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Transforming your winter-weary skin into a sexy replica of Caribbean-kissed color is easy, and you don't even need to expose your skin to the sun. How? Use one of the new self-tanners, which get better and better each year.
The best news is that the orange streakiness that plagued older versions is now history. But the key is to be patient: Just as when you tan naturally, building your at-home tan should be done gradually. Start by choosing a light shade and slather some on every day to deepen the hue. Also, today's choices are so refined they're nearly foolproof. Some are formulated with alpha-hydroxyl acids, which help prep the skin for the color by exfoliating dead skin, while others are now made in gel versions, which dry in just minutes and leave no residue on your skin. Make sure to rub in the product evenly, wait until it's dry (usually a full five minutes), and watch your healthy glow emerge before your very eyes.Moisturizing Magic
After months of plummeting outdoor temperatures and overheated rooms, your dry skin needs to be pampered (and pleasured!) before summer kicks off. Get rid of the flaking, rough skin, and bring back the smooth, satiny skin that's your best outdoor accessory, with this season's moisturizers.
Soft skin is a snap when you slather on a creamy moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath (when the skin is most receptive to moisture). Although the humid summer air doesn't cause dry skin the way winter's harsh winds do, your skin still needs a little help to retain its natural moisture, especially after exposure to heat. Reach for a lighter version of your winter body moisturizer or try an oil spray, which delivers a veil of moisture. The results: dewy, shimmery, beautiful skin.
Summer skin can be synonymous with smooth, bump-free skin when you make a rich exfoliant part of your beauty routine. Not only will exfoliating leave your skin enviably soft, but it also guarantees that other summer staples, such as self-tanner and moisturizer, go on a lot more evenly. Plus, today's formulas, scented with mood-enhancing aromatherapy oils and moisturizing oils, have transformed this essential step into a fun, indulgent one.
When choosing an exfoliator, note whether it's for your body or face. Those for the body tend to feature larger grains that are perfect for tougher skin but too aggressive for delicate facial skin. For the best results, rub the grains on your arms, legs, and buttocks before showering, while your skin is still dry. Without water to get in its way, the product will better adhere to your dry skin. Then, jump in the shower, rinse off the scrub and carry on with your regular cleansing routine. You'll relish the smooth-as-silk effect!Smart Sun Protection
You've heard it a dozen times before, but it definitely bears repeating: don't step into the glare of the summer sun without a hearty coating of sun protection. Even while running around town -- let alone lying on the beach -- your face is vulnerable to the sun's damaging rays.
Look for products with a high SPF (sun protection factor); SPF 15 is adequate for daily use and common in many moisturizers, but you should aim for an SPF 30, which guards your skin for up to 30 times longer than you'd ordinarily need without any sun protection. Check the labels for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which provide the best barrier against skin-damaging UVA and UVB rays. Most brands now feature micronized technology that makes the formulas super-sheer and undetectable -- perfect to wear under makeup. That's what we call fun in the sun.