Love Your Body!

We all have trouble spots. Don't stress over yours. Here's how to firm it, smooth it, or hide it!
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Upper Back

Why should you care about exercising your upper back? Because better muscle tone gives you that sexy V-shape from shoulders to waist, helping your waistline look smaller. Stronger muscles along the spine also improve your posture.

Firm It These exercises were designed by Carol Espel, M.S., exercise physiologist for Equinox Fitness Clubs of New York. For best results, do each exercise three times a week, with a day of rest between. Look to see improvement in four to six weeks.

  • Holding a pair of 3- to 5-pound weights with arms down at your sides, stand tall with knees slightly bent.
  • Tilt forward from the hips, keeping your back straight and your head aligned with spine.
  • Inhale. As you exhale, pull in abs and, keeping elbows slightly bent, raise arms to shoulder height, as shown. Inhale as you lower arms to starting position. Do two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Smooth It

Unfortunately, blemishes on your back tend to be bigger than the ones that appear on your face, and because the skin on the back is thicker, blemishes are slower to heal, too.

But you can get in the clear by showering with an exfoliating body scrub, such as Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub ($5.99) with salicylic acid; washing away dead cells allows anti-acne treatment to penetrate deeper into skin.

After washing, dab on an over-the-counter medication with 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide-any product with a higher percentage could be irritating. If you have more than two pimples, it's best to smooth medication on your entire back, says Kathy Fields, clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of California, in San Francisco. This will prevent future breakouts. (Pimples form under the skin for two weeks before they reach the surface.) How soon will you clear up? Anywhere from five days to four weeks.

Hide It

If you don't want to go backless due to a breakout, wear a flesh-toned shirtdress in airy mesh over a tank top. It gives the illusion of beautiful skin without baring all.

Continued on page 2:  Arms


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