5 African winter skin care tips

African winter is upon us. Cloudy, rainy, windy and one of my favorite things. I find it a welcome treat from the harsh sun of March.

However, the weather change means low humidity which means dry air. This inadequate moisture in the air means our skins are drier, itchy, flaky, chapped. Not good.

We may deal with all this by switching our routines with the following winter skin care tips in mind.



I've spoken about the moisture barrier before. It's a protective barrier that keeps the skin healthy by keeping moisture in and keeping microbes out. When the weather gets cooler, we needs as much moisture as possible to keep the moisture barrier intact. This can be done by:

  • Using skin care products that have ingredients similar to those that make up the moisture barrier.

    • Humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid, urea, glycerin, sodium PCA, aloe vera etc.

    • Emollient ingredients like cholesterol, ceramides, pure plant oils, squalane, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, dimethicone etc

  • Use skin care products with antioxidants that protect your skin e.g. niacinamide, Vitamin C, Vitamin E etc

  • Avoid skin care products with irritating ingredients like essential oils.

  • Listen. Are you an egg? Stop taking boiling hot showers! Hot showers will strip your skin of the oils it desperately needs. Take lukewarm showers, they are comfortable so you can felt out Beyoncè tunes for longer.

  • Don't sit in the bathtub too long either. It can be drying. The goal isn't to prune your skin, just get it clean.

  • Apply your body moisturizers immediately after you hop out of the shower, on damp NOT wet skin.



Use gentle exfoliants like PHAs, lactic acid to get rid of dull, dry facial skin. On your body, use something like an exfoliating glove or an exfoliating body lotion. Exfoliation will also make it easier for the skincare to absorb and work effectively.

Don't exfoliate too much though, gotta maintain that moisture barrier!



Most of us sit in offices with air conditioning. The cold air from the AC is drying the skin. If possible, open the windows instead. If you can't open the windows, turn down the AC Better yet, get a humidifier for your desk.

You can purchase from Amazon or Jumia. If you buy from Amazon, get it from the UK site. That way you know it will work in Kenya or Uganda. The 3 countries have similar power requirements.


Eat your Water

Listen to Dr.Murad and eat your water. Enjoy plenty of cucumber, watermelon, pineapple and other water-rich fruit and vegetables instead of only drinking cup after cup of water.

“...When we eat more water-rich foods, we absorb water more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods. That slow absorption means that water in food stays in our bodies longer…” which is healthier.

Healthier because …"the key is to strategically hydrate by eating your water throughout the day so that your body has a steady stream of hydration and nutrients to keep it energized and working optimally…”

Eating your water will reduce the number of bathroom trips too! More on eating your water here.


Lip Care

Usually, lips are the first victims of the change in weather.

Do :

  • Exfoliate regularly with a DIY lip scrub of honey, sugar, olive oil.

  • Use lip care with SPF during the day.

  • Slather on a lip mask,  petroleum jelly or lanolin at night.

  • Switch to a sulfate free toothpaste like Sensodyne Daily Care Original or Himalaya Herbals Complete Care.


  • Use lip care with menthol, peppermint, mint and anything which leaves a tingly feel.

  • Lick your lips.

What are some of your favorite winter skin care tips?