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Winter Essentials I Can’t Do Without

Words: Polly

Photos: Curious Coco, Osman Rana, Drunk Elephant, Sister & Co.

“Winter is coming” – Game of Thrones

Winter – enemy of the state of skin and if yours is anything like mine it really suffers if you’re not careful. Having tried bottles and bottles of lotions, potions and creams, I think I’ve finally nailed the perfect cocktail for skin to get drunk on this season.

1. 100% Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil £7/£15 (Sister & Co)
Feed your body, face and skin with this organic, ultimate grade of coconut oil. I’ve raved about coconut before as a help for my skin; packed full of natural anti-oxidants and intensively nourishing fatty acids (including lauric acid, also found in breast milk), coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and is deeply hydrating.

It can be used from head to toe, literally – I use multiple pea sized amounts to moisturise damp skin and hair after a shower. It makes for a great cleanser, make-up remover, moisturiser, overnight treatment, deep conditioning hair mask, for shaving your legs, as well as after sun, hand and cuticle cream, or add a spoonful to your bath…the list is endless.

I also like that it’s produced at a small organic farm on the west coast of Sri Lanka and extracted without heat by cold-pressing the white kernel of the flesh of fresh, mature coconuts, so the oil is able to retain the full extent of its potency from coconut to jar. Oh and you can cook with is too – feeding your skin from within; and no, you won’t smell like a pina colada due to its naturally subtle scent.

2. Raw Coconut & Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub £24 (Sister & Co)
The star ingredient in this body scrub is ceremonial grade organic Japanese matcha green tea, an antioxidant powerhouse that fights dulling free radicals and encourages cellular function to leave you glowing. Raw organic coconut sugar, pink Himalayan salt and loose leaf green tea deliver minerals and nutrients while gently but thoroughly sloughing away dead skin cells. The baobab oil, used for centuries by African women to protect skin and hair from desert environments, is packed with omega fatty acids providing softness and elasticity. Cold pressed jojoba oil, grapeseed oil and coconut nourish and hydrate while rosemary, lemongrass and jasmine add freshness.

3. TLC Sukari Babyfacial™ $80 (approx £59 Drunk Elephant)
This innovative at-home facial contains a whopping 25% AHA and 2% BHA blend. Think of it as an extra nudge for stubborn, dull skin (in other words, it’ll knock your cells off). It combines potent antioxidants like matcha, apple fruit, and milk thistle to calm and sooth with ultra-hydrating sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer and non-fragrant plant oils to replenish moisture and nourish. Chick pea flour brightens and balances the skin without over-drying, and pumpkin ferment delivers amazing enzymatic action. Appropriate for all skin types, though it’s best to wait for any skin break outs to ease and it’s not recommended for use with other potent skin treatments containing retinoids / retinols. I use mine around 3-4 times per month.

4. Snowfire Ointment Stick £4
Hands down my favourite little product by a mile. Recommended to me by a pharmacist a few years ago to heal my then painfully cracked thumbs, it’s like magic glue that smooths and soothes chapped and cracked skin. I use it to prevent (cracked thumbs) chapped lips, cracked heels, as well as on cuticles and post sniffle sore noses. You just need to ignore the bonfire scent, which you’ll soon get over once you experience the benefits. A little stick lasts ages and easily pops in your handbag for regular magic.

5. Cowshed Lippy Cow Lip balm £6 (Cowshed)
My in-car staple, made with pure essential oils and plant extracts to naturally soften the lips, leaving them feeling moisturised and supple. Sweet Orange Oil revives the lips whilst Rose Geranium calms and Ylang Ylang soothes. Apply as often as required.

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