If you want to look good this summer, now is the time to take the necessary steps to get your body into shape

Traditionally winter is the season for party-going and evenings out, so you should aim to be at your most attractive. But it is not easy. Drying winds and cold visibly affect the skin, and chapping cracks appear on skin that is ill-protected.

Also, there is less pressure on you to stay slim and keep your skin smooth and moist when it is mostly concealed by several layers of warm clothing.

If you are going to look after your looks and body at this time of year you need dedication, energy and enthusiasm.

Make sure you continue to attend your gym or exercise class. Winter exercise will ensure that when spring comes round again you’ll be in good shape with clear, moist skin and strong supple muscles.

Winter is an excellent time to wage war on cellulite.

Basically cellulite is an internal pollution problem that manifests itself in the form of deadened areas of skin.

To test if you have cellulite pinch the skin on your inner thigh or upper arm. If it looks puckered and dimpled, then you have a cellulite problem and it needs treating to prevent it from spreading.

Most women seem to get cellulite when their bodies are undergoing great hormonal changes — like when they first start taking contraceptive pills, get pregnant or go through menopause.

If you are under stress and tend to eat a lot of processed food you are more susceptible to cellulite formation, and smoking and drinking can exacerbate the problem.

Nicotine interferes with normal blood circulation and creates an environment just right for cellulite.

It also “steals” vitamin C which is needed for the formation of healthy skin collagen.

If you have cellulite, eat lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereals, high-fiber foods, and drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices, natural spring and mineral water.

To combat cellulite while bathing, many women use a specially designed massage “glove” made of rubber and enclosing a bar of soap — often containing an extract of ivy.

You can rub very hard with it and if you use it regularly you will notice the difference.

When you are running your bath don’t make the water too hot. Hot baths loosen your muscles, dehydrate your skin, and cause it to age more rapidly.

Before you step in add a few drops of sweetly smelling bath oil to the water to help keep your skin moist. Some of the cheaper bubble baths dehydrate your skin.

Use only milder pH balanced soaps to keep your skin’s natural protective acid mantle.

Every time you bathe you should give yourself a good rub all over to get rid of dead skin, paying special attention to rough areas around knees, elbows and heels.

Once you have finished your bath and dried yourself with a fluffy towel you should smooth moisturizer into your skin while it is still warm and pink.

You can buy special body lotions that are designed to restore the skin’s natural balance and suppleness and leave it feeling really satiny soft.

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