THE first months of the year can feel never-ending with long, dark nights.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes called winter depression, can affect up to three in 100 people.
Today we look at ways to help you beat the blues and our Beauty Editor puts mattifying primers to the test . . .
HEALTH: with Jane Atkinson
SAD LIGHT – Light therapy is ideal for the sun-starved. You just bask beside a SAD lamp, or light box, which helps trigger the brain to release serotonin.
Doctors recommend a half-hour blast first thing in the morning.
Fortunately, there are lots on the market now, all at different price points, but I liked the WL 75 Wake Up Light from Beurer, which doubles up as an alarm clock to gently ease you into your day.
I’ve found the warm glow to be reassuringly uplifting.
DIFFUSER – Essential oils can help to improve mood, decrease stress and calm anxiety, which makes diffusers a welcome addition to the home.
They double as a mist humidifier and ambient light, using a low-energy LED bulb and tap water, filling the room with scent within minutes.
The aroma mixed with warm light and calming mist steadily settles feelings of unease.
I enjoyed channelling my inner witch, making a concoction using lavender, bergamot and lemon, but agreeing on a choice of pungent smells with your partner is recommended to avoid a row before bedtime.
SALT THERAPY – Salt therapy, formally known as halotherapy, is a treatment that’s said to benefit the body through inhaling salty air.
As well as lifting the mood, it works excellently to aid respiration issues and boost immune systems.
There are salt rooms around the country.
I was skeptical at first, but was surprised that after 45 minutes I felt happier and calmer for the rest of the day and slept better than I had in weeks.
£35 a session at londonsaltrooms.com. Also try cloudtwelve.co.uk.
BEAUTY: with Tara Ledden
BUDGET – Aldi Lacura Snapshot Ready Foundation Primer (£5.99 for 30ml, aldi.co.uk): This primer is an absolute steal and smooths out any bumps and blemishes on the skin before applying foundation.
It’s just as effective as its more expensive counterparts and has a soft texture.
Dry areas would benefit from an extra layer of moisturiser underneath, though.
MID – Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Blurring (£34 for 50ml, lauramercier.co.uk): If large pores are your bugbear then this is primer for you.
As its name suggests, skin imperfections are “blurred”, providing a smooth canvas for foundation.
I wore it to work, followed by an event in the evening, and was impressed with its staying power. A little goes a long way too.
LUXURY – Sisley Paris Instant Perfect Primer (£52 for 20ml, sisley-paris.com): If you’re also concerned about wrinkles and ageing, this clever primer stimulates collagen as well as mattifies and tackles uneven texture.
I liked the silky texture and it felt nourishing on my skin, rather than lathering on a heavy duty cement.
I would recommend using it sparingly to make it last because its pricey.
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