With summer around the corner, start early on these simple steps and get the best bikini-ready bod around
By now we all know what to do when we’re actually on the beach—hint, SPF!—but what about before there’s any golden glow on our sun-starved legs? It may not be summer quite yet, but it’s never too early to start getting our body’s largest organ in primetime shape. “Women are most concerned with problem areas when it comes to baring all in a bikini, whether it’s dry skin patches, pigmentation [issues] or conditions such as hyperkeratosis (scaly, discolored skin),” says Maria Hatzistefanis, creator of Rodial and NIP + FAB. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with all of those problems with just a little pre-planning and TLC.
“It’s important to keep skin smooth and hydrated in preparation for the beach by drinking plenty of water, exfoliating daily and using a moisturizer with added SPF like Glamtox Day SPF 15,” Hatzistefanis says. The importance of exfoliating cannot be understated—the skincare guru suggests doing it once daily in the shower to avoid stripping skin of its natural oils. Rodial’s brand-new Brazilian Tan Body Scrub with apricot extract is a great go-to for creating the perfect canvas for any suntan.
When it comes to firming and toning exercise doesn’t hurt, but using a body brush daily before showering will improve circulation, making a big difference. Also, “drink water to flush out toxins and apply a firming gel like NIP + FAB’s Cellulite Fix to tone and sculpt any imperfections,” Hatzistefanis suggests. Other products, such as Cane + Austin’s new Retexturizing Bodypads with 10% glycolic acid are simple to use—just swipe a pad all over morning and night—and can reap major firming, toning and brightening rewards.
As Hollywood stylist Barbra Horowitz says, “skin is by far your most important accessory—if you can’t tone it, tan it.” A nice base glow can make all the difference when it comes to suiting up. (Another tip: try a teenier bikini, says the stylist, since “I truly believe the smaller the swimsuit, the thinner you will feel. Brazilian girls know this best.”) Horowitz’s personal go-to is NARS Monoi Body Glow II; Hatzistefanis’s new Rodial Brazilian Tan Clear cream adds a sun-kissed radiance to light and medium skin tones—and hides imperfections—with added ingredients to firm and tone. And a week before hitting the sand, Hatzistefanis recommends drinking carrot juice to increase the skin’s melanin, thus increasing your natural tanning ability. Most importantly, she says, “stay out of the sun between noon and 3PM and don’t forget SPF 30!”