Beauty: Feel Fierce in Your Skin, by Kristen Ma

Summer is still here and we’re not finished with our warm weather wardrobe! Unfortunately, problems like back blemishes and stretch marks can make us a little bashful about baring our body skin. No fear! Here are some easy, chemical-free fixes that will have your birthday suit looking and feeling great for a season of fun in the sun.  While the ultimate key to sexiness is confidence in your own skin, sometimes a few healthy skincare solutions can help that journey along.

I personally struggled with bad acne for over a decade and know that despite the most empowering mantras, these little bumps can do a number on your self-esteem. Body blemishes like bacne (back acne) are no exception and some find the summertime particularly daunting for this reason. Not only because it’s a season of skimpier threads but also because bacne (and chacne, chest acne) is often aggravated by body heat and sweat. Unremoved sweat on the skin can lead to breakouts, which is impossible to avoid when showers aren’t handy. Solution? Pack an anti-bacterial floral water mist and spritz your body down as needed. Be sure to use a pure hydrosol (plant water) that does not contain alcohol. You want to purify your skin without dehydrating and irritating it. Some personal favorites include: organic Peppermint and Immortelle (aka Helichryse) hydrosols.

Bumpy Arms, technically known as “Keratosis Pilaris” but endearingly called “Chicken Skin,” are red bumps found on our upper arms that can make many clients shy about going sleeveless. Make long sleeves an afterthought by applying an oil-rich cream religiously. Keratosis Pilaris is aggravated by dryness and irritation of the hair follicles so is best treated by nourishing and soothing skin. Look for heavy moisturizers containing calming ingredients such as Camellia oil, Chamomile and Aloe Vera.

Dry patches that show up on our shins and forearms can be an unwanted reminder of a winter past. Sometimes skin tissue can become so dehydrated that it takes on a snake-like appearance that just begs to be shed. Simply moisturizing is not enough to remove these scaly patches. Instead, rehydration must be done in combination with intense exfoliation. A way to do this is by daily dry brushing. Before your morning shower, use your dry brush in circular motions moving towards the heart to slough away stubborn skin build up. Not only does this remove dead cells, it also increases blood flow and prevents water-retention, reducing the appearance of cellulite: Double score!

If you’re planning some cottage sun-bathing before you close it up for the fall, being ingrown-free prevents red pustules that can show up in your intimate areas. Caused by dead skin buildup, ingrown hairs appear when our hair follicles are blocked and covered, causing hair to grow inwards. This is why they most often appear in our body’s folds such as the bikini and underarm regions. Not only can this lead to inflammation and infection but they can also be painful! Apply an oil or lotion meticulously to ingrown-prone areas both morning and night for sexy, smooth ingrown-free skin. Make sure you use a petrolatum-free product as petro-ingredients (often labelled as “mineral oil”) have been found to be common pore-clogging irritants as well as possible carcinogens.

Kristen Ma PhotoKristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure + Simple Inc., a group of Holistic Spas with its own line of Natural Skincare and Mineral Make-up.  She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner who has studied in Canada, the United States and India.  She is also a Certified Esthetician with eight years of practical experience, having worked in Canada as well as Australia.  Most recently, Kristen has authored “Beauty: Pure + Simple” which was published by Mc Arthur and Company.  Kristen has written on the subject of Holistic Beauty for Vitality Magazine, Blink and Jasmine.  She is also a regular contributor to B Magazine, Tonic and Sweat Equity Magazine.

For more information on Kristen, please visit www.holisticvanity.ca.