Get ahead in the summer arms race
ALL eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge last week when she stepped out in a stunning Roksanda Ilincic sleeveless dress. Whether it is from regular gym sessions or the fact she spends a lot of time lifting her young children, there’s no doubt Kate’s toned arms are in fantastic shape.
Unfortunately many women avoid going sleeveless at this time of year and at the clinic we hear a lot of complaints about bingo wings.
It’s not only wobbly arms that women worry about. Over the past year we’ve seen a steady increase in women who want to banish wrinkly elbows as well as a lot of interest in skin-tightening procedures to treat crepey skin.
We’ve rounded up our top treatments to help you win the arms race.
Yoga and boxing are both great workouts if you want to add definition to the biceps and triceps. Alternatively, invest in a resistance band and use it to tone up at home.
A daily teaspoonful of grapeseed oil, a natural anti-inflammatory which can help prevent the build up of toxins in the body, can help. Try Waitrose Grapeseed Oil, £2.50 (waitrose.com).
Invest in a good firming gel such as Dr Ceuticals Firm & Sculpt Arm Gel, £16.99 (boots.com) and apply morning and evening. Loaded with plant extracts and essential vitamins, regular use will help improve skin tone.
Rough, bumpy skin on the backs of the arms is a common problem. Try Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion, £27.50 (ameliorate-skincare. com), which contains lactic acid to smooth and exfoliate as it hydrates the skin.
A good fake tan can hide a multitude of sins. Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant Skin Finish, £29.95 (vitaliberata.com) disguises imperfections and gives the skin a soft focus finish. Alternatively try “tantouring”, which gives the illusion of muscle definition. Apply a layer of base tan, then blend a tiny amount of
darker tan from the underarm to the elbow to define biceps.
IN THE CLINIC Problem: LACK OF TONE
If you are looking for a quick and painless way to tighten the upper arms, Fractora Forma can be a good option. The treatment uses radiofrequency technology to tighten skin by boosting collagen and elastin levels.
During the 60-minute procedure a device heats the skin, causing tiny pinprick holes that the body naturally repairs by creating new collagen. Depending on the skin’s condition one to four treatments may be necessary.
Visible results can be seen immediately and will continue up to six months after treatment. From £600 per treatment.
Problem: STUBBORN BULGES
If you have good skin tone but can’t get rid of stubborn bulges of fat despite diet and exercise, ArmTite, a type of liposuction, can be a good option to reshape the upper arms.
A cannula is inserted into the upper arms under local anaesthetic to remove the fat then radiofrequency is used to boost collagen levels and tighten skin. From £2,000.
Problem: WRINKLED ELBOWS
Elbows are one of the first areas of the body to show signs of age. It is possible to plump out this area using fillers such as Restylane but this can be expensive and doesn’t deliver permanent results.
A thread lift is a new procedure that can help with this problem. Dissolvable threads are used to form a supportive mesh under the skin, pulling it tight. The threads are made from a special material that is reabsorbed over time but the lifting effect can last for a couple of years. The treatment costs from £2,000 (020 7436 4441).
Problem: CREPEY SKIN
Thin, crepey skin is a common problem. A micro-needling treatment combined with a course of glycolic peels can help thicken the skin and improve tone.
A roller covered with hundreds of very fine short needles is rolled over the skin, leaving tiny pinpricks. As the body heals this regenerates the skin, boosting collagen levels, softening fine lines and smoothing uneven skin tone. One treatment improves skin tone and results last for three months. From £200 per micro-needling treatment. Glycolic peel from £60.
Problem: BINGO WINGS
Sometimes, if you have excessive loose skin, an arm lift is the only option. Performed under general anaesthetic, it is a permanent way to tighten and tone. The operation leaves a scar from armpit to elbow that can take a year to fade.
You will need at least two weeks’ recovery time and should expect to pay around £5,000.