What's not to love about summertime? For some of us, it's shedding the long sleeves and pants we wear during the cooler months. If you're among the skin-shy, read on for simple solutions to five common skin problems and slip into tank tops and shorts with confidence.
1. Spider Veins
Why They Happen: Valves in your blood vessels weaken, due to aging or genetics. The blood pools and causes capillaries to have that skinny, squiggly appearance.
Simple Solution: Mask unsightly veins with a waterproof body makeup like Dermablend, which can be custom-matched to your exact skin color (dermablend.com); self-tanner works too. For a permanent fix, try sclerotherapy, a procedure in which a doctor uses a tiny needle to inject veins with a solution that makes them collapse and disappear.
2. Little White Bumps (Keratosis Pilaris)
Whey They Happen: Technically called keratosis pilaris, these bumps are often genetic. They're caused by plugged hair follicles and tend to pop up on upper arms and buttocks.
Simple Solution: Use a lotion with glycolic acid, lactic acid or retinol, which will open follicles and loosen the keratin plugs blocking them.
3. Ingrown Hairs
Why They Happen: Repeated shaving can irritate hair follicles, causing hair to get trapped and resulting in those little red bumps that tend to appear on your bikini line.
Simple Solution: Use a loofah to remove dead skin before shaving. Always use a shaving cream to help the razor glide smoothly across your skin. Shave at the end of your shower, when hair is hydrated and, thus, easier to cut.
Why It Happens: Genes. Cellulite is the same as other fat, except it bulges between bands of tissue that connect your skin and your muscles, causing that dreaded dimpled appearance.
Simple Solution: Creams and gels with caffeine, peptides or retinol can help temporarily by constricting blood vessels and causing skin to swell so dimples are less obvious. Bronzers and self-tanners help conceal lumpiness as well.
5. Cracked Heels
Whey They Happen: When skin on the feet is too drydue to a lack of moisturizing, frequent hot baths or dry airit can crack from the daily pressure of standing.
Simple Solution: Soften heels in the shower with a pumice stone or foot file. Apply a foot cream containing lactic acid daily.
Self-tanners can cover a multitude of skin sins, but they can be tricky to use properly. Here's how to get the best results.
- Exfoliate Use a washcloth or loofah to exfoliate your skin prior to applying self-tanner. Pay special attention to areas where your skin is thickestelbows, knees and ankles.
- Divide and conquer Apply the self-tanner in sections (arms, then legs, followed by torso). Massage into your skin in a circular motion. Wash your hands after each section to avoid orange palms.
- Use a light touch when applying tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet. For a natural look, don't cover hands and feet entirely.
- Dry before dressing Wait at least 10 minutes before putting on your clothes to avoid mess-ups.
From our sister publication REMEDY's Healthy Living Summer 2014