Sharecare Top 5: Smoother, Prettier Skin for Summer

1. Build a sun strategy for real life
 You may slather on sunscreen during your week at the beach. But smart, daily moves are critical, too, and they pay off with fewer wrinkles as you age. Just a short drive to work can be a recipe for leathery, crepey-looking skin. In fact, most sun damage occurs on the left side of your face, thanks to drive time, bigger car windows and sunroofs. Keep a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) in your car or purse — and use it often.

Protect your pretty pout with lip balm at SPF15 or higher.  Too much sun can cause thin, flat, wrinkled lips. For outdoor workouts try a gel, which stays on longer and is less likely to seep into your eyes. Learn how, when and how much sunscreen to apply in this video with Dr. Anne Chapas.

2. Block a summer breakout
Heat and humidity can crank up oil glands and trigger acne. Change to a stronger facial cleanser in summer, or one with salicylic or glycolic acid.  When the heat is on – whether in the subway or at a ball game – sweat adds another acne trigger. Avoid a breakout by washing your face more than usual and again after heavy sweating. But don’t avoid sunscreen! People using acne medicines need extra protection from the sun. The trick is to find the right products that won’t clog pores.

3. Baby your skin when you shave or wax
Got ugly, red razor bumps at the bikini line? Blame curly pubic hair, which can grow back inside your skin, causing painful pimples. Better shaving methods may keep your skin smooth and bump free. Use a cream or gel and a sharp blade. Go slowly and never shave the same area twice. Waxing is a popular option for the bikini area, while some go all the way to the bare “Brazilian,” inspired by tiny Latin swimsuits. (A recent study found that for some women, a completely bare down-there increases sexual sensation.) Feeling squeamish about the treatment? A topical pain killer can ease the ouch before a wax job.

4. Smooth the lumpy skin of cellulite
Skinny or curvy, nearly every woman has this dimpled skin on her thighs, buttocks, belly, or upper arms. Normal fat deposits just under the skin care are to blame. You might get a smoother look – temporarily – from a seaweed mask or a special massage. Toning muscles with strength training may help and last longer, too. Looking at an expensive cellulite “cure” in a jar or even laser treatments? Learn what to expect when you pay big money for the promise of smoother skin. 

5. Fake a tan
Do you want the summery look of golden skin without roasting yourself under the sun’s damaging UV rays? Bronzers and tinted moisturizers add color to your face, neck, and shoulders beautifully. Then you simply wash them off. Sunless tanners – sprayed on in a salon or in a DIY home cream – last three to five days.  They offer a perfect tan: no strap marks, sunburn – and they cover stretch marks, too. These great fakes don’t protect your skin, though. So slather on your favorite sunscreen before hitting the pool.