Source: Best Health Magazine, May 2011
Dead skin cells equal dull skin tone. And by not getting rid of them, you’re sabotaging the hydrating effects of body cleansers and moisturizers as they try to ‘battle through’ the buildup barrier. Use a body scrub about twice a week. Alternatively, try daily dry-body brushing before showering. How to: Using a brush or loofah mitt, buff your skin in circular motions (don’t scrub too hard), starting with the soles of your feet, then working upward on legs, front and back. Pay special attention to backs of the thighs, upper arms and hips. Of course, in the shower, you can use a nylon puff or sea sponge with your favourite body cleanser for a more gentle slough.
Many regular soaps are alkaline and dry out the skin, leaving a tight feeling. Because it takes nearly 24 hours for the skin to start releasing natural oils again, depleting them in this way means you’re not getting the most out of putting on a moisturizer after washing. One solution is to use a body wash or shower gel that is specially designed to hydrate the skin while you cleanse (e.g., glycerin-based formulas).
You’ll get smoother, softer skin by applying a thin coat of body cream or moisturizer to just-out-of-the-shower damp skin. Then, reapply five minutes later. (Try this: Warm the bottle by taking it into the shower with you.) Some women love the spa-at-home treat of a ‘dry body oil’ (beauty-speak for fast-absorbing oil) for leaving skin radiant, or a firming cream designed to improve collagen and elastin to help with slackening. Reminder: The skin on the back of your hands is as thin and delicate as the skin on your eyelids, so use hand cream regularly‘hydrate three times a day.
What to do about cellulite? Women of all sizes have it. Experts say the best way to manage dimpled skin is to eat lots of fruit and vegetables, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Dry-body brushing also helps skin look smoother because it stimulates microcirculation and aids in lymphatic drainage. If you can’t make peace with these dimples, cellulite creams, whose effects are temporary, can’t hurt; the mechanical action alone of massaging creams into bumpy areas may contribute to improving skin’s appearance.
Fake a tan
We know the sun is harmful to skin, but many women feel sexier with a tan. Self-tanners provide that without the danger of UV rays’and they minimize the look of cellulite. Gradual-tan products are the least tricky to use; it’s easier to avoid the streaking that can occur with instant tanners.
Pamper the Décolleté
This area is particularly vulnerable to sun since it’s often exposed and not protected. Always moisturize your neck and chest, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 to help avoid wrinkling and dark spots in this area.