Every healthy body is perfect but some things can really put you off stripping down.
We show you how less can be more.
Your décolletage is just as delicate as your face and neck (just less porous), so it’s a good idea to apply moisturiser and sun protection south of the clavicle. This Works Perfect Cleavage Firming Lotion, €49, gives the neck and chest area an instant boost, creating a shimmer with rose and pomegranate oils. The rose also rejuvenates dull skin, soothes inflammation and strengthens capillaries. This product is especially suited to mature skin types. The cream smells wonderful too.
The dreaded “chicken skin” (keratosis pilaris) commonly surfaces on the back of arms, making sufferers self-conscious in short sleeves. The bumps are caused by excess keratin surrounding and trapping hair follicles in your pores. Don’t attack this problem with a scrub or body brush; the skin will become tender and inflamed. Creams with generous quantities of urea, lactic acid or salycilic acid are most effective. Apply La Roche-Posay Iso-Urea Lait, €14.75, twice daily for instant comfort and significant improvement over time. This cream also benefits flaky and extremely dry skin.
Spider veins are the scourge of perfectly good pins. While sclerotherapy (a painless, anaesthetic-free treatment by which a doctor injects veins with a solution that damages their internal lining, causing blood clotting and the eventual collapse and absorption of the veins into the body) effectively erases them, a good tan should conceal less severe cases. Prep the skin with a body scrub and use an instant tanner, such as Karora Glow Glamster, €14.99. Instant colour makes mistakes easy to correct.
For a professional-looking application, consider where the sun hits. Work standing up (if knees are bent, you may apply too much to the stretched skin) and use a tanning mitt. Begin at the centre of your thighs and calves and blend outwards. Smooth the remaining product over your knees and feet.
Sclerotherapy is available in Cork at Adoré Salon and Clinic, 129-130 Oliver Plunkett Street, and at the Mater Private Hospital, City Gate, Mahon. See whatclinic.com for treatment centres nationwide.
Hips and tummy
Minimise “muffin top” with Mama Mio Get Waisted, €49, a toning cream that boosts lipolysis (the body’s process of breaking down fat stored in fat cells) and discourages the formation of new flab. Get Waisted contains seven ingredients that are designed to increase lipolysis and two skin firmers and tighteners. It won’t get rid of large fat deposits — only lifestyle changes can — but it will smooth and contour the skin. Hyaluronic Acid increases cell turnover and leaves the skin feeling super-soft.
When it comes to stretch marks (or “tiger stripes,” as Salma Hayek calls them), the early bird catches a break. Be proactive and treat them when they are red or purple in colour or better still, before they happen. If you are pregnant or losing weight, religious moisturising will keep the skin pliable and less likely to mark. Human+Kind All-in-One Body Oil, €14.95, specifically targets stretch marks and also improves the appearance of scars. The non-greasy formula contains jojoba oil, which effectively moisturises the skin without blocking pores. Soya bean oil and Vitamin E keeps skin glowing and protected.
There is no 100% cure for cellulite but some topical treatments have smoother temporary results than others. Prepare for a special event with Guinot Minceur Chrono Logic, €49.75, a bootcamp-in-a-bottle that wins the battle (if not the war) with peau d’orange in 15 days. Adipose and fibrous are the most persistent forms of cellulite. Adipose is an accumulation of fat and once this develops a barrier forms around the adipocytes (fat cells) which cause fibrous cellulite. The cream halts the vicious cycle by penetrating the connective tissue and reducing the adipocytes size and number. This has a diuretic effect on the skin and also slows the development of new fat, making skin look taut and toned.
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