Whether you’ve only got a couple of minutes to spare, or hours to go all out, here’s how to treat yourself to some me-time…
You’re counting down the hours till you can check into the spa for your blissful full-body massage. What’s the first thing the therapist notices as she lays her hands on your weary body? No, not the tension in your shoulders, it’s actually your dry skin that hasn’t seen a smidgen of body butter in
Oh, and the same applies to your hands, feet, face and hair: neglect, unfortunately, never goes unnoticed. “I can see dry skin immediately,” says Inalie Victor, spa manager of Sanctuary Spa at Majeka House hotel. Besides massage oil that absorbs in seconds because your skin is so desperately thirsty, the telltale signs are flakiness and fine lines on your lower legs, she adds.
UK-based hairstylist Tom Connell of the Trevor Sorbie Covent Garden salon also says that he can pick up bad home care instantly. “The ends of your hair have been on your head the longest – and therefore give away all your secrets,” he says.
Need any more convincing that you should up your game? Here’s what the pros wish you’d do more of at home…
Two Minutes To Spare
Face: Treat your eyes daily
Sure, you cleanse and moisturise twice a day, but what about those little extras? If you're skimping on eye cream, that's a simple way to change up your skincare routine for big results. "Eye cream is concentrated and can work wonders," says therapist and owner of Radiance Skin & Body Therapy, Michelle du Toit, who recommends using it from as young as 20 years old. Apply to clean skin at night, dispensing a pea-sized amount onto your ring finger and sharing between both eyes, explains Du Toit. "Start at the bridge of your nose and move outward towards your temples. Use leftover cream on frown lines between your eyes," she says. Or apply to your lips to avoid fine lines forming. TRY: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream (R515), enriched with mineral water and aloe vera to soothe dehydration.
Face: Exfoliate your skin twice a week
Warning signs that your skin is dry? Sensitive red areas (especially on your cheeks), dehydrated-looking skin thanks to not drinking enough water and increased blackheads are evidence that you've forgotten to exfoliate, says Victor.TRY: For normal skin, Victor recommends an exfoliator like Priori Invigorating Face and Body Scrub (R745 for 200ml) with alpha hydroxy acids to remove a build-up of dead skin cells. But if your skin is on the sensitive side, look for calming ingredients such as rose, tea tree and lavender. Try Juice Beauty Exfoliating Cleanser (R285), which is soap-free and laced with soothing aloe vera.
Hand & Feet: Nourish and hydrate your cuticles daily
Best thing to do to your nails between manis and pedis? Give them some love with cuticle oil. This is a great nail care basic, explains Charlie Corkill, beauty therapist and owner of Urban Apothecary. "By massaging it into your cuticles and nail bed, you're keeping your nails hydrated." Any time you massage
something into the skin, you encourage fresh blood (and therefore fresh oxygen) into that area, which helps improve the skin's overall condition. "Massage this area often," says Corkill. "In fact, the more you do it, the better." No cuticle oil on hand? Use your body cream or lotion. TRY: OPI Avoplex Nail Cuticle Oil To Go Pen (R145 for 7.5ml) has a brush tip for easy application.
Hands & Feet: Treat rough heels daily
It's a sunny day (finally!) and you're dying to wear those gorgeous new metallic sandals. But your feet look and feel rough and there's zero time for a trip to you're dying to wear those gorgeous new metallic sandals. But your feet look and feel rough and there's zero time for a trip to the nail salon. This DIY foot treat will take you just 30 seconds per foot: file your heels with a foot file while your feet are still warm and damp from your bath. "Prop your foot on the side of the bath and, using small backward and forward movements, work the foot file over your heels – you'll see the dead skin crumbling away," says Corkill. Don't do this when your skin is really wet because too much water means the file will have no grip. And if your feet are too dry, the skin isn’t soft enough. "Avoid using a tool with blades or serrated edges because you can risk removing too much of the skin's own protection – your skin will then go into growth overdrive to compensate," warns Corkill. She recommends you use a double-sided foot file with a rough and smooth grit; start with the rougher side and then switch to the finer grit to finish off and smooth the skin. TRY: Tweezerman Pedro Callous Stone (R220).