Hey! It another season of the year. O my gosh, how I dislike the harmattan weather. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way because I get freaking cold all the time during this season, plus I reside in a place where we experience a very harsh and extreme dry weather. I’m talking about the dusty wind following you everywhere you go, the dry air, the cold water, dusty colored eyelashes and hair, cracked lips, foot and palms. Feeling the chapped dry skin all over on the body.
Majority of people experience a kind of shift in their skin during this season.
You are faced with skin challenges that needs additional effort to pull through. Excessive dryness of the skin becomes the order of the day. I fear for those with the dry skin type because they become more vulnerable due to lack of moisture during this time.
But the good news is this, there are measures we can use to combat this skin dryness so we don’t suffer from its effect it has on us and our surrounding environs. Regardless of your skin type this is a must do for us;
1. Take plenty water
During the hot season our intake of water on daily basis is very high due to sweat, dehydration and other activities that drains water build up in the body but reverse is the case during the harmattan. Our water intake is on at the lower level, we tend to urinate frequently but due to the dryness of the weather, it is advisable to consume more water during this period to stay hydrated and nourished. If you cannot take normal water because it too cold for you, it better you take warm or hot water during this period.
2. Wear Sweaters and Socks
We need to be protected from the coldness and dryness of the weather. Proper covering of the body like sweaters, head warmers and stockings can prevent dryness and cracking of the skin.
3. Bathe with Lukewarm Water
Yes, we know that the mornings are really cold and having a shower with cold water isn’t an option. however, hot water isn’t also an advisable option for you as it strips the skin of its natural oil barrier, thus resulting in dryness and itching. Hence, opt for lukewarm water. Skincare experts recommend short, warm showers or baths that last no longer than 5 to 10 minutes.
Exfoliating your skin a few times a week will help shave off dead and dry skin cells and allow new skin cells to come up. Use a gentle body scrub twice a week. Note, however, that if over-exfoliation occurs, your skin’s oils will still be depleted and dry skin will recur.
During this season it is advisable to scrub once a week because the skin is very sensitive now and doesn’t need too much disturbed. Exfoliate gently.
We know how fast water dries off surfaces during this season. Hence it is more advisable to moisturize right in the bathroom while your body is still moist because a few steps out of the bathroom door dries you up completely. This method will help your skin lock in moisture.
6. Choose Safe Products
The harmattan season is not the time to use high alcohol or astringent content face cleansers or hand washes as this will strip your skin of its natural oils. Opt-out for mild products such as a moisturizing body wash, a cleanser that contains ceramides (fatty molecules that make up the outer barrier of your skin) as they help the skin hold in moisture and an oil-based body lotion such as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter; you can even moisturize using shea-butter or olive oil.
7. Eat Healthy Fats
Not all types of fat are bad for you. There are healthy fats you can consume without the fear of excess cholesterol and also can be heart-healthy. Healthy fats give you energy. You can get healthy fat from polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish. Avocados are also a great source of healthy fats.
8. Use mild soap rich in natural oil for bathing
Harsh soap will cause more damage to your skin than good. During this season since the weather is a dry one. Instead, use mild soap rich in a natural oil to also lock in moisture to your skin.
This is very essential in fact it a must if you want your skin to be fresh and glowing. Invest in a good serum added to your body moisturizer to provide enough oil against dryness. Examples of natural oils are; shea butter, turmeric oil, coconut oil, argan oil, chamomile oil, olive oil e.t.c
10. Always lubricate your lips, feet, and palms
It is important you lubricate your lips, feet, and hand twice daily. Most especially before bedtime so as to soften and moisturize those areas without resulting in foot athlete, chapped lip or even injury due to extreme dryness some time you see some people even bleed.
11. Wear sunglasses:
There is a need to protect our eyes because they are one sensitive part of our body. The dusty wind can pollute our eyes. So, before your dash out from your home, there needs to have a pair handy to protect the eyes.
12. Wear nose mask
Protect your nose from inhaling dust into your lungs. Wear a nose mask when going out.
13. Avoid makeups
If possible try to put off makeup at this time because your skin needs to breathe. Caking up your face with the dust and dirt around you can cause trouble for your skin such as acne and pimples. But if you can’t avoid it completely, you can as well use it occasionally.