Winter is the time for comforting, indulgent products that pamper your body
Beauty: At this time of year, legs will flake, midriffs will itch and elbows will crust over in protest
Disciple Clean Slate Soap on a Rope, Lush Butterbear Soap, Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka Shower Oil, Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Body Oil and Nuxe Melting Body Oil Balm with Honey.
If you’re lucky enough to have a bath, this is precisely the time of year to have one, when a bath is a comforting, indulgent affair, a kindness you offer yourself as a remedy to short days and long weeks.
I’ve taken to using old-fashioned soap bars in the bath (and the shower, for that matter). They’ve become fashionable again, like straight eyebrows and growing your own vegetables. They’re considered cool because of their environmentally friendly, minimal packaging, but they’re also tactile, pleasing to use and efficient.
Disciple Clean Slate Soap on a Rope (€11.50 at cultbeauty.co.uk) contains activated charcoal, for deep cleansing, and antibacterial tea tree, so it’s particularly good for postgym showers or a leisurely scrub on an especially grubby day.
If you seek a slightly more decadent bath or shower soap, Lush Butterbear Soap (€5) is a limited-edition offering you’ll find in Lush stores until Christmas. I happened upon it last week and greedily bought two. Modelled after Lush’s Butterbear bath bomb, it’s loaded with cocoa butter, glycerine, coconut oil and musk. It moisturises while cleansing, and it smells delectable.
If you prefer a shower, there’s no reason it can’t be fragrant and comforting, with a relaxation level to rival that of a good bath. A hot shower is often the only quiet time behind a locked door people get in the day, and a decent body wash can turn standard ablutions into a restorative ritual. Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka Shower Oil (€44 at Brown Thomas) smells deliciously of warm weather, so you can bask in the warming fragrance and lie to yourself about the weather outside at least for the duration of your shower.
To finish the ritual, choose a rich, moisturising balm or oil. At this time of year, legs will flake, midriffs will itch and elbows will crust over in protest. Maintain the skin on your body with serious skincare – no faffing about with light milky products. If you keep it up with regularity, you’ll save your skin from discomfort and the possibility of neglect-induced dryness pitching into neglect-induced eczema.
Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Body Oil (€57 at dermalogica.ie) is feather light, easily absorbed and immensely soothing to dry skin. Avocado plum seed oils are the vehicle for neroli, orange, patchouli and bergamot fragrances. Rub it in vigorously to nourish the skin and get the blood flowing.
If you prefer a cream, Nuxe Melting Body Oil Balm with Honey (€25.90 at pharmacies nationwide) has an immensely rich but nonsticky texture, so you can whack it on to parched limbs and get dressed right away. The sweet, floral fragrance will linger for hours.