Facing up to THE SUN

Everyone needs a little sunshine for, if nothing else, its relaxing warmth and the vitamin D it supplies. But at the moment, the weather in the capital goes far beyond a little sunshine; it’s hot, it’s steamy, it’s humid, it’s frustrating and everyone’s complaining about it. Don’t get me wrong: I love this city, the food, the fashion, the friendliness and most everything else _ just not its flaming weather! And when you think it can’t get any hotter, it does.

Anyway, before I digress further, once summer arrives, for many people the drill is: regular sun-tanning, wearing summery, cotton clothes during daylight hours and then getting dressed up to kill after dark. All of which means you are exposing more flesh than usual to the rays of the sun. If you’re showing more skin, then you need to make sure it is in shape, shimmering, seductive-looking and well shielded from solar damage.

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COULD YOU OFFER SOME TIPS ON SUN PROTECTION?

The most important advice is something that you’ve probably heard repeatedly: use sunscreen. That doesn’t mean applying face cream or a foundation that has the additional benefit of an SPF 15 ingredient. What I’m referring to a sunscreen that is water-resistant and will protect you against both ultraviolet short-wave (UVA) and long-wave (UVB) rays and which has an SPF of 30 or higher. You should be using a full teaspoonful just for your face and at least a shot-glass full of it on the rest of your body. To ensure safe summer fun, reapply every one to two hours if you’re going to be outdoors a lot. And if there’s anything that you should copy from celebrities in fashion magazines, it’s the idea of wearing huge sunglasses, the bigger the better! These will protect your eyes, and the delicate skin that frames them, from sunlight and excessive wrinkling and also help prevent skin cancer.

MY SKIN HAS AN UNEVEN TONE RESULTING FROM SUN DAMAGE; HOW CAN I REMEDY THIS?

Mesotherapy works well in curing many skin imperfections. One of the conditions specialists use it for is pigmentation imperfections. It works by driving an anti-oxidant agent and nutritious active ingredients right into the imperfect areas in order to revive skin cells from within. Dark spots will fade noticeably after consecutive treatment sessions. The treatment also naturally brightens up the complexion, helping you regain healthy skin. Another treatment offering quick results is Ultrasonic. It revitalises your skin with an effective vibration and warming effect. The waves from the massage can stimulate one’s metabolism and improve lymphatic flow. Ultrasonic also helps with uneven pigmentation, age spots, freckling and sun-damaged skin.

WHAT’S A QUICK WAY TO GET RID OF CELLULITE AND TONE UP MY ARMS AND THIGHS?

Without a doubt, exercise is the best way to tone and maintain the firmness of skin over the long run. But for instant results you can try Vella Shape or Thermage. Therma Slim is a non-invasive treatment that delivers a radio-frequency (RF) current into areas with excessive fat, creating an internal thermal increase. This activates blood flow, increases metabolism to liquefy and disperse fat as well as cellulite, thus, in effect, also acting to detox the body. Another RF technology is the Tripolar RF which is designed to reduce cellulite, tighten skin and treat wrinkles, resulting in tighter, better toned skin. It safely heats targeted cells, without the need for any cooling, in order to produce a fast outcome, with results immediately visible after the first treatment.

IS THERE ANY SPEEDY WAY TO MAKE MY SKIN GLOW?

An external fix with quick results, the Deep Bright treatment works very well. Or you could try Aqua Bright therapy which is an all-natural procedure that dramatically improves the appearance and texture of your skin. It works simultaneously on five different levels at once, deep-cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, oxygenating and micro-circulating the treated area for fresher-looking, glowing skin.

ARE THERE ANY REMEDIES TO WHITEN MY EXPOSED UNDERARM AREAS?

The most common causes of dark underarms are constant rubbing against tight clothing, negative reactions to deodorants, improper washing, shaving, dead skin build-up, intake of androgen-based contraceptives and dark hair follicles. Or it could just be the result of genetic factors. You could use fruit acids AHA or pigment laser or microdermabrasion to peel off dead skin cells so that when the new cells grow their colour will be closer to your natural skin tone. This can be accompanied by the use of bleaching agents for better results. To prevent a recurrence, however, you’ll need to get a skin specialist to identify the underlying cause so that you can avoid whatever is triggering the dark colouration.