Even though cellulite is not harmful or a sign of a damage, many of us worry about it. Unfortunately, it can deteriorate with age due to declining levels of collagen (the protein that helps keep skin plump and gives it structure) which makes the fat cells more visible, but for the record, even supermodels get cellulite and 80% of women are believed to have it somewhere on their body. Nevertheless, if you want to improve its appearance, here's what you can do:
- Dry body brush - although experts disagree on exactly what causes cellulite, poor circulation is believed to be a contributing factor. Invest in a body brush and dedicate three minutes three times a week, applying a good pressure and always brushing towards the heart.
- Exercise - by firming the skin in this area, particularly with resistance or weight training, you'll boost your muscle tone and help cellulite to look smoother.
- A touch of self-tan - never underestimate the handy ability of a tan to help a multitude of imperfections!
- Phytoestrogen-rich creams - Phytoestrogens help to stimulate the production of collagen to help re-densify the skin, while caffeine and retinol penetrate into the cells to boost the metabolism of fat and smooth and tighten the skin.
It's one of the most neglected areas of our body and simultaneously one of the most delicate, thanks to the lack of fat and fewer oil glands. The result is often an accelerated rate of sagging, lines and wrinkles, rough texture and the appearance of uneven pigmentation.
- Be gentle - the skin on your décolletage is delicate, so be sure to treat it as such.
- Sun protection - it can't be said enough, especially because of the angle of your décolletage to the sun. Make sure you apply SPF protection every day.
There are a number of things which can cause uneven pigmentation, but the most common is UV damage. Frighteningly, the damage doesn't show immediately, so the age spots which are popping up on your face, chest and hands now could actually have been caused 10 years ago. Try these tips:
- Be scrupulous with sun protection - don't go thinking a tan will help disguise or even out hyperpigmentation. These areas will just get darker the more you go in the sun and you'll end up with more!
- Up your antioxidants - look out for vitamins C and E in your skincare and get munching more fruits and vegetables.
- Creams with SPF and vitamin E - it might be an essential, but that doesn't mean hand cream can't work really hard to look after your skin. Look for one formulated with SPF and antioxidant vitamin E for your long-term skin health.
Estimates suggest 40-50% of the population suffer from Keratosis pilaris which, in its most common form, manifests as rough, dry, bumpy skin, normally on the upper arms, thighs and buttocks. It's caused by a build-up of the protein keratin, which plugs the hair follicle, but again, it isn't harmful. If you want to tackle it, here's our advice:
- Short showers - hot water dries out your skin, so keep the temperature cool and try not to spend too long in there!
- All about retinol (again) - retinol works by increasing the rate of cell turnover, resulting in fewer clogged follicles and therefore fewer bumps, so don't be afraid to use retinol (at night) on your arms or legs. Just be sure to use SPF during the daytime.
- Exfoliate - gently exfoliating the area can help remove dry, rough skin as well as help the absorption of your other products. But be gently - scrubbing too hard will dry your skin out more.
- Moisturise straight from the shower - while your skin is still damp, apply your moisturiser, preferably one with lanolin and/or glycerine.