Dust, dry wind, and heat are characteristics of Harmattan. This season occurs around November till late February or early March. It makes some places cold but can also be hot in other places.
The weather in a place is caused by the topography of the land or surrounding natural bodies. This depends on the topography of the land surrounding the place.
During this period, the clouds cover up and dry up the earth from lack of rainfall which can gather giant clouds of dust that can cause a dust storm or sandstorm.
The lack of rainfall causes our environment to be more prone to fire outbreaks. This is because everything around is parched; the mere colliding of metals into the bare ground can ignite a spark.
Harmattan is a hot, dusty, sometimes cold weather condition caused by winds that blow from the Sub-Saharan part of Africa.
Prolonged lack of rainfall causes the earth to become dry and releases dry wind which may aid in burning. The weather becomes humid, reaching as low as fifteen percent which is parched air. Causes our bodies to lose water easily. This can cause chaffed lips, and eyes, dry skin, trigger issues with the body’s respiratory organs, asthma, and nosebleeds.
we can keep going on and on and on about the health-related problems that can come with this weather.
18 Things To Do While Preparing For Harmattan
1. Buy protective clothes
3. Patronize baby oil
4. Slather more sunscreen
5. Apply good lip balm
6. Moisturize every day
7. Skip the excess makeup
8. Pumice feet scrub
10. Nose mask
14. No hot water
15. Seal windows and doors
16. Cotton bud
17. Eat your Vitamin C
18. Limit Your Travel
1. Buy Protective Clothes
The first thing to do while preparing for this season is to equip yourself with protective clothing for the harsh, dusty, and hot weather during the day. It is important to cover your skin and body from excess sunlight.
Excess exposure to sunlight can cause sunburns and make you prone to skin cancer. Therefore, it is better to wear a long-sleeved top with a hat paired with pants to cover the legs and a sock. It is just like shielding your body away from the sunlight.
Let us remember this weather brings not only heat and dried air but also cold. The days are mostly hot but colder at night and mornings. Investing in a good thermal cardigan or clothes would be beneficial.
This will help to protect the body against very harsh and extreme weather.
It would benefit us in years to come if we protect our skin more from the harsh sun and weather, and you can do this by wearing a protective covering.
Protective clothing includes trouser pants, cardigans, sweaters, long flowing light maxi skirts, long sleeves tops, stockings, veils, face caps, bucket hats, turtle neck, jackets, trench coats, leggings, pantyhose and any other clothing that has comfortable and good covering.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate guys.
Hydration is key to maintaining good and balanced health during this season. You will notice you get thirsty more often than usual. This is because of the hot and dry weather.
Dry air makes you get thirsty easily. So hydration would be the key to maintaining good health during this season. Water helps our body to clear up unwanted substances from the body, keeps dehydration at bay, and helps to maintain the body temperature.
So this harmattan is important to hydrate more often. And if you have a bad water habit, which is not drinking adequate water. You can keep a tab on your water intake by setting an alarm that reminds you of your water time. Reduce your intake of fizzy drinks and caffeine and drink more water.
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.
3. Patronize Baby Oil
All hail baby oil. The baby oil you thought you had outgrown is now your savior for the harsh season. Harmattan causes the skin to lose its moisture due to hot air which causes us to sweat more often.
Sweating more often can cause your skin to lose its moisture, plus the dry air that rubs and blows against your skin. All these weather tell a lot about the appearance of our skin. This can cause one’s skin to look wrinkled, chaffy, or dehydrated.
Applying baby oil to your skin after your body lotion is one way to lock in all your natural skin moisture and more. So why not, go on and do your kin some good by slathering that dose of good baby oil on your body?
4. Slather more sunscreen
Sunscreen should be your best friend during the harmattan season. Sunscreen helps to protect your body against ultraviolet rays from the sun. Without sunscreen, we would be more prone to sunburn and other side effects of the sun on the skin.
It is important to protect the skin from damage, and one way to do so is by applying sunscreen. To ensure you protect your body properly reapply the sunscreen after every two hours. It is important to buy sunscreen that comes in SPF 50 and above.
Sunscreen should be applied at the last step of your beauty routine. There are two types of sunscreen. The one with the white cast and the one without a white cast. Most people complain about the white cast in some sunscreen while some don’t mind.
But do not worry about the white cast from your sunscreen. All you have to do is to rub a little of the product in your hands and rub your palms together to activate the product and help break the thickness of the cast.
If you are not a fan of the white cast on your sunscreen, you can look out for the ones without a white cast. Always remember to apply your sunscreen even when in the house and before stepping out.
5. Apply good lip balm
Dry air causes our lips to crack during the harmattan season. Having a good lip balm is essential for this season. Get a lip balm that is richly infused with fine oils and substances that repair and moisturize.
There are other little things you can also do to keep a succulent lip during this dry season. Apply Vaseline to the lips and use a ball of cotton wool to wipe the lips gently. Do this as an exfoliating routine but with no pressure on the lips.
Another type of lip exfoliation is by using grounded sugar and olive oil to gently massage the lips. Honey is another great way to moisturize the lips and encourage new skin turnover. So yes honey is good to add.
6. Moisturize every day
Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or even combination skin, it is highly essential to moisturize your skin every day. There is a skin misconception going on about oily skin and moisturizers. Hopefully, today we can educate ourselves and abolish that idea.
I often hear people say “My skin is oily, I do not need a moisturizer”. This is a terrible notion of oily skin. Lack of moisturizer on oily skin would make the skin go into a hyper mode of producing extra oil for the skin, leading to excess oil production.
Bathing causes our body and hair to lose moisture. So your body needs a lot of moisturizing this season. It is more beneficial to apply moisturizer while the body is wet because wet skin helps to absorb moisturizer better into the skin.
Whatever moisturizing products you use on your body should not contain alcohol, as alcohol is a drying agent and would dry out the skin. You can also add natural oils with humectants to your skincare routine.
Humectants help to add moisture to the skin. Examples of humectants are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid. Other natural moisturizers include olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Vaseline and mineral oil can be added for added moisture. This works by sealing up moisture on the skin.
7. Skip the excess makeup
Dry weather does not do justice to makeup, especially cakey makeovers. It would be better to use mineral makeup or foundations with a moisturizing effect. But in all you do, skip the cakey foundation.
If you must wear makeup, it is very important to start with a good skin prep beauty routine. This helps to moisturize the skin before makeup. Making the makeover blend into the skin without sitting harshly on the skin.
Excess makeup causes the pores to get blocked. Leading to blocked pores, skin irritation, acne, rashes, and other facial issues. Simply by cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen and lip balm.
8. Get a foot file or scrub
Dry weather can cause danger to our feet making our heels become cracked. You should make use of a pumice feed scrub to gently exfoliate your feet of dead skin. Pumice is a foot scrub that locally looks like a piece of rock.
There are other forms of foot buffers which can be made of plastic, fine rock, or filing paper One way to combat this dryness and hard skin is by applying some petroleum jelly on your feet and wearing thick socks to lock in hydration.
Exfoliating can be quite beneficial to your skin during the harmattan. This helps to rid your body of dull or dead skin, creating an enabling environment for new shiny skin to grow. Do not get into the excessive habit of exfoliating.
Doing so would strip your skin of its natural oil and this would cause dry skin. You can use a physical exfoliator or a chemical-based exfoliator. When buying a physical exfoliator, it is important to choose a good brand with tons of positive reviews that are genuine.
The next thing to do is to make sure that when buying a body scrub, the exfoliating beads in the scrub should be tiny or fine. Big beads in scrubs cause micro-tears in the skin.
10. Nose mask
People downplay the usage of a nose mask, but a nose mask helps to protect your nostrils from dust and debris. I hope that the covid era has taught us how to protect our airways from direct contact with viruses.
Harmattan causes hot air and makes humidity drop. This makes one prone to nose bleeds as the weather is hot, dry, and harsh. Dust also rises because of the lack of rain and dry earth. Continuous inhalation of dust would not be good for the body as this can cause cases of flu or serious health problems.
Wearing a nose mask, especially during the harmattan would help to keep the moisture in the nostrils thereby preventing nosebleeds. Making the habit of wearing a nose mask would help keep impurities from entering the ring into the airways.
Say yes to sunglasses. This fashion item automatically makes you appear cool. Sunglasses play a role in keeping your eyes away from dryness caused by the weather. Yes, they help you shade your eyes away from the sun and can keep dust, debris, and harsh weather away from direct contact with the eyes.
Exercising during harmattan can be beneficial for your skin. It helps you to sweat thereby forcing out all the blocked pores. Sweating during exercise helps the skin to detox naturally. This sweating process helps the skin purge itself of toxins. Have a radiant shine.
Exercising helps you to balance your mind and focus. Keeps you in good shape, in good spirits, and alert. It also helps to relieve aching muscles that need to be stretched out. Even if it is a brisk walk, that also counts as exercise.
13. No hot water
Hot water dries up the oil on our skin and weather conditions also have the same effect on our skin equally. It would benefit you not to use hot water during harmattan as this would dry up natural oil beneath the skin. Instead, it is better to bathe with lukewarm water than hot water in the hot season.
14. Seal Windows And Doors
Please remember to seal your windows and doors to prepare for the harmattan season. It is important to seal the windows and doors so that’ll dust would not get into the room. This is a very important aspect to consider before the dusty harmattan season begins. You have to do this especially if you are prone to flu, nose bleeds, asthma, pregnant, lactating, or you have toddlers.
15. Cotton bud
Hot weather can cause wax to form in our ears easily. This is because heat melts the wax in an increased manner. Restocking your cotton bud would be a wise decision. This is because in harmattan there is increased dust in the atmosphere.
Dust settles on and inside our ears. Hygiene demands that you make use of a cotton swab after your shower. Using a cotton bud to delicately go around the ear to clean it. Always remember not to overdo it to avoid ear pain.
16. Eat your Vitamin C
I know you know what I mean by eating your vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body to fight against flu and influenza. Fruits like orange, lemon, tangerine, and like are rich in citrus.
Eating your Vitamin C during the harmattan season would not only do your gut health some good but would also help to combat flu, and sore throat.
You can enjoy some green herbal tea with shredded ginger and garlic, you can do well to add cloves to your tea. Cloves also have anti-inflammatory benefits.
17. Limit your traveling
During the Harmattan season, the earth is dry and dusty. This causes the atmosphere to have a hazy or not-so-clear view because of the dust settled in the atmosphere. Travelers experience difficulties when traveling in Harmattan.
Sometimes the road is so dusty that you will need more than just a headlamp from your car to see through the dust. Airlines are not spared from this bad weather too as they also experience difficulty in navigating.
This is the number one reason for canceled flights during the harmattan. It would be safer for you to limit the way you travel during the Harmattan period. If you must, then check your weather and local news for updates and expectations of forthcoming weather.
How long does harmattan last?
Harmattan usually lasts from late November till the middle of March which is about four months. The weather is expected to change from the rainy season to harmattan by the third to the last week of November.
By December the rains have gone permanently, and the earth gets parched. The cold wind is experienced in the mornings and at night mostly, but mostly cold in the morning. By January the air becomes drier.
Increased temperatures and dust can be visibly seen around February till march. The atmosphere is dusty and foggy, and the air is dry. The last week of march signals the end of the Harmattan season.
Is harmattan good for you?
Most people enjoy Harmattan season, though it comes with its packaging. Some people like this season because of the uninterrupted days. This is because rainfall is no longer a problem and wouldn’t hinder activities anymore.
This period brings about heat, dry winds, and dust. Causing the air we breathe from our atmosphere to become infected with germs. Persons living with asthma and conditions that threaten to breathe are at very great risk of frequent attacks if not meticulous.
Yes, we know this season has its difficulties business people love this period because they enjoy an uninterrupted business routine or project run. Harmattan makes the temperature of the place to be lesser than it normally would be in the mornings and nights, this conditions Favour some crops at this time of the year.
Harmful Effects of Harmattan
- Dry Eye
- Parched Lips
- Dry skin
- Dry feet
- Nose bleeds
- Fire hazard
- Poor visibility due to haze
Harmattan is a hot dry season as we know it now. It is enjoyable because of the uninterrupted weather for downpours. This weather is loved by many but also comes with its packaging or little peace offering just like any other weather.
One sure way to prepare for this season is to get protective clothes, apply more sunscreen, wear your shades, moisturize, skip the heavy makeup, apply lip balm, exfoliate once or twice a week, and hydrate guy, hydration is key.
This season comes with harsh weather and atmospheric effects because of the Harmattan haze. Dust creates avenues for germs to spread faster. Harsh weather causes things like cold, cartah, asthma, nosebleeds, dehydration, dry skin, dry lips, and allergies too hard to manage because of the frequent attacks due to weather.