beach body
Summer is finally here and we’re ready to hit the beach. Hooray! But stop there, ladies – before you go running for your bikini and an ice lolly, you need to make sure your body is fully prepared for the holiday season so you look and more importantly, feel your best.

This article has been provided on behalf of salon wear provider Simon Jersey.

Exfoliate
Before going on holiday or hitting the beach, make sure you have an all-over body scrub (you can get exfoliating body scrubs for under £15 from The Body Shop) and use exfoliating gloves. By gently removing the top layer of skin (which are dead cells anyway), you’re allowing a tan to develop more fully and last for longer.

Massage
Treat yourself to a professional body massage at a beauty spa; it’s not just good for the muscles and circulation. A massage can remove dead cells from your skin, bringing fresh skin to the surface and leaving you with a radiant glow. It’ll also help you to feel super calm and ready for relaxing by the sea.

Moisturise
After a massage, make sure you moisturise well as your skin will absorb nutrients in the lotion much more easily. Use a moisturiser rich in vitamin E to help protect your skin against pollution, sunlight and chemical reactions in the body.

Hair removal
Need a bit of a tidy-up in the bikini line area? You have a few different options here. Shaving is the most common method of hair removal, probably because it’s the quickest, cheapest and is pain-free. You could also try hair removal cream which dissolves hair at the root, which encourages softer regrowth of the hair. Alternatively, waxing can be done at home or in a salon but tends to be rather painful!

Tanning
If you feel like you need a fake tan before baring all at the beach, you can either have a spray tan at a spa or use self-tanning cream. A self-tan will be cheaper but can be difficult to apply to get a flawless look; whereas at a beauty salon the specialist equipment will ensure a natural finish.

Diet
Forget crash dieting – it’s a little late to start trying to lose a few extra pounds or tone up, but you can avoid overeating and dodge foods and drinks which will make you feel bloated. Some of the biggest offenders include beans, refined carbohydrates, chewing gum and fizzy drinks.

Finally, don’t forget your sunscreen – you need a broad spectrum sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) that protects you from UVA and UVB sun rays. Apply liberally to all exposed parts of your skin 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply at least every two hours and after swimming. Here you’ll find sunscreens which have The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

Perfect Tan
Fake tan is a safe tan, mi amor. If you’re addicted to the bronze glow of the sun’s rays, the smartest thing to do is switch to self tanner. I know, flashbacks of Tropicana-coloured Lindsay Lohan, right? Unlike the orange disasters of the 90s, newer self-tan products have figured out how to give you a truly believable colour. I’m not saying it’s low maitenance, but it is certainly lower maintenance than hyper-aging and skin cancer.

So, for my bronzed babes, here are some foolproof tips to get the perfect tan:

  • Prep. Don’t plan on getting wet, sweaty, or leaving the house for a few hours. Tans always come up very dark before your first shower – especially tinted self tanners – so it is best to cover up in loose clothes and do it before you go to bed.
  • Exfoliate. Any contact between dry/dead skin and your chosen formula will ruin your self tanning experience. This is where dark blotches form. Pay special attention to your elbows, hands, knees and ankles during your shower scrubathon.
  • Moisturise. Especially on the aforementioned dry areas, and – if you are self tanning your face – your eyebrows, lips and hairline. The oils in the moisturiser will stop the tan from setting in darker than the rest of your body.
  • Tan! With something that will protect blotchy hands, that is. Tanning mitts are great because you can dispense the same amount of product on each mitt. Distribute in a circular motion to avoid streaking. Start with small amounts as you don’t want to be left figuring out where to rub in any excess product, especially on the face.
  • The Hands. You don’t want to leave them tanless (hello, obvious), so use a tiny bit of whatever is left on the mitt and rub it on your hands, steering clear of your palms.
  • Mistakes. If any area is looking or feeling too tan, buff it out with a cheap washcloth and some moisturiser.
  • To maintain a tan, keep moisturised. When you feel it is fading, start back at exfoliating and lead up to an application with less product as you don’t want dark tan-on-dark tan.
  • So which self-tanner should you use? I love tinted versions, as it helps see where product has already been applied. Sun Laboratories is King to me, as it lasts for ages and is flawlessly streak and orange proof. Two comparable alternatives are Palmer‘s Sunless Tanner & Instant Bronzer and Banana Boat‘s Summer Color – especially for the ladies who like it really dark the first time around.

    Happy (fake) tanning, guys and dolls!