Towels? Check! Sunscreen? Check! Magazines? Check! Your bag is packed and you’re fully prepared for a day of lounging by the pool or strolling through the sand. But it never fails — as soon as you’re about to head out the door, you catch an unflattering glimpse of spider veins, stretch marks, or wiggly upper arms. Argh!
That’s why we asked celebrity skin, body, and style experts for the simple beauty solutions and fast fashion fixes to mask any last-minute body bothers. The result? You, summer-stunning in seconds!
Tea Tree Oil
Nix acne with tea tree oil.
Hormonal changes can lead to an excess in oil production, leaving sudden body breakouts in its wake. Dermatologist Kenneth Mark, MD, advises treating them with tea tree oil. “The oil is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, killing the bacteria that causes blemishes and reducing the redness that comes with them.” Plus, tea tree oil has been found to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide (a common ingredient found in prescription treatments) in treating acne.
To Do: Saturate a cotton swab with tea tree oil and hold onto breakouts for one minute. No need to rinse skin — the oil’s nutrients continue working all day to heal irritation! Tip: Stash a few of the oil-soaked swabs in a plastic baggie for on-the-go use in a pinch.
Lift a saggy bust with this tape.
Sagging may be inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be obvious, says celebrity stylist Dawn Del Russo. She suggests hoisting your bosom up with strategically placed waterproof tape.
To Do: Press the tape’s bottom onto skin right above the areola, then use the tape’s top to lift the breast into desired position; press in place.
Fashion Bonus: A padded bikini adds visual volume and lift.
Bikini Bottom Design
Boost a droopy butt with vertical stripes.
Age and gravity have a way of joining together to help our backside head south — for more than just the winter! The stylist’s secret to pick it back up stat: swim bottoms that have linear details. “Fabric with vertical lines throughout draws the eye up, ‘lifting’ the butt with it to visually combat any sagging,” says celebrity stylist Dawn Del Russo, who’s worked with Vivica A. Fox and Rachel Bilson. What’s more, high-rise bottoms cover more territory, creating the illusion of a derriere that’s full and perky.
Fashion Bonus: A tank-style swim top that features a wide back band smooths out any bulges or rolls along the back for 360 degrees of gorgeous.
Slim the middle with seaweed.
“Seaweed is packed with minerals that stimulate circulation and have a diuretic effect on the body to help expel the excess fluids and toxins that contribute to belly bloat,” says medical esthetician Holly Cutler. Plus, by promoting collagen production to firm skin, the plant’s amino acids help the tummy look taut in no time.
To Do: Soak 4 to 6 sheets of dried seaweed in lukewarm water for five minutes, then press onto skin along the stomach and secure with plastic wrap (taking care to not wrap too tightly). Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, remove plastic wrap, and rinse.
Fashion Bonus: Eye-catching metal accents on swimsuit straps steer attention toward the neck and away from the midsection.
Mask spider veins with self-tanner.
Just seeing those tiny purple webs can put a damper on your day. But makeup artist Amy Zdunowski-Roeder, who has worked with stars like Kristen Wiig and Malin Akerman, points to self-tanner to brighten it (and your legs!) right up. “The formula gives skin a bronzy glow to help make veins look less obvious,” she explains. And one in a peachy hue has warm undertones to counteract the cool-toned color of the veins, “erasing” them almost on contact!
To Do: Sweep the tanner all over legs for an instant wash of summery color that develops into a natural-looking tan within four hours.
Fashion Bonus: An embellished sarong takes the focus away from spider veins — plus, it helps hide any clusters along the hips and upper thighs.
Tone bat wings with an arm wrap.
You can firm up arm jiggles in a jiff — no weight-lifting required — with a grapeseed oil wrap, says Cutler. How it works: The light oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps to improve skin’s elasticity, while the gentle manual compression from the wrap helps flush fat-trapping fluids for the appearance of trimmer, firmer upper arms.
Fashion Bonus: A swimsuit with an asymmetrical neckline pulls the eye diagonally, "stretching” arms so they look longer and leaner.
Calm razor burn with tea.
Ouch! A quick last-minute shave left you with an irritating red rash. A black tea compress can help! “The tea’s tannic acid and flavonoids help reduce the itching, pain and swelling of razor burn,” says dermatologist Kenneth Mark, MD, And its antibacterial properties ensure bumps don’t become infected.
To Do: Steep 1 black tea bag in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the bag and let cool, then place on areas with bumpy, red skin. Remove the bag and rinse skin after 10 minutes.
Erase stretch marks with body makeup.
“It’s amazing what a highly pigmented concealer can do to make the deepest of stretch marks disappear,” says celebrity makeup artist Amy Zdunowski-Roeder. Her top pick: Dermablend Quick Body Foundation Stick ($29, Amazon). It slides on like a second layer of skin without looking cakey, and it’s waterproof so it won’t melt off skin while you swim or sweat.
To Do: “Paint” onto stretch marks, then blend out with a cotton round for a flawless finish. Let dry for five minutes before heading outside.
Fashion Bonus: A tailored tunic covers belly and bust stretch marks without erasing curves.
Matcha Green Tea
Soothe rosacea flare-ups with matcha.
We can thank summer’s high temperatures for rosacea flare-ups as heat dilates blood vessels, making redness that much more prominent, says dermatologist Kenneth Mark, M.D. His recipe to reducing ruddiness? A matcha-infused facial spritz. “The powerful anti-inflammatory green tea calms the redness and swelling associated with rosacea,” says Dr. Mark. To up the skin-soothing benefits, store the spray in the fridge. The coolness eases irritation and constricts blood vessels for red-free skin right away.
To Do: In a heat-safe bowl, mix 1 tsp. of matcha powder, like Nature’s Truth Stone Ground Matcha Green Tea ($9.99, Amazon) with 1 cup of boiling water. Once cool, pour the brewed tea into a spray bottle, store in the fridge and mist onto the face as needed.
Fashion Bonus: An easy-breezy chambray (a lightweight version of denim) romper allows hot air to flow freely, preventing the overheating that can exacerbate flare-ups.
Soften rough patches with this add-in.
Whisk away the super-dry spots by mixing sea salt into your regular body wash. “Salt’s granules gently slough away the dead layers of skin,” says Cutler. “And its nourishing minerals restore hydration to prevent future dryness.”
To Do: Add 1 Tbsp. of sea salt to a dollop of body wash. Buff onto dry spots while showering; rinse.
Fashion Bonus: A bold-toned swimsuit ensures all eyes are on the suit, not your skin.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
End pit pudge with a 3-minute massage.
The motion of massage encourages lymph drainage to eliminate retained water and trapped toxins, shrinking pesky pudge, says medical aesthetician Holly Cutler.
To Do: Dilute 3 drops of lemon essential oil (a diuretic) in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil (prevents irritation). Rub a nickel-sized amount onto hands, place one hand on each side of the neck below ears and sweep down toward shoulders five times. Next, sweep fingertips outward along the collarbone five times. End by massaging armpits in a circular motion. Bonus: This massage also works to reduce a double chin!
Fashion Bonus: The high cut of a tank-style suit conceals underarm rolls.