Grace Timothy on how best to prepare your skin for spring
PUBLISHED: 11:03 01 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:03 01 April 2014
Winter's cosseting knitwear will soon be relegated to the back of the wardrobe and the ratio of clothing to skin-on-show will be shifting. First thing's first: a 'bikini body' is easier to achieve than you'd imagine.
You put on a bikini et voila, you’ve got yourself a bikini body. I‘m not interested in touting the detoxes, weight-loss plans and gruelling workouts popularly thought necessary to bare even an inch of flesh, beyond sharing my own motto: be strong, be healthy and don’t compare yourself to Gisele. What I will offer is a selection of pleasurable skin-finishing solutions that will hopefully give you the helping hand to go from your onesie to the new season’s sundress without skipping a beat.
At the spa
Start with the Spring Clean Treatment, £119 at The Treatment Rooms, Brighton. Combining salt glow therapy and aromatherapy massage, this treatment will reveal the kind of radiance you thought was lost forever. Blotches, cellulite and dry patches will all benefit from the Full Body Polish with Hydrotherapy Spa Bath, £50 at Lanes Health and Beauty in Brighton – the perfect body prep for your first spray tan of the season. Or if you’re suffering with more severe skin concerns such as puffiness, dark circles or breakouts, there are very few issues the Lymph Drainage Treatment, £25 at The Wellington Centre in Hastings can’t tackle, especially when combined with a problem-specific facial. A simple yet effective massage technique, it’s the quickest, most natural ‘makeover’ there is. The first mani-pedi of spring usually requires all-out war on dry, hard skin and flaky nails, so invest in a full-monty style treatment, like the Luxury Manicure and Pedicure (£60 each) at PH2O Park House Spa and you’ll find the quick file-and-paint appointments should suffice for the rest of the season. Next up for me is a Fake Bake Spray Tan £25 with Jude Butlin at Posh Beauty (in Fernhurst and Chichester). She’ll help select your ideal colour and then you can choose between the 60-minute tan for a speedy finish or the Gold, using an anti-oxidant charged moisturiser for a longer-lasting colour.
This season I rediscovered an old friend of the bathroom cabinet: Clarisonic Mia £125 for a deeper cleanse. I don’t necessarily want to swap cleansers (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) but this genius sonic brush helps me shed winter’s dry patches, and will blast a breakout, too. I also swap my rich moisturisers for lighter serums, preferably Elemental Herbology Cell Food, £45 with Alpha H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50, £27 during the day and the light yet powerful Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial, £45 at night. For a little colour add in Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Cream-Gel, £28.50 every other day. When it comes to your body, nothing beats using a scrub twice a week – thrice if your skin is oily – like No 7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Body Exfoliator, £11.50. Be sure to moisturize every time you shower or bathe too. Supercharge creams like Elemental Herbology Neroli and Rose Damask Body Cream, £21 with a drizzle of Bamford Botanic Body Oil, £35 for a satisfyingly glossy finish. Self-tan is a horror, right? It smells bad and has a hint of a giraffe’s orange splodges about it. Actually, not so if you choose a liquid tan like He-Shi Express Liquid Tan, £21 and use a tanning mitt. Ok, so the smell is still decidedly biscuit - the DHAs which cause the distinctive scent and the gorgeous bronzed hue haven’t gone anywhere. But you can limit the scent by giving your skin a week-long break each month to stop the DHA build-up causing such a stench. And remember: the more moisturised your skin is, the more likely it is that the tan will fade evenly and gradually. Just use an oil-free lotion as oil breaks down the tanning agents.
Product of the month
Sometimes it might seem like we don’t like our hair much. Frazzling it with a hairdryer, attacking it with tongs and straighteners, using silicone-laden products every single day… It’s time to show your hair some love with the new HER Nourishing Conditioner £17. Not only is it free from parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and propylene glycol, it also repairs with olive, brazil nut and avocado oil, like a natural moisturiser for your hair.