We are at that time of the year again in Nigeria when the harmattan season shows up. Well, in some parts of the country, like Lagos where the harmattan is scarce, not many people will experience or feel it. But up North and some parts of the South-South, the harmattan is usually felt very strongly.

Whatever part of the country you may find yourself during the harmattan season, it best to protect yourself from the harshness it brings-especially on our skin, hair, and the air we breathe. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy, fresh, and clean during this season.

Stay Hydrated: The dryness of the harmattan season brings with it a loss of fluids in the body. To stay healthy, you need to constantly stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids, particularly water. If you are going out, always have a bottle of water or two with you everywhere you go. If you are a nursing mother, drink a lot of water for you and the baby. If you have children, help them stay hydrated always as they will tend to expend a lot of energy when playing during this holiday period.

Wear warm clothing: Despite its coolness, there is an underlying need to keep warm and protect your skin from the severe conditions associated with this season. Choose thicker wears and covered footwear to avoid having cracked skin and feet.

Stay Moisturized: Ensure your use creams and soaps that will help your skin moisturized. Avoid any cream or soap that dries the skin. A natural example of nature’s own skin and hair moisturiser is shea butter. You can choose to add some essential oils to give it a nice fragrance. To avoid cracked lips, always have lip balms close by. If you are worried that your children may not like the bland fragrance of shea butter (which is quite healthy), you can get over-the-counter lip balms that are fruity flavoured and child-friendly.

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Exfoliate Soles of Feet: The harmattan can cause the soles of the feet to get dried up thereby causing cracked and dry skin. To get rid of this dead skin and give room for new skin, use a pumice stone or foot exfoliator to scrub around the sole of the feet when having a bath. Then moisturise. If the harmattan is harsh in your area, you can wear a pair of socks to protect your feet from the harsh weather.

Iboro Tonye-Edet