The harmattan season in Nigeria occurs between late November until February or early March and is characterised by the dry and dusty wind.
Harmattan 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, and so on.
It is important to be aware and intentional about taking care of your skin. Below are steps to taking care of your skin during the harmattan season:
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, and 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.
After taking a shower, moisturise your body. 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.
Do not wait for your skin to get dried completely before using your moisturiser because damp skin absorbs products more readily.
3. Use lukewarm water to shower
Avoid hot showers as hot water strips the skin of its natural oil barrier and causes more dryness.
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.
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 thus, leads to dry skin.
6. Remember 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.
7. 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.
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.
Use less makeup. The harmattan season is not the time for a face beat. It is advisable to wear less makeup. 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.
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