As the seasons change, so does the way our bodies react to them, says Dr Tom Mammone, executive director of Clinique Research and Development. "Climate changes can be very harsh on the skin's moisture balance," he explains. "Whether exposed to changes in the environment, or even from heating and cooling at home and work, constant fluctuation can impact our skin's moisture balance." Keep limbs supple in the warm weather by applying a lightweight lotion, such as Biotherm Anti-Drying Body Milk, $60. Or you can also look for hydrating formulas with additional benefits to suit your needs. Prevage Body Total Transforming Anti-Aging Moisturizer, $200, is nourishing while working to fight the signs of ageing, or try Nivea Firming Body Lotion, $6.50, to boost your skin's elasticity. If you're spending time outdoors, Vaseline Total Moisture Aloe Fresh SPF 15, $11.59, is a great choice as it has the extra benefit of sun protection.
If you're dreading the thought of revealing your legs after a winter in opaque tights, don't fear. According to Dr Adrian Lim of the Sydney Skin & Vein Clinic, Bondi Junction, recent developments in technology mean that the appearance of spider and varicose veins can be reduced within three weeks. Both concerns can be treated with sclerosis therapy, which is a targeted injection that causes the veins to shrivel and shrink. Expect to pay approximately $500 per foot for broken capillaries and up to $2000 for the treatment of lumpy varicose veins. "Both treatments are walk-in, walk-out procedures," adds Dr Lim. "But you’ll have to wear a compression stocking for one week with spider veins and three weeks for larger veins."DECOLLETAGE
Boost your assets and turn back the clock with a few small changes to your daily beauty routine. "When applying face creams, most people stop at the jawline," explains Anna Field, director of The Paddington Beauty Room, NSW. But the skin on your chest needs just as much attention, as it's prone to dryness and often exposed to the sun. If you're already using anti-ageing treatment serums and moisturisers, Field advises extending the application down to your bra line. "However, if you're only using [basic] products designed for your skin type, I recommend the use of a neck cream as well," she adds. For a smoothing effect, try Rodial Chin & Neck Lift Triple Action Sculpting Gel, $98, or, if you're after extra nourishment, consider Pevonia Botanica Restore Neck And Bust Cream, $136. Too much sun can leave the décolletage looking crepey and spotted with pigmentation. "IPL is one of the best treatments to restore youthfulness to this area, as it reduces pigmentation and plumps the skin," says Field. For an at-home alternative, try Ultraceuticals Professional Even Skintone Serum, $85. To prevent damage, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, like L'Oréal Paris UV Perfect SPF 30+, $17.95, to your chest before heading outdoors.
Beauty products designed to treat this issue often receive a bad rap, but, as Field explains, it may be because we have unrealistic expectations of the results that can be achieved on areas where the fat cells have enlarged. "You need to remember that [these] products do not change your body size they only help the appearance of the cellulite," she says. Look for options containing topical diuretics, like caffeine, with skin-firming ingredients, such as pea extract. "The combination means one stimulates the fat cell to release its contents and the other helps to re-strengthen the skin," says Field. We like Lancôme Slimissime 360˚ Slimming Activating Concentrate, $110, or Chanel Précision Body Excellence Slim Slimming Anti-Cellulite Gel, $163. Field advises applying lotion with vigorous movements in an upward direction towards the heart. Besides topical buys, there are two other at-home options. Dry body brushing each day, using long upward strokes, can help drain excess fluid. Try The Body Shop Cactus Brush, $22.95, for the job. Or DIY devices, like Skin Physics Liposculpt Ultrasonic Body Sculpting System, $349, claim to strengthen and stimulate skin by using ultrasound infra-red technology.BACK BREAKOUTS
"Acne doesn't only occur on the face, it can affect your back as well and is due to overactive oil glands," explains dermatologist Dr Jo-Ann See. Treat it by using a body wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, such as Benzac AC Wash Water Based Acne Wash 5%, $17.19; or Murad Acne Body Wash, $59. Dr See also warns against showering for too long, or in water that is too hot, as it can exacerbate the problem. "If symptoms persist, it's best to speak to your GP," she adds.DULLNESS
"Exfoliation is the skin's natural process of shedding cells," says Dr Mammone, stressing that frequent scrubbing is required in the humid months. "When your skin is under attack from UV rays it is in defence mode, [so] it will not shed or turn over as often as it should. This could result in clogged skin and acne." Assist the natural sloughing process by exfoliating once or twice a week. Neutrogena Sugar Scrub Body Exfoliator, $12.99, will help to create an even tone. If you have dry skin, look for a creamy formula, such as Natio Meditate Body Scrub, $18.95. Or Priori Advanced AHA Cosmeceuticals Invigorating Face & Body Scrub, $90, is a great choice to reverse the signs of ageing, and boost the cell-renewal process.
Keratosis pilaris, those small, rough bumps on the back of the upper arms, thighs or buttocks, affect people to varying degrees. "Since it's a chronic, genetic follicular disease, there is no cure," concedes Kaye Scott of The Clinic Scott + Sullivan, Sydney, but there are both professional and at-home treatment options available. "Firstly, it’s best to avoid soap and use a mild body wash and moisturiser," advises Dr See. Try Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $14.79, or Dove Body Milk Essential Nourishment, $8.39. Or, try gentle exfoliation each day using a skin-smoothing lotion that contains salicylic, glycolic or lactic acid, but "do not loofah, as this will only cause more problems", warns Dr See. We recommend Clinique Turnaround Body Body Smoothing Cream, $52. Professional microdermabrasion or lactic acid peels may also help. "With persistence, most people will see satisfactory improvement," says Scott, but warns continuous management is required as the condition will return once you stop treating it.STRETCH MARKS
Whether they're from rapid weight gain or pregnancy, these red lines occur "due to the stretching of the dermis, which is the scaffolding of our skin", explains Dr See. "There is no guaranteed [way to prevent them] but your best defence is to moisturise twice daily with a non-fragranced product to keep skin supple." For both prevention and to repair past damage, look for lotions that contain ingredients such as rosehip and vitamins A and E. We recommend Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks, $15.70; Bio-Oil, $14.95; Thalgo Stretch Mark Cream, $60, and Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, $35.95. If you're suffering from severe redness, Dr See suggests seeing your dermatologist, who may be able to treat it with a vascular laser or prescribe a topical tretinoin cream (commonly known as Retin A).
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