Planning to go on holiday? Now that you’ve got your travel itinerary nailed, let’s work on your beauty itinerary: everything you need to do, from head to toe, to look your best in swimsuits, shorts or flirty summer dresses. Use these beach body tips to get you started.
Three weeks before
Get your last laser session
If you’re doing lasers — whether it’s laser resurfacing for your face or laser hair removal — you need to avoid any strong sun exposure at least two weeks before and two weeks after. To be on the safe side, schedule your last appointment at least three weeks before your trip.
The same goes for any peels or skin resurfacing or rejuvenation treatment — even injectibles! “Some treatments can make you more sun-sensitive. Others just take time for bruises to fade, or for the best results to show up. I always tell my patients to give time for treatments to ‘settle’and schedule them before a trip or big event like a wedding. Also, if you get any reactions, there’s time to treat it,” says Dr. Eileen Aquino.
Read more about 9 other surprising things that can make your skin more sensitive to sun damage.
Switch to a low-salt, healthy carb diet
If you’re Googling “How to lose 10 pounds in 21 days” stop now. Crash diets won’t give you the perfect beach body: it will just mess up your metabolism and make your skin look dull and dry. Besides, you’re more likely to gain all the weight back (and more) when you start eating normally. Those hotel buffets are hard to resist!
Instead, aim for small changes that make a big difference. Cutting out salt will help lower water retention and reduce belly bloat. You can also minimize unhealthy carbs from rice or noodles. A simple change like eating your steak with a salad or having oatmeal instead of a croissant helps! For example, switching out these meals can help you cut 500 calories a day without missing your favourite foods. You can get your beach body without feeling miserably hungry and cranky!
Want to blast your belly fat? Check out our lazy girl’s guide to a flatter belly.
Target dark armpits and thighs
Lots of things can make your armpits and inner thigh areas darker than the rest of your body: natural pigmentation, reactions to harsh deodorants, chafing from tight jeans or underwear.
If it doesn’t bother you, no problem — it’s your body, after all! But if it does, here are some tips to whiten your armpits and inner thighs.
- Use a whitening toner or serum. Yes, the stuff that brightens and whitens your face works just as well on other sensitive body parts! Look for natural extracts like papaya and licorice, and choose watery formulas. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to apply any heavy or oily products in places where you naturally produce more sweat.
- Air it out. You need loose clothing in breathable fabric, because the trapped sweat can lead to chafing and irritation — which leads to skin darkening and sensitivity. Just between us girls, you may even want to skip wearing underwear at night. And since it’s beach/summer season anyway, trade the jeans for skirts!
- Stop shaving. Shaving can lead to stubble, which makes the area looks darker than it really is. Grow the hair out a bit, so you can have it professionally waxed.
Take a break from retinol
Retinol does many amazing things: it’s one of the proven anti-ageing ingredients, and can even help with acne and acne marks. Buuuuut it also makes you incredibly sun sensitive.
If you’re going to the beach, or just plan to spend a lot of time outdoors during the break, start shopping for skincare that uses other ingredients that give similar benefits. You can always go back to your retinol skincare routine when you spend most of your day indoors. But for now, you need to change your products to fit your summer lifestyle. That means: more hydration, sun protection and antioxidants, and less sun sensitivity.
Two weeks before
- Get a haircut and hair colour. Two weeks is the “sweet spot” for embracing a new summer look. You give time for your hair to settle in, and for your hair colour to set. (The worst thing you can do is to head to the beach the same week you got your dye job — the colour will fade really fast!)
- Get eyelash extensions. We’ve tried wearing mascara to the beach and trips, and… it’s not happening. There are tons of waterproof mascara, but let’s be honest here: when you’re on vacation, you don’t really want to spend a lot of time fussing with your makeup. Gorgeous eyelashes open up your eyes and define your eyeshape. And with eyelash extensions, you can honestly say #iwokeuplikethis.
- Shop for a good sunscreen. For smart sun protection, you should be using at least one shotglass of sunscreen on your face and body and reapply every two hours. Even waterproof sunscreen only stays water-resistant for two hours — so yes, girl, get out of the pool and slather another layer. Now is a good time to find a sunscreen that is comfy enough that you don’t mind putting on a fresh layer every few hours. Remember: the best beach body is safe, protected and healthy in the sun!
- Check out the new shimmer oils. No, they won’t make you look like a Christmas decoration. The new shimmer body oils have very fine flecks, and you can pick a shade that totally enhances your natural skin tone. Besides, you need to moisturise — might as well hydrate your skin and look like a Victoria’s Secret model.
One week before
- Get waxed. Do this early in the week (or if you foresee you’ll be busy, do this the weekend before). Swimsuits and bright, outdoor sunlight are unforgiving, so any stray hairs will show up like a fly floating in soup. Our tip: take an Advil or any painkiller before getting a face or body wax. You can also wax at shave at home, but do it on a night when you’re not stressed and can pay attention to all the spots. Try on your swimsuit to know what shows — and factor in that light coloured swimsuits will hide a lot less when they’re wet.
- Assemble your travel beauty kit. That includes makeup, plus any hair or body products in travel sizes. Don’t rely on the free hotel shower products, especially if you’ve got particular hair issues (dry hair, curly hair, frizzy hair). Now, more than ever, your hair and body needs more hydration, sun protection, and protection against the elements. Pack a good shampoo/conditioner, a double-purpose hair and body oil, and extra hydrating sheet masks.
- Fix your eyebrows. Whether you shave them, pluck them, or have them shaped by a pro, we know one thing: don’t leave home without your eyebrows on fleek. Even if you skip the rest of your makeup, your eyebrows can make a huge difference in how you look. You can skip eyeliner, you can get away with a lip and cheek tint or even a lipgloss, and you can even use an Instagram filter to hide dark circles… but you can’t hide bad eyebrows. Check out some of the best eyebrow embroidery services along Orchard Road, or find a Singapore beauty salon near you.
- Get a hydrating, radiance-boosting facial. Check out some of the best facials that will restore your glow, plump up your skin and help you look amazing even without makeup.
- Get a manicure/pedicure. Because the best beach body isn’t complete without flipflops and a pretty polish.