As the winter months set in and skin loses its sun-kissed glow, becoming drier in the colder atmosphere, treat it with some of these excellent products from innovative English companies.
Start your day's skin care regime with a gentle face wash that won't dehydrate, such as Purity Organic Skin Care's facial wash with sweet almond oil and aloe vera. Gently foaming and pretty much scentless, it cleanses but is kind to skin, unlike many other facial washes which have drying effects.
Beyond OrganicSkin Care products are made in Cornwall. The day cream is thick and luscious, with an appealing aroma. Non-sticky, it moisturises well, although the spreadability could be enhanced.
In the shower, I would recommend Green People Exfoliating Shower Wash, which combines pomegranate, cranberry and apricot with ingredients such as aloe vera, seaweed and other fruit and herb oils to produce an aromatic product, with exfoliating husks. Although, of course, it does not lather, it nevertheless leaves skin feeling soft and clean. Or luxuriate in Dorset-based Lush's Turkish Delight - a rose-scented body polish. It has a thick, creamy, buttery consistency, pretty pastel pink shade and a gentle odour of roses; it smooths all over the skin creamily and then washes off to leave squeaky clean, smooth skin.
Follow it with Lush's Coco Lotion, a Caribbean-inspired product, containing pineapple juice, coconut oil, mandarin and rosemary. Non-greasy but beautifully moisturing, it smells and feels luxurious, and absorbs well into skin. To keep skin, hair and insides healthy, try the Nosh Detox -a daily routine in the form of a box containing a selection of herbal teas (cascara bark, olive, mint, astragals and fennel), bath salts (marigold, lemon and ginger, jasmine, sesame and lavender, all with sea salt), a body brush and castor oil. An excellent hand-wash can be found in the form of NEOM Organics hand lotion and wash gift set, which, beautifully packaged, makes a fantastic stocking filler, and the scents are divine.
Come the evening, relax and unwind in a Raw Gaia sea salt bath soak. Natural, organic, vegan-friendly and cruelty and chemical-free (as are all Raw Gaia products), this uses a blend of palmarosa, chamomile, macerated rose oil, rosehip and rose petals, which form a wonderfully soothing and delicately scented salt bath that leaves skin silky soft.
For a real touch of luxury in the bath, light one of Jane Packer's gorgeously scented candles, with fragrances such as Gardenia, Cedar and Patchouli, or Iris, Jasmine and Sandalwood, guaranteed to both soothe and uplift. The gift sets make wonderful presents, too, particularly the Red Roses, Black Violet and Cyclamen eau de parfum and body cream set: pure romance.
Finally, before turning in, Beyond OrganicSkincare's rich rejuvenating night cream with cocoa and mallow has an appealing, warm and comforting scent. It lies thick and just slightly greasy, but skin glows the following morning.--Em Marshall-Luck
Amidst the vicissitudes of life, one thing remains constant: the hilarity unfailingly provoked by Peter Sellers' impression of Richard III as played by Laurence Olivier, reciting A Hard Day's Night. Although the single released of this performance was amusing enough, it really has to be seen to be fully appreciated: the impersonation is total, affectionately capturing and exaggerating Olivier's mannerisms in the role. Sellers' other renditions of Beatles songs are not quite in the same league, though Can't Buy Me Love makes logical hay of the song lyrics, and the vicar and choir rendition of Help!is delightful.--Isabel Taylor