Helen Razer tells us how to get lucky in the cooler months
Ah, ask winter. The glorious bone structure of the landscape is bare! The time for deep reflection and warm, sale wool-clad intimacy has arrived! Now is the season for hearty soups, salve profound closeness and truly bad skin. And a runny nose. And the hefty deed of extra kilos.
I never look quite so crappy as I do in cold weather. This seems especially unfair. I might feel flushed, girlish and enticingly ruddy. Then, I look in the mirror and see the rosacea mosaic that was my autumn face; the oil tanker that was my December arse. Of course, as an exceptionally shallow person, I’ve now taken this matter in hand.
In an ongoing effort not to emerge as the neighbourhood Diesel, a few seasons past I changed my slothful, dehydrated ways. Now, the Missus can look at me mid-year without actually being sick.
As you may be more than dimly aware, winter living can drain the juicy essence from a girl just as surely as a lesbian’s pedigree bulldog will bark at a brass band. There are several lotions that might allay scaliness, puffiness and similar blight. Given my loyalty to consumption, I’ll mention these forthwith. But, you scabrous cow, you really must learn to drink water. There is simply no moisturiser that will do the work of two litres a day.
Of course, a diet rich in nutrients, good fats and fibre will keep your hide shiny. A diet doused in sugar, artifice and crap fat will not. And, if you’re one of those singularly irritating twenty-two year olds who holds, “It doesn’t matter what I eat, my skin is always clear and my hips always slim,” just wait, you little strumpet. Your liver will rebel.
There is a very decent body of emerging research that suggests sensible, preservative-free eating will make you hotter. I can’t be bothered finding the references for you. But feel at your liberty to Google the terms ‘nutrasweet’, ‘sausage roll’ and ‘why won’t anyone fuck me?’. Stop expecting hard science from me and do that which it is you reasonably know you must. That is, nothing that is fortified, packaged or overly processed. Try fish, green things and challenging carbohydrates. To paraphrase food activist Michael Pollan: eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
If you want to cram your cake hole with echinacea, Vitamin C and crystals, go right ahead. It’s my suspicion, however, that the best immune defence is a decent diet.
If you share my appalling weakness for packaged hope, there are a number of decent products to try. Cheap, cheerful and effective is the broadly available Lucas Pawpaw ointment. Slather it on a dry face and wonder that something so greasy doesn’t give you zits. If I want to spend a little more, I choose Skin Doctors Supermoist. Lancôme, a beauty house I was pleased to learn is cruelty free, has a new anti-puffiness gem called Renergie Morpholift RARE Eye Serum. And I’m currently rubbing the missus with the sweet smelling Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil to preserve her sap.
Now that your larder and bathroom cabinet are altars to beauty sustainability, you can try moving your arse. It hurts, it often involves the shrieking commands of vile women in pink lycra and it can, contingent on your own motivation, cost a little money. It does, however, provide a reasonable guarantee against illness. It flushes the complexion and, significantly for our purposes, it makes you hotter.