Are you committing these summer sins?

Your skin is the largest organ you have, and summer is the season it bears the brunt of the sun, heat and humidity. Are your habits (or non-habits) making this sensitive organ more susceptible to problems like tanning, sun burn, blackheads, pimples and acne?

Shahnaz Husain

Who better to ask about skin sins than India’s original beauty mogul Shahnaz Husain? So ask her I did. Says the Delhi-based entrepreneur behind Biotique, “Skin care should be planned according to your skin type and also according to season. In summer, the skin needs toners to close the pores and remove sweat deposits. Oily skin is more prone to problems like blackheads and pimples.”

Skin sin 1

Most women with oily skin wash their face frequently with soap and water to reduce the oiliness. This is actually a mistake.

Why: This is because most soaps are alkaline and too much soap-and-water can disrupt the normal acid-alkaline (pH) balance of the skin. Ironically, this will make your skin more prone to pimples and acne. Healthy skin is slightly more acid than alkaline.

Shahnaz says: For normal to oily skin, salon facials should include deep pore cleansing, exfoliation with a scrub or cleansing grains, toning, medicated masks and products. If there are pimples, acne or rash, scrubs and grainy substances should not be used on them.

Skin sin 2

creamApplying cream at night and leaving it on overnight.

Why: Shahnaz recommends doing away with nourishing cream altogether for normal to oily skin. “Even for normal to dry skin, smothering the skin with cream all night does not help at all. The skin can only absorb that much and no more. In fact, the pores should be free of cream, so that the skin can ‘breathe’. This is more so in summer,” she says.

Shahnaz says: If you must use undereye cream, wipe off after 15 minutes with moist cotton wool.

Skin sin 3

Using harsh astringent lotions on oily skin.

Why: This can disrupt the normal pH balance. An astringent is useful in summer, especially for oily skin, as it reduces oiliness and prevents clogging of the pores. However, if it is too harsh, it can do more damage than good.

Shahnaz says: Mix the astringent lotion with rose water in equal quantities and refrigerate in an airtight bottle.

Skin sin 4

Touching the face with your hands to wipe off sweat.

Why: In summer, the skin is usually oily and sweaty. This makes dirt and pollutants adhere to the skin. Says Shahnaz, “The hands actually carry germs and bacteria, conveying them to facial skin and leading to eruptive skin problems.” In fact, if there is acne, it can get aggravated if you keep touching your face.

Shahnaz says: Carry face wipes or cotton wool and a tiny bottle of rose water with you.

Foolproof skincare tips for summer


  1. People with oily skin should use an oil-free matte moisturiser and gel-based sunscreen.
  2. Use a waterproof, broad spectrum sunscreen lotion in summer, especially before swimming in an open pool or in the sea. Remember to re-apply it after an hour.
  3. After a swim, shower and rinse off the face and body with water. This helps to get rid of chlorine and other chemicals found in the water in swimming pools.

By Kasmin Fernandes

Coming up next: Prep your hair for summer

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