How to get your body ready for summer
We’ve spent months hiding under layers of clothing, but as the days get longer, you know it won’t be long before we are swapping our jeans and sweaters for skirts and tees.
A shower, a shave and a cursory dab of moisturiser might be as far as our beauty regime has stretched from the chin down, but ahead of the warmer weather a more dedicated routine could make all the difference to your confidence when it’s finally time to step out into the sunshine.
Here are some ways you can really make a difference...
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When it comes to smoothing our thighs and muffin tops, we’re under no illusion that gadgets and lotions can replace good nutrition and exercise. But used regularly in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, they can certainly make their mark.
Take the sophisticated NuBODY, $668, for example. It uses the same microcurrent technology as the facial version NuFACE, to tone, smooth and firm upper arms, abs, buttocks, and thighs. But it doesn’t come without considerable effort. You’ll need to use it for 5 minutes a day per treatment area, 5 days a week for the first 60 days, then 2-3 days per week to maintain results. Bottom line is, if you’re happy to commit to the time and splurge on the conductor gel you’ll need to go with it, you will see results.
The physical action of massaging your thighs with the metal ball applicator of the asap Cellulite + Skin Firming Treatment, $110, is key to helping its active ingredients get right into your skin. Once absorbed, a host of high-tech ingredients along with the classic anti-cellulite ingredient caffeine, get to work improving skin firmness, hydration and smoothness. Again, consistency is crucial. Use it morning and night, exfoliating with a body scrub first for more enhanced results.
The serious smoothers
If you have enjoyed the exfoliating power of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s) in your facial skincare, you’ll be familiar with the supreme silky effect they have on the complexion. On the body, they make quick work of bumps on the back of your arms and scaly shins, along with giving skin a healthy boost of hydration and radiance. Over time, they’ll help to even out pigmentation too.
One application of Ultraceuticals Ultra Retexturising Body Complex, $99, will have you hooked. Yes, it’s a lot pricier than your average moisturiser, but boy do you get bang for your buck. Lactic acid and niacinamide as well as moisturising ingredients deeply exfoliate and give your skin back its glow in one smoothing, addictive swoop.
Another AHA well known for its re-texturising effect is glycolic acid. You’ll find it in Alpha-H Liquid Gold Luxe Resurfacing Body Cloths, $37. Heavily impregnated with the glow-giving ingredient, use the bumpy side to massage over problem areas to help buff away dead skin cells, then flip it over to the smooth side to finish. Ideal for travelling with too.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good moisturiser to breathe life back into your limbs. If you are showered in a cloud of dead skin cells whenever you take a layer of clothing off, enlist a good body scrub, then look for a moisturiser with shea butter, glycerin, squalene, ceramides or hyaluronic acid to go on top. Apply with a vigorous massage after showering for the added advantage of stimulating your circulation which in turn, will feed and nourish your skin.
If you ever get a sensation of tight skin after showering, it’s a sure sign it’s craving moisture. You’ll need something rich such as The Body Shop Shea Nourishing Body Lotion, $24.50, to make your skin feel more comfortable and supple.
Body butters are deliciously creamy and have a wonderfully indulgent feel about them. One of the latest, Weleda Skin Food Body Butter, $29.90, is 100% certified natural with organic shea and cocoa butters as well as calendula and chamomile to soothe.
The body makeup
When you do get your legs out, it’s comforting to know there’s a whole new generation of skin finishers and perfectors that are like foundation for the body. Think of them as sheer stockings for they way they can subtly camouflage imperfections such as thread veins and age spots, while adding a flattering, hint of colour. You don’t need to be as organised as you would with applying faux tan either – just pop some of the washable formulas on a glove, buff and go.
One we have been reaching for regularly is Bondi Sands GLO Matte One Day Tan, $22.99. It has just the right amount of coverage and colour to look believable and a clever blurring effect. Smooth it on and allow a few minutes before dressing.
Ahead of its time with the original spray-on version, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Makeup, $29.99, is a liquid alternative that is every bit as effective and we think, even easier to apply. It comes in four shades so choose the one that most closely matches your skin tone and apply it in layers until you get the desired amount of coverage.
Main image: Tigerlily
What beauty products make you feel more confident about your body?