A Skincare Guide to Navigating Hot Climate

When I moved to Lodwar, I thought I had everything figured out in relation to the change. Afterwards, from having 80% of my wardrobe untouched to having sunscreen melt off my face before I even leave the house, I knew I had more work to do.
Being a hot, dry and windy place, you get your skin more exposed to the scorching sun. This can lead to dehydration, significant tanning as well as fast aging. Additionally, you suddenly get turned into a sweating machine and with barely any humidity in the air, you get dehydrated. The dust in the air also does not help since it ultimately gets onto your skin.
Before you get to visit a hot place, I highly suggest you check out this skincare guide to ensure that you love it there;

Skincare Guide 1: HYDRATE

Water really is life in a hot place. We all know that the skin being the largest organ of the body is the one that is the most exposed. Now, collagen that is in your skin needs water to do its job. When you hydrate, your skin becomes elastic, soft, youthful and glowing. Dehydration of your system (and subsequently your skin) leads to your skin looking dry, ashy, saggy and wrinkled. I naturally do consume a lot of water (about 3 liters a day) but with the climate over here, I find myself taking even more. What works for me is having a bottle of water wherever I am so that I get to sip every few minutes or so. I see lots of people here having thermal water bottles that helps keep their water cold while they are on the go.

Skincare Guide 2: NOURISH YOUR SYSTEM

Vitamin C for skincare

Adding vegetables and fruits to your meals makes a huge difference here. I have found myself reaching more for fruits such as watermelons, oranges, lemon, bananas, mangoes, and vegetables such as cucumber, kales, cow peas as well as cabbage. It helps that watermelon, which happens to be my favorite fruit, is grown locally. Yes, (some) food is grown here too. Enough of the stereotypical demeanor.

Skincare Guide 3: CLEANSE AND EXFOLIATE

With your skin drying up backed by the fact that dust will find a way on your skin, it only makes sense that you get to clean it often- and no, soap and water is not enough. While soap may do away with dirt and greases, it does not do away with dead skin cells. You can choose to opt for either physical or chemical exfoliants. I covered more on why chemical ones are better in this article. If you are harsh on your skin, remember that the climate here will be ten folds harsher.

Skincare Guide 4: MOISTURIZE

You are probably thinking, ‘but if I have already consumed a lot of water, do I need to moisturize?’ It also does not help that you get to take a shower every so often. While water may be on your skin as you are leaving the bathroom, it will take a few seconds before your skin is robbed of all that moisture.

Skincare guide

Moisturizers are products that are oil-based and have occlusive agents like mineral oil and/or petrolatum. What a moisturizer does is that when applied on your skin, it seals in all the moisture, preventing it from escaping. It is advisable to apply a moisturizer on damp skin. What I do is that I spray rose water on my skin just before applying moisturizer.

Skincare Guide 5: BRIGHTEN

Since your skin is susceptible to tanning, incorporating certain products in your skincare routine will help keep your skin tone in check. Before I go any further, this should not be confused with skin bleaching or skin lightening. No, we don’t preach that here.
While bleaching work by destroying melanin-the pigment producing layer of the skin, brightening products help in getting rid of dead skin cells, fading spots and reducing blemishes, hence reinstating skin vibrancy.
I advise you look out for ingredients in these products before you buy something that will bring you more harm than good. If you want to know that the brightening product is ideal, look out for ingredients such as Vitamin C, antioxidants as well as Niacinamide. I usually use a Vitamin C cream every morning and a Vitamin C sheet mask on a weekly basis.

Skincare Guide 6: PROTECT

Apply non-comedogenic oils on your skin

Lotion will not magically do the work: Your skin needs something stronger than that in the desert. Go for oils that will not clog your pores since comedogenic ones may promote formation of acne and no one wants to do that- at least not knowingly. Non-comedogenic oils that you may consider include hempseed oil, sweet almond oil as well as sunflower seed oil. Apply this right before you moisturize.

Cover up when you are out in the sun

If you are planning to go to a harshly hot place, please pack a lot of breathable cotton clothes. Yes, the urge is there to pack something else but believe me, you may never wear it and even if you do, you will be very uncomfortable. I have a suitcase full of clothes that I have never (and will probably never) wear while I am here in Turkana. With that, heed to the following hacks;
  • Stock on caps, hats and photo-chromatic sunglasses for when it is hot and bright.
  • Pack long-sleeved and draping light coats for when you are outside in the scorching sun.
  • You will need a lot of vests and shorts.
  • Ladies, you will need free-flowing cotton dresses, locally known as deras.
  • You will NEVER wear makeup. Not even powder. Well, unless you want to see your entire face melt onto your shirt. So, do not even bother carrying anything.

Apply Sunscreen

At this point, nothing should be more important to you than sunscreen. This is the last yet the most important step in your daily skincare routine. Go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 50+. Sunscreen works by shielding your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, ultimately reducing chances of sun burns, reducing tanning, preventing premature skin wrinkling and reducing your exposure to skin cancer.
Raisa Ichalut
Raisa Ichalut is a wellness- nichéd Content Curator who seeks to use this website as a tool that informs, empowers, and enlightens people on topics around self- discovery, development, and love, general wellness, positivism, energy, healing, and mindfulness.

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