Winter skincare tips

If your healthy summertime glow has long since faded and you are beginning to feel the bite of the cold winter air, it's time to protect and nourish your skin. After all, the Christmas party season is fast approaching.

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Here are our top winter skincare tips to help you look your fabulous best whatever the weather.

Hydration, hydration, hydration
When it's cold outside and the central heating is blasting away, sensitive winter skin can easily dry out. Try putting a bowl of water by the radiator, or turn the temperature down a little and open a window to allow moisture into the room. Obviously plenty of fluids are in order (and not just the champers) - herbal teas like cinnamon, ginger and orange will also help to stimulate the circulation.

Moisturising protection
When winter sets in, it's time to look for a new moisturiser. New high-tech products are available with an oil-free organic silicone base. These will form an invisible barrier on the skin, preventing water loss. And for that ultra-dry problem skin, the shea butter or evening primrose oil heavy-weights will give your the skin the extra nourishment it needs.

Be kind to your skin
Soaps and alcohol-based cleansers are all very well in the summer. But when your skin is faced with the wind, the rain and the cold, these harsh elements can dry it out even more. Replace them with soap and alcohol-free cleansers to avoid unnecessary skin stress. E45 Emollient Wash Cream is particularly good for those with dry skin problems.

Proper exfoliation is essential during the winter months. Aim to exfoliate at least twice a week - dry body brushing from the toes up will stimulate the lymph flow, draining waste from the tissues and removing dead skin. Indulge in a sumptuous exfoliating scrub or salts and massage the skin with a damp mitt.

Body lotion boost
Once you've successfully scrubbed and brushed, your skin will need a rehydration boost. Body lotions containing essential oils are excellent for soothing the skin - look out for lavender, geranium, pachouli or ylang ylang.

Nourish from the inside
All that exfoliating and moisturising could go to waste if you're not giving your skin the proper nourishment from the inside. Be sure to eat healthily during the winter months - fruit vegetables and oily fish (as always) will provide your essential fatty acids and vitamins for a naturally healthy glow.

You glow girl
If you're not comfortable being pale and proud, there a whole range of self tan body lotion products on the shelves these days. Applied as your normal moisturiser they gradually build a hint of colour, so you'll be glowing come the party season.

With your skin suitably winter-proofed, you can pull on that fabulous LBD and step into those killer heels with confidence.