Cure your beauty woes and ease the January blues with products to lift the spirits.
By Lisa Haynes
The most statistically depressing days of the year may now have officially passed, but that doesn't mean our gloom has lifted.
Your brain might not be the only thing suffering from the moody blues as you may find your skin, hair and complexion are looking rather depressed too.
A recent Pantene Pro-V poll found that 53% of women say winter is their least beautiful time of the year, with 44% upping the time they spend on pampering to improve their appearance.
"Combine the weather with the hectic holiday festivities, which often have us neglecting our skincare regime and body, and this time of the year takes its toll," explains Dr Howard Murad, founder of Murad skincare (www.murad.co.uk).
If you need any more encouragement to beautify away those blues, listen to research by ActionAid. The charity discovered that receiving a surprise compliment is one of the top three ways to lift a person's mood.
It's definitely time to wash those beauty blues right out of your hair.
If a winter sun break to the Caribbean a la Simon Cowell isn't an option, turn to your bathroom cabinet to give your skin a kilowatt glow.
Unless you've (successfully) detoxed, a down in the dumps complexion is all too common in January and there's only so much work your foundation can do to mask lacklustre skin.
Dr Murad says: "The cold winter weather can have a visibly exhausting effect on the skin making it look dry and flaky. Even an increase of caffeine to wake us up on dark mornings can dull the skin."
Make an effort to keep up an exfoliation routine alongside your Eastenders soap schedule - two to three times a week is recommended.
"Dullness is usually a result of a build up of dead skin cells on your face."
"Exfoliating your skin is a quick and easy way to combat this, brightening the face by lifting the dulling film of dead skin to give you a fresh and radiant complexion," Dr Murad advises.
All that winter blues frowning may have left your face looking a little downturned and gloomy.
Unless you have a facialist tucked away in your bathroom, treat yourself to a mini face lift via the power of massage.
"A top tip for plump, glowing skin this spring is to apply a facial oil at night under your moisturiser and spend five minutes massaging in the oil," suggests skincare expert, Liz Earle.
For best results work with your own lymphatic system to invigorate your skin.
"Massage down your neck towards your collarbone, and out across your jawline. Follow by massaging down either side of your nose (from under your inner eye corner down over the cheeks) towards your outer corner of your mouth, and finally circle upwards and outwards over your eye contour towards your temples," Earle instructs.
"Do this for five minutes and you'll soon reap the benefits - with smooth, plump and replenished skin."
Next time you feel guilty about putting your feet up, consider your skin. As your body's largest organ it's the first to give away telltale signs of sleep deprivation.
Being well rested has therapeutic benefits, so before you catch those valuable zzz's at night, put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the bathroom door and melt away your woes.
"Have a home spa evening and lie in a warm bath with fragrant candles burning and relaxing oils to pamper your skin," suggests Nichola Joss, St.Tropez skin finishing expert.
"Incorporate an extra radiance mask application. I recommend a cloth type mask which can sit on the skin for up to 30 minutes allowing you time to exfoliate and massage skin in the tub."