Smooth your way to SU­PER- SOFT SUM­MER SKIN

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

Af­ter such a late start to spring, only now are we pack­ing away our win­ter wardrobes in favour of brighter fash­ions and fewer lay­ers, so our beauty fo­cus this week is on the skin from the neck down. Whether you like pale and pretty or are a tan fan, if your skin is prepped and pol­ished, it will look health­ier and smoother. Start us­ing a sim­ple scrub once or twice a week and make it an ex­pe­ri­ence you en­joy with a body pol­ish that smells great. The Body Shop’s Sweet Lemon Scrub, €18.95, is zesty and up­lift­ing. Pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to rough ar­eas such as the knees, el­bows and feet to clear dead skin.

Shorter sleeves serve to re­mind us that our up­per arms may not be our great­est as­set. A com­mon com­plaint in warmer months is red and rough bumpy skin that, for some, can also be present on the thighs and but­tocks. This may be KP (ker­ato­sis pi­laris) or chicken skin, so called be­cause it looks like goose­bumps and feels hard to the touch. It is a dry skin con­di­tion in which too much of the pro­tein ker­atin builds plugs in the hair fol­li­cles, caus­ing the bumps. It can be treated ef­fec­tively with acid ex­fo­lia­tors that speed up cell turnover, notably lac­tic, gly­colic or sal­i­cylic acids. Ex­fo­li­a­tion with a scrub will not be as ef­fec­tive, as th­ese work mainly on the top of the skin; scrub­bing may just ir­ri­tate and red­den the skin more. One ex­tremely ef­fec­tive acid ex­fo­lia­tor for treat­ing KP is NeoStrata’s Lo­tion Plus Gly­colic Body Lo­tion, € 23.97, which uses 15 per cent gly­colic acid to dis­solve the fol­li­cle plugs. Ap­ply once or twice daily to af­fected ar­eas. Use a sun­screen on top while treat­ing the skin and, to pre­vent re­cur­rence, a daily moisturiser.

Mois­turise your hands and feet ev­ery morn­ing and night. Use an SPF hand cream daily to pre­vent sun dam­age; at night use some­thing richer and more nour­ish­ing. Hu­man + Kind’s Hand + El­bow + Foot Cream, € 7.95, is great to have by your bed­side. Not for­get­ting nails, a touch of cu­ti­cle oil helps re­pair dam­age and keeps this nail pro­tec­tor hy­drated and sup­ple. Mavala’s Cu­ti­cle Oil, €8.04, works quickly.

So, with th­ese small changes, get­ting ready for bet­ter weather won’t seem such a bat­tle!

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