Summer-ize Your Skin

By Erica Metzger

Before you break out the sundresses and sandals, take a good look at your dry, flaky skin. See what we mean? You've got some problems to smooth out -- and we're here to help.

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Photo by Tom Corbett

Your Neck and Elbows

Neck Check
You probably don't even notice the skin south of your chin until you slip on a tank top and find dark splotches and maybe a few lines. What's the deal? "Women usually take good care of their faces but completely neglect their neck and chest," says Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist. Because this skin is thinner and more sensitive than your face's, signs of aging -- especially sun damage -- show up sooner. "The easiest and least-expensive treatment is to duplicate the routine you're already doing on your face," says David E. Bank, MD, a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. That means you should use a daily sunscreen as well as regularly exfoliate, moisturize, and apply a serum with retinol, antioxidants, or peptides.

Elbow Room
Your arms have been hiding under long sleeves for so long that your elbows feel like sandpaper. Friction from clothes and pressure force dead, dehydrated skin to pile up, so for starters, quit leaning on your elbows! To soften your skin, Dr. Bank recommends twice-a-week exfoliation with a gentle body scrub. "The goal is to slowly remove the layers over time. Don't try to rub them off in a single shower because it will just make the skin there thicker," he says. Afterward, slather on a lotion that contains lactic or alpha hydroxy acid.

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