Health & Fitness

By Patricia Wersinger

The end of winter is both a blessing and a curse. As Spring Break approaches, we look forward to the physical freedom of running almost naked on the beach, deeply tanned, our hair shining, all our limbs toned and lean. Our post-winter appearance, however, may fall short of the fantasy. April is called the cruelest month for a reason, most likely because the truth strikes always on the first of April that our bodies are more “bearish” than “gazelle-like.” Crepe-like skin on the knees, a little flab under the arms, a somewhat inflated waistline and discolored uneven skin tone are often more what we look like than not. This year, I’ve decided to get all the help I can for my Spring Break tune up. On top of serious gym time, I’m checking out some toning and body shaping lotions on the drugstore shelf whose efficacy I have often wondered about.

Mama Mio for instance has a collection of first aid help to fix your body’s contours and appearance just for the beach. Get Waisted Body Shaper claims to help shape and sculpt the body, smoothing out contours and the sag. After trying it for a few days, it is apparent that my skin feels much more hydrated, supple and tighter. Seven extracts from algae, rock samphire and guarana are responsible for stimulating and sculpting the body. I’ll definitely keep using this product until my departure.

Your breasts may also look like they have seen better days. Boob Tube, Bust and NeckFirmer is a crinkle-fighting formula that promotes smoother and firmer skin from the neck down, a must when preparing for a revealing bathing suit. This is a good product to help rejuvenate that area, and render the skin more elastic and youthful. Thanks to omega 3, 6 and 9 the decolletage looks plumper. Another keeper.

Nothing looks less sexy than flesh that has not seen the sun for months. This is all the more destabilizing on a beach of well tanned, sun kissed bodies. To achieve the perfect smoothed tan, it is important to prep your body’s surface by exfoliating it with a good scrub such as Skin Authority’s Coffee Almond Scrub. It brings out a fresher, glowing skin by stimulating the blood circulation. Apply after that a sunless tanner such as My Chelle Dermaceuticals’ Del Sol Sunless Tanner. I chose it for its non-chemical formula based on natural plant sugars that react with the skin’s surface to create a totally natural tan. It can also be used on the face quite beautifully.

If you simply wish to increase the skin’s brightness as if you had been breathing iodine for a week, I recommend applying Skin Authority’s Brightening Serum. Not only does it help reduce sunspots but also the glow has a transparency that softens and improves the appearance of the skin. An oligopeptide complex, alpha arbutin derived from natural plant sources, glycolic acid and aloe comprise the ingredients.

Part of my skin prep for Spring Break includes getting a solid reliable eye cream I can keep in my purse at all times to hide imperfections, fine lines, dark circles, moisture loss. True Holistic, a gold leaf intensive eye treatment by Cygalle Healing Spa addresses the special needs of the eye zone by regenerating the dry skin deeply without irritating or weighing it down.

Of course, the lotions mentioned help improve your appearance but don’t rely solely on them to achieve breakthrough results. It is important to eat right, drink plenty of water and work out every day before you hit the beach. The combination of physical endurance and skin care products will help bring out your best version of yourself.

Originally published April 2012
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