In early spring, both the weather and people’s skin may be looking a little dull. Months of exposure to cold weather and central heating, along with a natural tendency to eat warming, stodgy foods in the winter months, can leave skin dry, rough and lacking radiance.
However, as the first shoots of spring appear, suddenly summer does not seem so far away. It is time to look forward to glorious warm days, sunny weekends and lighter, brighter, less restrictive clothing. Only at this stage, skin may not look good enough to be on show. So what can be done?
The good news is that there are many affordable and natural ways to make grumpy skin happy again and to prepare it for a season in the sun.
A great first step is to make a natural skin scrub using an edible oil (for example, olive oil) mixed with sugar. A few drops of essential oil can be added, if desired. Simply rub the skin with the scrub before showering, and then wash it off with soap or shower gel (it is important to remove any excess oil, to prevent clothes from sticking).
After the shower, apply liberal amounts of body lotion to moisturize. This treatment will feed the skin with natural oils while sloughing off dead skin cells to expose the brighter, newer skin beneath.
Natural oils can also be used to both cleanse and moisturize the skin on a daily basis, although it is important to wear a sunscreen as well when venturing outside, since sun exposure can wreck good skin. Some salons offer facials and other treatments using only natural products.
Food and exercise make a remarkable difference as well. It may sound like a cliché, but a well balanced diet really does show on the skin. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and a good fluid intake all help to produce skin that glows with health. Exercise increases the flow of blood to the skin and can encourage lymphatic drainage.
For those who have decided that the natural, gentle approach is no longer enough, there is always science. The cosmetic treatment industry has boomed in recent years and sometimes it seems that there is a procedure for every bodily issue.
Care must always be taken when choosing a cosmetic practitioner, as some areas of the industry are relatively unregulated. Reviews or, even better, recommendations from friends or relatives, are a good start but no substitute for thoroughly researching the procedure and practitioner(s) in question.
No Quick Fixes
A key final message is that when it comes to making skin look great, there are no quick fixes. Diet, exercise and nature-based treatments can be highly effective, but must be used for a while before their effects are visible.
Cosmetic and/or surgical procedures must be carefully researched and evaluated. So while it is entirely possible to get skin looking great in time for summer, it is very helpful indeed to make an early start.
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