After three long, cold months of human hibernation, you’re eager to say farewell to winter and sprint full speed ahead to summer. There’s just one problem: you’re rocking a body by Netflix and a personal sweater that would put a sheep to shame.
Gym junkies have been getting swole since the start of spring – cutting carbs, smashing protein shakes, and ripping through reps to get beach-ready physiques by day one of the season.
Meanwhile the only thing you’ve been smashing is pies, and it shows.
It’s too late to look like an extra from Baywatch, but all hope is not lost. Use our guide to beach body grooming to prepare for summer in a pinch, and fake the handsome Hemsworth aesthetic you were too lazy to work for ahead of time.
Crop Your Winter Coat
Welcome to the jungle. While there are no steadfast rules for body hair, a wildly untamed pelt is rarely the right look for a beach day. Which hair removal method you choose will depend on the area in question and your desired outcomes. You can shave, wax, trim, pluck, or use creams for temporarily silky skin. For a more permanent solution, try electrolysis or laser hair removal.
Back hair is public enemy number one of the beach body. If your shoulders could be mistaken for Caesar’s from Planet of the Apes, you need a serious shearing. Chest hair comes down to personal preference, but in all cases you should aim for a balanced look between pecs and back. Most men look best somewhere in the middle: neither caveman shaggy nor Olympic swimmer smooth. Invest in a body hair groomer to tackle the task and start with a higher guard setting to prevent cropping too close.
As for the bits below the belt, we suggest letting your swimwear be the guide. Anything that creeps over the top or out the sides should be mowed. Anything closer to the Danger Zone is up to you.
Glow Hard Or Go Home
Fake tan may seem like the province of bodybuilders and pageant queens, but if you have the sun-kissed colouring of a bowling pin, we say break out the bronzer. A pre-beach tan makes your bod look healthier and leaner, and if applied correctly, can artificially enhance your muscle definition. It can also even out your complexion and camouflage any flaws.
Skip the dicey tanning bed situation and let a pro do your glow. A knowledgeable spray tanner will know exactly how to slim you down and beef you up with strategic shading. If expert assistance is not in the budget, a self-tanning lotion or spray is a suitable substitute. Apply with a light hand lest you turn out looking like a giant Cheeto finger.
Masculine Mane Maintenance
Beach-proof your brainbox with a curated collection of products. A leave-in conditioner can protect your hair from the seasonal abuses of sun, sea, salt, and chlorine. A sea salt spray provides an instant surfer look, even if you’d never actually brave a barrel. Apply a stronger gel or cream to keep unruly strands in place and enjoy an active day with aesthetic impunity. For limp or greasy locks, try a dry shampoo or texturising paste to liven things up, and to fight humidity and frizz, look for anti-humectants and hydrating formulas.
Embrace The Oil Exec
Show grease who’s boss with an oil-fighting skincare routine designed for the sweaty season. A body wash with a gentle, oil-free cleanser and follow up with a pore-minimising toner. Exfoliate regularly to smooth the surface and remove dead skin cells that can clog pores.
Use a light-but-effective water-based moisturiser to stay hydrated while resisting the slick. Don’t forget deodorant to keep the summer funk at bay, and if your pits still won’t quit, talk to a doc about trying a prescription-strength antiperspirant.
Safeguard Your Skin
Save face – literally – with an arsenal of pre- and post-sun products. Sunscreen is a must to protect your precious outer layer. Don’t neglect the hard to reach areas, or forgettable ones like lips and undereyes, and let it absorb for at least 20 minutes before jumping in the water. A moisturiser with SPF is an easy choice for the lazy man.
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Buff Up, Bloat Down
Need a quick tone before embarrassing yourself in your Orlebar Browns? You should have spent weeks working with a trainer instead of marathoning movies while snuggled in a Slanket, but the next best thing is a little muscle pump.
You may have noticed that your muscles look fuller immediately after a workout. The effect is the result of a buildup of muscular byproducts, and though it’s only temporary, it can be the extra shot of confidence you need before stripping down to your swim shorts. Pencil in a workout right before the beach to take advantage the boost. Aim for slightly higher reps with lower weight and less rest time between sets to maximise the effect.
If you have more time to prepare before the beach, you can also launch an offensive against bloating and water weight. Schedule steam time in a sauna to sweat out your body’s extra H2O. Take a digestive enzyme with each meal. Eat plenty of dark leafy greens and protein. Avoid processed foods with high salt content, cruciferous veggies, dried fruits, sugar alcohols, beans and legumes, dairy products, and carbonated drinks.
Toe It Goes
Get your Frodo feet ready for sandal season. Say sayonara to any short-and-curlies that bedeck the tops of your toes, and book a pedicure to tame your raptor claws before someone loses an eye.