After a long cold winter, our hair and skin may well be suffering, so now is the time to start getting them summer ready to make sure that you look and feel your very best.
The first step for getting summer ready is to defuzz those legs which have happily hidden under the cover of thick tights for the last six months! If permanent hair removal is something that you would like – imagine never having to shave or book a waxing appointment again – then laser or IPL treatment is for you. A salon such as award-winning medispa Destination Skin (prices start from £189) will come up with the perfect combination of methods for your skin type and the area that you want treated and within about six to nine treatments, you can throw away the razor. “Laser and IPL are both effective solutions for permanent hair removal,” the experts at Destination Skin say. “However, depending on your: skin type, hair colour, treatment area, and complexion, one treatment type may be more suitable than the other. Make sure you find a clinic where treatments are performed by a licensed medical practitioner using FDA approved equipment. It’s also best to find somewhere that is equipped for both laser and IPL so that you have the option of treatments and can discuss the best possible treatment plan for YOU.”
There are now a few at-home permanent hair removal devices such as the HoMedics Me, £499.99 from Boots and the Tria Hair Removal Laser, £375, that offer you the chance to do it in the privacy of your own home but they are not quite as quick.
If you can’t commit to the multiple treatments or cannot quite afford the outlay, hot waxing provides a smooth result for the body and you can’t go wrong with threading for the face – especially for amazing shaping on the brows.
Central heating, dry air and moving between hot to cold environments wreak havoc on our skin and once you put away the tights you may be shocked to discover that you are half reptilian thanks to the scaly skin that seems to have replaced your own. The first step is to use a body scrub to exfoliate the skin and prepare it to drink in moisture. The NEOM Organic Body Scrub, £32, combines the exfoliating effects of organic sugar with a rich mix of natural and essential oils will not only uncover your skins true potential but will also leave it silky smooth. Another great body scrub is the Elemis Lime and Ginger Salt Glow, £36.50, from TimeToSpa.co.uk which claims the stimulating ginger and lime exfoliates and tones the body, boosting metabolism.
To keep skin drenched in moisture, apply a thick rich body moisture daily after your shower or bath. The Citrus Verbena Sorbet Body Cream, £27, from L’Occitane not only feels mousse soft but also has a wonderfully uplifting summery scent. Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Souffle Body Creme, £42.90 from Urban Retreat, will also leave your body with a veil of moisture. A great handbag staple in Palmers Cocoa Butter (from just £1.99 at Boots) whose rich formula keeps the hardest parts of your skin soft for ages.
We all hate the look of our pasty white skin as we unwrap it after a long cold winter. And despite feeling the need to soak up the rays and top up our Vitamin D levels, we all know the dangers of sun and the risk of skin cancer. Luckily fake tans and gradual tanners have come a long way. There is no need to look like a tanorexic with that unnatural orange hue. If you have time to go to a salon, a skilled tanning professional can give you an even sophisticated colour that looks you have just got back from a sunny break. Our favourite at Belle About Town is the Beau Bronz tan where you can choose a the level of colour, plus it has a pink base given you a healthy look as well as avoiding the dreaded Tango look. Best of all it doesn’t smell and lasts between seven and ten days!
If you find it difficult to make time in your busy schedule for the salon, pick up Abi O by Beau Bronz home products. Both the Bronzed Goddess Dark Tanning Mousse and the Soft Sun Self Tan for English Roses, both £26 are popular in the Belle About Town offices. Another popular luxury brand is UTan Self-Tan Mousse Medium – California Sun, £25.50 from Harrods.
For those that don’t want to commit to a change of colour overnight may prefer the gradual colour build up of daily tanner. Famous Dave’s Gradual 10, £17.99, creates a natural streak-free tan from the first application while moisturising the skin. A quick visit to the pharmacy can provide a decent gradual tanner as well with the likes of Dove Summer Glow, £4.99 and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser, £5.35, both available at Boots.
Your face may be a little dehydrated after all the cold temperatures and roaring winds have whipped all the moisture out of your face and now is the time to restore the balance and uncover the soft skin underneath. There are a series of salon treatment from microdermabrasion and chemical peels to laser treatment and dermarollers. Skin guru Lee Garrett recommends the all new Thermage CPT. “This is the revolutionary radio frequency treatment and the only RF FDA approved for the eyes,” he says. “With just one session it will tighten, brighten and lift your skin in just one hour and 30 minutes and you can return to work, best results are seen at month three so good for August and month six if you are thinking of going away just before dare I say it Christmas. How does it work, the tip on the Thermage is designed to cool the skin first and then emits a burst of radio waves and then vibration for comfort, all this heats up the collagen and melts causing an injury and the your own natural defences take over and makes new collagen, plumping and tighten. Treatment areas are the face, eyes, neck, abdomen, knees and arms. Cost of the treatment starts from £1100 to £2100 results are seen up to three years.”
To get skin in good condition at home, use an exfoliator such as Origins Modern Friction (£25). The skin-refining Rice Starch cushioned in cream, rapidly removes sluggish cells, uneven patches and signs of skin damage and discolourations. Lemon Oil kick starts the process of illumination. Vitamin C mops up skin-menacing free radicals. A restorative deep moisture mask will also help to get your face in top shape. Sisley’s Restorative Facial Cream, £95 from Urban Retreat is ideal for compensating after outdoor activities and helps fight the noxious effects of environmental stress factors. Murad’s Intensive-C Radiance Peel, £49.50, instantly brightens skin to give a younger, more glowing complexion and dramatically reduce the signs of ageing.
Don’t neglect your hair this summer. Soft, shiny hair will give you a polished, sophisticated look. So for hair that is more sexy than scarecrow, give it a little extra love. If you can book in to your local salon for a treatment, that will really give your hair the boost it needs. Headmasters has Kerastase and L’Oreal treatments starting from just £15. They also have a range of shampoos and conditioners that will help to keep your hair in top condition. Their Miracle Repair range is s packed with key restorative ingredients which gently cleanse, moisturising and protect you hair from heat.
Touché By Flavien Intensive Nourishing Treatment from £17 from Urban Retreat is another great at home treatment that you can use. And don’t forget to get your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks to keep it in top condition!