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Maintaining Moisture During The Harmattan



In West Africa, we are cursed blessed with the Harmattan season which usually lasts from November up until March in some cases. During this period, the air is extremely dry and dusty so I find that I need to take extra beauty measures to combat the possible effects of the weather. Here are some products that I love and recommend you have in your Harmattan armour.

These are a few of my favourite products for this time of year. If you can’t get your hands on any of them, I’m sure that other cosmetic brands offer great alternatives. What other tips do you have for surviving the dry weather? Please share if you care 🙂

Photo credit:
Yewande Sobamowo is a recent graduate of Warwick Business School in the UK. She is passionate about all things beauty related and shares avant-garde tips and tricks amongst other things on Connect with her on twitter: @Yewizzy

Yewande Thorpe is a Digital Communications expert working for an MNC in Nigeria. Outside of her professional life, Yewande owns and manages one of the foremost beauty blogs in Nigeria, where she focuses primarily on sharing her knowledge of beauty and skincare as it concerns the African woman. Her scope sometimes broadens into fashion, food and travel because they are indeed some of life's finer things. Connect with her on Instagram @shelovesthefinerthings and Twitter @SLTFT_Blog


  1. Person pikin

    December 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    The almighty Vaseline petroleum jelly is the all round champion for harmattan. Good for body, hair, lips, feet etc. It beats all the items above…. #inmyopinion

  2. just me

    December 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    waiting for my people to say something Lol

  3. myHairmyBeautyNIGERIA.COM

    December 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil, these are better options. Alot of the products you mentioned don’t moisturize because their molecular structure is too large to penetrate the skin. If you are looking for a heavy weight moisturizer, Shea butter will do the trick, if lightweight Jojoba oil. They are all even great for Hair too! so you save money.
    In terms of exfoliation, Sugar makes for a great scrub!

    • ib

      December 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      i keep telling everyone…shea butter ! Shea Butter! SHEA BUTTER!!! God gave us everything we need to keep our skin beautiful…man in his greed and zeal to make a profit have used clever advertising to tell us that what God gave us is insufficient and we need artificial stuff made from all sorts of chemical to moisturise our skin. Thats bull. Me i dont know where all this breast cancer things are coming from, so i choose to go natural. I use shea butter for my hair and skin and my skin has never looked so glowy and soft and beautiful. And the smell leaves once you apply it. Give shea butter a chance esp if you are in the cold climes and see the wonders of God our creator. Its so cheap yet so effective.

    • Funke

      December 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      I hope you don’t use perfumes too, you don’t use toothpaste, you don’t use chemical relaxers for your hair, I hope you eat only food you grow in your garden and you don’t go out because there is pollution and free radicals out there??? My dear, ANYONE can get breast cancer whether you use Shea butter or not, so if you know what’s good for you, do your mammogram regularly.

    • Beauty

      December 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      My twin! Honey mixed with coarse cornmeal is another great scrub too. Glycerin and rosewater added to your regular body lotions or extra moisture

    • K

      December 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Hiya, for hair though I know sure that oils are not moisturisers they are sealants. So they will not put moisture in your hair but they will act as great sealants. As for Shea Butter, I find that to be too heavy for my hair as a moisturiser and I have considerably thick hair

    • ameenah

      December 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      thank you, i swear by shea butter, for my hair, body, nails even face at nyt. its amazing. Just whip it with olive, coconut, almond oil etc. that way its soft enough to use daily. Swear down your skin will thank u. And drink lots and lots of water.

    • olami

      January 5, 2013 at 12:27 am

      i VOTE for sugar as a scrub,my best discovery for the year 2012 in body care

  4. Anonymissie

    December 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    pls how do you use sugar to exfoliate, i am interested as i have never exfoliated and i wanna do so very soon

    • Rachael Kelly-Taylor

      December 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Here is my DIY sugar exfoliating recipe
      the things you need: Organic Brown Sugar, Organic Green Tea, Organic Raw Honey and Fresh lemon or 100% lemon juice if you don’t have the fresh ones.
      — 1/2 cup of organic brown sugar (it’s a great base product for the skin and it scrubs off dead skin cells)
      — 2 bags of organic green tea in 8 oz of hot water. You are going to use only two table spoon for your mixture (Green tea is filled with antioxidants that is good for the skin)
      — 1 tea spoon of organic raw honey
      — 2 table spoon of fresh extracted lemon juice ( fresh lemon is great for the skin and it helps tighten your pores)
      — Clarisonic Mia Cleanser
      After Mixing : put the paste on your face and use the Clarisonic Mia Cleanser to exfoliate and massage your face for about 3-5 minutes. Rinse your face with tepid/warm water.
      FYI : Please don’t use if your skin is damaged, it could cause skin irritation.

      I hope this helps.

  5. Glam

    December 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    What I detest the most about this season is the apollo that tags along with the dust. Virgin olive oil can do so much magic for the skin.

  6. Brixtonbabe

    December 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Everything @myhairmybeautyNIGERIA.COM siad plus Honey mixed with coarse cornmeal is another great scrub too. Glycerin and rosewater added to your regular body lotions for extra moisture

  7. what about bleachers?

    December 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Should they go dark during the harmmattan?

  8. Soraya

    December 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I notice that all the recommended products by the writer are all foreign made and full of chemicals too- the writer could have done a bit more research- we do have African products that are great for African skin, you know! Shea butter, Argan oil, Castor oil, coco butter, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, dudu oshun- they are all great for skin and hair!


      December 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      I LOVE LOVE LOVVVVVVEEE DUDU OSUN, I even wash my natural hair with it.

  9. Triangle

    December 8, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Shea butter of Life. I have been screaming Okwuma(that’s the igbo name) to my sisters.
    We have this great product here but we still search heaven and earth for moisturisers. With shea butter you don’t need anything else for the harmattan, its a good moisturiser and acts as sunscreen too. I got a huge jar for N100, and usually mix with my cream on my palm before applying all over my body. Usually during harmattan, my laps itch like crazy due to dryness but this year I’ve not experienced such. I use shea butter as lipgloss too, it works wonders. Even those abroad can benefit from it during winter, my mom recommended it for my Sister to use on her kids during winter, now she sends for it before she runs out of it. Lol
    Good stuff I tell ya, though the pure unadulterated one is best!

    • mama

      December 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      where did u get it from?

  10. .....just saying

    December 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

    My problem with shea butter though is that the oil is too dense despite whipping it into a souffle. It attracts dust and one must always have a shower before going to bed or else…..
    The writers recommendation will moisturise one’s skin and keep the moisture locked in as opposed to shea butter that just makes the skin oily like baby oil..Yuck

  11. Monica

    December 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

    the I-too-know here is too much jare.

    • Garner

      December 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      knowledge is power sweets. take it or leave it.

  12. Safia

    December 22, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Yeah,truly Shea butter of life!nothing does it like shea butter,Mix with Olive oil n u’l hav a good skin all year round.d more d olive oil d lighter d mixture.d best part about dis is dat u can use it 4 ur face,hair n body,n it so cheap n effective.I find sugar n olive oil 2 b very efficient in exfoliating d face.

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