A new season on the horizon means new skincare dilemmas, and summer brings a plethora of them.
From hydration and hair removal, to tanning, tightening and toning, this time of year can bring an endless list of beauty to-dos.
The key to sexy summer skin is all in the prep work and creating the perfect base. Here, we ask the experts for their key tips to solving the most common skin issues and getting your body smooth, glowing and looking its best for summer.
1. What’s all the fuss about exfoliating? Why is it important?
Belinda Hughes: Beauty therapist and spokeswoman for Frank Body
Exfoliating works to slough away these cells and smooth your skin by removing the build-up, leaving it even and glowing. Exfoliating also clears the way for hydrating products to penetrate your skin, leaving it softer, plumper and less prone to dehydration.
In addition, a twice-weekly exfoliation can dislodge any ingrown hairs and smooth over bumps or imperfections.
To exfoliate, work in circular motions in an upward direction. This moves the lymph [the fluid that travels through your lymphatic system] in the direction of your heart, which gives the best detoxification results.
It also gets your blood flowing, which assists with the detoxification process, especially on your upper thighs, bum and belly. Try a coffee scrub – these are rich in antioxidants that will improve your skin tone and reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks by stimulating the area and plumping out the skin.
The caffeine works to dilate blood vessels, which in turn improves blood flow, and eliminates any toxins and excess water retention.”
2. What’s the secret to a streak-free, even fake tan?
Blair James: Co-founder and director of Bondi Sands
“Make sure your skin is thoroughly exfoliated prior to applying – this gives the tan a fresh and even layer of skin to adhere to. It’s important to give your skin enough time to settle from the exfoliation. For the best result, exfoliate and shave about 24 hours prior to applying a fake tan. Sometimes if you apply the tan right away, you may find it irritates the skin a little, resulting in red spots.
“Fake tan is attracted to dryness, so moisturise any dry areas such as your knees, elbows and ankles before applying it, as this will help the product blend evenly. Once the moisturiser has absorbed into your skin, stand in front of a mirror with good lighting and apply with a tanning mitt, making sure you coat every part of your body evenly. To keep your tan from fading or looking patchy, moisturise with a gradual tan or apply more product to any patchy areas.”
3. My skin dries out easily, even when I’m applying daily moisturiser. What can I do to improve it?
Corinne Morley: In-house beauty expert at Trilogy
“Pure plant oils extracted from nuts, seeds and fruit are an excellent choice for all-over skin nourishment. Oils quickly absorb to feed and hydrate the skin and leave it with a protected invisible barrier, which helps to prevent moisture loss and guard against the drying effects of the environment. They help regulate and rebalance skin because they have a fine molecular structure that’s similar in design to our skin’s natural oil.
Superfine oils like rosehip are readily accepted and absorbed by the skin, won’t clog or irritate pores and help promote normal, rebalanced and healthy skin-cell function. Plus, they’re excellent for all ages and skin types, even those with sensitive skin.”
4. Are there any new treatments that will help reduce the appearance of my cellulite?
Sandra Sostres: Clinical manager of Cynosure Australia
“Topical creams don’t get rid of cellulite as quickly or effectively as people expect as they don’t change the structure of your skin. However, there are treatments that use new technology to reach the skin’s deeper layers.
Cynosure’s ZWave Pro (from $200 per treatment) is a non-invasive, high-energy, radial shockwave therapy device that uses electromagnetic soundwaves. It feels like a hot mechanical massage, with no pain and no downtime. The treatment kills fat cells, which are then eliminated via the body’s lymphatic and circulatory systems. The treatment also improves skin structure, increases blood circulation and metabolism of the body’s fat cells, and helps in the reduction of fat-cell oedemas, improving lymph circulation and the elimination of toxins. All of these factors contribute to a decrease in the appearance of cellulite, and leave skin looking smoother, tighter and more plump. For best results, you’ll need 11-12 treatments – about three treatments per week for four weeks.”
5. How do I avoid red dots on my legs after I shave?
Jocelyn Carswell: Senior brand manager of Schick Women
“You may have sensitive skin and there are a few things you can do to avoid irritation. Start by allowing your skin to soak in warm – not hot – water for a couple of minutes before shaving. This will expand each hair by up to 60 per cent, making them easier to cut. Your shaving technique can also come into play – new razors let you shave forwards and backwards safely without lifting the razor from the skin.
Finally, after shaving, compress your legs with a cool washcloth and pat dry rather than rubbing.
Apply an anti-inflammatory such as coconut oil to dry, cool skin to help reduce irritation.”
6. The skin on my chest and limbs is crepey and dry. Are there any cheaper skin plumping alternatives to the high-tech treatments?
Craig Schweighoffer: Founder and managing director of Skin Physics
“Thinning or loss of skin volume is responsible for the sagging look of crepey skin. Loss of structural integrity in any of the skin’s three layers – the epidermis, dermis or subcutaneous fat layer – can lead to a loss of volume. Factors that lead to crepey skin range from natural ageing to accelerated damage by UV radiation and other environmental factors. Another cause is the loss of internal hydration in the skin, which leads to a significant loss in plumpness. Topical solutions are great for restoring moisture and repairing the loss of collagen, and can even help tighten the appearance of sagging skin.
Ingredients like quinoa seed extract reduce the appearance of sagging skin by creating a temporary skin-tightening effect; argan oil provides immediate hydration; and calcium ketogluconate, a natural pure molecule, supports the natural production of moisture-boosting elastin and hyaluronic acid. Protect your skin from further UV damage by using sunscreen and don’t forget about the importance of nutrition – drink lots of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated, and eat lots of fruit and veg for their natural and bio-available antioxidant benefits.”
7. I want to try laser hair removal. What does the treatment actually involve?
Dr Jonathan Hopkirk; Medical director of Laser Clinics Australia
“One of the main reasons people hold off from starting their laser hair-removal journey is a lack of understanding about the way it works.
But we try to ensure any myths around laser are dispelled when talking with our clients. The lasers are designed for sensitive skin and can be used on any part of the body. It’s the most effective treatment for permanent hair removal, and it’s also very cost effective when compared to ongoing waxing treatments.
Many clients also cite no longer having to shave daily as a major benefit. For the treatment to have its full effect, you may require between six to 10 treatments, four weeks apart (treatments start from $10). The results are instant and you’ll immediately see a noticeable decrease in hair growth. Starting your treatments at the beginning of winter is recommended in order to have a hair-free summer, but you can have treatments during summer – you just need to avoid direct sun exposure one week prior and one week after treatment.”
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