SHED THE DEAD AND DULL SKIN OF WINTER
It’s time to exfoliate that dull skin away. With so many options available to us, which is the best for you? The Rolls Royce of exfoliation for both face and body is found within the walls of a professional spa or skin treatment centre.
One of my personal favourites is a visit to a traditional Korean Bath House or Turkish Hamman, not what you’d call a glamorous treatment since they scrub every bit of your skin with a rough exfoliating mitt to within an inch of your life, but you do feel pounds lighter and your skin is as soft as a baby’s when you leave.
Alternatively, professional body scrubs, salt scrubs and hydroxy acid body packs (ideal for those with sensitive skin) are equally beneficial and also very relaxing. One exfoliating treatment that is less well-known but incredibly soothing and relaxing as well as being fantastic for water retention is body brushing.
Professional exfoliation of the face and chest has some excellent options and truly amazing results. I highly recommend a hydroxy acid combined with retinol (vitamin A) exfoliant, the “double whammy” of effective skin shedding combined with the revitalising and replenishing qualities from the vitamin A are fantastic. You may prefer to choose a hydroxy acid or digestive enzyme treatment or microdermabrasion, all of which would leave the skin feeling silky smooth.
If you’d like to try and emulate a professional body exfoliation treatment at home, you’ll need to put at least 15 minutes aside, have a good body scrub and buffing cloth or mitt and your aim is to thoroughly cover the entire body.
First work the exfoliant with the buffing cloth or mitt on dampened skin (you’ll need to switch the water off in the shower whilst exfoliating). Focus on the feet, especially the heels and ankles, the calves and knees and the arms, elbows, chest and shoulder areas all which will soon be exposed to the delights of spring weather.
To refine and brighten the skin texture on the face and chest area, one of the easiest and most effective exfoliants that smoothes and polishes is the new “thermo” exfoliant; resurfacing microgranules means you won’t scratch or irritate the skin which combined with lactic acid and thermal technology activates upon contact with water, will stimulate cell turnover and accelerate the skin’s natural exfoliation process. Licorice and multi-vitamins will brighten the skin tone and nourish the skin.
PACK A PUNCH BY BOOSTING HYDRATION
Parched, dry skin will need rehydrating with a boost of moisture. For the body, the professional option would be a nourishing and hydrating body pack wrap, this is like a giant mask placed over the entire body (perfect to accompany the professional body exfoliation) then wrapped and cocooned snugly to relax and restore your inner wellbeing.
For the at-home option, immediately after exfoliation apply a fine layer of a pre-blended essential oil. All essential oils have the ability to hydrate, oxygenate and detoxify the skin. Some nice essential oils found in body blends are lavender, sandalwood, orange, clary sage, patchouli , lemongrass and ylang ylang to soothe tense muscles and nourish the skin.
Seal all the delicious plant oils with a fine layer of hydrating body cream and/or for a light “touch of spring” apply a graduating self-tan body cream (spring dictates a light tan, rather than a deep mahogony).
For the face, now is the time to reach for your hydrating boosters, hydrating spritz toners and hydrating masks. Try and combine these with products that contain nourishing and energising vitamin’s (A,C, E and Panthenol).
For a breath of spring, finish with a fine spray of floral aroma body mist.
FRESH, FUN COLOUR PALETTE
Tap into the energy of spring with a fresh, fun colour palette. It is believed we receive positive energy from certain colours. Spring brings with it vibrant, bold floral colours such as fuchsia and bright corals, it also encompasses calming and gently uplifting pinks and peaches. Now is the time to introduce spring into your make-up palette and nail polish colours.
PUT SOME SPRING IN YOUR STEP AND FRESHEN UP YOUR FEET
Sandals at the ready but your feet look like they need a little TLC? For areas of really dry skin on the feet exfoliating with a scrub may not be enough, what’s needed is some heavy duty skin removal.
This can be treated with a rough skin removal cream for cracked dry heels and variety are sold in pharmacies. These creams need to be used daily but after a few weeks they really do make an enormous difference.
If the skin is not cracked but quite thick then a rasp or peddy paddle is the ideal tool to use. Daily use directly after the shower will have your feet soft and supple in no time at all. Using a scrub on the upper foot will make the skin soft and supple and help the benefits of a nourishing foot moisturiser.
If you suffer from corns, treat them with some corn plasters, or if severe, visit a podiatrist. A light sponge application of a gradual self tan moisturiser will give the feet a lightly tanned appearance and avoid the horrific “orange blotchy” self tan.
To keep the pressure pads and thickened skin from returning place jelly pads in the base of your sandals and protective foot padding in your shoes. Treat the excess cuticles on the toes with a cuticle remover, trim, file and paint the nails with a bright spring colour such as coral or a light pink.
If all this sounds like hard work, why not simply visit a professional to get a deluxe pedicure and a nourishing paraffin wax treatment. May I suggest that you visit a trained therapist who will take the time to perform a professional pedicure over visiting a “cheap and quickie foot spa”, when it comes to pedicures you definitely do get what you pay for.
Emma Hobson is the education manager (Australia, Asia and New Zealand) for The International Dermal Institute & Dermalogica.