Skincare Tips for the New Year

Esme Floyd, author of 1001 Little Skincare Miracles, gives us her top tips to keep your skin healthy following the indulgences of Christmas.  

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Wow. What a festive season! Unfortunately for your skin, though, the better the party the worse the after-effects … even if you did manage to keep up your skincare routine and not go TOO overboard on the mince pies, champagne, cocktails and turkey, the likelihood is the better time you had, the worse it was for your skin.

Your skin isn’t just a covering, it’s the largest organ you’ve got, and yet it’s the last to receive the nutrients and hydration you put into your body. So if like many of us, your skin’s taken the brunt of your partying over the last few weeks, here are a few simple tips to get you back on the path to hydrated, beautiful skin …

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DRINK, DRINK, DRINK … sadly, not more champagne, but water. Winter is a dehydrating time for skin anyway, with central heating and cold winds, but alcohol and salty and sugary foods use up the body’s water supplies, meaning your skin can be left feeling dull and loose. Try downing a glass of warm (or hot) water before every meal, and make sure you top up during the day by keeping a bottle or jug of water nearby so you can see the level drop as you sip away. In fact, the beginning of January is a great time to start setting up some new alcohol rules – try having a dry few weeks to detox yourself, or make one of your resolutions to get the recommended two or three alcohol-free days each week for at least a month … you can guarantee your skin will thank you!

GIVE YOUR SKIN A GIFT …. Hopefully you’ll have received at least one new beauty product in your Christmas gift haul, but if not then treat yourself – new look skin needs special attention, and a great exfoliator and moisturising cream or oil should do the trick. One word of warning, though, don’t be tempted to use body products on your face, or vice versa – they’re made to have completely different effects so that’s one area where cutting corners won’t do you any good at all. And don’t forget the way you use your products is almost as important as what they contain …. Allow yourself enough time to relax and pamper yourself and your skin (and body) will feel the benefit of all those relaxing hormones flooding around your system. What’s not to like about that essential skincare tip?!

My SECRET SKINCARE RESOLUTION is to devote myself to my Eve Lom evening cleansing routine. Too many nights have gone by in the last few months were I’ve allowed various other pressures to get in the way of that precious five minute ritual, and my skin has been far worse for it, so this year I’m determined to give my face the nightly attention it deserves (and I know I’ll feel better for it too) …

… and last but not least, THINK TOP TO TOE … You might be the only person who sees your feet, but don’t neglect them just because it’s not flip-flop season any more. High heels and winter boots all take their toll, so give those tough little tootsies a break with a massage, pedicure or foot treatment followed by ten minutes with warm socks or slippers on with your feet up to help reduce puffiness and boost circulation. You know you want to… (and it’s the perfect time to settle down with your new Carltonbook!).

Esme Floyd

Other books by Esme Floyd include 1001 Little Beauty Miracles & 1001 Little Health Miracles.

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The Ugliest Night of the Year


We do not have an annual celebration where pale, chaste virgins with flawless features, clear eyes and marmoreal skin recite epic poems in Attic Greek. But we do have Halloween. Who can explain our national fascination with poisonous toads, goblins, carbuncles, dripping blood, fang-toothed harridans, corpses, skeletons, howling wolves,venomous flesh-eating bats, homicidal owls, brindled mewing cats, fear, mutants, boils, spiders, whining hedge-pigs, poltergeists, ghosts, evil spirits, cauldrons of seething poison and creaking noises in the night?

The answer is: anyone who understands the hold which ugliness has over our imaginations.

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Beauty, peace and quietude are as boring as poems in Attic Greek. Repellent features, nocturnal anxiety and scarynoises are totally engrossing.On the evidence of Halloween and our national commitment to all that is threatening and repulsive, you would have to agree that ugliness is superior to beauty. Not just because it lasts longer, but because it is more…..interesting.