Ask any beauty editor, and they’ll tell you the best way to get ready for summer is to start with a great body scrub. Most of us have seen the benefits of sweeping away complexion-dulling cells from the face – and as the beach beckons, your best body buddy is a targeted product. Exfoliating buffs away dead cells to reveal the newer, clearer cells beneath – giving you instantly younger-looking, more appealing skin. This also prepares skin for self-tanning or instant-tanning products, offering a more seamless application and less risk of orange streaks once the skin is smooth. Plus, scrubbed skin will get the most from the body lotion or butter that you apply afterwards, as it will be more easily and effectively absorbed, rather than sitting on top of the old dry, dusty cells.
Don’t take the word ‘scrub’ too literally, though. Instead, apply to damp skin in the shower or bath, and use light, circular movements, paying particular attention to drier, flakier areas such as your elbows and knees. If you have sensitive skin, look out for a scrub that contains sugar: the grains will work hard on dry areas, but dissolve to gently soften your skin. Alternatively, invest in a buffing mitt to use with your favourite shower gel. Little and often is preferable to an energetic blitz.
And if you’re worried about confidence-zapping cellulite – those bumps on the top of your thighs – or ‘peau d’orange’, as the French more romantically call it, we can now also easily get our hands (or should that be thighs, hips and tummies?) on specific firming products, designed to boost circulation and skin resilience. There are no miracles but body brushing will make a noticeable difference. Take a not-too-hard bristle brush, and whisk over your skin from ankle to thighs (front and back), and up the arms – always in a sweeping circular movement towards the heart – for a few minutes every day.
Remembering to drink plenty of water can help as it will flush toxins from your body. If you fancy going a step further, a week or so before you jet off on holiday, reduce the amount of carbonated drinks, alcohol and processed food you have, if possible. Also, swap your morning caffeine intake for at least one cup of hot water with a slice of lemon.
Next, target problem zones with a toning product: these lotions tend to contain ingredients that can help to stimulate blood flow, along with essential oils to tighten skin, leaving it smoother and more elastic. The key to the effectiveness of firming lotions and oils is a circulation- boosting massage. Apply firm pressure with your hands to stroke your thighs from your knee to hip. You might like to use your knuckles to work away at any bumpy areas – and aim for five minutes each day, in the run-up to your holiday. For long-term results? Make it a daily beauty habit. (Your rear view will love you for it!)
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