Jo loves... February
Jo loves... a trio of skin-plumpers (the perfect antidote to super-dry, centrally heated air) - and a great sun protector...This Works Enjoy Multi-Tasking Lotion
I was lucky enough to spend two weeks of January on a Dubai beach (see my review of one of the city's amazing spas,here) - but of course this meant plenty of time spent in Sahara-dry conditions at 37,000 feet. It's always a nightmare trying to cram loads of products into those little plastic resealable bags, so this time I travelled light with this brilliant multi-tasker - in a trial size, from a brilliant This Workstravel kit. It's an unacknowledged truth of the beauty industry that many products will, actually, perform multiple tasks - but this one shouts it on the packaging, and delivers on the promise. It smooths into dry facial skin. Works on scaly elbows, and as a hand cream. I like to rub it into shins and feet (I always take off tights and travel in socks so I can give my feet some TLC while doing absolutely nothing but kicking back and watching a video or two. (Can I just say: I loved Ted! Hilarious. And not surprised to find it's written by the man behind Family Guy.)
I'm all of a sudden very taken with the Shiffarange, and as I was 'in the area', had tea with its beautiful founder Dr. Lamees Hamdam. (One of those beauty entrepreneurs who is her brand's best walking advertisement.) Actually, this cream's really come into its own since I got back: a comfy surge of hydration, which is rich enough to combat some post-holiday dryness. I don't know tamanu oil, but it apparently it's powerfully healing and regenerating. Blended with jojoba, avocado and jasmine, this has an intriguing aromatic almost tangy fragrance. Massaged into skin at night - it's positively slurping up the Greek-yoghurt-like formula - it's leaving my skin dewy and radiant. And frankly I can't wait for my next Shiffa discovery, because so far, I've loved everything I've tried in this luxury organic collection.
The mask at the top of this page you'll see the last in my trio of much-needed skin-quenchers. (And I don't think you need to travel somewhere hot to experience dry skin at this time of year; back home, having the central heating cranked up is more than enough to sap every last molecule of moisture from your skin.) Of course, L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream is an incredibly high-scoring Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Award-winner - but for some reason, I'd never stumbled upon the luscious mask in that same collection. It is super-rich. Like, rich as Bernie Ecclestone or Donald Trump rich. I slap on a thick layer and recline in the bath for 10 minutes while it's on, but I've also been told it works if you smooth in a thinner layer and let it work its magic overnight. The key ingredient is L'Occitane's renowned immortelle essential oil (from 'the flower that never dies', hence its age-defying powers), alongside mega-moisturisers and antioxidants vitamin A and E. Comes in a travel size, but I'm working my way through the massive jar, twice a week. A definite winter must-have, from now on.
I am seriously allergic to most sunscreen, so tend instead to slather my arms and legs with olive oil. (Beauty heresy, but get this: I don't burn, and am convinced one day the true skin-protective powers of extra-virgin olive oil will be backed up by science.) I certainly keep my face out of the sun, wear a big hat and like to languish with my Kindle under a parasol - but my décolletage is definitely vulnerable to reddening. So I'm thrilled to find this, which doesn't give me prickly heat or a sun-induced rash, and beautifully protected my skin against the so-ageing UV light, in Dubai. It's comes in a spray (more of a squirt than a mist, NB), is entirely natural (organically-certified, actually), and the sunblocks are mineral rather than chemical - which is why they don't make my skin erupt. And - always really important for me - it smells just lovely, thanks to skin-softening, nose-delighting Tahitian monoi oil.