and if possible, take breaks. Switch off the AC when it gets too cold. Try to keep it off if you have to leave home in say half an hour. This will protect your skin from the shock caused by the sudden temperature change,” she says and signs off.
So, ladies, you can’t deny that you need the AC to get through these summer months but you also need good skincare to ensure your skin is healthy too!