Beauty up those winter blues

Harsh winds, freezing temperatures, snow, rain and ice can all play havoc with your skin’s condition. Add in the mix central heating and layers of clothing and it’s no wonder that we often emerge from the darker months with less than perfect complexions. Winter weather can cause the skin to lose essential oils, moisture and water – leaving it feeling dry, tight and irritated. Here’s a guide to some of the best winter wonders to combat these problems and put a spring in your step again…

Sensitive and tender young skins need to be well protected in harsher weather conditions, just as they do in hot climates. Ideal for babies who have patches of dryness is the new Tiddley Pom Organic Soothing Lotion. It can be gently applied after baby’s bath to ease away any irritation and contains organic lavender and chamomile essential oils to calm and soothe.

Kiwi brand Living Nature uses natural native plants of New Zealand, known for their healing properties, in all their products. The Little Body Lotion, for babies and toddlers, contains Manuka Oil, which gives a gentle anti-microbial action and Active Manuka Honey to nourish the skin.

Gaia’s natural and organic skincare for babies includes hydrating baby washes, oils and lotions. You can try them all in the practical Gaia Organic Baby Starter Kit, which contains five super nourishing products, ideal for travelling.

When temperatures drop, many children experience inflamed and chapped skin. The Little Green Sheep’s Organic Baby Nappy Balm provides relief against nappy rash but can also be used on other sore patches on their little bodies. The soft balm contains no parabens or nasties and instead uses beeswax, which is a natural antiseptic, as well as coconut oil and Shea butter to treat dry and flaky skin.

Cool Kids’ Lip & Cheek Protector is a must for holidays in the snow and ice. The chunky applicator prevents chapped lips and cheeks (great for skiing) and is flavour-free so little ones won’t be tempted to lick it off. If your child is prone to colds and runny noses, it also provides a protection barrier to prevent redness and sore skin from all that nose-wiping. Genius!

Help teenagers keep their complexions blemish free by introducing a simple, caring regime. Yes to Blueberries Smoothing Daily Cleanser uses blueberries, rich in Vitamin C, and apple, rich in antioxidants and natural AHAs, to help brighten and nourish the skin’s surface. Lemon Peel, meanwhile, sweeps away any dirt.

Yes to Carrots Body Butter is brilliant for very dry skin. As well as combining the antioxidant power of Beta-Carotene from organic fruits and vegetables, and minerals from the Dead Sea, it is also rich in Shea butter, vitamins A and E and easily melts into the skin.

While on the subject of foodie ingredients, well-known doctor brand Perricone MD has launched a new offshoot label aimed at younger skins. Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone employs the benefits of super foods and nutrients, such as turmeric and sulforaphane found in watercress, into a range of innovative beauty treats. The Super Hyper Hydrator Daily Moisturizer promises to keep skin looking supple, deeply hydrated and vibrant due to its coconut water and squalane – a natural oil from olives.

They may look fun and smell great but Lush products are also perfectly suited for use on teenage skin. Great skin’s prone to acne is the Lush BB Seaweed Mask. It deep cleanses and softens all skin types and contains fresh seaweed, rose absolute and calming aloe vera.

Dry and chapped lips can be one of the worst side-effects when the temperature drops. Korres Lip Butter melts on the lips and leaves them with a lovely tinted finish. The jasmine option gives lips a natural sheen and uses the healing properties of wild rose, pomegranate and guava.

Essential Care Organic Lip Silk, meanwhile, comes in a handy tube and contains vitamin-rich coconut oil, calendula and orange oil – ideal to pucker up.

The organic brand’s Ultra Rich is the ultimate moisturiser to winter-proof your skin. Shea butter and plant oils combine to give nourishing protection from the wind, rain and snow, without blocking the pores.

Dove Spa’s Banquet Succulent Day Cream is aimed at replenishing very dry skins with its plant oils rich in essential lipids. It also contains UVA and UVB filters.

New from Clinique is its Moisture Surge Intense. The gel formula is brilliant for ‘thirsty’ skin and has a ‘plumping’ effect so your complexion looks radiant and healthy.

Korres Watercress Extra Moisturising Cream is a great value addition to your kit. It uses the water-retaining qualities of watercress to keep skin continually hydrated through the day.

Using concentrated formulas of active ingredients, designed to rejuvenate and heal, serums are a wonderful way to make sure your skin keeps in excellent condition during the winter months. Award-winning Imedeen’s Expression Line Control Serum may be pricy but then again it does claim to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with a cocktail of scientific products.

Meanwhile, Australian brand Black Chicken Remedies has just launched its Love Your Face Serum (available from Selfridges), following the huge success of its wonderfully scented body oil. The serum uses 11 therapeutic oils to give fuller, radiant skin.

For maintaining that youthful complexion and combating the adverse effects of the weather, treat yourself to a nourishing face mask. Payot’s Nutricia Masque describes itself as an ‘emergency repair’ for the driest of skins. Leave on for 10 minutes and its combination of quinoa extracts and Royal Jelly work to eliminate tautness and red patches.

Gazelli’s Triple Youth Ultra Nourishing Saviour Mask says it all in its name. Leave a thin layer on the skin twice a week and a dried-out complexion will look hydrated and luminous.

Of course, there’s nothing like a long soak in the bath to banish the winter blues. Just make sure you add something to the water that can work hard while you rest. Ahava’s Liquid Dead Sea Salt can be used as a pre-soak exfoliator or can also be used to enrich your bath water. The mineral-concentrated solution helps detoxify and regenerate the skin – ideal for a winter detox.

Wonderfully old-fashioned looking is E.Coudray‘s Foaming Cream. The Pink version smells divine, with with musk and freesia, it leaves skin delicately scented and silky to the touch.

G.Baldwin’s Soothing Bath Oil, meanwhile, is perfect to unwind after a long day. It uses the relaxing properties of lavender and chamomile for the ideal wind-down soak.

After luxuriating in the tub for a while, rehydrate skin with a body cream or oil. Made on Foxbury Farm in Kent, the Mitchell and Peach brand uses home-grown lavender and locally-sourced honey, violet root and rose in their luxurious products. The Body Cream is an indulgent and sweet-smelling treat.

Emma Hardie’s Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Butter uses citrus essential oils combined with rose and jasmine for an uplifting perfume. Shea butter and exotic inca inchi oils from Peru leave limbs thoroughly moisturised.

Doctor Renaud’s Peach Hydrating Body Milk smells good enough to eat and is packed with hydrating (and tasty) ingredients such as honey, pear, fig, almond extracts to leave skin supple and smooth.

While your taste-buds may be popping with the latter, Caudalie’s Vine Body Butter will make your mouth water with its goodies sourced from the vineyard. Grape seed oil, rich in omega 6 and vitamin E, is combined with Vinolevure, Caudalie’s unique formula extracted from wine yeast and used for its moisturizing properties in this sumptuous, creamy butter.

A tiny amount of Shiffa’s Soothing Body Oil goes a long, long way. Use just before bedtime and its blend of nut, fruit and flower extracts work to relax the body and mind and to soften skin while you sleep.

Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Massage & Body Oil  is another sweet-smelling way to end your day (especially if a loved-one massages it in for you). Uplifting rose absolute leaves skin silky-smooth, while evening primrose conditions dehydrated skin.

For those troubled by stretch marks, scars or ageing skin, Phyta Lotion uses rosehip oil and extract as well as vitamins A and E to help improve the appearance of skin blemishes and roughness caused by weather exposure.

Suti Purity Organic Balm is a fantastic all-rounder and ideally suited when exposed to freezing temperatures. Using calendula, chamomile and lavender the moisturizing balm works to cocoon skin by protecting exposed areas from environmental extremities.

Hair can also become brittle, dry and lacklustre without much sunshine. An intensive conditioning treatment – such as Alberto Balsam’s Intensive Conditioning Treatment with honey and almond extracts or V05 Treat Me Right Rinse Out Conditioning Treatment (both from Boots) – are cheap and easy ways to maintain shiny, healthy hair.  Just leave on for a few minutes while in the bath or before your shower and rinse off for a reviving home treatment.

Lastly, Macadamia Hair Deep Repair Masque combines macadamia and argon oils with tea tree oil, chamomile, aloe and algae extract to help rebuild damaged hair and give shine and elasticity. It’s sure to put a bounce back into your locks, and your step.

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