It's winter, the nadir of attractiveness. Okay, so we look pretty damn hot with our bobble hats, rosy cheeks and fur coats. But what lurks beneath the layers is a mass of scaly skin, hairy leg and cloven hoof. We take a peek at some of the worst winter beauty issues that we'd all rather pretend aren't happening…
Yeah yeah, you can pile on that Vaseline all you want, but it still only offers temporary relief from having a cracked, peeling mouth for four months of the year. Winter smooches might seem good in theory, but in reality, they're dry and sore. And putting red lipstick on becomes a Tim Burton-esque nightmare as all the colour seeps into the cracks. Think you can get round it by putting on pale lippy? Oh no. Do that, and you are Shane Warne. SHANE WARNE.
Secret body hair
Now listen, you can have all the body hair you want, any time of year. I regularly grow out my armpit hair, so I can pretend to be Patti Smith when I'm putting on deodorant. (Also, I can't be bothered to shave it off – take that, The Man!). But in winter, when skin is hidden under tights and jumpers, your untended body hair can sometimes take on a musty, secretive shame. There you are, presenting yourself as a groomed person in a meeting, with legs that are 100% Wookie. Actually, secret body hair is fun. Let's do it more often.
Boots were made for walking, and, they were also made for foot rot. With no room for your skin to breathe, every winter you end up with rough donkey trotters faster than you can say ‘Ped Egg.' Still, the upside is that you don't have to wear socks in bed, because your feet will always be protected by 20 layers of DISGUSTING DEAD SKIN.
Whatever you do, don't mention winter dryness on a first date. Chances are Match.com will take down your profile and you will end up living alone forever with dust and bits of twig in your hair. But it happens. The combination of central heating and cold weather causes skin to dry out, crocodile style. Every year, the skin on my fingers starts to crack like the parched earth in Death Valley. Lizards start running over them. Then the cracks open up and bleed, and there I am, with painful, bleeding fingers, and I'm like ‘HELLO BOYS' and they all run away from Mrs Scissorfingers.
I have spoken (moaned) to several people at length about winter itching, and we all agree it's unbearable. Fan heaters, tights, woolly jumpers, hot baths – all these things can lead to a wild and uncontrollable itch/scratch cycle. Personally I spend the entire season jumping up and down and raking my fingers up and down my legs until they look like traumatised Spam. The solution is probably something to do with moisturiser, but I'm too busy scratching myself to find out. Perhaps winter itchers should form a support group, where we can scratch ourselves and each other like lice-ridden apes.
Continuously runny nose
Whether you've got a cold or not, a switch is activated in November which means you need to have a tissue handy at all times. And what is tissue etiquette anyway? It's so frustrating. In the absence of a bin, where do you put it? In your bag, essentially creating a bag of snot? Up your sleeve, where everyone knows you now have an armful of greenies? How long should a tissue stay on your person before it becomes a health hazard? Should you look into your tissue like a scientist specialising in mucus? I genuinely have no idea what the correct thing to do is, and I'm 41.
Hair of doom
In winter, hair does something strange. It stages its own follicular mutiny, and starts Brian May-ing all over the shop. Scarf static and heating causes flyaways in all directions, and it frizzes out until you could pass for Robert Plant's mum. My friend puts Vaseline on her hair to counteract this, which leads me to think that women should basically spend winter covered head-to-toe in petroleum jelly, drinking and watching Lifetime. Yep. For the next two months, let's not bother getting dressed and just do that instead. Who's in?