Summer Skin Tips
This summer, get healthy, smooth, glowing skin with these amazing tips.
Slather yourself with a broad-spectrum sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection) of at least SPF 15, and reapply regularly. Unsure which sunscreen will work best? The Skin Cancer Foundation awards their annual Seal of Recommendation to the safest and most effective products on the market: Go to skincancer.org to get a print-and-shop list.
Sunscreen lotions and sprays alone let some UV light sneak through, and people skimp on application, just as they do with makeup. The best way to stay protected: Double up by layering makeup over a moisturizer containing an SPF of 15 or higher and UVA filters (Mexoryl, Helioplex, or avobenzone). Try Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Cream SPF 20 ($17, drugstores) or SkinCeuticals Active UV Defense Sunscreen Cream SPF 15 ($29, skinceuticals.com).
You even need SPF on your hair! The scalp is easily sunburned, especially if your hair is light-colored or fine. Whatever your hair type, play it safe by treating your roots with a protective cream like Redken UV Rescue, $15, redken.com for stores, or by wearing a scarf or hat like the Cabanalife Reversible Sun Hat, cabanalife.com, $48, with full UV protection.
To protect against splotchiness when applying a self-tanner, make sure to exfoliate first, and use a body lotion to prime your skin.
About six hours after applying your self-tanner, rinse off in the shower and make sure to moisturize when you get out. Moisturizing is the key to maintaining your self-tan.
If you're nervous about trying out a fake tan, try a tanner-lotion hybrid; these have low doses of color combined with moisturizer, so it's harder to make a mistake. You'll see a subtle difference a few hours after you first apply it, with the color increasing each time you slather it on.
Even if you have darker skin and don't tan easily, you still need to wear sunscreen everyday. The melanin in darker skin protects it mostly from the burning UVB rays but offers less protection from the UVA ones that penetrate deeper, causing not only photo-aging (wrinkles, sagging, and brown spots), but melanoma the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Make sure to wear at least an SPF 30 daily, even if you're going to be in the car or in the shade! You can get sunburn from the reflection off sand, water and pavement.
It's a myth that you have to sunbathe to absorb vitamin D. Twenty to thirty minutes of incidental sun exposure during the day walking to your car, grabbing your mail is all you need.
Tinted moisturizer, cream blush and powder blush are all you need to fake a great tan.
Try circuit training to build muscle and boost metabolism; alternating strength moves and cardio training three times a week for 25 minutes will help you burn more calories throughout the day while also helping you lose inches off your waistline.
For big results, focus on one essential exercise: ball squats. "Hands down, they are the best," says Kristin Reisinger, M.S., R.D., a New York Citybased personal trainer and sports nutritionist. "This one move hits your glutes, quads, and hamstrings."
Dumbbells are better for muscle toning than weight machines, because they require no adjusting, they allow the body to move naturally, and they can be used for dozens of different exercises (while machines have a limited repertoire).
Sit still for no more than three minutes between weight-lifting sets. Waiting longer allows your muscles to cool down, weakening the benefits of the exercise.
Work all of your ab muscles by lying on your back (knees bent, feet flat on the floor) and having a partner throw a medicine ball to you in different directions straight at you, to your left, to your right. Catch the ball by moving only your torso and arms. Toss the ball back to your partner. DO: Two sets of 20 repetitions, two to three times a week.
Rowing isn't just about your arms; it's a powerful toner for your lower body, especially the largest muscle in your butt. DO: 30 minutes once a week at an intensity level of 7 or 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being exhaustion). Increase by 10 to 15 minutes every three weeks. Bored? Download iRow ($7.99, iTrain.com) to your iPod, and it's like having a coxswain guide your workout.
When working on your abs or underbutt, the key to consistent progress is to do less every three weeks, not more. On the third week of your program, decrease the number of repetitions by a third. In the fourth and fifth weeks, increase the weight and take an extra 30 seconds of rest between sets (but keep the number of repetitions the same as week three). During the sixth week, drop the number of repetitions again (like you did in week three), and so on.
To condition your entire core, try the plank move four times a week. To do this move, start in a push-up position with forearms on the floor. Lift your arms and legs off the ground so that only your toes and the flats of your forearms remain on the floor. Keeping your back neutral and your belly button pulled in, hold this position for 20-60 seconds. Repeat for 3-5 sets.
To get a firm and toned butt, try the bridge move four times a week. To start this move, use a gym mat or a towel, lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the ground parallel to your body, with your palms facing down. Keeping your upper back and your feet firmly on the mat, use your hands to support your body and raise your glutes up toward the ceiling as high as you can while contracting (squeezing) your glutes. Release the contraction and lower your glutes almost to the floor, being careful not to touch the mat. Then, immediately raise your glutes again while contracting the muscles. Continue to contract and release for about 12-15 reps. On your last repetition, hold the contraction for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
Any exercise that involves pushing or pulling against a resistance such as yoga, Pilates, push-ups, planks, and using resistance bands is good for muscle toning and endurance.
Bright summer sun makes most foundations look heavy. "So touch up skin tone, don't cover up," suggests celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal. Try tinted moisturizers, concealers, or stick foundations. MC Recommends: Laura Mercier Stick Foundation, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Glow Sheers.
The trick to keeping your makeup on your face when it's hot out is minimizing the amount of oil on the surface of your skin. Apply a mattifying serums after cleansing and moisturizing in the morning, before you apply your makeup. Try: Chanel Precision T-Mat Shine Control.
Water-resistant mascaras which hold a curl longer are a summer must, as oily skin and allergy-prone eyes spell smudges," says Napoleon Perdis, celeb makeup artist. MC Recommends: L'Ôréal FeatherLash Water-Resistant Mascara.
The heat is on, so opt for eyeshadow bases that control oil on lids. The best nonslip shadows are matte and mineral formulas. Sparkles welcome! MC Recommends: Clinique Touch Base, LORAC Loose Metallic Shadows.
Don't neglect a face primer; it provides a smooth base for whatever goes on next and work to hold the rest of your makeup in place.
"Gel liners last longer than pencils or crayons," swears Napoleon Perdis, celeb makeup artist. But, since they're opaque, limit to top lashlines, particularly during the day. MC Recommends: Napoleon Perdis China Doll Eyeliner in Earth.
To eliminate unsightly shine in seconds, nothing beats blotting papers. "They're cheap, easy, and amazing you just press and go," says New York City makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. Try Too Faced Re-Fresh Oil Blotting Papers ($12, Sephora).
Tempting as it is to press powder to a shiny face, it only encourages breakouts. Blotting papers and skin-freshening sprays are a far more sanitary way to sop up and freshen up. MC Recommends: StarMaker Pearl Mist, Rodan + Fields Blot Papers with Zincidone.
To keep your face powder from looking cakey, wrap your powder puff around your finger, load it up with powder, and roll it over the skin as if you were painting your house with a roller (as opposed to swiping or dabbing). This will distribute powder in an even layer.
Don't forget waterproof mascara! Even if you don't want to switch from your favorite non-waterproof, try a waterproof version (we like Lumene Star Effect Waterproof Mascara, $8, CVS) on the tips of your lashes over your regular mascara to boost its staying power.
Brighten up dullness with a facial highlighting wand, which contains a lightweight, almost shimmery version of concealer. "Applied in the right places, highlighter can take years off your face," says New York City makeup artist Jessica Liebeskind. To try: Estée Lauder Ideal Light Brush-On Illuminator ($24.50, department stores), Mary Kay Facial Highlighting Pen ($18, marykay.com), or Pantina White Light Highlighting Stick ($6, drugstores).
For dry skin, exfoliating helps remove ashiness or buildup of dead skin cells that leave the complexion looking dull. For women with oily or acne-prone skin, exfoliation removes the excess dead skin that can clog pores and cause acne.
Sex can help ward off leg and thigh cellulite, the primary reason we drag ourselves to the gym in the first place. It won't clear it up completely, but it will zap some of those fatty cells!
Since humidity boosts oil production, oilier skin will benefit from swiping on a toner twice a day. MC Recommends: Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2.
Because you exfoliate less in the summer, it's essential that your cleanser is highly effective. "Ideally, wash twice," advises Annet King, director of training and development for Dermalogica skin care, "first with an oil-based cleanser the most effective way to remove oil then with a gel cleanser. Creamy formulas are too rich for summer." Also advisable: a weekly clay mask to draw out impurities. MC Recommends: T'Zerah facial soap, Dermalogica PreCleanse.
There are a few things you can do to get softer-feeling [summer-ready] skin. First, get yourself a good body scrub to help you slough off dead skin cells in the shower. Follow up with a body moisturizer that contains alpha-hydroxy acids to enhance the exfoliation process.
Researchers say 90 percent of women can ease dry skin within 2 weeks by noshing on one ounce of walnuts daily. Theyre rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that support the skins lipid layer, helping it hold in more moisture.
To banish unsightly back and chest acne in time for swimsuit season, clean the afflicted areas daily using a body wash containing either salicylic acid, which sloughs off dead skin cells to unplug pores, or benzoyl peroxide, which kills the bacteria that cause inflammation (try Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash or Oxy Body Wash, each $6, drugstore.com). You can also take a 2,000 mg to 4,000 mg daily supplement of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, which may keep acne at bay thanks to their anti-inflammatory abilities, according to a recent study.
Reduce cellulite and dimples on the cheap with a daily dose of firming cream, which contains ingredients like caffeine and seaweed that are said to tighten and moisturize the skin. Try Nivea Body Skin Firming Moisturizer, $8.99.
Get your complexion ready for summer with an avocado mask. Mash one ripe avocado and mix it with a little bit of lemon juice. Apply this mask to your face and neck for an over-the-counter toner/firmer.