Winter Saviours

As someone who had very oily skin for most of my teenage life, Winter dryness was never something that really affected me. But fast forward to my mid-twenties (I'll be 24 forever I tell you!) and my skin has certainly dried up (I was on Accutane for a year in the process but even then my skin wasn't this dry). So what are my Winter saviours, I hear you ask?...

The Body Shop Body Butters 1

Let's start with something that I use all year round; the Body Butters from The Body Shop (except in the height of Summer when I still moisturise but using something a lot lighter like a lotion). I always slather these on after shaving my legs, because they never fail to soothe the skin.

However as an acne sufferer (Yes you heard correctly, Accutane did not work for me, and I would not recommend it to anyone, let's just say my health has not been the same since) I can't moisturise anywhere else (especially the "décolleté" area and the top of the back i.e. shoulders) without getting acne in those areas as a consequence. This is just something I've noticed with my skin, it has to be at a certain level of dryness to be acne free (I've noticed this on my face too). Luckily my body wash provides all the moisture I need for the rest of my body (Dove's Winter Care with Nutrium Moisture, if interested), but if you're not an acne sufferer then by all means...bathe in the stuff!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar H & Origins Drink-Up Intensive Mask 1

Speaking of Body Butters, Origins' Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is like a Body Butter for your FACE!!! It definitely has the same consistency as one, and moisturises just as well. Now as I don't fancy getting this stuff all over my pillows and hair I have yet to use it for its intended purpose, which is to say "overnight". However on a makeup-free day (where I don't have to go anywhere) I put it on in the morning and rinse it off with my evening bath, and I more or less get the intended amount of hours with this on. The first couple of times I used it, it saved my skin from the dry rashes I was suffering from on the top of my cheekbones (this was before I discovered the La Roche-Posay Effaclar H which I'll be talking about next), since then I've been rather more diligent in its usage. As I've mentioned before, too much moisturisation gives me acne, but if I'm ever that dry again, this will be the product I turn to!

As for La Roche-Posay's Effaclar H, it's specially formulated for dry skin which has been or is currently under drying acne treatments (i.e. Accutane, Epiduo cream etc.): that's me! But I did initially try the Avène HYDRA which is the exact same idea (for drying acne treatments) but it didn't sink into my skin at all!!! As I sleep with an eye mask (I can't get to sleep otherwise) the product would somehow stick to the eye mask at night and when I took it off in the morning so did the top layer of my skin on the cheekbone; hence the irritated dry rash that was saved by the Origin's Drink Up Mask. After several months of this Avène HYDRA which on a side note made my skin look greasy (I know a novelty, very dry skin that looks greasy = product not sunk in) I went to the pharmacist (like France, this is where all our good skin care is branch of Boots here for us I'm afraid) and I described my predicament, so he just recommended Effaclar H, and lo and behold this one works and sinks in! Yay!!!

As in Winter I have more of a dry combination skin, the Effaclar H goes on my cheeks and the dry areas of my face and on the T-zone/more oily areas I put Avène's Cleanance MAT Mattifying Emulsion (which I've been using for years around my dry mouth area, hence why I tried Avène in the first place). Now it might seem like a bit of a faff to use two different moisturisers to some of you, but I can really tell a difference in my skin since I've been doing this trick. I'm only giving my skin the extra moisture where it actually needs it, instead of just putting it everywhere and overloading some areas of my skin to the point it can't cope (where I then get acne). So if you're in need of an extreme moisturiser, I would highly suggest La Roche-Posay's Effaclar H: plus it doesn't leave you looking greasy, which is a bonus!

Garnier Fructis Hair Mask 1

Going back to the idea of masks, I'd like to talk about Garnier's Fructis Nutri Repair 3 hair mask. This baby has been a repurchase of mine for nearly 10 years, it's that good! When I started dyeing my long hair (around 15 years old) my hairdresser told me to keep it hydrated using masks. Up to that point I had only used conditioner. Since then I've ditched the conditioner and have only used this Nutri Repair 3 from the bottom of my ears to my ends (which is now a lot shorter since I cut my waist length hair to a bob...#NoRegrets) and my hair has been in excellent condition since, no matter how much dyeing I did.

The tub says to leave in for 1 minute but I like to leave it in for at least 15 whilst I wash and shave the rest of my body (I'm not a gorilla, I just mean legs duh!), but it's up to you. Also as a side note I've tried many different masks from the Garnier range and although I love the scent of many of the other ones too, I don't find my hair coming out quite as hydrated after I use them. So if I fancy mixing up the scent of my hair mask a bit, I will mix in some of the Nutri Repair 3 with another one.

Also as a side note; I like to add an oil to the ends of my hair once dry (literally a pea-sized amount) and my favourite is the L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil for all hair types. The bottle I'm currently using I've had for 3 years and I'm just half way through it (you use so little), you definitely get your money's worth. So if you have long hair try this out too!

P.S. my hair gets greasy at the roots which is when I know I need to wash it, every 4 days...#DryShampooisLife! So I'm not sure how this would work in hair that just gets drier if you don't wash it, maybe try the mask higher than your ear point? I don't really know...sorry

Nuxe Rêve de Miel 1

Finally we have the "crème de la crème" that is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel. You've probably already heard about this cult product, but for the longest time I refused to give in to the hype, how good could it really be? Plus I had already tried a Nuxe's hair oil which did absolutely nothing (this was before I discovered the L'Oréal one, mentioned above), so my expectations for this brand were pretty low. Last Summer however my normal lip balm just wasn't cutting it anymore, I applied it twice daily and would still get dry flaky lips, so despite my apprehension I went out and bought Rêve de Miel.

I've not looked back, it truly is as amazing as everyone says!!! It's a thick balm that makes your lips instantly hydrated, it fixes flaking problems and your lips will never look better! No really, I didn't know my lips could look this good (I thought slight flaking was a natural part of life) plus it doesn't have that greasy slippery formula that some lip balms have, it's a very "creamy" balm.

The only thing I don't like about this product is the flavour, you would think that it would taste of honey from the name (not that I like honey flavour any better), but mine (and another girl's on YouTube I discussed this with) tastes of lemons (hence the photo). My product is still in date, and it doesn't specify lemon flavour on the packet so I'm assuming it's the original. After brushing my teeth and putting this on I definitely have the flavour of lemon sherbet on the lips and it's just really not my favourite! I like things to be candy or fruit flavoured (yes I know lemon is a fruit! But more along the strawberry or raspberry route).

So there you have it - my Winter saviours, hope this helps some of you...flips hair "the cold never bothered me anyway!" (I'm sorry I had to...Olaf made me do it! Hey count yourself lucky I didn't make a "Winter is Coming" joke)

Do you have any products that are a must-have in these drier months?

What's your favourite Body Butter scent? Mine is definitely the Glazed Apple one, although the Peach one is good too, oh and the Passion Fruit one...ok I may have a top 5 if I'm honest with myself.

Does your Rêve de Miel taste like lemons, or do I just have weird taste buds?

P.S. I tried to link as many of the products mentioned, to English websites (none of the links are affiliated; as I said in my Facts I would always let you know). Unfortunately I couldn't find the Dove's Winter Care in body wash format on the Boots website (they had other products from that line though) nor the Garnier Nutri Repair 3 hair mask (which apparently is called hair balm in the UK). Definitely try a Garnier hair balm if you can, it might not be as hydrating as the Nutri Repair 3 but it will certainly be more effective than other brands you may come across (I tried a L'Oréal mask when I was at uni in Edinburgh and couldn't easily repurchase my Garnier one, and it did nothing other than leave my hair smelling like laundry detergent, not quite what I was looking for).