Beat blah winter skin, hair and nails with our top 35 picks and tips. By Pam Smith

This feature is taken out of Wedding Inspirations magazine June/winter 2011

Hands and feet

1. Your hands will be a big focus on your wedding day so keep yours soft and supple with a heavy-duty hand cream like Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Anti-Aging Hand Cream, R80, which soothes chapped hands in a flash without leaving a greasy film.

 2. Healthy nails begin with healthy cuticles, so include a sweet-smelling cuticle oil in your winter hand-care regime. OPI’s Avoplex Cuticle Oil To Go, R140, is so convenient you can pop it in your handbag and re-apply whenever you need to without any chance of spillage.

3. Winter is the perfect time to tackle dry, cracked heels. Just before you head to bed, slather your feet and heels with a rich textured heel cream such as Eulactol Heel Balm, R75, and cover with socks. By morning you’ll wake to softer, suppler feet – it works like a dream!

4. Danné Montague-King’s MediPedi is a completely painless pedicure – say hello to new feet and goodbye to rasps and razors. The unique alkaline formula softens and dissolves dead skin and calluses, leaving your feet baby soft. Call 011 262 6120 for stockists.

 5. To combat chapped hands, slather hands in cream before you do the dishes, then slip on washing gloves. The combination of heat and moisture helps the cream penetrate deeply and repair winter-ravaged skin.

 6. If the thought of dishes makes you cringe, opt for a paraffin treatment next time you go for a manicure or pedicure. The super-softening buttery wax hydrates and softens overworked hands and over-shopped feet.

7. After a busy day planning your wedding, relax with a foot soak that would make Cleopatra proud. Pour hot water into a foot bath or bowl big enough for both feet, then add two cups of milk. The lactic acid in the milk will help smooth calluses. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil (we like eucalyptus oil for its medicinal properties and fresh scent, lavender for its soothing effect and peppermint for the uplifting zing it brings!) and soak your feet for five to ten minutes. If your feet need a massage, add some marbles to the bottom of the tub and rub your feet over them while soaking. It’s very soothing!


8. Prevent you hair from looking dull and lifeless and invest in a weekly hydrating mask like Philip Kingsley’s miracle-working Elasticizer, R530.

 9. Silicone gives dull hair a beautiful shine and seals the cuticles. Just a pea-sized amount is enough to calm even the wildest of manes. We like Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Smoothing Serum, R265, which has just the right amount of slip and polish.

 10. Dandruff is another common winter hair concern. An anti-dandruff shampoo such as Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Dandruff Shampoo, R35, promises to sort out dry, flaky scalps in no time. If it doesn’t go away consult a dermatologist.

 11. Static is another winter hair enemy. To smooth frizzy flyaway hair, spray a small amount of hairspray onto your palms and smooth over the hair from crown to tips.

 12. Cut down on washing hair too often in winter to give the natural oils in your scalp a chance to nourish your hair. If you shampoo once every two days, push it to three days by styling your hair into a sleek bun on the third day. Batiste Dry Shampoo, R60, is a blessing for those wanting to get an extra day out of a blow-dry or for girls with naturally oily locks. Also, if your hair is too clean on your wedding day, or if you need extra volume and texture, a dry shampoo will come in handy.

 13. Avoid drying your hair out even further by limiting your use of hairdryers and hair irons. If you do use them use a cooler setting.

 14. Never leave home with wet hair. When you’re out and about, protect your locks with a soft beanie or hat.

 15. For lush locks and an amazing shine take a supplement specifically for hair and nails. Look for ones which contain silica, zinc and calcium – all important nutrients for healthy hair growth. Try Perfectil Plus, R180.

 16. Book into your salon for a trim every eight weeks, as unsightly split ends caused by dry hair will become much more common in winter.



17. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Apply your body lotion immediately after bathing or showering while your skin is still damp to help lock the moisture into the skin. Cocoa butter is well known for its hydrating properties and it smells amazing, so indulge. We like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E, R63.

 18. Exfoliation is key to avoiding dry patches and unsightly red bumps which appear over the colder months. Try the almost-edible Freeman Feeling Beautiful Sugar Body Scrub Pomegranate, R60 – or make your own with sugar, olive oil and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

 19. Regular dry brushing also sloughs away dead cells and gives the skin a brighter, smoother appearance. If you dry-brush on a daily basis, you should notice a difference within a week – especially if you follow it with moisturiser. Before you get into the shower, brush in an upward movement from your toes to thighs, using a brush with soft bristles. Dry-brushing is brilliant for cellulite too (just ask Victoria Beckham, who swears by it).

 20. For sloughing off dead skin you might need something with more muscle. Try this fail-proof trick: cut a lemon in half, pour coarse sea salt on both halves and grind each half into your elbows, heels and knees. The acidity of the lemon and the abrasiveness of the salt leave rough spots brighter and softer.

21. Body oil goes a long way in winter. Whether it’s smoothed onto skin or added to your bath, your skin will feel noticeably softer. Oils are great for repairing stretch marks and scars, so apply daily if you have marks which you’d like to diminish. Bio-Oil, R50 (60ml), is one of the best.

 22. If you’re wearing anything with chiffon or silk, avoid using greasy body oil on the day or it’ll destroy the gown. Rather try a light body lotion followed by a loose gold powder like BYS Shimmer Powder in White Gold, R60, on the tops of your shoulders, arms and collarbones, which gives a soft luminosity.

 23. If you’re showing some skin in your gown and need a boost, head to a Camelot Spa for the Sweet and Savoury Scrub, R350. It’s a full-body exfoliation using a delicious purifying body scrub made from brown sugar, salt and Mediterranean essential oils. Luxurious and nourishing, it leaves your skin velvety smooth and silky soft. Visit

 24. If the stress of organising a wedding isn’t enough to help you avoid the winter bulge, remember that now is not the time to take drastic measures. Diet pills, overtraining at the gym and starvation diets only make for an irritable bride-to-be. Aim to hit the gym three times a week for an hour each time. Exercise is good for every major organ in the body, especially the largest one – the skin. After a workout oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the skin’s surface, which improves collagen production, keeping your skin plump and wrinkle-free.



25. The pressure of organising the perfect wedding can cause spots to appear – every bride’s worst nightmare! Keep spots at bay by taking an evening primrose oil supplement. This potent natural oil has calming properties and is the ultimate treat for stressed-out, weather-worn skin.

 26. Keep your lips flake free by buffing them with your toothbrush every night, then smoothing on a nourishing lip balm like Blistex Five Star Lip Protection, R60.

 27. The cleanser which kept you shine free during summer is likely to cause your skin to become dry and sensitive during winter. Switch to a gentler cleanser, which will only remove unwanted oil, rather than stripping it. We like RoC Extra Comfort Cleansing Water, R170, which also removes make-up in one easy wipe.

 28 After a bout of flu, look to miracle balm Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, R135 (28g limited edition jar), and R140 (50ml tube), to soothe sore chapped spots around the nose or lips instantly.

 29. Avoid a build-up of dry skin cells and keep your face glowing in winter by exfoliating regularly. We love Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, R695, which is mild enough to use every day.

30 In the weeks leading up to your big day, indulge in a weekly hydrating face mask to nourish and protect your skin. Raw honey is super nourishing and excellent for sensitised or acne-prone skin. Mix equal amounts with natural yogurt for a tasty face mask that will literally feed your face!

31. For the Rolls Royce of hydrating facials head to a Guinot-accredited salon and book in for the Hydradermie facial, on average R540. In a little under an hour your skin looks brand new, plumped up and deeply hydrated.

32. Add a pretty flush to your cheeks with a crème blush or liquid tint. These types of blush are less likely to look powdery on dry skin and will give you a healthy, dewy sheen. The easiest way to apply crème blush or liquid tint is by lightly patting the apples of your cheeks with a fingertip until the colour sinks into the skin, giving a natural rosy hue. Try Benefit Benetint Rose-tinted Lip & Cheek Stain, R195, or Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Cabo Coral, R295.

33. Good skin comes from the inside out, so watch your diet and lifestyle. Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoke, and indulge in foods rich in natural oils such as avocado, nuts and salmon.

34. To guarantee your skin radiates on your big day, try to drink at least one litre of water daily. If the thought of cold water in winter makes you shiver, rather than sipping on milky tea and coffee all day, opt for a warm drink such as hot water and fresh lemon juice, or herbal tea. Green tea in particular is filled with antioxidants, called catechins, which can help prevent certain skin cancers and prevent sunburn. Two cups a day will amp up your pretty power.

35. Make time to indulge in a guilt-free treat every now and again, like dark chocolate or a hot mug of cocoa. According to new research, chocolate doesn’t cause pimples – in fact, the sweet stuff contains high levels of flavonoids, potent antioxidants which protect your skin from sun-damage and give radiant results.

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