top 9 tips for sexy summer skin

Summer - the season when we invite our skin to breathe and enjoy a dose of healthy Vitamin D which we have been craving for since the long dark days of Winter first arrived.

Summer - the season of the big reveal.... but is your skin ready for it? Follow my tips below and you will be.

Tip 1: Prep Your Skin

We all want our skin to look radiant and glow with health but after being covered up and kept hidden for so long it may have become dull, patchy and flaky because we simply forgot to take regular good care of it.

Now that summer's here how can we be sure our skin with radiate with health and vitality?

To smooth away rough skin, brush off dull dead skin cells, and reduce the patches of dry and flaky skin which have formed as a result of heavy winter clothing and dry indoor heating, you can't beat a good body exfoliation.

When it comes to your body and feet, I recommend a strong exfoliating product containing salts or sugars. Getting into a routine of exfoliating once a week will ensure your body's skin will glisten with health and vitality, and the skin on your feet will soften and dissipate, removing the tiredness and discomfort that comes with hard skin.

Tip 2: Be Gentle on Your Face

Whilst it's important to exfoliate your whole body it's important to bear in mind that your facial skin is more tender than that on the rest of your body.

With the skin on your face being more tender we need to treat it more gently. I, therefore, recommend using an exfoliator that contains more gentle fruit seeds. Salts and sugars are too harsh for your face and could leave your skin damaged. Even crushed nut kernels can be too strong for your face.

As a rule of thumb, if the exfoliating product you want to use on your face feels too scrubby, then it's too harsh.

And let's not forget about your lips. Contrary to what some women think, lip scrubs are not a gimmick. They play an important role on keeping your lips smooth and healthy.

Not only are lip scrubs fun (and often quite tasty.. though you shouldn't really eat the product) but they also keep your lips healthy and can reduce the chance of developing chapped lips and cold sores.

Tip 3: Keep Your Skin Safe in the Sun

We all know the importance of SPF (Sun Protection Factor), especially in the summer months when the sun is at its strongest.

But many people still think they only need to apply sun-cream when they're heading out for a long walk in nature or enjoying a relaxing day at the beach.

When you're popping out for a lunchtime dander or running an errand, your skin can still be prone to over-exposure from the sun.

So I recommend adding some light face-protecting sunscreen into your morning beauty routine. And then re-applying, as necessary, sun-cream during the day.

Tip 4: Find a Shady Spot

Wherever possible find a place to sit in the shade, under a tree for example.

Whilst the leaves and branches won't stop the sun reaching your skin (so you still need to put on sunscreen) they will reduce the exposure.

When the sun is hottest, usually between 10am and 3pm, this is the time when we are most exposed to its radiation and our skin most prone to damage. So I recommend adjusting your routine a little to enjoy being outdoors during the cooler hours in the morning and in the evening.

And also take heed if you're driving during the day or sit near a window in the office. Sun can still penetrate glass and cause premature aging and wrinkles. So even when indoors, it's wise to wear some sunscreen.

Tip 5: Don a Hat and Sunglasses

Whenever you're out and about cover your head and protect your face with a sunhat and protect your eyes with sunglasses.

A sun-hat will help protect your face from getting burned. Quite often we don't feel our face getting burnt as it is the one area of our body which is exposed to the elements all-year-round so may not be as sensitive as other parts of our body which stay covered nine months of the year.

As we grow older our eyes become more sensitive, especially to bright sunlight. We're never too young to protect our eyes and don a sexy pair of shades which, not only protects our eyes, but gives us that mysterious 'je ne sais quoi'..... Oooh la la, lady.

Tip 6: Mistakes Can Happen...

 Even when you follow all my tips above to protect your sun from over-exposure, I appreciate that mistakes can happen - you might not always remember to carry your sun-cream with you.

So if you find you have slightly burnt your skin, please take immediate action when you get home.

My favourite natural remedy is aloe gel, straight from the plant... so pop down to your local gardening centre today and invest one of nature's most amazing plants.

Initial research has shown aloe vera aids the skin in healing from sunburns and mild burns.

Tip 7: Go on Mole Patrol

When I recommend you go on mole patrol, I'm not talking about those furless little animals that create mounds at the bottom of the garden... I'm talking the nasty little brown spots that can appear on your skin.

I recommend you make this a regular check, at least once a month.

Pay particular attention to moles which may be itchy or bleeding, or which have changed size or shape. And if concerned about what you may find, take action and visit your doctor for expert advice.

Tip 8: Switch to Lighter Products

Sometimes during the warmer weather our skin can look a bit more dewy than we would like. But did you know that the extra moisture on your face isn't actually all sweat, as we would expect?

The additional moisture on our skin also contains increased levels of oil. This is because in warmer weather our oil glands become more active. But increased oil on our face can lead to the increased chance of breakouts.

So if you are particularly prone to breakouts (and 60% of people who suffer from acne on a regular basis say their acne is worse in the summer) then choose products, including SPF products, which are lighter and water-based, rather than oil-based.

It might also be a good idea to use a clay-based face mask once a week as clay is oil-absorbing. But please avoid regularly using products which strip your skin of oil as this will only encourage your glands to work harder to replace the oil that has been stripped away.

Tip 9: Get Hydrated and Stay Hydrated

In the warmer summer weather you should increase your water intake so you stay hydrated on the inside and on the outside (dehydration can causes temporary and premature fine lines and wrinkles in your skin).

It's normal to feel thirstier in the summer months and warmer weather so trust your body and drink plenty.

But staying hydrated is not just about drinking water. Mother Nature, well she's a smart cookie. Summer fruits and leafy greens such as watermelon, berries, and lettuce naturally have a higher concentration of water.

So feel free to indulge in fresh, water-rich foods... Mother Nature has nurtured them for a reason.