The hokey-cokey between outdoor chill and indoor heating has commenced, and dry, itchy, flaky limbs are most certainly in the post. If you are a seasonal recipient of problem dry skin, believe me, I quite literally feel your pain. As for remedies, I’m going to call it: the high street does it best. I’ve tried countless body creams and lotions, and no gorgeous-smelling dry oil, luxury serum or whipped body mousse has been nearly as effective on problem dry skin as something unctuous that costs a tenner or less in Boots. Not that all chemist preparations are equally good: having spent my childhood being prescribed them, I loathe the heavy emollients of the pharmacy aisle, most of which form a greasy barrier and sit there moisturising nothing but your blouse.
So, let’s separate the wheat from the chaff. I’m no fan of classic E45, which is why I’m so pleasantly surprised by the new E45 Rich Lotion (£6.99, 400ml), an infinitely more elegant-feeling incarnation containing evening primrose oil and available in lotion and spray (both excellent, though I worry the sprays are wasteful). Unlike the mothership, this sinks beautifully into the skin without greasy deposit, keeping things comfortable and velvety all day. The terrific Cera Ve Moisturising Lotion (£9, 236ml), is lighter-feeling still, but a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Not at all oily in texture, it disappears quickly into even rough skin, leaving it properly moisturised and noticeably better looking. It’s still a reassuring barrier (thanks to a blend of ceramides), but isn’t tacky or ruinous to clothes, which can be put on soon after application.
My other choices sit at opposite ends of the texture spectrum. Neutrogena’s Hydroboost Body Gel (£4.99, 250ml) is a lighter, airier proposition that may prove insufficient for the driest of skins; but it still packs a more powerful punch than those classic “body lotions” that barely touch the sides. Instead of adding only oil, it helps skin cling on to more water, making it ideal for the dehydrated as well as the dry. Finally, La Roche Posay’s mighty Lipikar Baume (£12.50, 200ml) is rich, heavy and extremely effective on the most desperate of dry skins, including eczema. Massage in any of the above immediately after showering, and again before bed.
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