A good body moisturiser should never be underestimated, and in the midst of winter, it is a beauty essential. If the ongoing cold spell is playing havoc with your skin, you are not alone. Parched, itchy, uncomfortable limbs and torsos are commonplace when the weather dips. "Winter itch is caused by the cold, dry weather leading to dehydration and results in fracturing the stratum corneum [outer layer of skin] barrier," explains Dr Mervyn Patterson, medical aesthetic doctor for Woodford Medical.
"The continued drop in temperature and humidity creates more aggravation of the skin, which is known as 'winter itch'" he adds. The answer is regular and diligent application of a body lotion. Look for ones with anti-inflammatory and barrier-repairing properties such as fruit extracts which are packed with antioxidants to help to calm skin and creamy emollients like avocado, jojoba and shea butter which help to seal in moisture, keeping skin hydrated.
Nowadays though, we want more from our moisturiser than ever: maximum hydration, a good scent and a non-greasy finish. There are plenty of formulas that offer extra incentives, including fast absorption, a creamy texture, a spray cap etc. With hundreds on the market, these are the ones we've found really do cut the mustard.
This lightweight lotion sinks in instantly, so that coconut oil and aloe leaf juice can blitz through dry skin in seconds. Meanwhile the reviving orange and lemon peel get to work on stirring your senses, so that leaving the house on a cold day feels like less of a chore.
Best body moisturiser for 'chicken skin'
Specifically designed to tackle keratosis pilaris (the bumpy chicken skin that appears on the backs of arms and legs), this both exfoliates away bumps and flakiness with a gentle lactic acid as well as thoroughly moisturising with sweet almond oil and the brand's specially designed hydration complex to ensure skin looks fresh and feels exceedingly smooth.
Best body moisturiser for barrier repair
First aid for a compromised skin barrier (top layer of skin), this supremely emollient cream contains a cocktail of skin-repairing ingredients such as rose hip oil, safflower extract, date and apple extract and essential fatty acids to soothe and strengthen irritated skin, which happens when the skin barrier function is compromised, making it difficult to hold onto moisture and fend off toxins. It's best applied across particularly parched elbows, ankles, knees and lower legs to leave them positively silky.
While squats and burpies are the best way to achieve a toned physique, you shouldn't underestimate the power of nature's botanicals to deliver results. Packing a serious plant power punch, this mix of grapefruit, geranium, jojoba extract are formulated with micro-droplets of oil that melt onto the skin, restoring elasticity so that skin feels more supple by the time spring arrives.
Best body moisturiser for sensitive skin
If your skin is prone to flaring, this ultra soothing balm may be just the thing. Created in a meticulously sterile environment, it contains no fragrance or parabens (which have been found to aggravate sensitive skin). Ideal for when your skin won't play ball, this no-fuss formula is great at relieving redness and itching to bring comfort back to unhappy skin.
Best smart-ageing body moisturiser
The price tag is a little eye-watering, however thanks to the brand’s signature hydrating caviar extract it has oomph compared to other body creams. So much so, it's capable of restoring even the most neglected and ravaged skin. As well as reinforcing the skin’s barrier function, willow bark sloughs away dead skin, while white algae and caffeine stimulate circulation and tighten skin. If you feel like you need to bring out the big guns, then look no further.
Organic cocoa and shea butter make a welcome warden against the polar vortex. However the real jewel in the crown is the redolent blend of geranium, lavender and marjoram essential oils that help to rejoin the dots between mind, body and spirit after a long day.