Winter survival kit

Finished_Bathroom_Image_SmallI keep thinking it’s the end of winter and I keep being proved wrong. I was SO COLD last weekend that I ended up with two hot water bottles and two blankets in my sofa nest of an evening. [We could put the heating on for a bit longer but we just got the ‘winter’ bill and have decided that ideally we’d never turn it on again…ever]

I thought I’d missed the boat on my planned ‘winter kit list’ but given winter’s set to go on indefinitely, I’ve decided to post it up. I’ve used all of the following this winter and included them here because I LOVE them. Many are products I’d continue using into the spring and summer months, but they are so good for delicate, sore winter skin.

Can’t-go-wrong skincare:

  • Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser – I raved about this a couple of weeks back. Have developed an unhealthy obsession with it – to the point where I’m probably only days away from anxiety dreams in which there are global shortages or – horrors – it is discontinued.
  • Spiezia Organic Facial Cleanser – I’ve been using this up alongside the new Antipodes one. It’s my morning shower option because the floral smell just suits mornings. I reviewed this here.
  • Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream – again, I love this. I’m not going to go on about it here because Antipodes deserves its own dedicated post and I’ll try and get to it soon.
  • REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate – featured in a rosehip update a few days back. Works beautifully under moisturiser. I’m not sure it would work alone on winter skin – I think you need a bit more nourishment. But oilier skins may find this is sufficient on its own during warmer months.
  • Original Sprout Face & Body Sunscreen – a new suncare discovery. I’ll feature it soon.
  • Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint – not strictly speaking skincare but my choice of winter SPF on days when I’m not outside a lot (or at all…). This is really moisturising and therefore soothing for dry or sore winter skin. I reviewed it here.

Happy bodies:

  • Yes to Carrots Hydrating shower gel and Yes to Cucumber Calming shower gel – lovely and soothing for the winter months, even if the fragrances are more spring-like…
  • Australian Organics Jojoba Oil Exfoliating body wash – it’s important to keep scrubbing throughout the winter but I usually opt for a less abrasive option if my skin is sensitive. This scrub is more of a body wash with added scrub so I can use it more often for a very little exfoliation each time. Smells heavenly too.
  • Barefoot Botanicals SOS Daily Rich body lotion – previously reviewed here and a must-buy for dry, scaly legs.
  • Dr Organics Skin Lotions – perfect lotions for use year-round and soon to feature in their very own review because they’ve become such staples for me. Richer options for winter skin include Coconut, Vitamin E, Olive oil and Argan oil.
  • Jojoba oil – while my skin needs a bit more moisturising in the winter months, I find it irritating to slather on something rich and heavy first thing if it means I have to wait 10-15 minutes to get dressed while it’s cold. Plus, if I had 10-15 minutes spare of a morning, I would actually be somebody else (someone who went to bed on time, got up immediately when their alarm went off and was eternally smug). I’m not. A super-quick option is to put a thin layer of body oil onto dry or damaged spots then layer your normal light moisturiser over the top. The moisturiser seals in the oil so you don’t have to wait out the tacky, when-will-it-sink-in stage. Jojoba oil is a good choice because it’s lightweight and closest in composition to the sebum found naturally on skin.

Resilient innards:

Ok, so listen up. I didn’t get ill this winter. Not once. I have been bug-free since about September of last year. This is UNHEARD of. I’m usually ill at least once and, more commonly, I get those Russian Doll illnesses where being run down and worn out from the first one leads to the second one and so on. I also have a bad habit of going to bed too late. Normally 3-4 late nights and I’m already feeling the early sniffles of some germ. But NOT THIS WINTER. And I’ve most certainly not been going virtuously to bed at 9pm every night.

I’ve been using three things consistently since September (and a bit before then too) and I would now never chance a winter without them.

  • Baobab fruit powder: for a turbo-charged hit of Vitamin C, amongst other goodies. Please don’t replace your 5-7 portions of fruit and veg a day with this. But feel free to take this when you need an extra hit. I don’t take it daily. I tend to reserve it for days when I’ve slept badly, eaten poorly the day before or am just feeling generally tired. I reckon it’s the last barrier between me and illness and it’s worked, more than once. Organic Burst do a great one. I reviewed them here.
  • Zinc supplements: recommended as a skin supplement by Liz Earle, zinc is actually an immune support. I initially started taking it for my eczema because a healthy immune system supports good skin in the same way that a healthy digestive system does (don’t you just love the glorious interconnectedness of bodies??). However, I reckon it’s also been a godsend for fending off winter bugs.
  • Vitamin D: I wrote about this here and swear by it for beating the lurgy. I’d take this for the 6 months of the year when I wasn’t getting enough vitamin D from the sun (Apr – Sept, if we’re lucky).

UPDATE (15.03): Thanks to a comment from the lovely Sarah at Sugarpuffish I realised there was a glaring omission from my winter skin kit – the Comfort and Nourish balms from Balmology. Currently there’s a pot of the Comfort balm on my bedside table and I use it for pretty much everything, from lips to hands to stubborn patches of eczema. It’s become such a part of my routine at night that I ironically forgot all about it. But that’s now been put right. If you haven’t already, check out balmology, particularly if you have dry or eczema-prone skin.

Photos © Natural Beauty Cabinet. Please do not reproduce without permission.

3 thoughts on “Winter survival kit

  1. I really want to try that cleanser. I’m currently loving a body lotion by Jason – the revitalIzing wheat germ and vitamin e hand and body lotion. It is fantastic for my ultra dry winter skin.

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