Watch out for dry skin in this weather
~It may look pretty, but snow can wreak havoc, especially if you have dry skin as a side effect of drugs. Add to this icy winds that will further dry out skin, and this makes winter weather a recipe for disaster.
Now is the time to really pile on the best skincare you have in the cupboard, and if you want to have glowing skin for parties, you need to get to work – seriously – with creams and balms.
In olden days you would be smothered in goose fat at the beginning of winter, sewn in to your winter clothes, and that was you snug and protected (the fact that you would also have colonies of bugs and fleas crawling around didn’t really worry you – you were used to it). You happily went without a bath; when everyone else was in the same boat you didn’t notice the smell, but if you were extra fastidious you wore heavy perfume or carried a nosegay in which you buried your nose – Judges still do that today for special holidays.
Queen Elizabeth I was considered extraordinary; one chronicler wrote, “Her Majesty doth take a bath once a month, whether she need it or no”, but her successor, James I, was made of sterner stuff. He didn’t worry too much about washing his hands, so that even his courtiers were heard to complain.
Today we are very prissy, and insist on a bath or shower every day, but this would have shocked our ancestors, who would have been convinced that we were heading for pneumonia at least.
Anyway, I am like my daily bath to warm me up – so there!
However warmly you wrap up, if you haven’t ‘creamed’ your body skin underneath the layers, icy winds will manage to penetrate and produce rough skin. And after, I always make sure I use a skin balm, lip balm, foot balm and specially rich creams to protect my skin as much as possible.
Products for Skin Defence
Bath Don’t use soap – most are too drying. Instead, use a good quality gel or bath foamer. I love the products made by the French company, L’Occitane; based in Provence. Buying their products from their boutiques is always fun, and shop staff have a lovely line in amusing and friendly chat; they really take an interest in customers. This week, I decided on their Cherry Blossom Shower Gel (which foams up in the bath too), and the 1/4 litre bottle seems to last – and last. £12.50 http://uk.loccitane.com/FO/Cherry-Blossom-Bath-Shower-Gel,p24GD250CB.htm
After bathing Always use a good skin balm; currently I am using Lipikar Baume AP. Made by La Roche Posay, this is actually for people with eczema, but I have been using it for my skin during the current icy weather, and it works a treat. I often get nasty patches of flaky skin, but so far it is a smooth as can be.
Then I slap on the Flexitol Heel Balm all over my feet. Don’t forget you can get this on prescription – so ask the doctor for this.
Once a week (more often if you get chapped) use a good body scrub all over. I have been using proto-col instant body bliss, which lives up to its name. You may think that you only use this type of product in the summer, but it is essential to use in winter too, as winds chap you skin – even through thick woolly layers. Before I get into the bath or shower, I rub this all over, taking care over arms, back (this gets lots of wind chapping it), elbows, feet and legs. proto-col has passionflower oil in it, so be very, very careful when you step into the bath, as you will be slippery! Then it is wonderful if you lie back in the bath and let it soak in. (and don’t forget bath will be slippery when you get out). £19.95 www.proto-col.com/shop/productlisting.asp
Face – you need your best cleanser, toner, protection and serum – whichever works best for you. I have been tryng out hero products, so click on the Face and Skin category on the list on the right, or see http://after-cancer.com/face-and-skin/how-to-look-after-your-face-in-winter/
Lips – again, Flexitol make a very good Lip Balm.
Hands – keep hand cream by the side of the washbasin, by your bed, in your handbag, etc. and keep on and on using it. Flexitol also make a very good Hand Balm – and I am hoping that one day NICE will approve this to be issued on prescription – well, I can dream!
Then go out and enjoy the winter! Just don’t forget if the temperature is low, even when the sun comes out you can still suffer ‘winter burn’.