Our A-Z guide to shaking off the Winter blues ready for a beautiful Summer
A is for… AHAs
AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are chemical exfoliants included in many skincare and body care products that help skin to shed dry, dead cells, which are likely to be prolific after a Winter buried under warm clothing. Products containing AHAs can actually be more effective than physical exfoliants like scrubs, as they work deeper down in skin to dissolve the bonds between the skin and dead cells.
B is for… Bronze
As the weather warms up you can swap blusher for bronzer, and many new launches offer added benefits, such as Clinique’s Superbalanced Powder Bronzer, which helps maintain skin’s moisture balance while controlling oil; and Stila’s new Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Bronze, which reacts to the user’s own pH level to create a personalised bronze shade.
C is for… Cellulite
Don’t let the dreaded dimples ruin your Summer. Along with plenty of exercise, a healthy diet and drinking eight glasses of water daily, apply a targeted cellulite treatment daily to thighs, tummy and tops of the arms.
D is for… Diet
Many women use the lead up to Summer as a time to shed some extra pounds, using a holiday or special occasion like a festival as a goal. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, a slimming dietary supplement like Kilo Off can help shift unwanted weight, with ingredients like green tea to help burn fat, meadowsweet to eliminate excess water and citrus pectins to help control hunger pangs.
E is for… Exfoliation
Tackle dry, winter-beaten skin with a souped-up exfoliation regime in the lead up to Summer with an exfoliating accessory to complement your usual body scrub. Daily brushing with a body brush before a shower, or using an exfoliating glove with your shower gel, will help you achieve smooth skin fast.
F is for… Feet
With feet likely to be on show in sandals or flip flops when the weather warms up, now is the time to start tackling flaky feet and rough heels. Simply Feet Biodegradable Foot Rasp is the perfect way to begin removing any unwanted build up of dry skin that has developed while your feet have been hiding away, while regular use of a foot scrub will prevent dry skin from building up again. CCS Foot Care Cream can be applied to dry skin then brushed off, or applied in the shower then rinsed off, to leave feet soft and conditioned.
G is for… Gadgets
Sometimes products just aren’t enough to give skin a complete overhaul and take it from Winter-worn to Summer-fabulous. Inject your beauty routine with a turbo-boost with a high tech gadget for real results fast. Clarisonic Plus has interchangeable brush heads so it can be used on the face and body to leave both smooth and more receptive to subsequent treatments and moisturisers, while the Beauty Works Cellu-Smooth uses ultrasound waves to mobilise fatty deposits, and claims to reduce the appearance of cellulite in a matter of weeks.
H is for… Hair
Rainy, cold weather can leave hair lacking in moisture and looking frizzy. Introduce a weekly conditioning treatment to your normal hair care routine for a caring moisture boost. Using a hair oil after washing and conditioning can also make a huge difference to overall hair health.
I is for… IPL
It’s so easy to let hair removal routines slip during Winter when your body tends to stay under cover, but come Summer, fuzz is a no-no for most. Start using an intense pulsed light (IPL) device like Philips Lumea now and it will be much easier to keep skin hair-free throughout the warmer months. IPL uses light energy to stimulate the hair follicle into a resting phase, heating up the hair and root beneath the skin using gentle pulses of light that are absorbed by the hair’s melanin. As a result hair sheds naturally and regrowth is inhibited. Hair re-growth should stop after four to six uses and smooth skin can be maintained by using the device every few weeks thereafter.
J is for… Juicy make up shades
A big trend for Summer is juicy, fruity shades of sheer make up, particularly for lips and nails. Invest now so you’re ready to embrace the trend as soon as the sun comes out. Nails Inc. Juicy Sheers in Chelsea Flower Show (orange) and Henley Regatta (pink) offer a sheer splash of colour and feature delicious orange and strawberry scents.
K is for… Keratin
Keratin is a protein present in skin, hair and nails and is crucial for keeping them healthy and resilient. Keratin needs water to remain healthy and pliable, so in cold weather when we can become dehydrated, keratin can crumble and lead to skin dryness, and dry and brittle hair and nails. Help to repair keratin in time for Summer with hair products containing pro-keratin, such as the L’Oréal Paris Full Restore range, and look for skincare products that contain humectants like hyaluronic acid to draw water into skin and keep it there, thus helping to maintain healthy keratin. Supplements designed to improve nail and hair health like Perfectil Plus Nails also encourage healthy keratin synthesis.
L is for…Lips
Tackle dry lips now so they’re ready for bright summer lip shades. Remove dry skin with a lip scrub, or rub gently with a dry toothbrush, then follow with a conditioning lip balm, which should also be used throughout the day.
M is for… Manicure
Hands and nails suffer in winter, becoming dry and flaky. A weekly manicure will help get hands ready for the Summer; first use a hand scrub, then file nails in one direction before applying cuticle remover and pushing back cuticles with an orange stick. Apply base coat to nails then paint them. Follow with top coat, and when dry, massage oil into the cuticles and finish with hand cream.
N is for… Night treatments
Night treatments give dry hair and skin an extra beauty boost while you sleep. Opt for a good night cream that tackles your specific skin issues, and use a nightly hair treatment like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Overnight Serum to tackle dry, damaged and frizzy hair.
O is for… Oily Skin
Warm weather can exacerbate oily skin so try and tackle it before Summer arrives. Opt for cleaners and moisturisers designed for oily skin and invest in a good clay mask to use weekly to draw out impurities and help regulate sebum.
P is for… Pearly Whites
A gleaming grin is the perfect beauty accessory for the warmer months. Swap your normal toothpaste for a whitening variant for a summer smile.
Q is for… Quench
Quench your skin’s thirst with a great moisturising body product. Oil or body butter is great for moisturising thirsty skin and getting it ready to bare. Use once or twice a day and pay special attention to areas prone to dryness, like knees and elbows.
R is for… Radiance
Give skin a summer glow with a radiance-enhancing skincare regime such as Benefit’s B.right Radiant Skincare range, which contains the hydration-increasing tri-radiance complex to leave the complexion looking luminous.
S is for… Shaving
Arguably the quickest and cheapest hair removal method, regular shaving is a fast fuzz-buster. Gillette’s new Venus ProSkin MoistureRich razor features built-in shave gel bars enhanced with body butters to moisturise as you shave.
T is for… Tan
Overhaul pasty winter skin by swapping your daily moisturiser for a gradual tanning moisturiser.
U is for… UV protection
Don’t forget to protect your skin from ageing UV damage when the sun finally gets his hat on – use a daily facial moisturiser and hand cream with added SPF, and use a sun protection product anywhere else that’s exposed like legs and arms.
V is for… Vitamins
Start boosting your antioxidant levels in time for summer with a multivitamin or suitable supplement. The Organic Pharmacy Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9 is a highly nutritious oil blend with high levels of antioxidants as well as omega oils to keep the system nourished and healthy, while Imedeen Tan Optimizer prepares skin for sun exposure with a blend of vitamins and plant extracts.
W is for… Waxing
See the Summer in with smooth legs, underarms and bikini line by investing in wax or wax strips – choose variants suited to each body area for best results. An added benefit of waxing is that you only have to do it once every few weeks.
X is for… X-Factor
(Hey, not many words start with X!) Add X-factor to your summer-ready body with a hint of shimmer. Try a body oil like Champneys Mediterranean Bliss Shimmering Body Oil to moisturise and add a sexy shimmer, or give added glow and radiance to a tan.
Y is for… youthful complexion
Dehydrated skin can look older than its years; give your complexion a youth boost in time for Summer by applying a hydrating serum underneath your moisturiser every night.
Z is for… zzzzz
Get your beauty sleep while the evenings are still dark so you’ve got more energy come the long Summer evenings. Seven or eight hours’ sleep a night will also help prevent puffy eyes and dull skin.