We've had a desperate plea from a reader who is currently living in Co. Galway and is finding that the winter wind gusting in off the Atlantic is wreaking havoc with her skin, leaving it dry and weather ravaged. So she's looking for a good intensive moisturiser that won't set her back more than â‚¬15. Can we help?
We sure can! Pretty much everyone should be thinking about adjusting their moisturiser and their skincare routine in the winter to some extent anyway, but because this lass is so exposed to the elements, there are a good few things she can do that will hopefully bring her some relief.
The not so good news is that it's probably not going to be just a case of slapping on a lotion and being done with it - it'll take a bit more than that, but your skin will thank you for it. A lot of the problem with problem winter skin is to do with constantly coming in and out of the cold and wind into centrally heated places - our poor skin can't cope.
Good intensively moisturising creams I'd recommend would include Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Ultimate Moisture Day Cream which you'll get in Boots and should be in and around â‚¬10-12 - no SPF though which takes points off it. Or you could try Olay's Complete Care Day Cream with SPF15. This is fab stuff, and hopefully it'd be up to battling Atlantic winds. Ponds also do a highly recommended Dry Skin Cream which should come in a good bit under a tenner. It also contains UVA and UVB filters. Failing that, you could also give the old dry skin favourite, E45 a try, or a friend of mine with very dry skin swears by her Astral cream - it's dirt cheap and apparently models (and Joanna Lumley!) love it because it's so easily absorbed and multi-purpose - you can use it anywhere you need a bit of moisturisation - but sadly neither of these contain an SPF. You'll probably be able to pick all of these up in the supermarket when you're doing your shopping too, which is really handy.
Definitely aim to use a night cream too - as our skin renews at night, this is a perfect opportunity for your moisturiser do to much needed work while you get some zeds. Olay's Complete Care Night Cream is great. But really, if you're on a budget, any moisturiser you use during the day will be fine.
Other things you can do to help are to exfoliate regularly as this will also improve circulation and remove dead skin cells which can lie in wrinkles and lines and deepen them - and of course that makes them look worse. You can also think about giving your skin an extra helping hand once or twice a week with a mask, as it will add much needed hydration to your skin. Don't look for a mud mask though, as these are meant for people with oily skins. Rather, what you want is something rich and creamy like Boots Skin Kindly Moisturising Mask, or The Body Shop's Vitamin E Sink In Mask which should cost about â‚¬11. You could also look for little sachets in chemists and the supermarket which often cost only a couple of quid. Just make sure you're getting a nourishing one as opposed to a deep cleansing one.
There are yet more things you can do to try and retain the moisture in your skin - if you're in centrally heated environments often, try the old trick of placing a bowl of water on the radiator because this helps to keep water in the air - and also in your skin. Apply your moisturiser when your skin is still damp after your shower - this will help lock in as much moisture as possible. Drink lots of water - it might sound silly, but it works! And lastly, if you wash your face with soap or anything vaguely harsh, consider switching to a cream cleanser or a milder face wash.
I hope you get some good results!