Winter beauty survival guide

It's not just our mood that suffers in the winter months - our skin can quickly become dry, itchy and under-nourished thanks to the cold winds and central heating. To ensure your skin remains soft, supple and radiant, it's a good idea to make some changes to your beauty regime.

winter beauty survival guide

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Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
It's essential at all times of the year but even more so during winter, when skin is so quickly dried out. Not only should you moisturise more frequently but it is worth changing to a thicker product that will properly nourish the skin.

Products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic or lactic acid are a good choice at this time of year as they are particularly effective when it comes to reversing dry skin. Natural products that contain vitamins C and E are useful for their anti-oxidants while rich ingredients such as shea butter will ensure your skin is well-nourished.

To give your visage an extra boost, try a moisturising face mask - avocado is great for dry skin as a once-a-week treat.

And don't forget your daily dose of H2O - we're generally less thirsty in the winter but water is vital for healthy-looking skin so be sure to rehydrate. If you spend a lot of time in a centrally-heated environment, consider putting a bowl of water near a radiator to re-hydrate the air.

Be brave in the bath
It's ironic that during the winter months, when we are most tempted by a hot bath, we should be turning the water temperature down. Steaming hot water only serves to dry our skin further - if you can bear it, turn down the heat a little.

You could also try massaging oil (almond is particularly good) into the skin and patting off the excess before you step in. Not only will the massaging action improve circulation but it will help to keep that moisture locked in.

It's also best to avoid harsh soap and bubble baths that can irritate dry skin so opt instead for natural soothers such as chamomile and eucalyptus, and invest in some moisturising shaving gel rather than soap.

And, as if we need say it, moisturise as soon as you step out of the bath or shower.

Alcohol awareness
Many beauty products contain alcohol but it is well-known for drying out the skin. Avoid skin or hair products containing alcohol and opt instead for natural, moisture-rich products - now is a good time to switch that facial cleanser to a more luxurious creamy lotion.

Extreme beauty
While we're busy caring for our face and body, it's easy to forget about the extremities. Feet can easily become dry and cracked in the winter, while hands are regularly exposed to the harsh weather.

Use a file or pumice stone to remove dry skin on your feet and moisturise with a foot-specific product. Hands should be moisturised regularly - in fact, keep a hand cream handy at all times so that you can rehydrate the skin whenever necessary.

Pay a little lip service
Just as your hands are over-exposed during the winter, your lips are also open to the elements. As tempting as it may be, licking your lips will only dry them out further so keep a lip balm with you at all times.

Once again, natural products that contain tea tree oil, aloe and vitamin E are good for keeping the cracks at bay and look for a balm that has an SPF of 15 to protect from the winter sun.