How to get your body summer-ready
Our skin cops a fair whack over summer. As the main defence against a host of environmental factors, its surface is constantly self-renewing and responding to external influences and internal changes. Our past behaviours (yes we’re looking at you, late nights and margaritas) are written largely upon the skin – and most of that is below the neck.
According to dermatologist Dr Adam Sheridan, the older we get, the more we need to stay on top of it. “As we age, our ability to erase the effects of time and our environment is diminished. Past damage is increasingly revealed as the skin loses its regenerative capacity and elasticity, reducing quality, texture and evenness of pigment and tone,” he warns. Right then. Time to show your skin some summer loving.
Here’s how to get smoother skin from head to toe.
Diminish the appearance of cellulite
You’re not alone: an American Journal of Clinical Dermatology study found cellulite affects 90 per cent of us. If you’re on the team, reach for a product containing caffeine – according to Endota Spa senior training consultant, Helen Robb Lacey it helps smooth things out by stimulating the cells on your skin’s surface. Get your hit by massaging with a scrub to encourage circulation and lymphatic movement. “Increasing blood flow can help reduce the appearance of cellulite as it removes dead skin build-up and brings fresh and plump cells to the surface,” says Robb Lacey.
Try: Weleda Birch Body Scrub, Frank Body Peppermint Coffee Scrub, Guinot Gommage Peau d’Orange Body Scrub, Endota Spa Organics Coffee & Coconut Resurfacing Polish
Keep skin well hydrated
If your skin feels oilier in the warmer months, it’s because heat and humidity affect your sebaceous glands, which can lead to breakouts. That’s why it’s important to stick to a whole body skin care regimen and ensure your skin is clean every night before bed. According to pharmaceutical consultant Zoe Roebuck, the heat is no excuse to sidestep moisturiser. “Keeping your body hydrated helps skin stay clear and looking brighter.” Choose one enriched with active ingredients to help firm the skin’s surface and boost natural elasticity. And above all? Set up a simple to-do list for summer. “Keep well hydrated, cleanse and tone in the morning, put a moisturiser under sunscreen and use a serum at night,” advises Roebuck.
Try: Alpha Keri Body Slimfit, Dr Roebuck’s Pure Body, Palmer’s All Over Body Firming Lotion, Save Our Skin by Innoxa Night Slim, Clarins Extra Firming Body Lotion, Sisley Intensive Firming Bust Compound
Use fake tan strategically
With plenty of skin on show, try a fake tan to help even out tone. Celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury advises applying a highlighting product down the centre of your legs and arms to create the illusion of leaner, longer limbs. Think of it as contouring, only for your body.
Contour your curves
With laser hair removal a mainstay, it was only a matter of time before machines moved on to our other body beef – fat. We know you’re smashing it at the gym but if you’re curious about a leg-up, this could be it. And much like our hair removal MVP there’s no surgery and no needles. SculpSure, the hyperthermic laser treatment, reduces fat where we find it hardest to shift – hello, lower abs and back. Fat cells are heated to 42°C for 25 minutes; the body then naturally eliminates the fat cells with results seen in six to 12 weeks. Clatuu works on the flipside, by freezing fat to 9°C, with the body excreting the fat cells over a three-month period. It can hit arms, thighs and hips and takes around 60 minutes. According to dermatologist Dr Rita Gupta, body contouring is on the rise. “How we look and perceive problem areas plays a big role in how we feel about ourselves and our self-esteem.” So you can skip slogging it out in spin class, right? Not so quick. Both should be paired with a balanced diet and exercise for full effect. So still set that alarm.