It seems that we’ve finally limped to the finishing-line of another cold British winter. The sun tantalises us in the mornings, teasing us with its rays, smiling “Only a few months ‘til summer, guys!” And truly, we cannot wait.
The change in seasons carries with it, however, a change our skin’s requirements. During winter we may have comfortably cloaked our faces with foundation, blusher and heavy moisturiser, but the lighter months demand lighter beauty products – as well as the working towards the holy grail of seasonal skin, the lustrous ‘summer glow’. If, like me, you’ve had something of a pasty pallor over the past five months and fear the ‘glow’ may elude you, think again. All your skin needs is a little prepping and a little TLC.
The first step is exfoliation. We all know we should do it, but it often ends up as high a priority as having a Spring clean or rearranging the kitchen cupboards. But, now really is the time to scrub of winter’s touch and get ready for some sunshine, to shed any dead skin cells and reveal a fresher complexion underneath. St Ives Apricot Scrub is brilliant and a bargain to boot: less than a fiver for 150ml, and it lasts for ages, too. Or, for an even cheaper alternative, go into the kitchen, grab some olive oil, and mix in some sugar or salt. It works fantastically well, with no need for a trip to Boots.
Next up: SPF. Again, we all know we should wear it all year round, but when the sky is an ominous grey and it’s freezing outside, it does seem pretty pointless. However, it’s even more important now, to protect us from harmful UV rays and the onset of wrinkles. But, you can get tons of excellent SPF moisturisers, which offer both UV protection and hydration. Neutrogena Multi Defence Moisturiser (£7.65), available in SPF15 or SPF25, is fantastic: light, extremely softening, and not at all greasy.
We all want to get a little tan at this time of year, no matter how proudly we insist that we are an ‘English Rose’. Come the summer, we gawp at Gisele’s caramel-hued limbs and wish to take some of that loveliness for ourselves – without any unsightly sunburn or damage. Gradual tanning lotions, like Johnson and Johnson’s Holiday Body Lotion (£5.10) and Dove’s Summer Glow Body Lotion (£5.10) are the easiest way to achieve a lovely colour, without any disastrous streaks or violently orange knees and elbows. For the face, I strongly recommend Lancôme’s Flash Bronzer (£24); it’s a bit pricier than others, but it is the most effective of its kind, and you only need a tiny amount at a time. It’s definitely worth investing in a good face-tanner to avoid looking like a tangerine. If you’d rather use make-up than fake-tan on the face, try Chanel’s bronzing powder – Soleil Tan De Chanel (£31). The soft powder can be built-up to create stronger colour allowing you to achieve the perfect colour to suit your individual skin tone.
If you still feel that you might need a little extra help with radiance, try mixing a little highlighter (Benefit’s High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer (£17.87) is superb) with your moisturiser (SPF, of course!). Or, invest in some Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm (£27.50); again, you only need a tiny bit, and it’s fantastic to have in autumn and winter, too.
So, there you have it: an easy guide to achieving the coveted ‘summer glow’. Now, where are my sunglasses?