Flaky skin, chapped hands, coarse hair... The winter elements can play havoc with a girl's appearance, so now that winter is officially here, it's time to make the necessary adjustments to your beauty routine.
You've no doubt amended your wardrobe (from sheer to shearling) and your diet (from salad to soup) so surely your skincare regime and haircare routine deserves the same treatment.
But don't worry, safeguarding your looks from the ravages of winter needn't involve getting out of that snugly warm bed a second earlier than is absolutely necessary on these cold, dark mornings.
Incorporate these simple steps into your daily beauty regime and we guarantee you'll have a warm winter glow right through to spring.
1. Turn down the heat
Exposure to sudden temperature change is a major culprit when it comes to winter skin and hair damage, so however tempting, avoid jumping straight into a scolding hot shower after waking up in a cold flat. Opt for luke warm showers and avoid cranking up the central heating to full blast – knitwear is far kinder to skin (and the environment).
2. Shed those layers
Dead skin cells can build up in the winter months so it's more important than ever to keep skin soft. Plus, slapping moisturiser straight on to winter worn skin is a bit like applying a fresh coat of nail polish over old layers of chipped polish and expecting smooth results. Use a body scrub once a week such as Sanctuary Spa Essentials Body Scrub, £4.99, to remove dead skin cells and prep skin for moisturising.
3. Trade up your body lotion
The combination of cold abrasive winds, low humidity and central heating can leave skin dry, parched and flaky so now's the time to upgrade your light summer body lotion to a more intensive body cream. We recommend a rich cream such as The Body Shop Shea Body Butter, £5 – or if you fancy shopping around check out our guide to the best body moisturisers.
4. Switch to a gentle cleanser
Avoid foaming face washes, alcohol-based toners and astringents as they strip the skin of oil. As your natural oil supply is depleted in winter this can lead to redness and irritation. Switch to a gentle cleanser and keep your skin's water levels topped up with a super-hydrating moisturiser, such as Estée Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme, £32. If your skin is sensitive and prone to irritation, invest in a protective allergy-tested cream such as Clinique Comfort on Call Allergy Tested Relief Cream, £35.
5. Combat redness
Extreme temperatures not only leave skin and hair dehydrated, they can also cause sensitivity and redness as they cause the blood capillaries to dilate and contract. The capillary walls may eventually start to lose elasticity and the result is permanently dilated capillaries, increased redness and sensitivity. To combat this, treat skin with Dermalogica Gentle Soothing Booster, £42.40, which contains red raspberry extract to help strengthen capillary walls.
6. Use SPF protection (yes, even in winter)
You could be forgiven for thinking that sun protection isn't relevant in the winter months. But scientists have now discovered that you get up to 40 of skin ageing during your life and can even penetrate through glass, wearing a SPF moisturiser all year round is one beauty rule all of us should follow. We like No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream, £21.50.
7. Get an instant winter glow
When you're going to work in the dark and going home in the dark, it's hardly surprising that your sun deprived skin can look a little dull and lifeless in the winter. While it's possible to fake a glow with the help of makeup you can't beat the natural inner glow that radiates from the skin. To revive your skin's natural radiance, use a brightening serum every night, such as Avon ANEW Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum, £28, which helps to remove dull skin cells, visibly retexturising skin to reveal a brighter complexion.
8. Love your hands
They are exposed to the elements almost as much as your face but few of us give our mitts the same attention as our complexions - which is why hands have a tendency to become coarse and chapped in the winter. Invest in a heavy-duty hand cream such as Eucerin Intensive Hand Cream, £8.39. As a weekly nourishing treat, slather your hands with hand cream then slip on a pair of cotton gloves before bed. Ignore the Michael Jackson gags from your other half – he won't be complaining when he feels your silky soft caresses the next morning.
9. Protect your pout
As the skin on the lips is so thin, it is usually the first thing suffer when it comes to the deadly combo of cold climate and central heating. To help keep lips smooth and supple and prevent getting chapped use a lip exfoliator to slough away dead cells and carry a lip conditioner in your handbag at all times. We like Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner, £2.19. If you do get chapped lips, use a gentle relief cream such as Origins Lip Remedy, £12.
10. Fight the winter frizz
It isn't just your skin that gets assaulted by the winter elements. Climatic changes also have an impact on your hair and can leave it dry, brittle or frizzy. If your hair is coarse to begin with, use an intensive haircare range that's specifically designed to smooth and nourish. L'Oréal Paris Elvive Smooth-Intense Shampoo and Conditioner, £3.19 each and Anti-frizz Serum are all designed to intensively nourish, detangle and tame unruly hair.