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Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

Did you step into spring and get the feeling it’s Groundhog Day? After the holiday season, you said to yourself “Here comes January and the first resolution is that I am going to start getting beach body ready NOW!”

It does not seem like 5 minutes ago that the roaring fires and woolly jumpers were a total security blanket and spring and summer felt like an eternity away, then suddenly BAM! The weather changes, the layers get lighter and that skin that has been hidden away for months suddenly needs an airing. That beach body ready resolution in January really is the one thing that you wished you had stuck to…

So, is it too late to get beach body beautiful, or can you body bluff?

First and foremost, identify what is top of your agenda. Is it to be Fuzz-free, hair-free, cellulite-free, wrinkle-free, stretch-mark free, vein & capillary free? Or is it to be toned and tighter? Or it can be just to feel more comfortable in last year’s summer wardrobe? Unless a last-minute summer shopping spree is now on the agenda too? As you look in the mirror, how many “Free’s” do you wish to see reflected?

 They are likely all somewhere on the mental image “to-do” list, so let us get started with getting your skin prepped first and foremost. When you are comfortable in your skin, instantly you feel more confident, and the best tip - do not despair. It is never too late to strive for what you perceive as being beach body ready, and healthy skin can really give you the perfect body bluff in time for summer.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

SKIN: It is the largest living organ of the body, it keeps us both warm and cool, it holds everything in place, it can be taught and toned or loose and a little saggy. It tells our story of life. It is our protective, living, breathing layer of defence and it needs looking after.

Rule #1 Desquamate & Exfoliate.

Body skin is hidden away so much of the time that before we even consider exposing it to the warmer weather, we need to remove those layers of dead skin cells.

Exfoliation is key for healthy skin as dead skin cells build up in layers on the surface skin. So if we want the lotions and potions that we use to reallywork, then we need to exfoliate the dead skin off so the products can absorb into the skin directly. Dead skin cells can be up to 15-30 layers deep, and when they are left on the surface, our skin can appear dull and lack-lustre. Also, light does not bounce off dead skin cells to the same degree as healthy skin cells, so it never appears truly healthy and fresh. Skin can also be dry and flaky, or the texture of dead skin cells can appear and feel rough to the touch.

Every hour, nearly 40,000 skin cells are shed from the body -- so to get our skin beach body ready, we want to give this natural desquamation process a helping hand with regular exfoliation 1-2 times per week over the entire body. It also stimulates the skin and by removing debris, prevents blockages caused by excessive oil and sweat from building up within the pores. Skin feels smoother, looks healthier, you help prevent ingrowing hairs. The overall appearance of the skin, texture and tone improve not only due the fact that you are removing those excess dead skin cells, also in part to the fact that every time you give your body a thorough exfoliation, you are increasing blood stimulation and it is a mini massage routine thrown is free, so the skin gets an immediate boost from a fresh oxygenated blood supply too.

Exfoliation is hands down the priority ruling for smooth summer skin.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

Rule #2 Oh to be fuzz free.

There is always a part of us that we feel is too hairy! Legs, bikini line, underarms. Is it facial hair, fuzzy arms, or hairy toes? Many of us would love a fuzz-free reflection. It really makes a difference if we are targeting that soft, downy vellus hair on our face, to more persistent, and coarse underarm or pubic hair. Hair colour also plays a vital role in your choice of depilation. Short or long-term hair removal or reduction. But when we need a quick fix to get beach body ready in a flash, how many of us reach for the good old fashioned razor option?

Did you know that hair grows approximately 1cm-1.5cm per month? Also, it tends to grow at a slightly faster rate in the summer months versus in the winter months. How cruel can natural hair growth be, when we want our legs out on show, they are getting increasingly hairier by the day in summer, yet in winter when we are all covered up, hair growth takes a breather and slows into a state of hair hibernation!

If you need an instant fix, then waxing is a great depilatory choice – providing you can wait the 4-6 weeks of hair growth to make it worthwhile. Beauty experts will advise that the hair needs to be approximately 1cm long for a true waxing experience, although you know that a shorter hair can be removed, so why do they make you wait that long. It is simply due to the stages of growth the hair may be at.

From the surface, you cannot tell if your hair is in its initial stage of growth. In the anagen stage of growth, hair follicles are pushing out hair and will continue to grow until they either complete their life cycle, until the hair is ready to fall out, or they are cut. The secondary stage of growth is when the hair will progress to is its catagenstage. This stage of growth is known as the transitional stage, as hair growth tends to slow down as the follicle shrinks slightly. We then progress to the telogen stage or resting phase of hair growth. The hair stops growing, but at this point it is still in place and will not fall out without a little help. Finally, in the exogen phase, hair naturally sheds via washing and exfoliation of the skin and is ready to depart. However right beneath that hair about to say adieu, the anagen phase has already begun and a new hair appears.

Your beauty expert really does have your best hair interest at heart, as they are looking to maximise the removal of hair in its infancy growth stage, so she (or he) does not need to make you another appointment for another 4-6 weeks.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

If you are looking for longer term hair reduction and removal, then laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Therapy) could be an alternative to seek out – especially if you are going to start now in preparation for next year. Seek out a renowned skincare professional who can demonstrate historical results, offers a full consultation, and gives you treatment plan expectations alongside a patch test prior to any treatment. This is a great alternative for long-term hair reduction, yet it tends to work more effectively on dark, more coarse hair rather than pale, fair hair types.

In addition, cream depilatory products are a great go-to product for immediate hair removal. There is no waiting time for hair to grow, the results are immediate and for the majority there is no chicken like skin aftermath (frequently occurs after waxing), as well as fewer ingrown hairs to consider, and just a smooth hair-free surface within just a couple of minutes. To many it is the perfect solution for hair removal.

Depilatory creams work by dissolving or breaking down the natural sulphide bonds found in the structure of hair, which eliminate the hair. Natural salt is also frequently used to deplete the hair. With no risk of nicks or cuts and reducing the risk of rashes, lumps and bumps as hair re-grows, the additional benefit is that hair frequently feels softer too as it re-grows. Hair depilatory creams tend to be formulated with other skin-replenishing and skin-restoring active ingredients to result in a hair removal which is known to be kind to skin.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

So many of us suffer with the dreaded ingrown hairs, when the hair grows back into the skin after hair removal, frequently after waxing and shaving. Anyone with a coarser hair type may often find this occurring, or if they have a slight cur to their skin. Affecting not just women but men too, especially on the face, for most women ingrown hairs tend to be more prevalent in underarm or bikini line areas. If you are fair haired, many women complain of ingrowing hairs only appearing after years of waxing, where the hair growth becomes sparser and softer, as if the hair becomes trapped beneath a layer of dead skin cells too, as well as turning in on itself. Ingrown hairs can be painful at times, causing redness and inflammation. The worst thing to do is pick at them, what then started as a small blemish on the skin can turn into a little county all on its own!

Again, exfoliation is key to keep ingrown hairs at bay, but using ingrown hair eliminator sprays can really help. These help to treat and prevent ingrown hairs by gently exfoliating that specific area. My favourites are those with both AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acid) as they gently exfoliate the surface of the skin, remove the dead skin cells allowing trapped hair to become loose and removable. They also tend to be mixed with other active ingredients which leave the skin in a smooth, bump free state and have anti-inflammatory ingredients help to prevent that razor rash or chicken-skin effect.

If you are looking for hair growth to become less sparse as well as minimising the density of hair, so you reduce a once coarse growth to a much finer growth over time. Then a hair growth minimising complex will help to discourage hair growth whilst softening and soothing skin after hair removal. These are great to started with as soon as possible after you have been waxed, shaved, or used a hair removal cream. Always check on the manufacturer instructions as to how soon after depilation they can be used, most will say 24-48 hours so that you give your skin chance to settle after the hair removal treatment.

#3 The Cellulite Solution

It does not matter if you are slim-thin, curvaceous-cuddly, young, or old, that pesky blighter known as cellulite rears its ugly head every summer! (Actually, it does not it is there all the time but that is when we notice it!) Often referred to as “orange-peel’ skin as its appearance is a little bumpy like cottage cheese or the skin of oranges. When we gently pinch skin, you can see this cellulite beneath the surface of the skin. When the skin over-lying certain areas of fat in the body draw downward, this creates the dimpled appearance, to visualise how this occurs, think of a thick layer of cling-film (your skin) lying over a plate of spaghetti (your connective tissue) and peas (your fat cells) and then being shrink wrapped… It is a similar process to what occurs in the body between, skin, connective tissue, and fat pockets.

The result – Cellulite.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

A definitive cause is unknown, many dermatologists, doctors and skincare experts believe that as we age the visible show of cellulite often increase as we lose elasticity in our skin. Hence many observe its onslaught as they age, yet young skin can also show the visible signs of cellulite. Causes may also be genetic, or it can appear after a weight gain through lifestyle or pregnancy. An increase in your BMI (Body Mass Index), or a long-term sedentary lifestyle, all increase the chances of cellulite being something to tackle on your beach body to-do list. More common in women than in men, (I can hear you groan!) however this is simply due to the areas women tend to store more fat – around the thighs, hips, and buttocks. Which are all prone areas for cellulite to appear. Cellulite is harmless itself, yet we tend to want to diminish the visible signs of it on our bodies as we consider it unsightly. 

So, how should we treat the appearance of cellulite? Topical treatments and creams will help to make the skin appearance smooth, keep it hydrated and aim to improve elasticity. Many contain caffeine which will act as a natural diuretic and remove excess water from the fat cells and increase circulation. Others combine active ingredients to improve skin texture, tone, and luminosity. The daily massage motion on cellulite affected areas from applying a Cellulite cream. Added with a skin tightening serum can have a visible result as the skin texture improves and so the visible appearance of cellulite looks to reduce.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

If you are looking for a more targeted approach then treatment such as Cryolipolsis (fat cell freezing) or Ultrasound (soundwaves), Laser and Radiofrequency treatments are all non-invasive ways of targeting cellulite. If a daily body ritual is right up your street, then a good few stroke’s with a natural bristle body brush offers a plethora of body boosting benefits. Targeting blood and lymph flow alongside removing dead skin cells and keeping skin super smooth, a quick brush before applying your favourite cellulite cream and skin tightening serum can have a great impact, plus dry body brushing can also assist in the removal of dead skin cells, so your skin is getting a booster daily exfoliation too.

 

#4 Stretch Mark Stories

They talk of an experience your body has been through, yet so many of us wish we could reverse the signs of stretchmarks or Stria as they are also known. Usually, they appear when our bodies go through a rapid increase in weight over a very short period. They can vary in colour, length, and depth. Form a slight red-pink colour, to a deep and rich brown tone, or a very rich purple. Usually starting life as a dark hue, then over a period, lightening until they can appear silver or white.

Most commonly stretch-marks appear on the upper arms, chest, tummy, hips, back and legs. During pregnancy so many women form stretch marks, keeping skin hydrated and as elastic as possible will minimise the risk of stretch marks, yet when you are pregnant so many creams and lotions use retinoids (tretinoin) or Retinol, which many health professionals will advise is an ingredient to avoid during pregnancy. Look out for the natural ingredients such as rose-hip oil, argan Oil, Japanese camellia oils, all rich in essential fatty acids and rich sources of antioxidants to keep skin hydrated, supple and soft, so skin can stretch and retract with a booster oil to help it on its way.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

It is not always possible to prevent the formation of stretch marks and once they have formed it is a case of treating the skin to bring it back into its best possible state of health, rather than eradicate the stretchmarks. Once again hydration, exfoliation and nourishment are key to bringing back skin health and minimising the appearance of stretch marks. Looking at your skin story as to why the stretch marks appeared in the first place we should embrace; they are part of us and a little bit of our very own history!

 

#5 Make me Vein Free!

It is the one thing that puts so many of us off getting in a pair of shorts and opting for the linen pants instead when the heatwave hits. We cover them with foundation, self-tan, tinted moisturiser, but they are still there lurking at the surface. Spider veins or thread veins as they are most known, are caused by broken veins which are visible on the surface skin. Most common on the legs, arms, and face and frequently in small groups or clusters. If you press over the area of veins, often they will blanch white, and unlike varicose veins they are not bulbous and do not protrude outwards from the skin, causing a grape like appearance. Thread veins or broken capillaries are smooth and appear to lie just beneath the surface in most cases.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

Most commonly red or a purple hue, they can also appear quite blue, and it is the excess of trapped blood in the vein which gives them this colouring.

The veins in your leg have tiny one-way valves that direct the flow of blood from your legs back to your heart Weakened valves let some blood flow back in the other direction and accumulate in the vein. The excess blood causes the veins to swell and weakens the vein walls.

(Source:www.medicinenet.com)

As spider-veins are usually not problematic, although some with broken capillaries in the legs, do say they experience heavy or tired legs more frequently. They are also believed in most cases to be harmless, so it is purely for cosmetic reasons and how body confident we feel as to if we want to treat them or not.

Looking for topical creams and serums which helps to reinforce vascular walls and improve microcirculation those that aim to reduce redness and target an improved vein fluidity and blood vessel wall reinforcement will ultimately leave you with a diminished appearance of spider’s veins as well as hoping for a lighter leg sensation, so definitely worth the investment not just when you are getting beach body ready, but all year round.

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

As far as your skincare regime goes, exfoliation, hydration and specific targeting body products will get you beach-body beautiful. Ultimately, it really is all about loving the skin you are in, making the most of what you do have, not wishing it were something entirely different. An all-year-round healthy diet, combined with regular exercise are the two things will give you more body confidence and keep last year summer clothes fitting as perfectly this year as well as next – splurges on something new is then simply for the fun of it, not a last-minute panic buy!

Beach-body beautiful or ready to body bluff?

FACT: Healthy skin is happy skin

For a quick fix body bluff, exfoliate, depilate, and massage that cellulite cream into your skin like your life depends on it!

For a long-term, stress free solution, maintain healthy exercise and eating habits year round to keep your body healthy and happy.

Most of all, whichever route you choose this year, simply enjoy the summer, and stay sun-safe! 

 

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