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Summer is about unveiling the body and this can strike knuckle-whitening terror into anyone with an embarrassing beauty issue that can be covered up under tights and a cashmere turtle neck in the cooler months. What most people don't know is that with a little planning and professional assistance, most beauty dilemmas have a solution. Here's a few of the worst offenders and my expert advice for sorting them out STAT.
BACNE and body acne in general
"Eeeewww..." I hear you say but believe it or not, this is a very common condition for even the most beautifully groomed amongst us. Back acne and body breakouts can be caused by a number of issues including hormonal imbalance, bacteria, clogged pores and even allergy to the fabrics we are wearing. The solution is a steady course of acne specific treatments by a professional beauty therapist if your condition is really bad. This might include back-facials with extraction, masks and deep exfoliation. A brilliant treatment for any type of acne is Ominlux Light Plus White Therapy, which you can find at leading skin salons.
Beauty experts recommend using a medicated body wash or an anti-blemish cleanser instead of your normal body wash. I love Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Scrub as it's effective and great value. Don't forget to always use a super clean towel to dry your skin and then apply an anti-acne moisturiser so the skin's oil flow is controlled and balanced. Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Foaming Cleanser is an excellent product that is light, non-greasy and can really settle skin down.
Rough skin on the back of arms and crocodile skin on legs
Months of huddling beside a heater and forgetting to exfoliate are now on display for the world to see. Before you reach for the spray tan in a can, treat the skin. Invest in a dry body brush or loofah and start the day with a dry body scrub starting at the feet and working up toward the heart. This will help move toxins, exfoliate the skin, boost circulation and give your body a very nice pick-me-up. In the shower, use a body wash containing salicylic acid to further remove dry skin and to allow body creams to penetrate easier. If you have the spare cash, treat yourself to a body treatment like a Mira's Hand Hammam at The Spa at The Darling in Sydney where your body will be scrubbed from head to toe, massaged and treated to the ancient and effective Hammam treatments of the Middle East. Skin is baby smooth and radiant in only one hour.
Every day, without fail, apply a rich body balm or butter from your neck down. If you haven't found one that you love, let me introduce you to summer's best addiction: Palmer's Cocoa Butter range is simply world-class body hydration and suits every budget.
Cracked heels and calloused feet
You need to have those feet in pristine condition. I start every month with a professional pedicure because I am on my feet, in heels all day and I like to be able to take off my shoes in public and not be embarrassed. In between professional pedi-action, I treat my feet to a twice-weekly exfoliation using a pedi-paddle (the Scholl range has everything you need for an at home pedi) and then from November 1st to the end of summer, I apply a serious foot balm at night and put on cotton socks once a week to give my feet a treat. The gold standard is still the peppermint-scented foot cream by Aveda. If you haven't tried this gorgeous foot saviour, you don't know what you are missing. I am also a big fan of Kora by Miranda Kerr Rejuvenating Foot Balm.
If you have cracked heels and feet that a pedi-paddle can't cure, go for a medi-pedi with a podiatrist. The French simply don't do nail bars. Nails and feet are treated only by medically-trained experts and I bet you've never met a Parisienne with rough feet and hammer toes!
OK so you've probably been waxing or shaving since you were 12, but most people who are not white blonde have hair somewhere they would rather not and find this a most pressing issue as summer approaches. My personal area of stress was my thighs. I gave up on waxing years ago and started shaving the lower half of my legs. I would still go and get the upper half waxed until I met the founders of The Laser Lounge. These hair removal heroes have changed my life. I have had my legs and underarms lasered and honestly, it has reduced my grooming time by a full hour each week. What's even more incredible and attractive is that I never have to worry about my legs or underarms being hairy. After six treatments, hair re-growth has slowed to a few little spots every eight to nine weeks, which I can quickly shave until the next round of laser. I'm told by eight sessions, I will be a boiled egg. Laser hair removal is particularly suited to those with fair skin and dark hair. It doesn't really work for darker or very olive skin. It's an absolute miracle for embarrassing hairy areas such as toes, back, face, arms and bikini line. The investment is upfront but the enjoyment lasts a lifetime.
Want more beauty? Check out RESCU's make-up how-to videos for some great suggestions for new product launches and to watch great how to videos on the latest beauty trends!