10 Tips for Perfect Summer Skin
- Stock up on sunscreen. Ultra-tanned, leathery skin is passe. In now: Paler, protected skin. Go for an SPF 15 or higher.
- Watch your scent. Certain perfumes -- especially those containing citrus notes like bergamot -- are photosensitive, causing they skin on which they're worn to develop dark spots in the sun. To be safe, avoid fragrance when you'll be outside for a long time.
- Exfoliate efficiently. Use a grainy scrub or puff to slough off dull, dead skin cells in the shower. Tip: Work in gentle circular motions.
- Create your own scrub. Mix a handful of coarse-grain salt with a store-bought body oil (such as Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil). Rub all over damp skin, then rinse.
- Rely on cellulite creams, but only for temporary results. Creams that claim to melt fat don't work. But you can achieve a temporarily tighter-skin effect with a cream containing firming ingredients like caffeine.
- Squelch red bumps. Called keratosis pilaris, these harmless red bumps (caused by a hereditary thickening of the skin's pores) can sometimes be minimized by using a prescription AHA or BHA cream. See your dermatologist for specifics.
- Remove hair wisely. Shave, wax, or use your depilatory at least 24 hours before you head into the sun. All three removal methods can leave the skin mildly irritated, making it more susceptible to burning and stinging in the sun.
- Try self-tanner. It will give you the glow you crave without the damage. Tip: Apply self-tanner when completely unclothed. That way, you won't have pale splotches around the leg-holes and straps of your suit.
- Avoid post-shave or wax bumps. After shaving or waxing your bikini, you're more prone to ingrown hairs, which appear as very-obvious red bumps. Apply an antiseptic solution such as Tend Skin after you shave to help minimize ingrown hairs.
- Don't forget your feet. Lizard-like skin on heels and toes can ruin any chic swimsuit look. To nix calluses, try the Pedro stone by Tweezerman; slough damp skin in circular motions. --Lisa Kovalovich
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