Summer self-care, simplified
Upgrade personal care this season with the hottest beauty routines
With skin and hair products making for a large share of the wellness pie today, self-care-focused routines are pressing forward like never before. To help you make the most of it, here are the trends rising high on the beauty barometer.
Also read: 10 K-beauty ingredients that promise smooth and supple skin
Beauty is ‘skin deep’: From skin flooding to skin tapping and skin slugging, social media has always been abuzz with beauty trends. The latest, however, that has not only overridden all others but also has dermatologists’ nod of approval, is skin cycling. “It’s a routine where products are used in rotation over four days, leaving three days for recovery. With skin actives being used only on certain days, it streamlines product use,” says ayurvedic vaidya Dr Ipsita Chatterjee from SoulTree. “Skin cycling protects the outermost layer called the stratum corneum, which keeps harmful pathogens at bay. It’s ideal for the ones with sensitive skin, or those who wear a lot of makeup, or use retinoids regularly.
The non-aggressive method has become especially sought-after with the rise in conditions such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis,” says Lucknow-based Dr Shibani Bhatia, consultant dermatologist, Kaya.
Skin food: What kimchi is for the gut, it is for the skin too. Fermented ingredients have moved from the plate to personal care products with formulations incorporating yeast, fruit, tea and herbs. “These ingredients are not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but they also do the important job of breaking down food into smaller compounds for their easy absorption by the body, ensuring the skin gets all the healthy nutrients. For instance, the fermented milk drink, kefir, is a potent ingredient for skin suppleness and hydration. Not just that, it has been used to treat acne and atopic dermatitis,” says Uma Rai, Founder, GoodSkn, an organic skincare formulator.
While Korean skincare has extolled the benefits of rice wine, makkule (Korean alcoholic beverage) and Mugwort, Indian consumers are now warming up to fermented ingredients in serums, cleansers, exfoliators and masks. Using such formulations comes at a price though. “Turn to the abundance of your kitchen where you’ll find plenty of these ingredients: yoghurt (mix it with gram flour to make a face mask), Chaga mushroom (make a cream out of it to promote collagen production), black tea (dab it on the face to reduce acne) and fermented hibiscus extract (mix it with aloe vera gel to remove dead skin cells),” says Rai.
An ecosystem to nourish: Biome-based trend has emerged with the rising demand for products that don’t just make the skin look pretty, but also protect and repair it. Just like the gut, the skin too has a natural microbiome, which is an ecosystem of bacterium that thrives under its surface. They defend it from oxidative stress and sun damage, along with promoting skin’s elasticity and moisture retention. “Whether prebiotics, postbiotics or microalgal elements, all serve as food for the skin’s microbiota. Additionally, niacinamide and ceramides are two ingredients that nourish the microbiome. Get your hands on good quality Squalane, known to prevent transepidermal water loss, while increasing microbiota diversity,” says Rai, adding, “Avoid antibacterial soaps as they aren’t able to differentiate between good and bad microorganisms.” Instead, choose herbal cleansers. “Products with mild surfactants such as sodium cocoyl isethionate or decyl glucoside, in addition to a pH-balancing one, are recommended,” says the cosmetic chemist.
No tress stress: Following in the footsteps of skin cycling, here is another harp-worthy trend: hair cycling. In this too, haircare products are alternated over four days, giving a three-day rest period in between. “Those with dry hair should alternate between a scalp scrub, conditioner and
a hydrating mask. Those with oily hair should switch their existing shampoo with an anti-microbial shampoo to control the buildup of fungus and bacteria on the scalp due to excess oil. Those with coloured hair should alternate between protein treatments and clarifying shampoos,” says Gurugram-based dermatologist Dr Prithvi Rana.
Mane issue: From double-cleansing your skin to doing the same for your hair, the practice is a top trend. “Pollution and residual styling products in the tresses cause immense harm to the scalp, leading to dandruff or cradle cap. It can even cause more serious infections such as folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis or tinea capitis,” says Mumbai-based celebrity dermatologist Dr Sonia Tekchandani, Founder, TenderSkin International. “While the first round of cleansing gets rid of some grease, a lot is still left behind. The second round does the tough job of breaking down sebum, dirt and dead skin entirely,” she says, suggesting it be done at least twice a week. “You can use a basic shampoo the first time and
a specialty one (providing hydration, treating dandruff or colour-treated hair, follicle re-growth) the second time,” she adds.
Brush with the best: The hair brush has got a fancy upgrade with heat-resistant, high-performing cushioned brushes with soft massaging pins. “It’s become a popular tool as these wide-toothed specialised brushes create waves in the hair, separating the stands evenly. Doing so distributes the natural oils, not allowing it to build up and cause infections. “Especially useful for those with dense or curly hair, a paddle brush with nylon bristles can be used to buff the scalp and remove dead skin. Follow it up with deep cleansing, using your fingers to stimulate it in round motions to get the blood circulation going,” says Tekchandani.
Make the showers count: What first gained popularity as a social media trend has now become an impactful self-care tool. This is the ‘everything shower’ and it encompasses several actions such as taking a bubble bath, shampooing, deep conditioning, cleansing, toning, exfoliating, grooming, shaving and moisturising. The idea is to go through each step mindfully. “The practice reinforces the power of routines. The longer and more focused the steps are, the more you’ll benefit,” says Delhi-based psychotherapist Mridula Rao.
“A paddle brush with nylon bristles can be used to buff the scalp and remove dead skin.” Dr Sonia Tekchandani, Founder, TenderSkin International
“Avoid antibacterial soaps as they aren’t able to differentiate between good and bad microorganisms.”
Uma Rai, Founder, GoodSkn