I’m such a wimp when it comes to cold weather. My entire life has been punctuated by arguments with my Dad over central heating vs “putting another jumper on” and perhaps because of this my greatest act of rebellion has always been whacking the thermostat up and sitting round in a vest top and no socks on when it’s snowing outside.
I may have defeated my dad and sold my soul to the cackling energy providers in the process, but one of the things I really notice every winter is the effect the central heating has on my skin. The rest of the year I manage to blag my way through with nothing more than a packet of Simple face wipes and some soap (yes, I actually use old fashioned soap to wash my face – this is why I’m not a beauty blogger). But when I insist on all the radiators being at full tilt for every month with an ‘R’ in its name, my skin begins to feel tight and uncomfortable.
So this is what’s currently going on the exposed bits of my body this winter:
(1) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – Nighttime Miracle Moisturiser, £32 50ml Boots
The smell isn’t unpleasant, and I’ll be honest; after the reviews I’ve read over the years about how good Eight Hour Cream is, I probably would have tolerated something as bad as damp towels or Tarmac but not quite as bad as sour milk or anything nappy-related. People were going on like it really was a miracle cream – and applying it to their elbows. Elbows!? For £30 for a small tub they must be made of money. I stuck to my face, taking both my budget into account and my need not to look like Benjamin Button by Christmas.
I was disappointed when it made no difference whatsoever. None. Added to that, it’s got a really waxy consistency and doesn’t really sink in even after considerable massaging, leaving the slightest wisp of hair stuck to my face and looking greasy by the morning.
(2) Lavender Hand Cream, £14 75ml L’Occitane
I already use L’Occitane’s Shea butter hand cream for dry skin but tend to slather than on last thing at night rather than throughout the day, mostly because I don’t have the precious luxury of much ‘soaking in time’ in between nappy changes, housework and all the associated hand washes (because I really ought to wear marigolds but rarely remember to). This hand cream is lighter, soaks in faster, and is wonderfully lavendery.
(3) L’Oreal Collagen Replumping Day Cream, £4 100ml Morrisons
I’ll be honest, I got this because it’s currently reduced from around £11 and because I happened to remember that as well as needing eggs and dishwasher tablets, that I look like I’ve been dug up just lately and need to moisturise of a daytime, so popping it into the big shop was very handy.
It was a nice surprise then that it ticks all the boxes: non-greasy, sinks in well, smells nice, and goes a long way. The jury’s out on whether the collagen makes any difference – some scientists say that collagen molecules are simply too big to be absorbed by our skin – but in my case moisturising full stop must be a step in the right direction. The only downside is it got slightly ‘bitty’ around my throat and collarbone areas, but it probably curdled due to the heat generated by my double chins.
I’d love to hear others’ recommendations for winter skincare – because I won’t be turning the central heating off any time soon!