Balance, Education and Relaxation

Elle UK: Summer Beauty: When to spa and when to save…


When summer hits, so does the temptation to embark on a major beauty overhaul. All of that freshly exposed skin needs to be buffed and brightened, toned and tanned. But ticking off all of those boxes at the spa or salon can cost as much as your holiday, so this summer, be choosy about what you splurge on.

“You can get real results from at-home spa treatments,” says Soli Davis, a Manhattan-based beauty therapist and spa consultant. But on the flipside, Davis admits some services are best left in the hands of professionals. Read on below for how to shop the spa menu selectively.


Warmer weather and brighter skies call for lighter, sheerer make-up, so prioritise skin in the run up to summer. While some at-home kits that contain retinol and glycolic acid can deliver, ‘home microdermabrasion kits are usually a paltry substitute for the real deal’ says Davis.

She recommends you get your complexion clear and glowing with a rejuvenating facial that purifies, brightens and adds radiance to the skin. At the Amanda Lacey Clinic in London, savvy regulars are already booking their annual Pink Treatments, which use fruit enzymes to peel off a layer of dull, wintry skin. (Naturally, it’s their most popular treatment for summer.)

If you can afford it, follow their lead and book a similar treatment with a reputable beauty therapist who can determine your individual needs, perform a service that makes a visible difference, and clearly instruct you on how to maintain that glow.


As for fake tans, a professionally applied bronze always looks best, says Davis. But the jury’s still out on whether it’s worth getting an in-salon scrub first. With an amazing range of scrubs available to buy, some beauty aficionados swear there’s no better place to get smooth than in their own bath-tub or shower. ‘A perfectly thorough exfoliation can improve the look—and longevity—of your tan,’ says Davis, so do this bit yourself and you can invest your pennies in a tanning professional instead. We’ve yet to find anything that betters the St Tropez Spray Tan (from £30). The tone and depth are realistic, it rarely streaks and all the therapists are highly trained so should get a good result wherever you go.


Body treatments that improve circulation or lymphatic drainage are also sound pre-holiday investments, as they can temporarily reduce the look of cellulite. A good, 90-minute massage is always worthwhile – provided the therapist has experience and comes recommended (an effective massage has nothing to do with the number of scented candles they’re burning in the room).

Read more at Elle UK

Download pdf: Elle UK, August 2009 (724kb)

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