In Nigeria, skin care products have always been taken to the next level. It is just the essentials that have people confused. What are the basic skin care essentials you are to have as a person living in Nigeria? You may be used to the conditions, but there is no harm in protecting your skin with the best skin care products. Listed below are necessary skin care products, that when used would guarantee much healthier skin.
Moisturiser is number one, because what is your skin without moisturiser? It is the one skincare essential that nearly everyone uses, it is needed. Moisturisers, lubricate, moisturise and protect the skin. It is the same function sebum produced by healthy skin exhibits. The essence of moisturisers is to retain water in the body so as to keep the skin hydrated. Water constantly evaporates from the deeper layers of the skin. This is an effect referred to as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). If you have ever wondered how the skin maintains a dry, easily shed surface which acts as a barrier against pathogens, dirt, or damage and at the same time the skin protects itself from drying out and becoming rigid and brittle, it is by regulating its water content. In a tropical country like Nigeria where the sun and heat are intensified, moisturisers prevent evaporation of water from the skin by forming a coat on the surface of the skin. The applications of moisturisers can reduce the transepidermal water loss rate by up to 75% for several hours, depending on the type of moisturiser you use. Moisturisers include creams, soaps and ointments. Studies have shown that ointments are more emollient that regular oily creams and lotions have no moisturising effect at all. Nigeria’s weather conditions coupled with the pollution is out to get you. Alone, they can make your skin a complete mess. Using moisturiser does a lot for your skin care and saves you a whole lot of skin scare, pun intended. Moisturisers with SPF are not very common, however, if you can get your hands on one, it will go a long way. Also keeping in mind that not everyone can afford to search for such moisturisers or even purchase one, there are numerous natural oils which have UV rays protecting effects like avocado oil.
It is heartbreaking to realise that the average Nigerian does not use lip balm. Some do not know the essence of it, some are aware but do not see reason, but I guess, black don’t crack right. Lip balm is not necessarily the branded contained products, it starts with your local shea butter, otherwise known as ori and your Vaseline. Lip balm is a wax-like substance that is usually applied to the lips in an attempt to moisturise it or to relieve dry or chapped lips, cold sores, angular cheilitis or stomatitis. Beeswax contains numerous ingredients but the ones you’d notice first upon use are probably flavouring, fragrance and dyes. Did you know that they also contain sunscreen? The primary essence of lip balm is to provide a blocking layer on the lip’s surface. This will lock in moisture in your lips and protect them from external exposure. External elements such as cold temperatures, dry air and wind have drying effects on the skin. This is because they draw moisture from the body. The skin on your lips is very thin and will be the first to show signs of dryness. Materials like petroleum jelly and waxes make the perfect coat on your lips thus preventing the loss of moisture, giving you smooth and supple lips. Other additives such as sunscreen, fragrance and the likes offer their own special benefits.
A cleanser is just what its name describes, it cleanses. A cleanser is a facial product that is used to remove makeup along with dirt, oil, dead skin and other skin pollutants. An active cleaner unclogs pores which are good for acne prevention. They are also used in many skin care routines. The thing with Nigeria and cleansers is that cleansers made its way into the market almost late. In today’s world, the average Nigerian living in Nigeria does not use a cleanser for the fear of not known which quality is, for what skin type and which is a knockoff. Many supposed cleansers sold in large markets are sometimes fake, harsh and you pretty much do not know what you are putting on your skin. So I won’t blame you if you skip this one, however, it is essential. Given the conditions of the average Nigerian state, you can say there is a fair share of pollutants in the atmosphere. From exhaust fumes to generator fumes and more, there are so many things around us that could clog your pores and leave deposits of unwanted material. What a cleanser will do for you is occasionally help you to remove these deposits and dead skin from your skin. This creates an amazing canvas for your other skin care products to work on and healthy skin and cells ready to accept these minerals.
An exfoliator is an essential skin care product that removes the oldest dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface. Exfoliation is a step that is involved in all facials and can be achieved through either mechanical or chemical means. The mechanical way of exfoliating the skin is with the use of abrasives like facial scrubs, sea salt and the likes. They are very common and go a very long way. It is to be subtly used not as though you were brushing a stain off the floor. According to Wikipedia “Mechanical exfoliants include microfiber cloths, adhesive exfoliation sheets, micro-bead facial scrubs, crepe paper, crushed apricot kernel or almond shells, sugar or salt crystals, pumice, and abrasive materials such as sponges, loofahs, brushes, and simply fingernails”. Nigerians need not need to worry, with the presence of local sponges, it is safe to say that we exfoliate every single day of our lives. “Chemical exfoliants include scrubs containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid which may be applied in high concentrations by a medical professional, or in lower concentrations in over-the-counter product”, The chemical exfoliants are a better fit for those who fully understand those products and how they are used. They are effective for people treating acne, however, an exfoliator remains a key product to use in Nigeria.
Have you seen the sun? Wow! Sunscreen is a product that protects the skin from UV rays and the damages it could cause. Sunscreen is not the easiest product to find in Nigeria because not many people see the need for it. It is not only to be used on the beach in foreign countries, but it would also save the people from the harsh tans, sunburns and unwanted hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen, also called sun block or suntan lotion, comes in forms of lotions, gels and sprays.