By Jo Finzi
Get your body in tip-top condition ready for summer exposure with our guide to exfoliation. Smooth skin is a must before you bare all, and exfoliation prepares your skin for a great summer tan, both fake and natural.
If you don’t do it already, you should start with daily body brushing (click here for article).
You can then exfoliate with a peel or a scrub. “Dead cells on the surface of the skin can give it a dull lack-lustre appearance, but you can improve your complexion tremendously by exfoliating and sloughing off the old, dead skin cells,” says dermatologist Dr Jennifer Joneyous.
Peels contain alphahydroxyl acids (AHAs) and those for home use can be found in creams from beauty specialists such as Gatineau and Natura Bisse (available online here. AHA treatments and creams are also to be found at many salons.
Try the Dermalogica specialist AHA treatment - contact Healthcare LLC on 04 2650201 for the salon closest to you.
Susan Harmsworth, founder of ESPA, stresses that this isn’t a summer one-off, but that you should exfoliate as often as your skin needs. “The drier the skin, the more often you can exfoliate” she explains.
ESPA treatments can be found at Assawan Spa, Burj Al Arab or telephone 04 3017777, but most salons offer a range of facial and body scrubs.
If you want to treat yourself at home, there are plenty of scrubs to be found around the beauty counters. Places like Body Shop have scrubs of all flavours including pink grapefruit, cocoa and mango - click here for full details.
Estee Lauder’s Body Performance Exfoliating Body Polish, and No7 Brightening Body Buffer, from Boots, both help to detoxify skin, while Clinique’s Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream, has a blue shimmer to leave a glimmering sheen.
Products with natural ingredients are absorbed into your body when you scrub, so they can also feed your skin. You could even make your own salt or sugar scrub at home.
“When you exfoliate, apply the paste to damp skin and rub very lightly using circular movements,” says beauty therapist Bharti Vyas. “Ensure you stroke rather than scour, and moisturise your skin well afterwards. Newly exfoliated skin is more vulnerable to sun damage, so apply a sun block if you are going straight out in the sun.”
If you want to make your own scrub, here are some of her home recipes…
Gentle facial exfoliator for sensitive skin: “Oats and oatflakes have a gentle but deep cleansing action, and can correct skin imbalances, making them ideal for dry, irritated and sensitive skins,” says Bharti.
This scrub can be used once or twice a week to get rid of the dead skin cells and to reveal more radiant skin underneath.
2 heaping teaspoons fine oatmeal
2 teaspoons heavy cream
Combine ingredients, apply to skin, and lightly rub using the balls of your fingers, then rinse off. Do not apply sustained pressure to any particular spot.
Cleansing mask: “Runny honey is good for dislodging dead skin cells. It also has soothing, healing, emollient and mildly antiseptic properties,” says Bharti. This makes this mask ideal for congested skin.
2 heaping teaspoons gram flour [also known as chana flour, besan or chickpea flour]
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspooon runny honey
Mix to a thick, sticky consistency. Apply to affected areas and leave for five to seven minutes.
BODY BATH TREAT
Bath of the five nectars: In Ayurveda, milk, honey, yogurt, ghee and banana are considered to be the five perfect foods, so this bath would be a real treat to nourish, soften, smooth and re-energize your skin.
1 banana, mashed
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon yogurt
1 teaspoon ghee/clarified butter
Combine all the ingredients before massaging the sweet-scented mix onto your skin. Plunge yourself into a warm bath and feel your skin gradually becoming softer and smoother.
All-purpose oatmeal scrub: This scrub is gentle enough to be used all over the body and will leave behind radiant-looking skin. The quantities given are enough for one thick application.
2 tablespoons finely ground oatmeal
1 tablespoon almond oil
Combine the two ingredients together and massage into your body. Rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry, making sure you moisturise well afterwards.