Sunday, 24 November 2013

Saying "screw you" to S.A.D. syndrome

Don't you just love Autumn/Winter? The golden colours, the sparkling frost in the mornings, ......the long nights, freezing cold, bad skin, too many layers on outdoors, the inevitable 10 minute strip indoors, and the general run-down effect it puts on you. 'Seasonal affective disorder' (when applied to winter) is a genuine thing.

Sluggishness, spots, dark circles and chill blains are a bad combo. So I say, SCREW YOU winter blues! Here is my How-To routine and guide to deal with it:

Gym or not to gym?
Ok, there's no denying that exercise is probably best. You stay healthy, keep your metabolism up, and also, a few of those endorphins circulating your system can't do much harm. However! welll....pfff, you know what? No one will blame you in using every excuse under the sun. It's too dark, it's too cold, I have a cold, my feet are too cold. F**k it. It's winter, winter is tough on your body, there is no shame in giving it a good old rest, or an extended rest in my case. Go home and stay cosy!

Get some wine, maybe mull it.
WINE, yes. If you're prone to a tipple, grab a bottle on your way home from tirelessly avoiding the gym, preferably red. If you have time, indulge yourself with some sugar, fruit and spices and make some mulled wine. This is by far another plus of the season and well worth your while. If you don't drink, here's a little family secret; try some 'Hot Tosh'. This, my friends, is heated up orange squash (squash, not juice). Take a seat by the fire/ plug in heater, lovely jubbly.

Face mask and skin care
So your face is looking a little tired, a few blemishes are coming through from the extreme temperature changes and multiple layers, like scarves and coats, gathering dirt and bacteria on the skin. I'm no expert, but I do work at LUSH, so I suppose I can suggest a few skin care faves.

One big suggestion for treating your skin right in winter is a nice face mask. It's all about giving yourself the me-time you deserve. Put on a mask for ten to fifteen minutes just before you run yourself a bath (seen below). Lush has a wonderful range of fresh, preservative-free face masks, hence why they are kept on ice. They have released a new one for xmas, called Rudolph, which I reckon is good for any skin type. I'm not just saying this cause I work there, I genuinely think it's great. It's packed full of everything to sort out winter skin. Cucumber and aloe vera for soothing, tea tree and witch hazel for sorting out the spots, tofu and oatmeal for moisturising and nourishing, also a bit of lavender in there.

Other products that I reckon you should look for is anything with Vitamin C in, apparently BodyShop have a great range. I also like the Eau Roma toner water, a wonderfully simple and gentle cleanser addition and alternative. Always, always use a moisturiser, but make sure it's right for your skin. Too heavy and it can cause spots, too light and it might dry it out. I have quite tolerant skin, but like a light cover, and absolutely love the brand Simple.

Oh, you're a shower person? WHAT. No. Make an exception, just this once. Light a candle, take the Hot Tosh in with you, a cheap magazine or put the radio on. You need to carry on with the me-time theme and nothing warms you up quicker than a tub full of hot, hot water.

Preferably add lots of bubbles! There are lots of smellies in Lush, but to keep it simple, I like the new Christmas Penguin. It's a warm bergamot/ olive oil smell, looks like a dude, and just break it up under the tap to make the bubbles! Combine this with a Lush Dreamtime bath melt to really help your body skin out. It's just a solid lump of cocoa butter mixed with relaxing essential oils such as lavender and sandalwood. This just melts in the water, and settles into your skin, keeping it moisturised.

Hot water bottle and fluffy slippers
It's cold, especially after your bath, get dressed quick. Bring out the wooly pyjamas, sort out a hottie-bottie and sneak under the covers. If you have to leave them, always, always have a pair of fluffy slippers at hand. I wouldn't say no to a pair of long-johns either. Laugh all you want, they really add a layer of cosy, and you can get a decent, cheap selection at somewhere like Matalan.

Pop a movie on!
A good, easy, silly one would be best, like Iron Man 3, or any Disney. Or, just because it's nearly Christmas, it's got to be Elf. Just got to be. You should be rested, happy, warm and relaxed, ready for the next day.

We recommend this routine to be repeated once a week, MINIMUM. Thanks.

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