Getting our skin glowing and our bodies and hair in tip-top shape means moisture – lots of it!
The health of your hair and scalp go hand in hand, and increasingly shampoos are becoming geared towards a more gentle cleansing of both. Conditioners, too, are aimed at hydrating the scalp and feeding it with the nutrients it needs. It’s all about keeping it gentle. A scalp massage has become part of the ritual to aid absorption and relax the scalp. And, as with skincare, delicious masks and serums offer higher concentrations of active ingredients to make the most of your locks. Leave-in conditioners are especially soothing and help lock moisture in and dryness out. Scalps that are tender to the touch develop red patches or become flaky and dry are usually suffering from stress. Try leaving your hair for that extra day without washing it to allow the scalp’s natural oils to do some comforting. Then treat yourself to a chamomile tea rinse, which is wonderfully calming and soothing.
Your body needs the same amount of care as your face does. Just because it’s not always on show doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cleanse, exfoliate and nourish it from top to toe. Drink at least two litres of water a day to prevent dehydration and feed your skin loads of moisture via pampering body lotions. Keep skin smooth and receptive to body creams with light body brushing in the morning. Lightly sweep the bristles across the surface of your skin to stir up circulation and slough away dead cells. You’ll ﬁnd skin soon starts looking more toned and clear. Take special care of the breast area. Here, you need a little bust cream. Use the moment to check that your breasts feel normal then sweep the lotion upwards to get the full beneﬁt of its ﬁrming effects.
An extra treat…
Spas offer a host of cleansing, detoxifying and purifying treats. The sauna is great because sweating eliminates toxins from the body, and it helps to clean out the fat cells. Drink plenty of water during your session to give your body a healthy flushing. A lymphatic drainage massage is yet another option to speed up the elimination of toxins. The pressure is feather light and stimulates better functioning of the lymphatic system. A dip in the hydrotherapy bath will also encourage lymph flow via pressurised jets of water.
Moisture is the single most important thing your skin needs. Unfortunately too much holiday sun, winds, unhealthy food and alcohol contribute to moisture loss. Older skins, in particular, suffer. As hormonal levels wane, sebaceous glands in the skin no longer produce the levels of sebum, which helps to nourish the epidermis and fuses with skin cells to create a barrier against moisture loss, they once did. As levels drop, this barrier becomes impaired, allowing irritants to penetrate and triggering sensitivities. Sensitive skin is possibly the most common ailment of older skins, and is a message that the skin is not coping. Skin that becomes drier with age is also more prone to eczema and rosacea – the obvious red ﬂush that shows up across cheeks, forehead and the chin, which is easily triggered by diet (especially spicy foods), alcohol, the sun and, of course, stress.
The skin has a natural capacity to heal itself, but we have a tendency to throw too many products at it in order to counteract the symptoms of irritation and dehydration, rather than exploring the causes of these problems with a dermatologist. Always handle your skin with care. You can over-stimulate your skin not only with over active products but also with overzealous scrubbing and washing. When it comes to choosing products to restore moisture to your skin, look for those containing plant and vegetable oils that help to mimic sebum in the skin – shea butter, avocado oil and grape seed oil, for example are natural partners in the ﬁght to preserve moisture.