With the unpredictable Nigerian weather, it is a pleasant surprise to witness the cool winds and hazy skies of Harmattan in the west. However, our colleague, Grace, seems to be enjoying the season more in the north, and her glowing skin bears witness to this.
During Harmattan, our skin often bears the brunt of the dry air, dust, and reduced humidity. While these can leave our skin feeling dehydrated and irritated, with a bit of extra care and attention, we can maintain a radiant complexion during this period.
These steps will ensure you retain glowing skin during harmattan just like you do in summertime.
Moisturise your skin
The foundation of any effective Harmattan skincare routine is hydration. The season drains the skin’s natural moisture, which leads to dryness and flakiness. The best way to avoid this is by using a good moisturiser with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin because it helps to lock in moisture. Apply it generously, especially after cleansing, to keep your skin supple and well-nourished.
Hydration is key to protect your skin during Harmattan
In addition to building your skin’s external moisture, internal hydration is equally important. You need to increase your water intake to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Staying well-hydrated helps combat dryness and ensures your skin remains plump and resilient during the harmattan season.
Using a mild, hydrating cleanser while taking a bath helps to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils. We advise cleansing your face with lukewarm water instead of hot water, as hot water can further contribute to dryness. Cleansing twice daily during harmattan helps remove impurities without compromising your skin’s moisture barrier.
Sunscreen. Yes, even during harmattan
The harmattan season doesn’t exempt you from the sun because UV rays can still penetrate through the cool haze, so it is essential to apply sunscreen daily. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply throughout the day, especially if you spend extended periods outdoors.
Keep your lips moisturised, too
If you have ever had to lick your lips multiple times in a minute during harmattan, then you know that the lips are often the first to show signs of dryness. Nobody should go around with chapped, white lips, so keep them supple and moisturised with a nourishing lip balm. Look for lip balms containing shea butter, beeswax, or coconut oil to protect against the Harmattan’s dry spell.
Nourish your body from within
What we eat during Harmattan is also vital to keeping our skin healthy during the season. We advise that you include foods rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins in your diet. Also, incorporating fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet promotes your skin health from the inside, and the results are visible on your skin.
Although it is not as chilly as it used to be in my childhood, Harmattan still affects our bodies. By incorporating these simple yet effective skincare practices into your routine, you can confidently embrace the season, knowing your skin is well-protected. Remember, the key is to be gentle with your routine, hydrate diligently, and listen to your skin’s needs for a healthy, glowing complexion throughout the season.