It is the season in the year when the air becomes dry and hazy making one feel dry and uncomfortable.
Harmattan is a season in West Africa that occurs between November and March. It is characterised by a dry dusty wind and cold temperatures in the morning. Harmattan gives most people a break from the heat of sub-Saharan Africa, but brings with it a dryness that chaps the lips, withers the skin and dulls the hair.
Research reveals that, one part of the body that suffer most during this period is the skin which is the largest part of the body.
A young lady who cherishes her skin so much, Favour Ajayi said, she does not like harmattan season because of the havoc it causes to the body, adding that she spends lots of money to keep her skin glowing.
Favour, who has been complaining since the harmattan set in said, the oil prescribed for her to mix with her body cream for her skin to be calm, relaxed and shine was not doing the magic as it only works for few minutes and the dryness starts again.
BeauCrest.com states that dry weather can wreak havoc to our skin, adding that it saps out all the moisture and nutrients leaving it dry, and cracked. “The skin loses its natural elasticity and wrinkles much faster.”
“Because of the extremely dry weather, it is common to experience your skin getting dry, cracked and it might even peel off. Anyways, there is nothing to be worried about. The best way to fight against this is to be prepared for it.”
A skincare firm, Adunni Organics, suggests the following tips for a healthy skin during the harmattan period:
- Hydration: It is important to drink as much water as possible during harmattan. The recommended daily intake is 8 glasses of water, so a little more than this; say 10 glasses would be needed to keep your body hydrated enough to balance the dryness of the environment.
- Skin: Use a moisturizer that will infuse the skin with moisture. Of course, we advocate the use of natural oils and butters which we have in abundance like Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, etc.
- Hair: Keep the hair strands protected and strengthened during Harmattan to prevent breakage and outright hair loss. Protective hairstyles like braids, and regular Deep Conditioning (steaming) as well as application of a good leave-in conditioner every few day is recommended.
- Lips: The skin on this part of the body is very thin, and is therefore more delicate, which means that it needs a little more attention. A good quality lip balm with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter will help protect from inside and outside.
- Cleansing: Due to the dust and dryness, step up on cleanliness. A rich moisturising soap bar is important to harmattan skin care as it will help take the skin through this harsh weather. Soaps with exfoliants will ensure that dead skin cells are sloughed off leaving you looking radiant.
- Use a light moisturiser: Avoid thick, heavy creams and choose a lightweight, hydrating lotion. Some brands contain extra boosts of vitamin C and soy to enhance the skin’s summer glow.