Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Winter Skincare Saviours

I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, but where I live it’s been absolutely freezing! I can always tell what the weather is going to be like by looking at my skin, and as soon as that cold weather hits, my skin gets very unhappy. My hands are usually the first to show it, with my fingers getting sore and cracked. But I also struggle with dry and itchy skin on my face and body. It’s not much fun, so I’m always looking for products that might help and have tried quite a few over the years. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you today in case you are also battling with the cold. As well as some of my personal favourites, I have also asked my friends and family for their recommendations, so I have quite a few things to share with you.


Let’s start with some body products – if you’re finding your skin feels tight, itchy, dry and flaky, using a good moisturiser is so important.

One of my favourite drugstore body creams I’ve tried is this Vitamin E All Over Body Cream from Superdrug. It’s an absolute bargain at £3.49 and I would recommend it time and time again. I started using it after a couple of operations, as I wanted something I could use on my scars. After a few months, my scars had faded so well, and I’ve continued to use the cream on areas such as my elbows, knees and even hands during really cold spells. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to shield your skin against environmental damage and premature skin ageing. As well as containing vitamin E, this cream also includes a skin conditioning multivitamin complex of vitamins A, B, F and H.

When I was thinking about writing this post, I also wanted to talk to friends and family about their favourite products. One person I chatted to was my sister, who has been plagued with itchy and painful eczema for most of her life. She’s tried so many different creams and lotions over the years, but unfortunately has struggled to find anything that makes much of a difference. One product she has continued to use is Aveeno Cream, which was recommended by her GP and seems to help with the itching a bit. It is formulated with active colloidal oatmeal, which is proven to restore the skin’s natural barrier, making it great for eczema sufferers. It is also suitable for babies from three months, and although it’s a bit pricier, it does seem to work.

You might remember my post from a couple of months ago, when I chatted to you about some products the lovely people at Eucerin sent me. I loved them so much, so when they contacted me again and asked if I would like to try out their dry skin range, I jumped at the chance! This Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Lotion* is formulated with urea (which might sound a bit odd, I know it did when I first heard about it! But my GP has prescribed things with urea before, and it’s actually a really great moisturiser that is naturally present in healthy skin). In many dry skin conditions the skin’s natural urea levels are decreased, which leads to further moisture loss. This cream helps to replace the lost urea, as well as containing natural lipids, which help the skin feel smooth and supple. It is particularly helpful for conditions like Atopic eczema. It does say it’s fragrance free, but I think it does have a bit of an odd smell, which I think might be the urea, as I’ve smelt it in similar products before. But it’s not overpowering, and the cream definitely helps so I’m happy to ignore it!

Nivea is a brand I’ve used for as long as I can remember and one I can always trust to take care of my skin. This Nivea Crème is a lovely thick formula, with the typical clean smell that Nivea products tend to have. According to Nivea, it provides the skin with all it needs to stay pure, nourished and smooth, and I can definitely vouch for this. You can pretty much use it everywhere – face, hands, body, arms and legs, and a 50ml pot is only £1.39 – an absolute bargain!


Next up, I’ve got a few face products for you. Although a couple of the body creams are suitable to use on your face, it’s often the case that the skin on your face needs different things to the skin on your body.

My first face product is another item from Nivea – the Nivea Daily Essentials Regenerating Night Cream, which is £3 at Boots at the moment. My one is for normal and combination skin, but they also do one specifically for dry skin too. Again, this cream feels thick and luxurious, lightly scented with the usual Nivea scent. Putting this on my face at night, I can really feel my skin drinking it up, and in the morning it feels soft and refreshed. The cream is enriched with good old vitamin E, Lotus Extract and Hydra IQ, which provide intensive moisture and support the skin’s regenerating process during the night. I wasn’t sure what Hydra IQ was, but according to Nivea it supports your natural moisturisation via the skin’s own water channels, therefore promoting moisture flow between skin cells. Sounds good to me!

Another Eucerin product I was kindly sent to try out was the Eucerin Dry Skin Replenishing Cream*, which is currently £9.75 in Boots (and also on Buy 1 get 2nd half price on selected Eucerin). Like the other Eucerin product, this contains urea, but only 5% this time, and the scent (or lack of) is much nicer. As well as using this on my face (generally at night) it also works wonders on my hands and elbows and doesn’t irritate my skin, which is always a bonus.

Next is this Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser that you can find in Boots for £12.99. I was intrigued to find out what a ‘water gel’ was, and am so impressed by the consistency of this gel. It’s lovely and cooling, which feels so nice when my skin is dry and itchy, and absorbs really quickly, leaving my skin feeling hydrated and glowing. It also has a really fresh, clean fragrance. The moisturiser contains a unique Hyaluronic Gel Matrix to instantly lock in intense hydration and continuously release it as and when your skin needs it throughout the day. It really is the product that keeps on giving! It is also oil free, so if you’ve got combination skin, this should still suit you well.

My final face product is the Champneys Spa Skin Plus Collagen Intense Night Cream. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find it online, but this one came from a blogger meet-up, where Champneys kindly donated products to go in goody bags. I love a good spa treatment, and the scent and texture of this face cream take me back to when my Mum and I enjoyed a spa break at a Champneys hotel and spa. Oh how I would love to go back there again! Every element of the Spa Skin Plus range is enriched with a collagen-boosting peptide complex, so it works to actively stimulate your skin’s collagen production and help fill out fine lines and wrinkles. As our body’s natural renewal process works best when we sleep, it’s the perfect time to nourish and replenish our skin. This cream is incredibly hydrating and my skin feels so good when I wake up in the morning. The cream includes raspberry seed oil to deeply condition and shea butter to soften.


One thing I really hate is having dry lips, so you will always find a selection of lip balms in my bag and bathroom cupboard to keep them hydrated. There are so many great products out there – here are a few to get you started.

The first product you need to use to keep your lips feeling smooth is a scrub, and you can’t find anything that smells better than the Lush Sugar Plum Fairy Lip scrub. Unfortunately, this was a Christmas special, but you can find several other flavours including Honey, Bubblegum and Popcorn here. A mixture of smoothing fine sea salt, caster sugar and Fair Trade cocoa butter help to soften the skin and leave a delicious taste on your lips. Believe me, it’s very difficult not to lick it off afterwards!

One of my favourite stick lip balms comes from Burt’s Bees, who now boast 11 great flavours including strawberry, vanilla bean, pink grapefruit and wild cherry – yum! They’re great for popping in your handbag, and really nourish your lips. Infused with powerful fruit extracts and Beeswax to richly moisturise and soften your lips, they include nourishing oils and butters that make your lips feel healthy and happy. They are also 100% natural and free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum and SLS, as well as coming in recyclable packaging. I just want to try them all!

If you’re looking for something a bit more intensive, then look no further than Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Lip Balm*. Another part of the Eucerin Dry Skin range that I was kindly sent, this intensive balm contains soothing Licorice Extract to relieve extremely dry and cracked lips, and reduce the redness around the lips due to dryness. I’ve been turning to this time and time again during the day to keep my lips protected from the cold. It feels soothing on my lips and it’s good to know it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

Before I go to bed, I like to put something on my lips that can really work overnight to moisturise and repair them. For a few years now, I’ve been turning to Nivea Lip Butters most nights, and they really seem to help. They’re not something I would generally wear during the day, as they are very thick and creamy, so quite visible on the lips. But they’re perfect for night-time when I won’t lick them off straight away! They come in a range of scents including blueberry, coconut, raspberry and vanilla and macadamia – all of which smell so good (and there is an original one too). The moisturising formula with Hydra IQ contains shea butter and almond oil to provide intense moisture and long-lasting care.

Carmex is another brand I always go to for lip care products, and I particularly love this Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm in Cherry. You can either get this in a pot or a squeezable tube, which I must admit I prefer, so I don’t get it all over my fingers! Its unique formula soothes, moisturises and relieves, resulting in soft and healthy looking lips. So many times I have had cracked, sore lips, and Carmex have managed to get them back to feeling normal again. It also contains SPF 15, which is so important all year round to protect our delicate lips from the sun.

While I’m talking about winter skincare in general, I thought I would just share this Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing Vanilla Bean Gift Set that I received for Christmas. It contains one of their lip balms, but also some Ultimate Care Hand Cream, which is just as good at hydrating my skin as their lip products are. They do all sorts of combinations and products, so I would really recommend giving them a try.


Last up in my winter skincare saviours are a few products I’ve been using to keep my hands feeling soft and smooth.

As well as hating having dry lips, I can’t stand it if my hands feel dry. It’s something I have experienced since childhood, and I remember being on holiday somewhere and crying because my hands felt so dry. So these days I try to make sure I carry some hand cream in my bag, and this Eucerin Intensive Hand Cream 5% Urea* really does make such a difference, especially during these cold months. The cream feels thick and luxurious, with the urea and lactate quickly soothing my hands even when they’re really dry. It absorbs well into my skin and doesn’t leave them feeling sticky, which I think is a sign of a good moisturiser. It’s been tested in clinical studies on people including those with hand eczema, and they found that there was an improvement in skin moisturisation of over 150% after just one week! Everyone in the study said their skin condition had improved, which is pretty good going I think!

My poor Mum really suffers with her hands, especially when the weather turns cold. She’s tried various creams from the doctors, but never seemed to find anything that helped. I decided to do a bit of research, and came across O’Keeffe’s Working Hands, which seemed to have a lot of recommendations from people with severely cracked hands. It had to be worth a try. It’s an interesting texture – more like a balm than a cream, and after a while using it, my Mum’s hands did improve. It’s a concentrated formula that naturally conditions your skin with a high concentration of glycerine, creating a difference you can feel within days. Although my Mum still struggles with her hands, this has certainly helped.

One hand cream that you can often find in my bag is the Nivea Hand Express Hydration Cream. It’s a fairly light texture, but doesn’t skimp on the moisturising, leaving my hands feeling hydrated and smooth. The formula contains a natural sea mineral hydrating complex, which absorbs almost instantly. It’s one of my current favourites, and I go back to it time and time again.

Another great staple hand cream is the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream, which you can get either scented or unscented. This is a thicker consistency than the Nivea one, but it still absorbs very easily, although you only need a small amount! It gives your skin immediate and lasting relief, and I tend to turn to this when I need something a bit more intensive. It is enriched with glycerine and instantly relieves and protects seriously chapped hands. My hands definitely feel noticeably softer after using this.

Last on my list is The Body Shop Hemp High Moisture Cream. Now, I’ll start off by saying that this doesn’t have the best smell, so you need to prepare yourself for something that isn’t going to smell like some of their other yummy fruity products. But the smell doesn’t really bother me because the products work so well. The hemp helps to soften and protect your hands, and is sometimes the only thing that will offer some relief to my dry, cracked skin. I love to lather my hands in this before bed, and then wake up in the morning with silky soft hands. Definitely a bathroom cupboard staple for those chilly winter days.

And there we have it – my winter skincare saviours! This is just a selection of some of the products I enjoy to use throughout the winter months, but I hope it has helped you if you’re currently struggling with dry skin and need something to try.

Do you use any of these products to help with dry skin? Are there any others you would recommend that I could try out?

*I was sent anything marked with this to review. However, all opinions are my own and I only discuss products that I would genuinely try myself.

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