From quick fixes to professional treatments, Lucy Slight delivers your get-ready prep list.
After months spent bundled up in knits, coats and scarves, it’s finally time to shed the layers, loosen the limbs and get your pins out. It’s only natural that after months under cover, you’ll be feeling self-conscious about the big reveal. But all that’s required is a little TLC – tanning, love and care – and you’ll be ready to bare all on the beach with pride.
FAREWELL TO FAT
If fat in those hard-to-target areas – the stomach, back, thighs and upper arms – has you feeling reluctant to don a bikini, there’s an effective non-surgical treatment that permanently reduces up to 30 per cent of fat in treated areas within three to six months. CoolSculpting, which freezes and eliminates fat from the body, is the only FDA-approved technology in the world for non-surgical fat reduction. The system is based on Harvard research showing that fat cells are more susceptible to cold and can be selectively destroyed.
“A non-surgical applicator delivers precisely controlled cooling to the treatment area to specifically target underlying fat without harming surrounding tissue,” says Angela Frazer, clinical co-ordinator and plastic surgical nurse consultant at Prescription Skin Care, where CoolSculpting is available. “There are no needles, no special diets, no supplements and no downtime,” she says.
After a session, your body will undergo cryolipolysis for three to six months, where the body’s natural waste system works to remove fat, with fat cells reducing in both size and number. The treatment is offered
as an alternative to liposuction and is ideal for people who don’t want an anaesthetic or post-procedure downtime. The treatment has not been proven to be an effective method for reducing cellulite.
TIME TO TAN
A gorgeous faux glow is a quick fix to disguising cellulite, stretch marks, veins and discolouration and is a cost-effective solution if big-ticket treatments aren’t in your budget. Whether it’s a DIY job or professionally done, make sure you wax or shave a few days before and exfoliate one to two days prior to tanning – never on the day as your skin may be more sensitive. “When you exfoliate, make sure you give extra attention to where skin tends to build up, like your elbows, ankles and the back of your legs,” says Amber McIver, owner of Verdo Nails in Parnell. “We also recommend you avoid wearing deodorant, moisturisers and creams as they can act as a barrier against the tan and cause it to fade faster.”
If you’ve stained too many sets of white sheets to count, forgo bronze-tinted products in favour of a clear gel formula, such as James Read Sleep Mask Body, $84. The mask works while you sleep but doesn’t transfer colour to your bed linen or clothing. If you’re tanning at home and don’t have an extra set of hands, arm yourself with a tanning mitt and back applicator to ensure you get an even coverage and reach those hard-to-get-to places on your own. To preserve the life of your tan, avoid sweat-inducing or water-based sports, or soaking in a bath. However, if you are a water baby, invest in a tan-extending product such as MoroccanGlow Extender + Gradual Tan, $49.95 to ensure longevity.
NEITHER HAIR NOR THERE
When time is of the essence, shaving and waxing are great quick fixes to achieving smooth, hair-free skin. But if you’re keen to end the trials of ongoing maintenance and in-grown hairs, permanent hair removal is a solution. Exclusive to OFF Wax & Laser, Candela Gentle Max Pro hair removal treats all skin types, something that hasn’t always been possible for people with darker skin. “We can treat any skin type so long as there is contrast between the skin and the hair,” says Nicky Shore, founder and owner of OFF Wax & Laser. “What we can’t treat is white, grey, red or blonde hair.”
Nicky adds that while there has long been a stigma associated with the pain of laser hair removal, the patented technology of the Candela Gentle Max Pro means that pain is now considered to be on par with waxing. “A blast of cryogen gas is given to the skin nanoseconds before the laser hits and it cools the skin so you don’t get that discomfort,” she explains. For the best results from laser treatment, commit to a course of at least six sessions. You may need to book in for top-ups once or twice a year.
If permanent hair removal isn’t for you, Nair’s Sensitive Strip Free Wax, $34.50, removes hair as short as 2mm with results that last for up to four weeks – perfect for maintaining stress-free pins over the holiday period. The formula contains zinc oxide which adheres to the hair, rather than the skin, to help keep pain to a minimum.
LOVE YOUR LOCKS
If you can’t face another summer with humidity-induced frizz, it’s high time you sought expert help. In-salon keratin treatments help achieve smooth hair, reduce frizz and make for longer-lasting blow dries. Cezanne is a formaldehyde-free keratin treatment used at Servilles salons that gradually washes out, ensuring no permanent change to the hair structure and no demarcation line between treatments. “Because we work from the inside out to strengthen and fortify hair, hair is not only smoother, but also healthier and more manageable, perfect for the humid Kiwi summer,” says Servilles creative director, Stephen Cockle.
Key products will also help keep hair in optimal condition during summer. If you are prone to frizz, use shampoo and conditioner tailored specifically to your hair type, such as the Redken Frizz Dismiss range. If hot weather causes your fine hair to go limp, keep it looking fresh and full with dry shampoo at the roots. And, just as you would your skin, protect locks with products that contain UV filters.
“Ninety per cent of women have cellulite and a high percentage of them seek treatments,” says Angela Frazer. “Numerous factors contribute to the appearance of cellulite, including a reduction in the breakdown of fat, decreased collagen integrity and environmental factors. Hormones and genetics also play a big part.”
East Day Spa in Auckland now stocks and uses Guam, the number-one selling anti-cellulite product. Guam Seaweed Mud targets localised fat deposits around the thighs to reduce cellulite nodules and increase the skin’s firmness and elasticity. It promises visible improvement from the first application. The formulation is made from seaweed that’s dried into a powder, which is then mixed with green clay and extracts of ivy and horse chestnut to stimulate the lymphatics and circulation. Essential oils of oregano and lemon are added to increase permeability, firming and toning of the skin.
“It has excellent re-mineralising, detoxifying and anti-cellulite properties,” explains Autumn Cairns of East Day Spa. “It restores the skin’s natural hydrolipidic balance, delays aging and fights free radicals. When using the product at home, generously apply it to the skin before wrapping and leaving for 45 minutes.