Beauty: perfect summer skin
Sheree Mutton asks the experts for their tips to help you achieve smooth, flawless skin all over throughout the hot months of summer.
The sea and sand are beckoning as we slip into holiday mode and head for the beach. Shorts, strappy tops and togs replace office attire and bare skin basks in the heat of summer. But that very exposure to the elements means it’s time to take your body skincare routine up a notch, giving skin extra protection and nourishment.
We all want gorgeous, even-toned and glowing skin during summer, but for many of us dry, flaky and pale skin is the reality. Fortunately, with these few easy steps, you can reclaim glowing skin and have your body looking its best for the beach season.
1 Get scrubbing
Scrubbing should be your first step. “Exfoliation is necessary to boost desquamation, the natural shedding of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin,” writes Christine Clais in her book, French Complexion: The Secrets to Beautiful Skin at Any Age. “Regular exfoliation makes your skin texture more even and softer.”
Hand mitts, body brushes and salt and sugar scrubs are easy to use in the shower. If you have sensitive skin, dermatologist Dr Li-Chuen Wong advises using a gentle body scrub twice a week. “Don’t be too vigorous, which will only lead to skin irritation and inflammation,” she says.
“It’s important to moisturise regularly, at least once daily,” says Dr Wong. “Try to apply a fragrancefree lighter lotion all over the body after your shower, when your skin is slightly damp. This will increase skin hydration and absorption of the moisturiser into the skin.”
Using a rich body cream at night will further nourish and protect your skin. Alternatively, you could massage in a body oil to help improve your skin’s firmness, giving it a more supple and radiant appearance.
3 Fake a golden glow
A glowing, bronzed body may look healthy, but excessive exposure to the sun’s rays can result in premature ageing and a higher risk of skin cancer. “Achieve a healthy skin glow by using self-tanning products rather than sun-baking,” says Dr Wong. “Applying a fake tan will also make cellulite less noticeable.”
There are many instant or gradual self-tanners available on the market that will give you a natural-looking glow in minutes. Wear a mitt to avoid any excess product or residue on your hands and massage the product into your skin, using a circular motion.
“In the summer months, a self-tan will add glowing colour and also improve the appearance of contours and body shape,” says skincare expert Nichola Joss. To prolong the tan, moisturise your skin twice a day.
“Sun protection is the single most important factor in preventing skin ageing, including the development of wrinkles, sallow, lacklustre and pigmented skin.” Dermatologist Dr Li-Chuen Wong
4 De- fuzz your body
We all know that beautiful soft skin looks its best when it’s hair-free. There are many options when it comes to hair removal, but shaving remains the most popular because it’s quick, easy and inexpensive.
To ensure you get a smooth result without irritation, use a quality shaver with a built-in moisturiser. If you prefer waxing, apply body oil postwaxing to reduce inflammation and redness, and exfoliate regularly to help reduce ingrown hairs.
For a more permanent result, laser hair removal may be worth considering. During this treatment, a laser is used to target the roots of the hair beneath the surface of the skin and disables the follicles so they can no longer support hair growth. Prices start from around $65 for small areas on the body, such as the underarms, but most people will need multiple laser treatments.
5 Protect your skin
Sun protection is essential in preventing skin cancer and the signs of premature ageing, such as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. The key is to ensure you are applying enough – most of the time we don’t, leaving ourselves at risk of burning. Using a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30 and applying a thick layer rubbed well into skin offers sufficient protection to the sun. Don’t forget to reapply every four hours or after swimming.