You’ll be confident enough to wear that sundress in no time!
It’s time to pack away the heaters and blankets, and get ready for braais, picnics and the sunny outdoors. Emerging from winter hibernation can be a little daunting – putting your dry, winter skin on show again drives fear into the hearts of even the bravest women. Our easy steps to a polished spring glow have you covered, so get the sundresses out of storage and RSVP yes to spring activities!
Step 1: Scrub and smooth
Winter wreaks havoc on your skin, drying it out and making it look flaky. This comes with a build-up of dead skin that can feel rough and uncomfortable. The solution? Exfoliate, scrub and buff your skin back to perfection. According to the skincare gurus at Nivea, exfoliating is a must.
The top four benefits include:
- Reduces the symptoms of acne. Exfoliating regularly will gently remove dead skin and dirt that builds up and blocks your pores, helping to prevent pesky breakouts.
- Improves skin texture. Exfoliating encourages the skin renewal process and makes way for new healthy cells. Your complexion will immediately appear softer and more radiant.
- Tackles the ageing process. Skin gradually takes on a coarser texture as you age. This is caused by a build-up of multiple layers of dead skin cells that have accumulated over time. Exfoliating helps to maintain younger looking, smoother skin.
- Improved moisture absorption. Built-up layers of dead skin make it difficult for the deeper levels of your skin to absorb moisturising products. Regular exfoliation helps to ensure your renewed skin cells are properly nourished.
Step 2: Nourish and hydrate
Once your skin is polished to perfection, make sure it’s nourished by applying a moisturising cream or body milk. Don’t skip this step, as exfoliating can actually dry your skin out a little. Applying lotion is crucial to locking in hydrating moisture.
Step 3: Target stubborn cellulite
Cellulite is something most people (80-90%!) develop. If you feel a little self-conscious stepping out in a shorter dress that might allow a peek of cellulite, there are a number of products that can help you feel more confident.
Despite the popular assumption, cellulite isn’t caused by toxins. It occurs when fat deposits push their way through the connective tissue beneath the skin. The exact causes aren’t known, but it’s believed hormones, ageing and blood circulation play a role in creating the bumpy, dimpled appearance. One theory is: oestrogen decreases as you approach menopause, causing the blood flow to the connective tissue under the skin to decrease too. This lower circulation means less oxygen in the area, resulting in less collagen production. Fat cells also begin to enlarge as oestrogen levels fall. A variety of creams, serums and oils will help you tackle those dimples.
Step 4: Feeling firm
Once your skin is buffed, nourished and smooth, it’s time to firm up. Firming products help with sagging skin, giving a younger, healthier appearance.
Step 5: Calm it down
This important step takes care of the details like ingrown hairs, redness, itching or discolouration. Use a calming product for that perfectly radiant glow. These will also help soothe your skin after sun exposure and help you feel comfortable and carefree.
Top tip: If you develop an ingrown hair cyst, which will look like a large pimple, don’t try popping it as this increases the chances of infection and scarring. Don’t try to dig it out with tweezers either, as this could worsen the problem – the hair will be too deep beneath the cyst for easy removal. Instead, gently scrub the area with a warm cloth a few times every day. This helps the cyst shrink in size and encourages the hair to uncurl and come closer to the surface.
Step 6: Colour correct
We’re forever chasing warm-looking, sunkissed skin, but there are far more compelling reasons to keep your skin protected from the sun (especially after the cold winter months). If you’re naturally fair-skinned, you’re more likely to burn than tan. This is because fair-skinned people lack melanin, which is responsible for the tan colouring that
develops in skin.
Even in naturally dark-skinned people, tanning can result in structural damage to the skin, including loss of elasticity, wrinkling and age spots.
Most dangerous of all, tanning can cause melanoma, a form of skin cancer that results from ultraviolet radiation damage to the melanin-producing skin cells. While a tan might look good, there’s no way to know what damage it’s causing. A tan is actually seen as your skin’s response to injury from damaging UV rays.
But there’s no reason you can’t look like a sun goddess while avoiding damage. Selftans have improved vastly over the years – gone are the days of streaky, orange, grubby-looking self-tan disasters. If used correctly, you’ll step out of winter looking like you’ve spent the week on a beach.
Step 7: Soft touch
The final step before you spring into sunny activities is to give your skin a healthy dollop of moisture with oils and
body butter. This will keep your self-tan looking great and give your skin a healthy, dewy shimmer.
FEATURE: CAITLIN GENG PHOTOS: FOTOLLIA.COM