Winter Skin Savers: My Top Three - First Defence; Aveeno; Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mask

Dealing with seasonal skin problems can be a right old pain in the hoop, but I've actually escaped surprisingly unscathed this winter. It's not down to looking after my skin any better - I'd rather be coming up with Christmas nail art ideas, frankly - so I have to give credit to this magic little trio for keeping things on an even keel.

ONE: Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion with shea butter
You know how some people like luxurious body lotions, and some like ones that come in pretty containers, and some like ones that match their perfume?

Well, I'm in a whole 'nother category altogether. I have yet to meet a beautifully fragranced souffle encased in swoon-worthy packaging that has the ability to make applying body moisturiser feel like any less of a hassle, so I tend towards hardworking products that I can sneak in with the grocery shopping.

My ideals are easily absorbed, non-greasy, and provide long-lasting hydration whose effects can be measured in days, not hours (or worse still, minutes.) This unscented, unfussy lotion from Aveeno ticks all those boxes. As it's quite thick, I like to apply it at night, but it has enough slip to spread easily on skin. I'm not using it more than twice a week at most but its oat-y triple threat (of oatmeal, oat oil, and oat essence) and shea butter are still ensuring my skin is calm, supple, and flake-free.

This is nothing short of a miracle where my legs are concerned, and makes 2012 the first winter ever that taking off a pair of tights hasn't made me feel like I'm inside a snowglobe.

(You are welcome for that delightful mental picture.)


TWO: Vicks First Defence
Himself brought me home a cold from work recently – not his finest present, it has to be said – and the only reason it didn't devolve into a nose-shredding, full-blown infection is because of this little nasal spray. Used at the first sign of a cold, it's supposed to trap, inactivate, and help your body naturally get rid of the virus before it has a chance to develop into a full-on cold.

I used to think this was probably a load of cobblers – until I tried it, and now I'm a total convert. I catch everything going and, until this week, had never managed to shake off a cold before it took over.

Admittedly, it's not the most pleasant thing in the world to be using four times a day but the small discomfort of spritzing a gel up your schnozz (and the ensuing, er, “nasal discharge”, as the box describes it) is infinitely preferable to smothering with a cold and battling to stop the skin around your nose from cracking wide open for a couple of weeks.

THREE: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mask for sensitive skin
It may be winter outside, but that doesn't mean my skin can suddenly handle rich nourishment without breaking out into a painful mess. A face mask that can soothe and intensively hydrate skin without overwhelming it is what's called for, and I think Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mask with hyaluronic acid is the answer.

The creamy-gel texture feels immediately comforting and, after just 10 minutes, skin feels supple, smooth, soothed, and plumped, and the results are noticeable the next day, too.



Have you tried any of these products, or what are you loving this winter?

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