A month before you hit the beach

Before stretching out on a sandy beach, make sure you apply a sunscreen. Apply a lotion, oil or mist every two hours and after swimming. Go for an SPF between 30 to 50 to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Tempting though it may be, avoid exposing your skin between midday and 3pm, when the sun is at its brightest.

Instating some toning exercises such as squats and star jumps daily will make a huge difference to tone, helping you to look - and feel - better on the beach. Try getting in the routine of doing 15 minutes every other day to see real results.

There's no two ways about it ; hitting the beach means an onslaught of skin damage. To prepare the skin as best you can, opt for foods rich in beta carotene, omega 3 and vitamin E. Fill your plate with carrots, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, salmon, tuna and vegetable oils. All of them will fortify your skin; though that doesn't mean you can skip the SPF !

With only three weeks before the holidays, use a scrub twice a week. It will brighten your complexion by getting rid of dead skin cells that dull and suffocate the skin. The result ? You skin will be glowing and smooth.

Note : don't rub too hard ; you'll damage your skin. Also remember to moisturise to prevent dryness post-scrub.

Essential fatty acids are crucial for bolstering the skin. They'll prevent it from drying out in the sun and will prepare it for the onslaught of UV rays. Supplements containing selenium, alongside vitamins A, C and E, are also good bets.

After months of being covered up, slowing exposing your skin to the sun, little by little, is key. A few days before hitting the beach, soak up some rays by walking or eating outdoors, or taking small breaks on the lawn or in a park. Just don't forget your SPF !

Don't leave hair removal until the last minute if you want to avoid blotchy, irritated skin. Instead, book in at your salon for a hot wax ; or do one yourself at home ; a few days before you leave. Don't forget to moisturise afterwards with a soothing lotion, or your skin will feel on fire!