Welcome one and all to the first of our brand-new monthly beauty round-ups. We're handing over the reins to a series of our fabulous beauty bloggers; every month, they'll set a theme or challenge and put the call out for your blog posts.
A huge welcome to our first fabulous guest editor Caroline Hirons. Caroline has a wealth of experience in the beauty industry, and her blog Beauty Mouth is as an insightful, fun and terrifically useful resource for anyone who's interested in lotions, unguents, and general beautifying - so do check it out (she's blogged about it here!).
"With the heating turned up high while the rain and winds batter the windows, it's no wonder winter is the most testing time for our skin. But with a bit of TLC and good old fashioned preparation, you can face the elements with a glow.
Thanks for all your brilliant tips on saving our skin from flaky, withering doom this winter. Here's a round-up of some of your fab suggestions…
It's what's on the inside that counts
To get us started, Minimum the Bare reminds us that it's all about "moisturising from the inside out, with good oils in food and lots of water" – yes water, cleverly enough, is the key to hydration and vitamin-rich foods will also help to nourish everything from cracked lips to nails to hair.
Fight the frostbite
Vex and the City's aim is to keep skin feeling hydrated, smooth and radiant during the winter months. She recommends Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil for removing make up without attacking the skin after a day of cold winds. Honey Go-Lightly's winter mantra is 'Nourish Nourish Nourish!' and she suggests using Dr Weil for Origins products to combat the elements without irritating skin - "The serum is cooling and hydrating while the moisturiser is nourishing and rich without the thickness." Inner Outer Beauty protects her face throughout the day with her go-to winter foundation Clinique Supermoisture Makeup Teint Hydratation Maximum.
"Even oily skin can get very dehydrated in colder months" Bright Town Girl reminds us; Hydraluron Serum is very light and can be put on under your moisturiser. Minimum the Bare recommends a few drops of rosehip oil after cleansing to prevent tightness, "a great dry oil - really doesn't look or feel oily". She also advises applying Nivea Q10 Body Firming oil after a shower.
Fight against central heating and scratchy knitwear!
Rough, dry skin is definitely an issue, putting us on the hunt for a good exfoliator. Liparazzi gives The Sanctuary Micro-Dermabrasion Body Renewal the seal of approval - "it really really works!" For stubborn dry patches she suggests a combination of The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 scrub mask followed by an oil cleanser like Origins Clean Energy to smooth skin and calm redness.
While it can be difficult to keep moisture topped up throughout the day, winter is the ideal time to pamper your skin with night treatments, a key part of many of your beauty routines. Bright Town Girl uses Antipodes Divine Facial Oil to nourish and pamper skin, she found it's good for scarring too.
Minimum treats her face with Eight Hour Cream once a week "I wake up the next morning to amazingly glowy skin", while Liparazzi offers that Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins leaves skin "baby soft, radiant and rested." Suzy Hearts Beauty swears by Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and the overnight Dr Jart+ Water-Max Sleeping Mask - "it has such long lasting results on my skin". Winter skin that's soft and velvety sounds good to us!
Lips and hands
Beauty Geek said "for me, hands and lips are the two things that really suffer when the cold weather starts biting" and you were all nodding in agreement. So which balms and creams were essential to your winter handbags? Liparazzi (who must know with a name like that!) puts in Rodial Glam Balm Lip - "super hydrating and it lasts for ages" – and Bright Town Girl relies on Blistex Relief medicated lip cream.
Honey also notes that a lip scrub is useful, if not essential. "You can make them super easily but I have been drawn to the Lemon Cupcake flavour from For Goodness Grape - it really does taste of lemon cupcakes!" Sounds tasty.
For weathered hands, Bright Town Girl enlists L'Occitane Hand Cream, and Beauty Geek offers Soap and Glory Hand Food as "a purse-friendly product that delivers great moisture without greasiness or an overwhelming scent".
Meanwhile Liparazzi's asking "We exfoliate our faces and bodies, so why not our hands?" She uses The Sanctuary Ultra-Refining Hand Polish to scrub away dead skin while washing hands free from winter bugs. Beauty Geek also has some washing recommendations: Trilogy Helping Hand Wash and Molton Brown Naran Ji Fine. For a cheaper alternative to a hand scrub, she suggests "mixing coarse salt into olive oil and working this over the hands"
Not exactly skin, but equally in need of some love, attention and hydration through the cold, dark days - your hair. Daily Polish recommends Lovea shampoo and conditioner containing argan oil - "organic/anti-animal testing/eco-certified and not over-priced". Winter's also a great time to try out a deep treatment, Honey Go Lightly gives Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment a thumbs up and @3_under_3 tweeted that coconut oil makes a great hair mask.
For January we’re leaving the topic up to you. Are you detoxing? Have you made any beauty-related resolutions? Or p'raps you're re-toxing, with a nicely-stocked wine shelf to see you through the cold months ;-) ? Let us know what you’re up to, by tweeting me (@carolinehirons) or @mumsnetbloggers - using the hashtag #MNbeauty.
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