Winter is bad enough for the havoc it wreaks on skin and hair; throw the party season into the mix and it’s a wonder we don’t creep around with paper bags over our heads for the whole of December. If you want to avoid the chapped lips, dry skin and under-eye circles that usually arrive at this time of year, here are a few tips to ensure you stay as cute as can be while burning the candle at both ends this month.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! While it’s all very well to be snuggled up inside with the central heating blasting on cold winter evenings, the constant harsh overheating can leave your skin as dry and anything. The antidote is to moisturise constantly. After every shower, slather on as much moisturiser as your skin can take, and keep tubes of hand cream everywhere (handbag, desk drawer, night stand, etc) and apply it whenever you think of it. You don’t have to go for the fancy stuff, Vaseline intensive care for around £5 a bottle will do the trick.
Keep your showers short. There’s also nothing better than a long steamy shower at the end of a chilly day, but spending too long in a too hot shower will seriously damage your skin. You’ll end up with itchy, cracked, blotchy skin that will neither feel, nor look, anything close to appealing. Keep your showers short and the water warm rather than hot to avoid this.
Hit the gym. It’s always easy to let the old exercise habits slide during the silly season, and there’s nothing worse than waking up in the dark to hit the gym. But keeping up your good habits will not only help you sweat out the toxins from all that partying, it will keep your skin looking healthy and your bod in tip top shape – a definite bonus for the party dress season (and you’ll have a jump start on all those new body resolution-ers come January).
Go easy on the heat. All those parties mean a lot of styling – and heat – on your hair. Give your locks a break by minimising heat styling as much as possible to avoid broken, dehydrated hair. Make your blow-dries last longer by avoiding using too many styling products and try to let it dry naturally once or twice a week. Go easy on the straighteners (razor straight hair is a bit 2004, anyways), and give your hair a good deep conditioning treatment once a week.
Water, water everywhere. If there’s one thing that will help you survive the winter season it’s to stay properly hydrated on the inside as well as the outside. Drink water during the day and intersperse your alcoholic drinks with it too as much as possible. Your skin and eyes will look healthier, and you’ll feel much better for it.
Party with caution. There’s no getting around the fact you will probably overdo it once or twice (or more…) this season, but there are a couple of things that can help minimise the damage. If you’re going straight from work to drinks, try to eat a small snack before you leave the office, and drink a whole glass of water. That will mean you won’t start downing the booze out of thirst (so you can drink responsibly), and you won’t chow down on all the salty party food. All of which will help you looking fab for night after night (after night after night)of celebrating!
Get fishy. In September I started taking cod liver oil supplements in order to up my vitamin D levels in the face of a long, dark winter. I have to say that not only is it helping to keep my mood positive (I’m somewhat prone to getting a little low from lack of sunshine during the winter), but my nails and skin have seriously never looked better. And for around £3 for a pack of 50 capsules, it’s really beauty on a budget.
Get rested. Finally, the easiest thing you can do to make sure you not only look, but feel, your best this winter, is to get enough sleep. But make sure you’re getting the right sleep – make sure your bedroom radiators turn off when you go to bed, and don’t wear heaps of clothes to bed. If possible try to crack your window a little for fresh air. Sleeping too hot will make you feel groggy in the morning and you’ll be blessed with lovely under-eye circles for your trouble. Keep it cool!