Bare essentials: The keys to perfect summer skin
From bikinis to sundresses, summer is synonymous with revealing much skin—so ensure your body’s worthy of baring almost all, by giving it more TLC than usual.
When the summer weather dictates wearing clothing that’s barely there, you’d be smart to consider your skin one of the most important “accessories.” Which means a quick shower isn’t going to cut it. Exfoliating your skin regularly is one of the best ways to make sure it keeps glowing all season long—besides it’ll help prep your skin for any sunless tanning you have planned. Sara deRuiter, spa director of Body Blitz spa in Toronto, shares her expertise on getting phenomenal freshly scrubbed results at home.
Start by softened, moist skin.
Although you could technically apply a scrub to dry skin, softening your skin first – either by drenching it with water while in the shower or by taking a bath – will help loosen dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. At Body Blitz, you’d be soaking in one of their two baths following by a plunge into the cold bath, explains Sara, noting that you could follow suit by showering in hot water with a quick rinse in cold water. (and if you’re really looking to emulate the spa experience, she says you can even brew a very concentrated green tea and add it to your bath water).
Scrub like a pro.
Don’t scrimp on the product—take a good scoop of the exfoliator, “enough to apply a good coat of it on your skin,” says Sara and using a firm pressure (you know your body best as to what your skin can tolerate), start from your limbs and in circular motions, work towards your heart. The idea is to encourage blood flow to your heart—“your heart purifies your blood so by working from outside in towards your heart, you’re promoting circulation to it,” she says. Pay special attention to commonly dry areas, like knees and elbows, and to any problem spots such as hips and thighs.
Above all, don’t rush.
You want to work the scrub in well and give the ingredients ample time (say, three to five minutes) to work on your skin.
ARTICLE: Soothe SENSITIVE SKIN this summer
Use the right type of scrub.
“In the summer, you probably want something refreshing – consider something with mint, for example, so you get a cooling, tingly sensation,” says Sara. Plus, your feet in sandals often take a beating in the summer, so you’ll want a product that is coarse enough to help slough your feet and deal with the cracking skin on your heels. A mud-based scrub, too, will help provide hydration and soften skin without any oily residue. Come winter, though, you may want to seek out an oil-based product (argan oil and grape seed oil are effective ones) to help soothe and moisturize your dehydrated skin.
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The latest in hair removal
Unwanted hair be gone—we check out a few of the latest innovations in hair removal:
TRIA Hair Removal Laser
A laser hair removal tool for use at home. It uses the same technology as you’d get in a clinic – the laser light is absorbed by the dark pigment of your body hair (making it ideal for use if you have fair to medium skin tone and black or brown hair), which heats it up and as a result kills the follicle preventing future growth. Used every two weeks, you’ll start to see results in two to three months, with complete results in approximately six months. The lower joules of the tool make it safe to use at home, but this translates to a longer treatment period when compared to professional laser hair removal sessions.
Note: You can shave if you intend on using TRIA, but not wax or use an epilator.
Philips Satinelle Soft Sensitive total body epilator
This tool pulls out hair at the root, which means you’ll be hair-free for weeks. Capable of pulling out hair as short as 0.5mm.
Andrea Professionals SloGrow Lotion
If you prefer to stick to waxing, the addition this innovation from Andrea Professionals may have you waxing off less frequently. Now included with every kit, their SloGrow Lotion contains papain (a derivative of unripe papaya), which has been shown to inhibit the formation of new hair.