Do you have ‘flankles’? How to get rid of flaky winter skin

Masks, creams and oils for a more moisturised 2018

If ever there were a good time to start a maintenance routine, it would be now. I have had significant time to contemplate during the Christmas period, and have come to the conclusion that I need to take care of myself better in general. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. It would be nice to say that the self-care epiphany came after a period of self-imposed seclusion involving various leaf teas and possibly some sort of enema regime. However, I had the epiphany after realising I was being a hypocrite and judgemental mammal of the bovine variety.

Standing behind a lady while going up a department store escalator, I observed her ankles (she was wearing cropped trousers) were all flaky and white in that way skin can get in cold weather. “OH! I mean really”, I thought, “Wouldn’t you take the time to moisturise that? It’s sooo preventable.” I then glanced down at my own ankles, feeling suddenly unconfident, and observed them to be identically flaky and snowy looking. “Serves you right”, I thought sternly to myself. “Don’t be a wagon. But do moisturise below your neck”.

Mixa Restoring Body Lotion (€6 from McCabes Pharmacies) cleared my flaking ankles ('flankles', if you will) right up, while deep, deep shame saw to the tendency toward unfair judgement of others. Let she without flankles cast the first moisturiser. While I have a tendency in winter to cover everything from the floor up and the forehead down, I can forget to take care of my hair.

Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment (€21.45 from is the best mask I have ever encountered – you both see and feel the difference in your hair after one use.


Plus it is sulphate-free and vegan, if the only beast you want to domesticate or batter into submission is your hair itself.

Skin on the face tends to demand more of our time, by virtue of being constantly exposed and abused. A weekly mask is more important in winter than in summer, and Murad Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel (€46.95 from is wonderful.

The box contains four treatments, consisting of a lactic- and glycolic acid-soaked swab to exfoliate and a hydrating sheet mask to follow. I use this before events or special occasions to cheat great skin in a hurry, and it works beautifully.

Supplement your skincare regime with an oil, if you don't have one already. Modern Botany Oil (€35 from is a really pleasing Irish product that will moisturise and balance any skin type, at any age.

Sleep in it or add a couple of drops to your day cream for extra moisture and protection in the cold weather.

A weekly facial massage (I do mine watching tv or at the bathroom sink) with your facial oil will keep skin at its best. And don't forget your lips. La Mer The Lip Balm (€60 from Brown Thomas) is the best lip balm on earth (unfortunately, given its price), but use any balm you like to keep lips comfortable and plump.