Sloughing off dead skin cells is vital to snagging a glowing complexion (plus, alligator legs are pretty unsightly). Just be careful not to scrub too often or too hard. Stick to two to three times (every other day) for oily skin and no more than once a week for sensitive skin.
Try a DIY Treatment
If you have your period during Valentine's Day, the last thing you want to do is cover yourself in rose petals and chocolate (OK, maybe the chocolate part doesn't sound too bad). Ward off PMS symptoms and still feel a little frisky with this DIY recipe from James Wong, author of Grow Your Own Drugs.
Chaste Berry Vinegar
Brownish-black chaste berries (Vitex agnus-castus) contain remarkable hormone-regulating substances, which have been shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of PMS. This recipe for chaste berry vinegar can help minimize PMS-related symptoms, such as backaches, stomach cramps, breast tenderness, irritability, and mood swings.
3/4 cup (200 ml) good-quality cider vinegar
1/2 cup (50 g) chaste berries, fresh or dried
1. Pour the vinegar over the berries in a jar. Seal. Shake every day for 2 weeks. Strain and return to jar.
2. To use, take 1 tsp. every day. Do not use if pregnant. Keeps for 6 months in a dark place.
Pamper Your Piggies
If you're going to make yourself glow from head to toe, don't forget about the skin on the bottom of your feet! Try this DIY pedi from Tara Oolie, owner of Just Calm Down Spa in New York City to pretty up your feet.
Strawberry Daiquiri Pedicure
In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and 1 tablespoon pureed strawberries. Use this mixture generously to exfoliate your heels, feet, and calves. Rinse the scrub off with warm water and use a warm washcloth to remove any excess sugar granules. Next, massage your feet and calves with a mixture of 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup coconut cream, and 1 cup pureed strawberries. Rinse off with warm water and apply a strawberry-scented body lotion such as The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter.
Pick the Right Lotion
Not all moisturizers were created equal. Lathering up is a great way to keep your skin soft, but only if you're putting the right stuff on. "Each skin type responds best to different moisturizer formulas," says New York City dermatologist Howard Sobel. "If you have dry skin, try an oil-based cream with major hydrators like silicone, ceramides, or glycerin. They prevent moisture from escaping your skin. For oily skin, choose a water-based moisturizer so it won't clog your skin and cause breakouts. Combination and normal skin types should experiment with lightweight lotions that contain humectants like sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid, which attract water from the air to your skin." Another big help? Sobel says to apply lotion to slightly damp skin right after you shower to seal in more moisture.
Fix Uneven Tanner
Having a subtle glow is sexy, having weird streaks on your arms and legs isn't. Body expert and owner of Completely Bare Cindy Barshop says all you need to even a tan is a sugar exfoliator and a lemon. First, exfoliate the blotchy area in the shower with the sugar scrub. Rinse off and exfoliate again, adding a bit of lemon juice to your scrub. When your skin is completely dry apply a gradual sunless tanner directly on the exfoliated area. Use a blow dryer (on the cool setting) to get the tanner to dry completely. Last, apply another layer of the gradual sunless tanner over the entire area to even out the color.
Maintain Your Bikini Line
It might not be bathing suit season, but that doesn't mean you have to neglect your bikini line. Keep it in check all year round by plucking out dark hairs with tweezers or trim longer hairs with a scissor, says Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare. To create the illusion of a flawless bikini line use a sunless tanner which will help the hair blend in with your skin.
Eat for Your Skin
Typically you eat for your waistline, but if you make sure to include some skin enhancing munchies in your diet, both areas will benefit. Here are some top picks from Lisa Drayer, MA, RD:
-Sweet Potatoes: They are rich in beta-carotene and, when ingested, are converted into vitamin A, a prime factor in keeping skin soft. Not a potato person? Carrots will do the trick, too.
-Kiwi: Any food with lots of vitamin C, like kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit, is a big skin saver. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis and protects against wrinkles. In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who had a diet high in vitamin C foods had noticeably less dryness and fewer wrinkles.
-Wild Salmon: Foods heavy in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, herring, and trout play a key role in keeping our skin smooth. They provide our skin with oils that lubricate and reduce inflammation, which often leads to redness, acne, and scaly skin.
Switch Your Scent
Your nose is like your taste palette. Smelling the same way for an extended period of time can make you immune to the effects of a certain scent. Change your fragrance and you might just surprise yourself (not to mention him).
Get a Peel
When you think of a chemical peel, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the Sex and the City episode where Samantha shows up to Carrie's book party looking like a raw sushi tray. In reality, the opposite is true about peels. Superficial peels that fix skin tone with a low-percentage glycolic acid are so gentle your face may flake slightly, but otherwise will be fine. Talk to a professional to find out which strength peel is right for your skin type.
Banish Body Breakouts
Nothing oozes sex appeal like your guy giving you a back massage while avoiding land mines of backne, right? Not quite. To keep body blemishes away use a 2 percent salicylic acid cleanser in the shower with the help of a loofah and apply only noncomedogenic body lotion. If you don't see improvement after a few weeks, talk to your derm about getting on an antibiotic or topical cream to nix the issue.
To get rid of trapped oil and dirt, try changing your face wash. Opt for oil-free and water-based skin-care products. If changing your routine still hasn't budged those pores, see a derm to get on a prescription treatment like Retin-A.
Find a Toner
You tone your arms and legs at the gym, why not tone your face too? Toners not only soothe your skin but also help balance pH levels in your skin. Look for toners that are free of irritants: alcohol, fragrance, citrus, menthol, color, and other aggressive extracts, says Real Beauty expert Jennifer Yen.
Embrace Eye Creams
Even if you're in your 20s, taking care of your eyes now will keep them looking healthy for years to come. Plus, the skin around your eyes is the thinnest and therefore shows the signs of aging first. Keep your peepers prepped with a product like Super Bright Eyed by Dr. Nicholas Perricone and show them off by winking at the cute guy at the gym this weekend.
Spend Some QT in the Bathroom
Grab your guy and head to the tub! Pamper yourself sexy by turning your bathroom into your own spa. Stock up on oils, scrubs, even hair treatments and take turns spoiling each other. If he's not into the frilly stuff, try this simple scalp massage: Starting at the hairline, firmly tap the back of his head, down to the shoulder blades. Work your way back up to the hairline by moving two fingers in a fast, circular motion. Then, rake your fingers over the entire head (careful not to pull any hair!) up to the forehead. Work your way back to the nape of the neck with small, fast circles starting at the crown. Now, it's your turn!
If you made it past the title of this slide and are actually reading the reasons why you should have sex, good for you. The truth is, the benefits of sex for your skin are endless. It gives you a constant glow, controls acne, prevents dry skin, and even wards off aging. If you still need convincing, get all the benefits here. Now stop reading already and get busy!
Care for Your Kisser
Don't forget to give a little TLC to your lips, they do most of the work for you! Keep lips supple and smooth by using a heavier lip treatment at night and a lighter gloss to keep your smackers shiny through the day.
Get Sexy Lashes
You can use all the eye creams you want, but your lashes frame your eyes, so make them stand out. Make your lashes look longer by curling them. Gently squeeze once at the roots and hold down for five seconds. Then, place the mascara brush at the base of your lashes, wiggle it slightly, and pull it through in a slow zigzag motion. This will evenly coat each lash without weighing them down.
Take the Right Vitamins
To get a glow that shines inside out, you've got to make sure you're putting the right stuff into your body. Start taking a daily multivitamin with C, E to combat aging and fine lines. To keep skin smooth, look for a label that has fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.
Yes, it's annoying everything leads back to this, but it's true. Especially with acne-prone skin, exercise can control flare ups and even boost collagen production, keeping fine lines and wrinkles off your face.
Try a New Look
The easiest way to feel sexy is to try something new. If you find you're in a hair and makeup rut, try a new smoky eye or make an appointment at your favorite salon for a hairstyle upgrade.
Wash Before You Snooze
"If you're acne prone, this is the worst thing you can do to your skin," says New York City dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, M.D. "Leaving makeup on overnight clogs your pores and traps in dirt from the day. Nighttime is your skin's time to repair itself." So do yourself a favor, and at the very least swipe some makeup remover across your face before passing out.
Like exercising, staying hydrated can help keep your skin firm, smooth, and glowing. Good thing you typically need water to exercise, it's double-duty beauty!
Get Your Zzzz's
"You can apply all the makeup in the world, if you don't get enough sleep your skin is just not going to look good," says NYC dermatologist Dr. Debra Jailman. "Your skin needs this down time to help itself repair and rejuvenate. If you find yourself falling behind on sleep, make sure you turn off the tube, close your laptop, and set your BlackBerry to sleep mode so you can mentally check out."
Fake Wide-Awake Eyes
Even if sexy is far from how you feel, no one will ever have to know it. Fake a wide awake look by applying black liner to the underside of your top lash line, just on the outer half, a quick swipe of mascara, and a dab of gold or white shadow on the inner corner of your eyes. Youll fool even yourself with the results.
Fix a Makeup Meltdown
Theres no faster way to look old and tired than with a face of makeup sliding down your forehead. Keep yourself fresh by using a primer before you apply your makeup, especially if you have oily skin. To keep eye shadow in place, makeup artist Dara Klein suggests using an eye primer like Laura Mercier Eye Basics to keep liquid liner in place and help shadows stay put.
Snag a Dewy Glow All Year
Brighten up your dull, lifeless skin with a highlighter (we like Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator) which contains a lightweight, shimmery version of concealer. "Applied in the right places, highlighting can take years off your face," says New York City makeup artist Jessica Liebeskind.
Rock Matte Skin
If you're prone to oily skin, the last thing you feel sexy about is blotting your face all day. To get a matte complexion, use a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer and instead of caking on powder and lightly dust only your T-zone.
Keep Your Stems Toned
Since your legs are one of the top things your guy finds sexy about you, it's important to keep them in tiptop shape. Try this easy move to get gorgeous, sculpted gams:
Sumo Crab Walk
-Get into a sumo wrestling stance: your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out, and knees extended over the toes.
-Keep your back straight, chest out, and abs tight throughout this move.
-In this almost-sitting position, take a step forward, one foot at a time, and advance as far as you can go in the space you are in; then turn around and walk back to your starting position.
-Do 20 steps total or until you feel the burn in your legs.
Watch the Booze
True, it's hard to stay awake from the occasional happy hour (or hours, rather), but too much alcohol can definitely do a number to your skin. From dryness to premature aging, and triggering inflammation and rosacea, it's important to remember that when it comes to your face, drinking in moderation is key. Besides, its pretty tricky to feel or look sexy with a hangover.
Clean Your Makeup Brushes
They are a woman's best friend, but forgetting to clean them can lead you to a slew of breakouts. We're talking about your makeup brushes. "Once a month dampen just the head of the brush, making sure not to get the barrel or handle wet," says Klein. "Gently massage a mild baby shampoo into the bristles and rinse with warm water. Lay the brush on a towel with the head hanging over the sink." Not only will you stop putting bacteria on your face by doing a monthly cleaning, your brushes will also work better.
Have people wondering what you've been up to by faking a rosy hue. Dab some cream blush on the apples of your cheeks for a faux flush that will make it seem like you just got out of a heavy make-out session.
Contour Your Face
Using an iridescent powder, bring definition to your face by highlighting the high points of your face, i.e. cheeks and brow bones. Try this tip from celebrity makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen: Use your regular blush and eye colors in the areas that recede, like the hollows of your cheeks and the creases of your eyes, to exaggerate the effects.
Beat Belly Bloat
Don't trip yourself up with a great workout by then canceling it out with your diet. If you're worried about bloating, steer clear from sorbitol, a sugar found naturally in fruits, (apples, pears, peaches, prunes), as well as in sugar-free candies and gums and starches, including potatoes, corn, rice, bread, noodles and any products made from flour. These produce more gas as they are broken down in the large intestine.