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A winter body regimen is more important than a summer one, in my view. This is the time of year when my skin gets dry, flaky and itchy from being swaddled in winter woollies. So I up the ante with a body regimen that emphasizes exfoliation and rich hydration (in cleansing as well as moisturizing).
I like to start the right way with a shower gel that cleanses without being drying, and I am alternating between Arcona Paradise Within Body Wash ($28 in the shop) and Astara Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash ($22). I really love using the body scrub from Me & The Girls ($32), which is amazingly full of shea and cupuacu butters and avocado oil that it actually hydrates and nourishes whilst exfoliating.
Once out of the shower, it’s straight on with the body lotion. I have recently tested a new one that I am already convinced will be a winner. It is CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion ($36). It promises to help dry and irritated skin and it does just that. I put it to the challenge on dry shins (my legs seem to be rebelling against entombment in knee-high winter boots) and a rare post-shaving rash. It did a stellar job on both with its “repair complex” of turmeric, mushroom and alpha-bisabolol (the active ingredient in chamomile).
I do still regularly use Juice Beauty’s Firming Body Lotion ($18), which hydrates without being greasy. It has the Matrixyl peptide and antioxidant tea and borage.
For neck and décolleté, I make a rare concession to using a serum with retinol a couple of times a week at night to help take down some sun damage. I alternate between Prana’s Reverse A ($48 in the shop) and Osmosis Correct ($56) — both are 2013 Five Best with retinol winners. I have not done as good a job reversing signs of aging on neck as I have with my face, so lately I’ve been going for some heavy guns. I’ve mostly been using Chella’s Master Protocol 7 ($135), which is a very good serum for firming and smoothing. I have also recently been experimenting with a brand that is new to me called BRAD.
To prevent my nails drying out and becoming ridged, I regularly oil them with Kahina’s Argan Oil ($65) or Sevani Serum Vitale Essential Nutrient Oil ($75 in the shop). I know that seems extravagant, but they only need a dab, the oils make a phenomenal difference and a refuse to ever have nail ridges. For hands, I use Biao’s Rejuvenating Night Crème ($25), with its complex of honeysuckle flower, xanthium sibiricum fruit and cyperus rotundus root. I love the way my hands look soft and plump.
For those often-ignored parts — feet, elbows and knees — I love Emily’s recommendation of Retrospect Feet, Knees, & Elbows ($38), which as she said sort of says it all. Retrospect formulates with keratin and its signature ingredient is prominent here, along with moisturizing urea and olive oil.
I am particularly preoccupied with my knees and I do use glycolic exfoliators to help minimize wrinkles, such as Lather’s 10-Minute Brightening Mask ($28). I fully accept that it's eccentric to put a face mask on one's knees, but it does help . But what about knee sagging? Ultrasonic is the best face firmer I have found so far, but you can also firm sagging skin above the knee with ultrasonic. I use the Renew Sculpt and find that ultrasonic and infrared LED modes are great for firming the skin above the knee. The EMS pulse settings help to tone that VMO muscle.