Spring Cleaning

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"Refresh from head to toe to get a jump-start on summer"

It’s time to spring clean our bodies the way we sweep away wintery buildup from our homes, preparing to wear summer’s more revealing fashions and readying ourselves to enjoy the lovely yet short time that is summer in Southwestern Ontario.

Start at the It’s time to spring clean our bodies the way we sweep away wintery buildup from our homes, preparing to wear summer’s more revealing fashions and readying ourselves to enjoy the lovely yet short time that is summer in Southwestern Ontario.

Use a boar bristle brush on your dry hair to loosen built-up dry skin on scalp. Starting at hairline, gently brush back and forth one inch at a time, moving vertically and horizontally along your scalp only.

Badr recommends using Schwarzkopf Professional BC Deep Cleansing Pre-Shampoo Peeling as an exfoliator for your scalp.

Use a colour-safe, deep-cleansing shampoo to wash away all the dry skin you’ve loosened. Rinse well and repeat once or twice to ensure you’ve achieved a deep clean.

Squeeze excess water from your hair and gently towel dry. Apply a deep moisturizing conditioner from mid-shaft to ends – applying it to your scalp can make it oily.

Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle and let conditioner soak into your hair for 30 minutes. After rinsing and gently towel drying hair, use a spray-on leavein conditioner and brush through.

Next apply a dime-size dollop of serum – Badr recommends BioSilk – from midshaft to ends. A heat-protecting spray is recommended before blow drying. “Never use a heat appliance to ‘raw’ hair,” she adds.

You can opt to do this process yourself or ask your stylist if this is a treatment that he or she offers.

To present your best face to the world, a facial will sweep away winter’s dryness. Aging skin needs special treatment, and Linda Shaba at Mayfair Salon and Spa recommends having your skin assessed by a professional before undertaking a facial. Anti-aging, hydrating, acne, organic – there is a facial treatment for each concern.

At Mayfair, the facial starts with cleaning to remove excess oil, then a toner is applied to tighten and tone the skin. Exfoliators fall into two categories: enzyme (usually gels) or mechanical (products with scrubbers).

To minimize wrinkles, Shaba recommends an exfoliator with glycolic acid “because it has the smallest molecules for deepest penetration. Cleaning the buildup of dead skin on either side of a wrinkle can reduce its appearance.”

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"Get rid of buildup on your scalp to reveal shiny, soft hair."

The type of mask used is also dictated by skin type: hydrating masks for dehydrated skin, moisturizing for dry skin or clay for drawing oil and bacteria out of pores.

Next, a protective moisturizing crème with sunscreen is applied. Shaba says that the best anti-aging treatment for skin is consistent use of sunscreen.

My skin is dry and I’m concerned about lines and wrinkles, so Shaba used hydrating and anti-aging products during the facial. The massage portion is definitely one of the high points of having a facial at a salon but DIY is also an option if you follow the steps.

Warmer weather requires wearing clothes that reveal more skin, so many women are concerned about cellulite. While diet is the best way of ridding oneself of those annoying lumps and bumps, there are ways to minimize or camouflage them while you’re working on eating cleaner.

Breanne Thibert of Artistic Spa recommends a series of three Universal Contour Wraps as a great way to boost self-esteem and get your body beachready. “Many of our clients use the inch-loss they experience through the treatments as a jump-start into a diet.”

Wraps have a bad reputation as just eliminating water from the body instead of real inch loss. This system uses tensor bandages soaked in a mineral-rich solution, not plastic wrap, to achieve inch loss and skin tightening. “Waste removal decreases surface area of cellulite,” explains Thibert.

I wanted to see the results for myself, so Thibert took my measurements, marking the spots for exact post-wrap measurements and comparison. Then she wrapped each of my limbs and torso with the soaked bandages. After an hour, Thibert unwrapped me and took measurements again.

I lost 12.9 inches cumulatively over my body. I was especially pleased with the almost half-inch lost off each of my upper arms and thighs, making them appear smoother and more toned.

Wanting to see if the results lasted, I asked Thibert to re-measure after a week’s time. Happily 10.5 inches had stayed away, helping me jump-start my quest for a better beach body. She cautions that to maximize and sustain results, you must avoid consuming alcohol, fatty foods, caffeinated beverages, sugar, salt and carbonated drinks.

On Artistic’s Central Street premises, a sister business, Laser Anatomy, offers laser treatments that can help eliminate cellulite and wrinkles. Called Venus Legacy, this third-generation treatment system uses a laser to non-invasively stimulate collagen synthesis, lipolysis and neo-vascularity to reduce the signs of aging, contour the body and tighten skin.

I almost dread the first summer trip to the beach as much as I look forward to it because of “chicken skin” on my legs. It’s that pale poultry colour cast by winter’s long shadow of darker days.

Tempted by the promise of achieving an all-over golden glow, I hesitantly agreed to try a spray-on tan. Leery of having an overly orangey look, I was happy when Jodey Stevenson of Artistic Spa was able to deliver the promised golden glow using St.Tropez Tan, the same formula used by Dancing With The Stars. Stevenson explained that I shouldn’t shower the product off until the next morning and that using moisturizers will prolong the tan’s seven-to 10-day lifespan.

Some women opt to wear their bathing suits or undergarments during treatment, while others prefer an all-over tan, says Stevenson.

In addition to perking up my skin’s colour, Stevenson comments that St. Tropez also makes cellulite less noticeable because “it’s like putting on a pair of pantyhose, just making you a couple of shades darker and bringing everything in.”

Just a quick stop at the pedicure station and I’ll be ready for summer from head to toe. Join me?