Kampala’s weather is quickly changing from unforgiving, scorching heat to cool, wet days. I’m ecstatic; I’ll take the rain over the heat any day. For the past few months, my skin has been normal; however, if I don’t pay attention to it, it will quickly become dry and flaky with eczema patches.
This weather change has me putting the following dry skin practices in place to avoid any sensitivity and ‘hold-my-head-in-my-hands-when-I-look-in-the-mirror’ moments.
- Using rich, emollient moisturizers laden with ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil (plant oils), glycerin, ceramides and cholesterol. These ingredients would protect a weak moisture barrier and reduce moisture loss. I’m currently loving pure virgin coconut oil from the shores of Mombasa for my face and body, Nyla Naturals Marula Body Oil and the Dark and Lovely 6 Creme Oils (the Dark & Lovely is available in Nakumatt).
- Paying extra attention to ingredients that could irritate the skin such as fragrance. This can only be achieved through patch testing and experimentation.
- Update most of the skin care with products containing vitamin C – for a healthy glow, and niacinamide which stimulates the production of ceramides while soothing irritation and inflammation. If you’re in Kampala, Game in Lugogo and Eve and Nico in Garden City have plenty of Olay moisturizers with niacinamide as an active ingredient. ( A shoutout to Procter & Gamble for pioneering niacinamide research in cosmetics!)
- Include anti-inflammatory skin care to the kit. This could include anything from a raw honey mask to a DIY green tea toner.
- Include occlusives like petrolatum, mineral oil and dimethicone to my skin care. These ingredients would seal much needed moisture in the skin. My current go to is the Original Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly (the one in a blue jar).
- Avoiding cleansers with harsh surfactants like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (Sodium laureth sulfate). When it comes to facial cleansers, this is simple enough; I have enough gentle cleansers from my January skin care haul. (PS here are some great gentle cleansers) On the other hand, body cleansers without any of the two surfactants are virtually none existent in Kampala. So it is goodbye shower gels/ creams and hello Dove soap bars for now. A bonus is that Dove soap is widely available, in nearly every supermarket worth its salt in Kampala.
- Reducing the frequency of chemical exfoliation. The minute my skin starts flaking, I reduce the frequency of AHA and BHA use. (I have been using this Neutrogena BHA from Nakumatt with splendid results) If I was using chemical exfoliants every day, I’d start using them every other day. I would also ‘DIY’ a gentle sugar scrub to get rid of flaky skin once a week. Just mix a teaspoon of sugar with enough of your preferred oil (mine is coconut) and gently scrub after cleansing your face. You can also read these posts on oil cleansing to discover which oils suit dry and combo/oily skin.
What are some of your dry skin practices when the weather turns?
Image by Clare Oparo