It may be freezing outside and one of the coldest winters for decades in some parts of the UK but warmer weather is just around the corner. With longer days and higher temperatures only weeks away, it’s time to dust yourself down and get your skin ready for Spring.
March, April and May epitomise the season of renewal and growth – the perfect months to rediscover and feel good about yourself. This is the time of year to shrug off the layers of clothes that have made us feel frumpy (and probably bit grumpy) and retrieve lighter, brighter things from the back of the wardrobe.
If you are stuck in a rut, worn down by a long winter and the horrors of the pandemic, this is a moment to look forward; to embrace the ‘new normal’ – whatever it may be – and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors.
While foreign travel is likely to be off the agenda for some time to come, long walks and time in the garden will be a welcome relief from, what seems like, the eternity we have been shut away indoors. If you are wondering where to start, here’s my top-to-toe guide to getting your skin in great shape for better times ahead.
Buff Up Your Body
The body can take a real battering over winter – and it’s not just from arctic blasts. Heavy clothes, central heating and stuffy air can all lead to dry, flaky and even bobbly skin. The upper arms, lower legs and thighs can suffer without you really noticing.
However, you can improve the condition of your skin, as well as its appearance, by ensuring bath or shower products have hydrating properties. After washing, apply a moisturiser while the skin in still slightly damp to lock that hydration in. If your central heating is on most of the time, ‘up’ your intake of water and avoid long periods of inactivity.
Here are a few inexpensive ideas to get you started.
The product pictured above shows a hydrating foaming gel wash from the Sanctuary Spa range. Perfect for showers, it promises moisture that can last for as long as three days. Ingredients include sunflower seed oil and sweet almond oil. This shower gel is inexpensive and sold in a 200ml can.
Click on any image for today’s prices.
If rubbing a cream or lotion into your skin feels like too much of a faff, the product above is a great, fuss-free alternative. A body mist from Neutrogena, it uses the brand’s powerful yet soothing Norwegian Formula to provide deep-down moisture. The mist is sold in a 200ml can and costs less than many creams.
If you really want to get ahead, why not start building a light tan? Garnier’s Summer Body will give you an all-over sun-kissed glow while delivering a much-needed burst of moisture at the same time. Again, this product is less expensive than many moisturising lotions. It comes in a generously-sized 400ml bottle.
If your skin is feeling coarse and you want to go the extra mile, this Egyptian exfoliating glove is just the job. From the Hydrea London brand, it can be used in the bath or shower and is made from organic materials. It’s not expensive either.
Give Yourself Some Face Time
The face takes the brunt of environmental pressures, especially during the winter months. Exposure to pollution, the bitter cold and poor humidity can really take its toll. To look your best in Spring, you need to ensure that your most noticeable feature is free from dead skin cells and impurities, toned and moisturised.
This is the time to look fresh and have a youthful glow. If you have been sticking to a regime throughout the current lockdown but feel like your skin could do with a little extra help, here are some inexpensive ideas to get your over the finish line.
This is an easy way to get revitalised, dewy skin. The Moisture Bomb tissue face mask set (pictured above) from Garnier is packed with powerful ingredients – all designed to give your skin a super-boost of hydration. From the brand’s SkinActive range, the masks boast must-have hyaluronic acid as well as pomegranate extract which will plump out the skin and give it natural, youthful radiance. This pack includes five masks.
Give your natural radiance a real boost with lightweight Protect ‘N’ Glow from Simple. Specifically formulated to rejuvenate tired, dull skin, this product also provides excellent sun protection with an SPF of 30. It’s non-greasy and shields your face from pollutants. Ingredients include Vitamin E and Algae Oil.
For a fresh glow, this serum certainly packs a punch. From Super Facialist, it is infused with high-strength Vitamin C and includes hyaluronic acid and algae extract that lightens the skin. As well as helping the body to produce more collagen, this product smooths the skin and has potent anti-ageing properties.
Prepare Your Hands and Feet
The hands and feet often get overlooked, because the face usually grabs all the attention. But if they are dry, chapped or sore, you simply won’t feel your best.
Tackle issues like hard skin or cracked heels now. And give your hands some extra special TLC. You don’t want to find yourself suffering when it comes to undertaking jobs in the garden or long hikes.
Give yourself a home pedicure with no scraping, filing or pain with this 60 minute foot mask. It promises to give you super-soft feet in as little as five to 10 days – and the results can last for months. This product is suitable for those with hard skin.
If you are looking for quick relief, O’Keeffe’ Healthy Feet offers results in just days. The non-greasy formula works like magic on dry, cracked skin and helps the feet retain moisture to restore softness.
This hand cream is trending for all the right reasons. From Bio-Fresh, it is formulated with probiotic yoghurt and natural rose oil. As well as offering instant hydration, it takes care of the signs of ageing. For smooth, fresh hands and protection from the sun, this hand cream is a top buy.
Burt’s Bees has come up with the ultimate formula for soft hands with its Soin Supreme. Made with natural ingredients, this intensely moisturising cream is suitable for even the roughest skin. Ingredients include baobab, pumpkin and watermelon oils, as well as green tea extract.
Is Your Skin Ready for Spring?
There is no denying the past 12 months have been tough beyond comprehension. Having something good to look forward to is what we all need and, right now, Spring is a really good bet. You don’t have to travel miles to experience it. And much of what it offers is free – the shooting buds, birdsong, brighter skies…
If you have any tips you would like to share that will help readers get in step for better weather, please feel free to leave a comment.
Today’s note to readers: With just hours until Valentine’s Day, I want to recognise that not everyone will be able to share in-person time with someone special. Whether you are single or separated by current restrictions, being alone may not be your cup of tea. However, it is worth remembering that this centuries old tradition has been massively commercialised and is not universally celebrated. You won’t be truly alone because there will be millions of others in the same situation. If you feel you would like a bit of a pick-me-up, I can organise a fun session on our Facebook page – where we can all have a chat, tell inoffensive jokes and laugh for an hour or so. Get in touch if this is of interest to you.
My February 14 is looking decidedly dicey already. You know how hard it is to get a supermarket home delivery slot at the moment? Well, our Valentine’s Meal Deal came last Monday. The veg (leek and cabbage) went out of date two days ago, we’ve drunk the wine and I can’t see the chocolate orange cheesecakes surviving my temptation beyond tomorrow afternoon. To top things off, it wasn’t a ‘deal’ at all. We accidentally mixed and matched products from two separate offers – and ended up paying full price for everything. I must get better glasses.
No significant movement on the Clinique front, I am afraid. Watch this space for updates.
If you see a product you think would be suitable for your skin but feel the price is too high for your budget, let me know and I will do my very best to find a product with the same or similar ingredients at a lower price.