Bikini SOS: hot tips and fabulous products
Lisa Haynes reveals some hot tips and fabulous products to help tackle all those problem areas before you strip off at the seaside this summer
Bikini season is upon us and the sunny spotlight is on your figure. That's good news for leggy supermodels, but for the rest of us it's panic stations ahead of all that poolside posing and beach exhibitionism.
The average woman wants to lose 8lb before packing her holiday suitcase, new research by online travel agent www.sunshine.co.uk reveals.
And, while some of us wing it and hope for the best in our bikinis, more than two-thirds (68%) plan on honing and toning their bodies a month before jetting off, according to EF Medispa.
Whether you're a bikini girl or one-piece woman, flashing the flesh is inevitable unless you want to spend your holiday hiding under a beach towel, so begin the summer saviour regime now.
You may not drop inches rapidly, but all that extra attention applied to your hot spots daily should, at the very least, boost your bare-all beach confidence.
If your wobbles are visible from the next beach town with one skip over the sand dunes, you could have problems with skin tone.
This common beauty woe is usually associated with bottoms - the body area women want to change most, according to a YouGov poll.
You can avoid gym squats by waking up your muscles with the Slendertone Bottom, £139.99 ( www.slendertone.com), a pair of shorts containing pads that stimulate the nerves to improve tone in four weeks with 30-minutes daily use.
If your wobbles are less specific, a quick-fix DIY or salon treatment can help before you brave the bikini.
"A pre-beach body wrap can make you lose inches all over - temporarily. Try one a day or so before hitting the beach," suggests Slendertone personal trainer Jarod Chapman.
Try these products for a quick wobble fix:
- Mummify in The Sanctuary Trim & Tone Body Wrap, £25.52 ( www.thesanctuary.co.uk).
- Fake firmer thighs with Karin Herzog's Tone & Tan, £38 ( www.karinherzog.co.uk), with lashings of detoxing green tea, vitamin B12, and self-tanning element to boot.
- Banish the bloat on your tum with herbal supplements, like Functionalab's Body Toning Kit, £77 ( www.functionalab.co.uk), boasting collagen synthesis for smoother and firmer skin.
- Combat bingo wings wobble as you wave to your pals on the beach with Pupa's Inner Arm Shaping Cream, £42 ( www.escentual.com).
As Kate Moss recently proved on a Paris catwalk, you don't have to be curvy to suffer from the curse of cellulite.
According to Dr Claudia Aguirre from the International Dermal Institute: "Cellulite is a name for collections of fat that push against the connective tissue beneath a person's skin, which causes the surface of the skin to dimple or pucker and look lumpy, or like an orange peel."
No matter how buff your body is, the dreaded orange peel and/or silver snake effects of cellulite and stretch marks can be a beach body bugbear for many women - especially with the glaring sunlight factored in.
"Swig water throughout the day," Chapman recommends. "Well hydrated skin will minimise the look of cellulite, which can plague even the most toned bodies."
As well as pure and simple H20, a combination of approaches is the best way to diminish the dreaded dimples, including good diet, exercise and body brushing followed by a cellulite-busting potion daily.
Buff your body with these products:
- Try Botanics Hip and Thigh Brush, £7.50 (Boots), and dry brush in the direction of your heart. Use long, smooth strokes and focus on hips and thighs to help improve the appearance of cellulite.
- For deep-rooted cellulite try Nuxe's Body Contouring Oil for Infiltrated Cellulite, £22.50 (pharmacies nationwide).
- Anyone who has suffered from weight loss or gain may also be blighted with stretch mark trails. Though they never disappear completely, fight them by fading with the clinically proven SilDerm Stretch Mark Cream, from £11.50 ( www.silderm.co.uk).
Some women, aka Kelly Brook, are blessed with curves in all the right spots, while others panic about bulges in all the wrong bikini places.
If you don't have the time or willpower for long cardio stints, a good night's sleep can help battle the bulge.
"Start the week as you mean to go on, by getting plenty of sleep. Studies show tiredness is likely to make you put on weight," Chapman says.
- Zap fat cells around your middle with Mama Mio's Get Waisted Body Shaper, £35 ( www.mamamio.com), containing nine active ingredients designed to help combat fat deposits.
- For a slinkier silhouette try Melvita's Slimming Oil, £21 ( www.melvita.co.uk), with ingredients like seaweed and Amazonian andiroba to drain and tone.
- If you still want to improve your silhouette as you bask on the sun lounger, try Rodial's Skinny Beach SPF15, £40 ( www.spacenk.co.uk), with caffeine and carnitine complex to reduce swelling and water retention so you can enjoy another ice cream scoop guilt-free.