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How To Care For Your Skin During Harmattan 

By Stella Okemuo
17 January 2022   |   10:01 am
The harmattan season which occurs between late November until February or early March is characterised by dry and dusty wind. It generally affects our skin in various ways such as dryness of the skin, chapped lips, an increase in the trigger of asthma, problems with the respiratory system among others. It is important to be…

The harmattan season which occurs between late November until February or early March is characterised by dry and dusty wind.

It generally affects our skin in various ways such as dryness of the skin, chapped lips, an increase in the trigger of asthma, problems with the respiratory system among others. It is important to be aware and intentional about taking care of your skin. Here are steps to follow:

Hydrate

Drink lots of water at least a litre and half a day. This helps to flush out impurities and keeps your skin supple. Cut back on caffeine, carbonated drinks and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink honey, lemon and ginger dissolved in warm water to soothe any throat irritation you might encounter.

Moisturise! Moisturise! Moisturise!

After showering, moisture. Your body and hair need a lot of moisturising oils this season. This is the right time to invest in natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, almond oil. Also, choose moisturisers with humectant and occlusive ingredients. Humectants draw moisture to the skin while occlusive seal moisture. Examples of humectants are hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, glycerin. Examples of occlusive are mineral oil and petrolatum.

Extra tip- Do not wait for your skin to dry completely before using your moisturiser because damp skin absorbs products more readily. Also, choose skincare products that are free from alcohol as alcohol dries out the skin.

Use lukewarm water to shower

Avoid hot showers as hot water strips the skin of its natural oil barrier and causes more dryness.

Exercise

Exercising helps you to maintain a healthy mind and body. It is a natural stress reliever, and it releases unwanted toxins from the body, which helps the skin glow.

Exfoliate

Use a gentle body scrub to help remove dead skin cells and let your glow shine. Excessive exfoliation should be avoided as this will strip the skin of its natural oil and this lead to dry skin.

Don’t forget your hands and lips

Your hands and lips are most vulnerable during the dry season. It is essential we have lip balm and hand lotion handy.

Wear a sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential at all times. Ensure to wear a sunscreen between 30-50 SPF.

Wear warm protective clothing

It is important to keep warm and protect your skin from severe weather conditions during the harmattan season. Also, wear covered footwear in order to avoid having cracked feet.

Double cleanse

Even if you do not wear makeup, it is essential to double cleanse during the harmattan season in order to wash off every speck of dust on your skin. 

Nose care

Aside from wearing masks in order to prevent COVID, masks also protect our nostrils from dust particles, so it is important to wear them during the harmattan season, especially when going to places prone to dust. 

Healthcare

People living with sickle cell are prone to having a crisis this period because of cold weather. In addition to that, asthmatic patients should endeavour to keep their inhalers close to them throughout this season and be on alert for any warning signs of an attack.

Makeup

Use less makeup. The harmattan season is not the time for a face beat. It is advisable to wear less makeup and if you must wear makeup, Prep your skin. Before applying anything else, make sure you prep your face with a good moisturiser because the last thing you want to do is apply makeup on dry, flaky skin.

Swap your matte foundation for a hydrating foundation that settles smoothly over your skin.

Matte lipsticks are beautiful but not so much when your lips become dry and chapped due to the harmattan. Therefore, use fewer lipsticks and more lip gloss or lip balm.

Wiping off your makeup at the end of the day is necessary. Even if you disobey the rule once or twice, you do not want to do that this season. The dry wind carries a lot of dust, keeping makeup on overnight means keeping all the dust and germs that have settled on your face during the day and this can cause acne inflammation. After wiping, ensure to cleanse thoroughly to get rid of makeup and dust from your face.