Harmattan: How To Stay Moisturized During The Dry Season
The dry season, harmattan, which usually starts towards the end of November and lasts till January has adverse effects. It is usually accompanied by very dry winds, a lot of dust, and dryness.
The skin suffers the most, but people with dry skin have it worse.
Some of the effects of harmattan are, dry skin, chapped lips and sores of the feet, nose bleeding and respiratory problems, hair breakage, eye irritations, and dehydration, to name a few.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your skin glowing, healthy, and refreshed;
First of all, always drink some water. This prevents your skin from drying out.
This also keeps your throat and nostrils moist so that you may not catch a sore throat and dry cough.
For people who tend to bleed from their noses, frequently sipping water throughout the night and during the day reduces your chances of this occurring.
Always moisturize with essential oils:
Avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol as they further dry out the skin.
Instead, choose products that contain your favourite oil-based products like the good old petroleum jelly and shea butter. Before your body completely dries after a bath, apply your moisturizer. This helps lock in the moisture.
Do not forget your lips. Keep a lip a lip balm with you at all times, especially when out and about. Re-apply as frequently as possible.
Skincare and exfoliation:
Since the weather is very dry, we tend to shed a little more skin and so one needs to exfoliate to get rid of the dead skin.
The skin on our lips, palms, legs and the soles of our feet shed the most.
Scrub these areas, gently once a week, and don’t forget to moisturize when moist to keep them supple and refreshed.
Avoid having a hot water bath:
Hot water will strip away your natural body oils. Instead, have a warm bath.
Another trick is to leave a few drops of essential oils in your bath water to help keep and retain the balance.
Cover up properly and wear a face mask:
Skin diseases are easy to spread and contract as the atmosphere is windy and very dry.
If you have to leave the house, make sure to cover up nicely.
Avoid wearing clothes that can easily make you hot and stick to clothes that can protect your skin from overexposure. Cotton to be precise.
To also avoid respiratory problems, wear a mask because we tend to inhale a lot more dust and other unknown particles during harmattan.
The hair is no exception. The dry air can cause flaky itchy scalp, hair breakage, and split ends.
It is advisable to keep your natural hair in a protective style throughout this period and wear satin bonnets and scarfs. Instead of shampooing which strips away your natural hair oils, deep condition regularly for two minutes every two weeks. Deep conditioning will give your hair some nourishment, moisture, and elasticity.
Additionally, while your hair is always in a protective style tuck in your ends, spray some water on your scalp, and massage with essential oil of your choice to prevent dryness, flaking, and dandruff.
NB: Speak to a health professional if you’re experiencing extremely harsh harmattan effects or in doubt.