She may be 34 but at the weekend Alesha Dixon paraded a pair of pins that would look just as good on a teenager when she appeared on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. Bare legged and smooth skinned without a hint of the dreaded cellulite or even a whiff of wrinkly kneecaps, the singer stole the show wearing a succession of mini dresses teamed with skyscraper strappy heels, showing off her endlessly long and lean legs to perfection. Alesha admits she was very sporty when she was younger the reason why her legs are in such good shape. And she swears by regular exfoliating with Sanctuary Spa body scrub, (Boots £11.25) to keep the skin flawless and polished. The star has also admitted in the past that she keeps her orange peel at bay with a treatment known as Hypoxi Therapy, (www.hypoxizone) which is a combination of exercise, improved diet and targeted low atmospheric pressure to help reduce cellulite around the thighs and buttocks. She is also an avid fan of a juice cleanser containing carrot, ginger and beetroot which she ensures is freshly made using unpasteurised juices to help detox her body. While most of us can only dream of having legs like Alesha, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to perk up your pins and give them more definition shape and tone in time for summer shorts.
SHAPE UP AND TACKLE CELLULITE
Studies say 90 per cent of us have cellulite. As we age collagen fibres weaken twhich leads to fat, lymphatic fluid and water clumping together to create a dimpled appearance. It’s the bane of most women’s lives but you can reduce the appearance in a month with these lifestyle tips. AT HOME Try daily body brushing to improve lymphatic drainage. Using a dry bristle brush start at your ankles and work up to your thighs in an upward movement. Have an Epsom salt bath (£1.25, Boots) three times a week. The salts are full of magnesium which can help reduce cellulite, just pour two cupfuls into a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes. The herb Gotu Kola also encourages lymph drainage, and helps collagen synthesis and repair. (victoriahealth.co.uk) Drink at least a litre of water each day. Cut out refined carbs, eat more antioxidant-rich berries, protein and fibre to help firm muscles. Exercise regularly to promote blood flow, particularly swimming and walking. Just two weeks of daily toning exercises like squats and lunges – three sets of 12 – can also make a significant difference to firming up thigh muscles and improving tone. Stop drinking coffee and try rubbing it into your skin instead as caffeine can help boost blood flow and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Caffeine contains xanthines; found in most human body tissues, and used topically it can actually stimulate lipolytic activity (fat breakdown) reducing the appearance of dimpled skin. Try Cinq Mondes Slimming Coffee Cream, £43 which is made of coffee beans, grapefruit acids and kola nut. Rub a small amount on cellulite areas morning and night, or after exercise as this increases blood flow making the cream more effective. (from Spa Voyage 01483450830).
AT THE SALON
Lipotripsy treats bottom, saddlebags and thighs. Treatments take half an hour per body zone. Radial Wave Therapy (also known as shock wave therapy) is delivered by a therapist through a small hand piece, as it passes over the skin the Radial Waves reach the fat cells in the dermis providing gentle activation of the fat cell membrane, collagen synthesis and lymphatic drainage. From £120 per treatment – www.lipotripsy.com
AT THE CLINIC
Cellulaze is a new laser treatment which goes underneath the skin to banish cellulite, but is less invasive than laser liposuction. The tip of the laser is like a pen and it is inserted just below the skin to melt away superficial fat and increase collagen production .The procedure is performed under a local anesthetic. Results are seen after one treatment, but improvements continue to show for up to 12 months after the procedure as new collagen is formed. Results are permanent. A one off treatment, results are permanent from £2500 from 0207 436 4441
KNEES MUST- Knee wrinkles – known as ninkles, the saggy skin and deep grooves that suddenly appear around the 30’s occur as a result of the loss of collagen in the skin through sun damage, ageing, dehydrated skin and weight loss
AT THE CLINIC- Laser knee sculpting using Fraxel Repair Laser will give a great knee lift tightening the skin by about 30 per cent and stimulating new collagen. Expect two weeks downtime and results last up to five years. From £1000 tel 0207 436 4441 AT HOME Try Clarins Beauty Flash Balm on crepey knees – it will temporarily smooth and improve the look of your skin.
THE FINAL LEG- These finishing touches can make all the difference to the look of your legs AT HOME A golden tan makes legs look slimmer, and can cover tiny imperfections making skin look flawless. Don’t go too dark, as it can make the skin on the legs look wrinkly. Keep the colour subtle with a honey-like glow Try *Tan Me Self Tan Mousse in Medium (£18 www.sun-believable.com) which is quick drying and gives an even healthy glow in 2-to 4 hours which adjusts to your skin tone *Dr Ceuticals Leg Tone & Shimmer, (£16.99 Boots,) adds a glow to brighten dull skin and also firms and tones skin with its marine extracts. – great for smoothing over tanned a sensation of lightness. *Puffy, tired heavy leg with swelling around the feet and ankles is usually caused by a build up of fluids – for a DIY approach, try the following tactics: keep feet elevated, exercise regularly, and incorporate leg rotations and stretches. Light Legs Crackling Mousse from Kiko Make Up Milano. £12.90 www.kikocosmetics.com gives an instant ice-cold effect so skin is soothed and invigorated refreshing tired legs.
AT THE CLINIC- Broken/Thread Veins IPL – a laser treatment – will remove tiny thread veins or Sclerotherapy, small injections into broken vein which will cause them to collapse, – dispose of it over a couple of months, Dr Mike Tee 020 7935 0986. Price from £120