Neglected your skin over winter? Here’s how to revive it in time for spring
These products will help if your body looks like you have been rolling in dry cement
Five moisturisers which may help save winter skin
Each year, as spring stretches out in front of us, whispering precarious promises of an Irish summer, I write a column saying something along the lines of “So you’ve neglected to care for any skin on your body apart from your face and hands since last September. Now you’re tempted to wear a v-neck top (gasp) or a cropped sleeve, you’ve realised that your entire body looks as though it has been mummified and rolled in dry cement.”
Every year, I faithfully promise my legs and elbows that I will continue to regularly moisturise them through the winter. “You’re so untrusting,” I tell said legs and elbows with a tone of charming derision, and hearing myself lie.
All is not lost, though. While I can do nothing to restore your faith in your own shattered promises, I can help with the neglected skin. If you haven’t been diligent, you may have a buildup of dead skin, meaning general dullness, perhaps a fetching greyish hue around knees and elbows especially, and possibly even some redness and discomfort. There are a few things you can do without spending much money at all – invest in a body brush and dry brush before you shower, to stimulate circulation and shift dry skin. You’ll find very affordable body brushes in Penneys or your local pharmacy. A few drops of oil in your bath will also help to soften and comfort the skin.
Once the neglect has occurred, you’ll need to think strategically and attack the enemy’s flanks. You’re the enemy, so get a salicylic acid-rich exfoliant like Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant (€19.77for 150ml at victoriahealth.com) all over your flanks. It helps with ingrown hair bumps and keratosis pilaris (the genetic bumpiness some of us are prone to on the backs of our arms).
To continue the exfoliation beyond your shower, try Pixi Glycolic Body Lotion (€31 at Cloud 10 Beauty), which contains glycolic acid to resurface.
If you prefer a rich cream but don’t enjoy one that feels like wearing a layer of cling film under your trousers, opt for Caudalíe Vinosculpt Lift & Firm Body Cream (€29 at caudalie.com from March). It smells like a Bordeaux spa (think orange blossom) and the whipped texture makes it feel lighter than rich ingredients like shea butter and grape seed oil might suggest.
If your skin is sensitised by temperature change (or in my case, wanton neglect), then Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver (€48 at Arnotts) is a wonderful multi-tasker. Somerville – a beloved Los Angeles facialist – finally made an Irish home for her brand at Arnotts in Dublin, where you will find a very impressive new counter; they even offer treatments. The Dry Skin Saver is a no-brainer buy. Unscented, suitable for use on face, body and lips, it soothes irritated and compromised skin and restores it to balance.
Should budget allow, consider trying Augustinus Bader The Body Cream (€145 at Brown Thomas). The brand, loved by celebrities like Victoria Beckham, has recently launched in Brown Thomas and its founder, Prof Augustinus Bader, is one of the foremost experts in skin healing in the world. The cream is rich, restorative, and enormously luxurious.