You’ve gotta be in a bikini in a couple of weeks. The countdown is on. Don’t panic, we’ve spoken to a whole load of experts on everything from hair-removal hacks to fake-tan tips, so you can pose poolside feeling as confident as the Love Island lot.
No strays here
We’ve all been there – you’ve spent a full hour in the bath shaving until you can shave no more, only to bare all and realise you’ve missed a patch. To prevent this, Dr Anita Sturnham tells us, ‘It’s all about the right products and techniques.’ To get the best shave possible, she advises against reaching for your shampoo, conditioner or shower gel as a substitute for shaving gel, as they increase the risk of irritation and blunt the razor. Instead, replace blades regularly, use as little pressure as possible whilst pulling skin taut, and shave in the direction that feels most comfortable with your natural hair-growth pattern.’
Fake it till you make it
If you’re worried about burning or simply don’t fancy being the palest on the beach for the first few days, using a fake tan is the answer to your prayers. Make sure you shave at least one day before tanning and thoroughly exfoliate, then moisturise any dry, streak-prone areas, such as knees, ankles and elbows. Olivia Todd, celebrity tanning expert, told us that her number-one tip is to take a cold shower right before you start applying the good stuff, as it is a ‘quick and efficient way to close up those pores and prevent them from getting blocked by the fake tan’.
Don't sweat it
38% of us worry about excess sweating once it starts heating up. Not only is it uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, says Dr Anita, ‘it can also bring about other bugbears, such a heat rash and prickly heat’. Both can occur when our sweat glands get congested, resulting in bumpy, irritated skin. To avoid this, Dr Anita advises that you stay well hydrated and seek out cool spaces to help regulate body temperature. If you’re worried about sweat patches, opt for an anti-perspirant deodorant and wear light natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen.
While the Islanders have a suitcase full of new clothes each, all you really need is one great piece of swimwear. Finding a bikini you feel great in is key to being confident on the beach. Ex-Islander Montana Brown tell us that ‘not everyone wants to wear a thong bikini’, and that those with larger chests can’t always wear string bikinis – so, picking one that is both comfortable and flattering, as well as being fit for the occasion, is key. ‘If I’m in Marbella, at a pool party, then I’ll wear a swimsuit,’ she says. ‘If I’m on holiday purely for tanning, it’s a bikini.’