5 items everyone should have in the winter

If you live in the northern hemisphere, it is now winter.  It will be cold (unless you live near the equator… In which case why are you reading this post?  It has no relevance to your life!).  You need to prepare!  The scouts had a motto about always being prepared for a reason – it will stop you from suffering later.

I’m not sure I have that many male readers (say hi if you are a man!), but this advice is just as relevant to you as it is to women.  Real men use hand cream.  No-one likes dry, chapped hands.  Here are my 5 items that will help you enjoy (or at least survive) winter.

1.  Hand cream

Hopefully you’re going to wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold, but I know some people don’t.  My own sister doesn’t like gloves (whereas I wear them pretty much from September until April).  It is super-important for you to moisturise your hands.  The cold weather damages bare skin, and makes it dry. Then you go into your house, which is all toasty and warm and sucks more moisture from your hands.  Your hands are very important, and they work very hard every day.  Show them a little love and moisturise them every morning and evening.  It will stop them from getting chapped (which hurts and makes you feel sad), and it should stop the worst of the dryness.

For men and women alike, you won’t go wrong with Neutrogena’s concentrated hand cream.  This is hardcore Norwegian stuff for fishermen and people who have their hands in actual cold water and snow all winter.  It’s unscented and comes in fairly plain packaging, but it’s the best hand cream ever (and I have tried a lot of hand creams!).  Also, a tube lasts forever and it’s good value for money!

2.  Hat

Nobody likes cold ears.  That’s pretty much all there is to say on this item.  There’s no point in wrapping up in two jumpers, a heavy ski jacket, scarf and gloves, only to leave your head bare and blasted by the elements.  You’re going to regret it.  This is especially true of you’re building a snowman or having a snow fight.  Cold ears and cold (possibly wet) hair is going to majorly scupper your enjoyment of life.

There is a hat for everyone out there.  If you really don’t know what to get, browse Etsy for inspiration.  You can get a relative or friend to knit one for you, or buy a designer one (Ugg hat, anyone?). Whilst I personally am not going to pay £110 for a hat, if you want to that’s fine.  Just make sure your ears are warm.

3.  Lip balm

Like your hands, it’s very easy for your lips to get dry and chapped in the winter.  They get battered by cold winds, and when they’re dry it’s natural for you to lick them, which just makes the dryness worse.  If you get a cold and are breathing out of your mouth a lot, your lips will go dry even more quickly.  There’s no hope, but lip balm can help save the day!

I love lip balm, and I’ve reviewed my favourites on here before.  I’ve cut all petroleum-based lip balms out of my life since that post last year though, so I would recommend Burt’s Bees Lifeguard’s Choice.  It’s environmentally-friendly (or at least better than Vaseline), tastes of mint, and lasts for ages.  Some reviewers say it makes their lips white, but I’ve not had that problem.  I rub my lip balm in rather than leaving it on my lips like a gloss, so that might be why.  Please note that despite the name, this lip balm has no SPF factor.

4.  Warm socks

Some of you lucky folk will go through life without ever getting cold feet, but the rest of us will get cold feet at some point.  Personally, I can get cold feet in summer so warm socks are a must for me in winter.  Like your hands, your feet work very hard for you, so take a little care to look after them in the winter.  Cold feet can make anyone miserable, so seek out warm socks (you can always buy ski socks if you’re not sure what type of socks to buy).  Bonus points for making sure your footwear is waterproof too.  Luckily, wellies are still in fashion so you can wear them in winter without feeling any shame.  They have no warm lining usually though, hence the need for warm socks!  You can also buy welly liners nowadays in fleece, to keep your toes nice and warm!

5.  Torch/flashlight

A boring, sensible final suggestion, but a necessity I’m afraid.  In winter, it goes dark quickly and tasks that are no trouble in the summer months can become difficult or dangerous in winter.  Make sure you carry a torch in your bag or coat pocket when you go out.  Ideally it would be a medium-sized torch like this one, but even a key-ring light is better than nothing at all.  You can use it to walk the dog, unlock your front door easily, find anything you drop and most importantly can be used if your car breaks down.  Don’t underestimate the importance of being able to see easily and being easily seen!

Have you got any recommendations?  Leave them in the comments.

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