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Care for your cleavage

20 AUGUST 2010

'If you've got it, flaunt it,' they say, but the skin on your cleavage and neckline needs special care if you want it to be seen at its best.

Even when you aren't on holiday, summer tops and tees tend to leave more of the delicate area from neck to boobs exposed to the ravages of the sun. The skin here is particularly delicate and needs extra special care and attention to stop it ageing before its time.

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Sun screen - The fragility of the skin on the neckline and cleavage area makes it especially liable to blemishes, spots and sun damage, so when you apply sun screen you should use a slightly higher protection factor here, just as you would on your face. Even if you aren't sunbathing, remember that it's still vulnerable: the sun visor may keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face when driving, for example, but UVA rays coming through the windscreen destroy the collagen and elastin in your skin, and a strappy top may leave this area particularly exposed.

Exfoliation - Despite this delicacy, your neckline and cleavage will benefit from a weekly exfoliation routine. This will help renew the skin and leave it softer and cleaner. Use a mild product such as you'd use on your face, not an all over body-scrub, and apply it with a gentle massage.

Moisturising - A beautiful cleavage is a well-moisturised cleavage, which makes the application of moisturiser, nourishing or firming cream after showering absolutely fundamental. For firmer, more supple skin, apply in an upward direction with a gentle outward, circular motion.

Cleansing - When you come to your nightly facial cleansing, take a few moments extra and continue on to your neck and cleavage area. In fact, all the cleansing, moisturising and general pampering that you give to your face can be extended that little bit to this other exposed, but often neglected, area.

Exercise - Horse-riding and aerobics aren't likely to do your cleavage much good, but any exercise that strengthens the muscles around this area will help to keep it firm and delay the effects of ageing. And avoid sudden changes in weight, which are liable to leave the skin flaccid and sagging.

Make up - If you choose an outfit with a low neckline for a special occasion, the skin on your cleavage will look even better if you use body make-up: creams containing iridescent particles can give a satin finish and work especially well when the skin is slightly tanned.

One last trick: when you finish your morning shower, take a moment to apply cold water directly to the upper breast area for a minute or two to tone and firm.

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