4 weeks to go…
SHOW YOUR SKIN SOME TLC
To get skin glowing
Using a body scrub three times a week will get your skin gleaming, and ensure the creams you use afterwards penetrate better. Salt- or sugar oil-based scrubs are excellent as they polish and nourish in one go. First, use the mixture on dry skin, then step under the shower and work over your body a second time to really slough off the dead, dull cells.
To smooth any bumps
Peel pads are brilliant for using on bumpy backs of arms, shoulders, elbows and super-dry legs, plus they minimize in-growing hairs. Alternatively, Fur Oil deep-treats dry skin on underarms, the bikini line and legs, while also helping to stop in-growing hairs.
To treat blemishes
To clear blemishes on your back or chest, swap your usual AHA peeling solution for a BHA – it’s a gentler formula, plus it will balance unruly skin. What we take internally is known to affect us externally, so a course of probiotics can also help calm red, reactive skin. Skincare line KlarSkin offers a dual approach to treating spot-prone skin with a Radiance Powder that you add to water, juice or a smoothie and a serum to apply topically on the areas you want to treat (for very dry skin, try its super-hydrating Reforming Liquid drink).
Use two DRY body brushes and work up from the feet to DRAIN the puff-inducing lymph. Finish with a treatment cream to TREAT water retention and heavy legs
To streamline limbs
Daily dry skin brushing may seem like a chore, but it’s always recommended by experts because it makes such a difference in your skin’s tone and texture. Using two small brushes – one in each hand – speeds up the whole process as you work up the body from your feet (to drain the puff-inducing lymph). Finish with a treatment cream to help keep limbs leaner – Legology Air-Lite treats water retention and heavy legs and is also great to use while in-flight.
Start cocktailing your bath with salts (always choose food-grade). Magnesium salts – including Epsom – and pink Himalayan salts are great to detox the body and help with water retention (Himalayan salts also treat breakouts), while Dead Sea salts help normalize skin issues, including hydrating dry skin.
Nothing works better to give even the driest skin that supple, plump, healthy glow than a great oil. The best, like Costa Brazil’s incredible Jungle Firming Body Oil, sink in fast to leave skin gleaming, not greasy. When used daily (massage over damp skin post-shower), it will truly transform your skin.
2 weeks to go…
BEAT THE BLOAT
To boost your metabolism
With your regime under control and your vacation looming, now is the time to up the ante to lose any bloat. Start by taking an amino acid to boost your metabolism. A daily dose of L-carnitine (a naturally-occurring amino acid that helps to burn fat) will kick-start a sluggish metabolism and helps the body convert fat into fuel. “Take between 200-500g a day and you will see results within two weeks,” says Ali Miller, a Texas-based dietitian. To get a more defined, ‘cut’ look, limit carbs after 6pm for a minimum of two weeks. To lose around four to five pounds, try cutting out carbs after 12pm, and for best results cut out all forms of grains, sugar and potato. It’s only a short-term solution, but you will really notice a difference.
To detox your gut
Eat red fruits and vegetables, advises Miller, especially if you only have two weeks before vacation. “Some of the best detoxifiers for the lymphatic system are pomegranates, cranberries, beets and raspberries. Not only do they boost lymphatic function, but they help to thin bile, which regulates the immune response in the gut, responsible for our body’s ability to regulate weight,” says Miller.
To flatten your stomach
Shift weight with a water schedule. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping, indigestion and toxin build-up, aka fat deposits. Drinking more water is key to shedding weight, but make a daily ‘water schedule’ that’s realistic for you; we suggest starting to add an extra liter a day, but check the color of your urine – it’s basic but the best test there is. If it’s very dark, you’re on the dehydrated side; if it’s very light or translucent then you need to drink a bit less, as too much water can flush your body of vital minerals. A pale, straw-like color is best.
1 week to go…
PREP YOUR BEACH BEAUTY BAG
Pick your perfume
This is the time to find your summer scent. The typical vacation perfume is cool, crisp and fresh, but while this has a time and a place, it doesn’t work everywhere. Every destination has its own unique humidity level and temperature, and therefore affects your perfume differently. “Match your fragrance to the country you are traveling to,” says Kilian Hennessy, founder of perfume brand Kilian, who advises considering what grows naturally in the destination you’re visiting. “Say, for example, you’re traveling on safari, something woodsy and warm is perfect; while a trip to Italy calls for something lighter and fresher.” Going to the tropics? Look for heady, night-blooming flowers like jasmine that radiate an intoxicating scent; herb and citrus notes, like orange blossom, lend themselves to a drier Mediterranean climate or desert vacation. And don’t limit yourself to a traditional perfume; mix things up with a body spray, oil or lotion, or choose a subtly scented hair mist.
Edit your makeup
In theory, it’s nice to keep skin bare on vacation, but the reality is this isn’t something we’re always comfortable to do. If you do require a little coverage, it’s best to keep things light; choose a long-lasting creamy concealer such as La Mer The Concealer, which can be blended into skin only where it’s needed or mixed in with moisturizer for all-over sheer coverage. Mascara must be waterproof and have some degree of humidity resistance (we love Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara), while a hot orange or coral lip never looks better than on vacation teamed with sun-kissed skin; try Gucci Beauty Rouge à Lèvres Voile in Agatha Orange.
Don’t be tempted to leave exfoliating until the LAST minute – you need at least a day for your SKIN to feel less SENSITIVE before sun exposure
2 days to go…
Time to pre-tan
If you’re planning to self-tan the night before your flight, you need a final piece of skin prep today. Use a grainy exfoliator such as Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Scrub from your feet to your chest to remove lingering patches of dry skin; concentrate your efforts on your ankles, elbows and knees where skin is likely to be rougher. Don’t be tempted to leave your scrub until the last minute – you need at least a day for your skin to feel less sensitive before sun exposure.
Now that your skin is silky-smooth, it’s time to test out any glow-enhancing, body-finishing products. Depending on their pigment and texture, they offer vastly different results and suit different climates. Light and refreshing formulas like By Terry Tea to Tan Face & Body are perfect for humid tropical climes, while rich and creamy textures like La Mer Soleil de La Mer The After Sun Enhancer are suitable for just about everywhere else. La Mer’s After Sun not only helps repair skin after a day in the sun, it also contains a hint of pearlescence that looks beautiful on paler skins. Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body gives medium skin tones a J-Lo-style glow, while Huda Beauty N.Y.M.P.H highlighter can be used on face and body and comes in three intensities; Aurora, the deepest and bronzier of the three, looks magical on dark skin.
When you land…
START APPLYING SPF
Sun cream that stains your swimsuit and attracts sand by the bucketful is a common gripe on vacation, but thankfully new formulas are taking the stress out of sun protection. Natura Bissé C+C Dry Oil Antioxidant Sun Protection SPF30 is perfect for a day on the beach – it’s a dry oil so sand won’t stick to it as easily. Creamy and nourishing lotions are for when sand is out of the picture: La Mer The Reparative Body Sun Lotion SPF30 is the best pool-side option, while Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF50 are genius for topping up face protection throughout the day. Just remember to always apply sun protection at least 20 minutes before you go outside. And don’t forget your hair; UV distorts color and, while a sun hat is a good idea, we suggest using a UV mist too. Sisley Protective Hair Fluid is a great shield and also contains conditioning shea and hazelnut oils. Mist on every time you top up your SPF.
Jogging along the beach DOUBLES the calories you would burn from doing the SAME activity on a treadmill or SIDEWALK
During your vacation…
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
Free yourself from routine and discover activities outside that not only inspire but are fun – jogging along the beach or paddling in the pool is always more appealing than the treadmill. “As soon as I take my clients outdoors away from their normal workout environment, their fitness increases,” says Luke Istomin, a Sydney-based personal trainer. “By removing the distractions of the gym, they workout more intensely.”
Water sports provide total body workouts without being stressful on joints. Paddle boarding is a great core, ab and leg workout as it requires balance to stay upright. Snorkeling is a brilliant aerobic workout, as just breathing through the tube makes the lungs work harder. Water-skiing challenges every major muscle group in the body just to stay upright, and swimming against the current while wearing fins increases intensity and resistance.
Jogging or walking along the beach will automatically double the calories you would burn from doing the same activity on flat ground, such a treadmill or sidewalk. When you step on something uneven you naturally engage more muscles, including the smaller ones that ‘wrap’ around the bigger muscles and are responsible for creating that sculpted definition. Plus, it’s great to do this barefoot as you’ll exercise the often-neglected feet.
Working out in water – no matter whether ankle-, waist- or chest-deep – gives you up to twelve times the resistance of open-air exercise, so even wading in the sea means you are strengthening and building your leg muscles. Plus, the buoyancy supports the body’s weight and reduces stress on the joints.
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.