Climate

Summer care

9:35 PM

That’s it Summer is back in Mumbai, has been for a few weeks, and one sure bet it has hit is when my skin care regimen include these:

From left to right I give you: Talcum powder, sunscreen, toner, deodorant, baby rash cream and mosquito repellent.

Now first of all, I use deodorant in Winter too, it’s just that in the hot and humid month no other deodorant will do the trick but Dove, I tried many, the only one that will keep me dry is this one.
I don’t use baby powder all the time, mostly because it leaves white streaks on my clothes, but sometimes nothing else will do, so it’s back on my bathroom shelf for the season. Sunscreen is one I need only when I know I am going to be in the sun long enough, and these days it’s so harsh that just the 10 minutes to walk down to pick up Ishi in school in the afternoon is enough to redden my shoulders a little, I don’t need a super high SPF to protect me for that, 20 does it just fine but my skin as dry and problematic it can be for other thing, seem to do fairly well in the sun and I am not paranoid about a slight tan either. But the good new if you have a super sun sensitive skin and live in India is that there are many brands out there offering high SPF protection. The one I use right now is a lesser known one, but it seems to work great on my skin. As I said I am not so sensitive to the sun but boy oh boy sunscreen is a whole entire business. Nivea is the biggest fail, I knew that from Switzerland and this is the only sunscreen I ever tried that end up GIVING me a sunburn from hell instead of preventing one, without a fail each time I used some I ended up burned silly, the last time was borrowing my blonde and sensitive skin sister’s SPF 30 a few days before my wedding and ending up crimson red within hours of applying it while she was perfectly fine and unburned using it. The desi brand Lakme is close second in the skin reaction department, my skin can’t stand it very well, though it’s not as bad as Nivea. Lotus another desi brand is fine enough, it just seem the texture gets a bit odd after a few months, but I never broke out in hives or burned silly using it. The Aroma one I am using is moisturizing, protecting, non smelling and comes in a pump bottle which makes it convenient to use.
I never use toner in Winter, my skin is bone dry and soap is enough to get the dirt out when I don’t sweat, but comes Summer and I inevitably sweat tons and it leaves a sticky film on my skin that traps pollution particle and makes it itchy. Since my skin is still a dry skin type despite the sweating I can’t use alcohol based toners (tried in the past and it was torture), I prefer the herbal as natural as possible ones, last year I used a Fabindia one, but it made my skin a bit sticky still, so this year I tried another one. This one smells of black currant and the main ingredient is Witch’s hazel which has anti-inflammatory properties, so not only does it gets the dirt and grime out, it also act as an after-sun product soothing the skin. I am in love with that one, never has my skin been that happy with a toner ever.
Diaper rash cream is my secret weapon, anybody dealing with Summer in India will report occasional or not so occasional case of chaffing on the skin, be it the seam of the t-shirt rubbing in the wrong place, or the panty line getting red, or simply suffering from a heat rash in a skin fold, we’ve all been there. Talcum powder is often recommended to remedy to these, but they work better at preventing the chaffing, not soothing one that occurred already, truth be told I found that putting powder on an already chaffed and irritated spot makes it worse 9I have a sensitive skin just in case you didn’t know it already). Now before having Ishita I never even knew about diaper rash cream, I bought a tube of the Himalaya one when she was born to be ready should she ever have one, turns out she never had a case of diaper rash ever, but I on the other hand coped with all type of rashes and once got inspired to try it, after all if it is good for babies it can be good for me right? Turns out that stuff is miracle packed in a tube. In fact forget just using it for heat rashes, it works wonder on the occasional zit many ladies are still coping with in adulthood, dab a little rash cream on the zit at night and it will be reduced to something harmless the next morning, that’s how good that thing is.
And I don’t think I need to really explain why Odomos (mosquito repellent) is in the picture, heat and humidity = mosquitoes. Odomos is the only brand I have seen around in India since I moved there and it is still the only one I see around. And I LOVE it, I never liked the ones you find in Switzerland because they sting, dry the skin and smell far too strong, not that they are inefficient it’s just that why oh why do they need to be that smelly and mean to the skin. But then the only time my compatriots use some is when they go camping or are out for a picnic or a barbecue in the garden. In India mosquitoes are enough of a health threat that you end up putting it everyday and don’t want to end up permanently smelling like a giant citronella candle and sacrifice your skin in the process of protecting yourself against Dengue fever or malaria. Whenever I hear about someone planning a trip to India and being told to pack tons of repellent before they leave I smile and inform the person that they can safely leave their bug cream home, because Odomos is widely available, comes in different sizes, including a pocket size tube, comes in tube cream, lotion, gel or spray on solutions, and even has now a “naturals” sub-brand, which claims to be all natural but really isn’t just has some citronella oil in the cream, and which I interestingly found to be less effective or at least effective for a shorter duration that the good old “Advanced Odomos”. And since I have a sensitive skin (repeating myself I know), I found that the moisturizer in it keeps it soft and non itchy too. So much so that when I went back to Switzerland for 2 months in 2008, I actually packed some Odomos with me instead on relying on the Swiss brands I don’t like when out in the garden or by the lake side.
And that’s another reason why I love Winter in Mumbai so much, all I need then are a good face cream, and a moisturizing lotion and remember to apply it 3-4 times a day (not difficult to do since my skin pulls big time in the cold), but comes Summer I can retire the lotion, keep the cream and add all of the above to my skin care regimen. 

4 comments

  1. well said ...let me add ...goodnight naturals is my weapon for us and chicoo infant mosquito rep fr the youngest in family ....last year i discovered one more wonder oil ..which i use at all problems now be it nappy rash ,,skin drying may it be for winter or summer ..coconut oil ..though it smells ...its wonderful!!!!

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  2. Beatrix12:36 PM

    I don't understand how Nivea products remain so popular.
    They're very greasy/oily and they smell awful.
    Someone recommended I try the German version of Nivea dry skin creme, as somehow it was better. I found it to be oily & smelly too.
    For dry skin on my hands & feet I have found 'Glysolid' to be very effective & inexpensive. It isn't the best smelling stuff though not nearly as offensive as Nivea products. Glysolid is German also, I guess the Germans aren't so good at making things smell nice?
    Himalaya products seem to be consistently good quality, in my opinion.

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  3. Yeah the smell of Nivea is really not the best, and as you said is oily, I don;t like the fact that the cream leaves an oily film on my skin without even moisturizing it deeply.
    I love the Himalaya range, even their shampoos whcih are not my real favourites are still fine, they really have a solid consitency of quality in their range, and I love the smell of the baby range :)

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  4. The only issue I have with coconut oil is that well...ahem it's oily :) I don't like the greasy feeling of oil left on my skin so I really use it only when I have super dry patches on my feet, elbows or knee in the winter, but then it's just me, I'm wierd like that :) But I agree the smell is divine and really takes care of the skin well.

    I have some pigeon anti mosquito wipes I bought once, they are great to slip in the purse and to use on babies when mosquitoes attack.

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