LIV­ING COL­UMN Sea­sonal skin and hair care, the nat­u­ral way.

As colder days ar­rive, sim­ple steps can help us to keep that lovely sum­mer glow

In the Moment - - Contents - Words: Janey Lee Grace / Il­lus­tra­tion: Rachael Dean JANEY LEE GRACE is a best-sell­ing au­thor, com­men­ta­tor and co-pre­sen­ter on BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Af­ter­noon. You can find her on­line at www.im­per­fect­ly­nat­u­ral.com

Dur­ing the win­ter months, it can be tricky look­ing af­ter our skin and hair. The ar­rival of colder days means cosy opaque tights (a very good thing) and funky, woolly hats (even bet­ter for a bad hair day), but it can also mean dry, aky skin as we move from the bit­ing cold wind out­doors into rooms warmed by cen­tral heat­ing.

So, how can we keep that lovely sum­mer glow go­ing?

It’s all about mois­ture. You’ll be amazed at how dry­ing con­ven­tional soaps can be, for ex­am­ple: look in­stead for hand­made soaps that are made from eth­i­cally sourced nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and don’t con­tain sodium lau­rel sul­phates, parabens and syn­thetic fra­grances. I love the gor­geous Ro­seum wash, suit­able for face, hands and body from LA-EVA, which comes in lovely re­cy­clable glass bot­tles (www.la-eva.co.uk).

We know that old adage of not putting any­thing on your skin if you wouldn’t eat it, and for me this couldn’t be more true of co­conut oil, es­pe­cially dur­ing the win­ter months. Or­ganic vir­gin co­conut oil is ex­cel­lent, both as a func­tional food and as an all-over moisturiser – check out the eth­i­cal one from Dr Bron­ner (www.dr­bron­ner.co.uk).

Get­ting oily is good for your face, too. I love the boost of mois­ture that comes from us­ing fa­cial oils, and the ri­tual of ap­ply­ing them also en­cour­ages me to take time for my­self and my skin in a busy sea­son. You can of course buy gor­geous nat­u­ral fa­cial oils – Elise Mar­ques Lon­don is one of my favourite stock­ists (www.elise­mar­ques­lon­don.com). Founder Michelle Mar­garet Mar­ques dis­cov­ered the power of nat­u­ral aro­mather­apy scents when she was a fraz­zled par­ent of young chil­dren. She re­alised their e ect on our well­be­ing and went on to de­velop nat­u­ral prod­ucts to en­able peo­ple to prac­tice self-care – the strapline for the brand is ‘You Mat­ter’, which I love. I use their Enrich Fa­cial oil, 100% nat­u­ral and brim­ming with a blend of neroli, sweet man­darin, rose wood, al­mond, star ower and bit­ter or­ange oils, which is per­fect for nour­ish­ing the face. You can also eas­ily make your own be­spoke oil to nour­ish and re­vive. Take a 30ml glass bot­tle and add a nice base oil, such as cold pressed grape­seed oil, or car­rot oil. Add up to 15 drops of your favourite es­sen­tial oil. You can use a few drops of eu­ca­lyp­tus, if you feel you are com­ing down with a cold, laven­der is very re­lax­ing or rose is won­der­ful if you are feel­ing hor­monal, although al­ways check be­fore us­ing any es­sen­tial oil if you are preg­nant or breast­feed­ing.

Our hair su ers too, as we go from sum­mer to win­ter, es­pe­cially the ends, which are so of­ten ex­posed to the cold as they sit out­side of hats and scarves. “There comes a point where a good main­te­nance cut is the only way to strengthen dead ends,” says award-win­ning or­ganic hair­dresser Tabitha James Kraan (www.tabitha­jameskraan.com). “How­ever, this is where pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure. Us­ing good nat­u­ral hair oil will re­ally help to pro­tect, strengthen and seal dry, weak ends and pre­pare them to re­ceive mois­ture for longer. Nat­u­ral is im­por­tant here, as good­ness from your mois­tur­is­ing prod­ucts can travel through a nat­u­ral oil rather than be­ing coated by a sil­i­co­neor plas­tic-based oil.” She has de­vel­oped her own Scented Or­ganic Hair Oil, which is ideal for win­ter hair woes. You can use it either as a pre-wash treat­ment to bring life back to dull, dry hair, or ap­ply a small amount as you style.

For me, look­ing af­ter my skin and hair dur­ing th­ese colder months is the ul­ti­mate in self-care for my mind, too. I like to set­tle in for the evening, tak­ing time to wash my hair and have a bath and then ap­ply oils to my hair, hands and feet. Be­fore bed, I wrap my head in a towel and put on gloves and socks, to lock all that mois­ture in. The next morn­ing, af­ter a good rinse, ev­ery­thing will feel soft and smooth, and I’ll feel fully re­laxed.

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