5 ways to get perfect skin
The sun’s finally out, so it’s time to lose the layers and give your dry, neglected skin some TLC so it’s smoother, younger and softer to the touch, with Beauty Editor Justine Brennan’s top tips…
1. Brush up!
Before you even think about getting wet, improve your skin’s natural lustre by dry body-brushing prior to showering or moisturising. Use a soft brush or mitt in both hands for a speedier result, and brush upwards in the direction of your heart to improve circulation. It also feels strangely heavenly!
2. Be skin kind
Shower gels, bath soaks and soap all work by removing dirt, bacteria and – unfortunately – some or all of our skin’s essential oils, leaving them squeaky clean but dehydrated. Sensitive skin types should try to avoid body cleansers rich in perfumes and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) – the foaming agent that is a common skin irritant. For eczema and other skin complaints, it’s important to keep the skin hydrated and choose natural products that give the skin a barrier, as well as try to heal inflamed, sore skin. Those with normal skin can opt for shower cleansers infused with exotic oils to leave skin soft, supple and strokeable. And, if you like relaxing in a hot bath, bear in mind dermatologists will shake their heads in despair. Cool or warm water is recommended for bathing, as a hot soak leaches the oils and damages delicate skin too.
3. Polish it off!
The single best way to keep skin looking and feeling healthy is to exfoliate regularly. This removes the build up of dead skin cells which lead to dry, aged and unattractive-looking skin. Choose a product to match the condition of your skin. Granules, fine soft beads, sugar, oatmeal or almond scrubs are best for more sensitive skins, while salt scrubs coupled with a fragrant oil are a more vigorous way to ensure you have smooth, fresh, sweet-smelling skin. Use twice weekly in circular motions all over your body, concentrating on hips, thighs and upper arms and you’ll notice a dramatic difference almost immediately.
4. Lose the lumps
Targeted massage helps stimulate the circulation and improve the appearance of cellulite, leaving you with softer, less lumpy skin. Try a knobbly bar of soap with the extra stimulating capabilities of caffeine or ginseng, then using the key circular motions, massage over problem areas to both exfoliate and encourage stimulation in one hit. Better yet, use an anti-cellulite oil daily and massage in with your hands.
We know it’s essential but with so many different types of products out there, which is the best moisturiser for our skin? 100 per cent natural oils give an intensive moisture surge for an instantly younger, softer, more toned feeling. They suit most skins and the latest products don’t leave you feeling like you’ve been dumped in an oil slick – they soak instantly into your skin leaving an almost powdery-soft finish so you can dress immediately. For a bigger moisturising boost, massage on to wet skin straight after a shower and pat dry – or get someone else to massage it in for an even sexier skin boost!
Body butters are another intense way of moisturising lacklustre skin. The thick, almost solid buttery consistency melts into warm skin for a luxurious, lasting feeling.