Come summer, we’re all primed for some fun in the sun. But if you’re like us, the thought of putting body bothers on display can easily sap that seasonal excitement. That’s why we gathered fast-acting, expert-backed summer beauty tricks that eradicate swimsuit-baring arghs — from cellulite and belly bloat to parched patches and spider veins — before you even step foot outside.
Plus, we found portable remedies that you can easily toss in your bag for just-in-case coverage while you’re out and about, so you’re stunning and confident no matter where the summer day takes you!
1. Mask skin flaws with this lotion.
Our skin hasn’t seen the sun in months and that pallid tone can bring flaws like age spots, spider veins, and stretch marks into harsh focus. To conceal these imperfections quickly, makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan, who’s worked with Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Chastain, suggests covering them with a bronzing lotion. This summer beauty trick adds an instant wash of natural-looking, sun-kissed color that camouflages discoloration likes spot and scars, while its warm, golden undertone cancels out the cool, blue tones in purple vein clusters.
To do: Apply two pumps of a lotion like SOL by Jergens Tone-Enhancing Body Bronzer (Buy at Walmart, $13.63) to a tanning mitt like Bondi Sands Self Tanning Application Mitt (Buy on Amazon, $5.99) and apply evenly to one body part at a time.
Toss in your bag: A loose powder bronzer. Simply mix with a dollop of SPF, then apply to skin. This gives skin a hit of bronzy color that makes flaws instantly recede.
2. Soften parched patches with a citrus and sea salt scrub.
A simple summer beauty solution for whisking away super dry spots fast can be found in your kitchen! Just grab a lemon and sea salt, says aesthetician Toska Husted, who’s worked with Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez. “Sea salt is gentle yet effective at removing built-up dead skin cells,” says Husted. And pairing with citric acid–infused lemon (it exfoliates while its vitamin C restores skin’s moisture levels) boosts benefits.
To do: Cut a lemon in half and dip the flesh side in one tablespoon of sea salt, then rub on rough spots for one minute at a time and rinse.
Toss in your bag: A packet of artificial sweetener. Mix with a palmful of sunscreen and massage onto rough spots for one minute; wipe off excess. The fine crystals slough off dead, dry cells for smooth skin in seconds.
3. Diminish cellulite with a caffeinated serum.
Nine out of 10 of us have some form of the unflattering dimples. The key to reducing them fast? A serum that contains the following cellulite-fighting ingredients: caffeine (it has diuretic properties that temporarily tighten skin), orange oil (it increases circulation to flush fat-packing toxins that exacerbate cellulite), and peptides (their amino acids instantly firm skin to further reduce the orange peel–like look), suggests medical aesthetician Holly Cutler.
To do: Roll the potent serum we like Soap & Glory Sit Tight 4-D Smoothing Body Serum, (Buy at Walgreens, $16.79) onto the back of thighs and other areas where cellulite is apparent, using upward strokes; let absorb into skin.
Toss in your bag: A scarf or shawl. Tie into a sarong to quickly hide dimples.
4. Soothe razor burn with an aspirin ointment.
Did a quick shave leave behind a red, painful rash on your legs or armpits? A paste made of aspirin will solve this summer beauty woe! The anti-inflammatory pain reliever eases redness and irritation fast, says Heidi Prather, MD, a dermatologist in Austin, Texas. In fact, an aspirin paste has been shown to decrease the pain of inflamed skin by 96 percent in just minutes.
To do: Mix two crushed aspirin tablets with one tablespoon of water. Apply to rashy skin; rinse after 10 minutes.
Toss in your bag: Redness-relieving eye drops. They contain potent vasoconstricting compounds that shrink capillaries in skin to nix redness and irritation within seconds.
5. Shrink belly bloat with a ‘hot’ castor oil pack.
Body-hugging swimsuits can make it difficult to hide a bloated belly. What can help: a castor oil wrap, says medical aesthetician Holly Cutler. Anti-inflammatory compounds in the oil eliminate puffiness fast, while its ricinoleic acid stimulates the lymphatic system to nix the “false fat.”
To do: Soak a washcloth in castor oil and place on your stomach, then cover with plastic wrap. Lie down on your back on top of an old towel or sheet (the oil can stain) and place a heating pad on top of the wrap (this increases circulation) for 20 minutes; remove and rinse skin.
Toss in your bag: A 16-ounce water bottle filled with six ounces of lemon juice, four ounces of cranberry juice, and six ounce of water. Sip on the mix while out and about. Both fruits have diuretic properties and contain detoxifying compounds that aid in digestion and stimulate lymph flow from within to expel excess fluids that “puff up” the belly for a trimmer-looking midsection in seconds.
6. Banish bacne with a banana peel treatment.
Thanks to hormonal fluctuations, the body breakouts we thought we left behind with our teenage years can return with a vengeance once we hit 50. To clear up blemishes fast, Amber Rose Johnson, aesthetician and founder of the Facial Lounge in Corona del Mar, California, advises rubbing a banana peel on them. This summer beauty trick not only sloughs off the dead cells that clog pores but the peel’s antibacterial agents kill acne-causing bacteria. “Bananas also reduce inflammation in the skin on contact because of their vitamin A and phenolics content.”
To do: Cut a two-inch piece of a banana peel and rub the flesh side on bacne for one minute; let residue absorb into skin.
Toss in your bag: A salicylic acid–infused concealer like Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer (Buy at Walmart, $7.49). It hides and treats breakouts.
7. Slim cankles with an iced tea soak.
When feet look more swollen than sandal-ready, dip them into a chilled black tea “bath.” Black tea’s caffeine constricts blood vessels, and its tannins have anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce swelling, says New York City dermatologist Marie Hayag, MD. And using the tea chilled further constricts blood vessels to thwart puffiness even more.
To do: Soak feet and ankles in a large basin that’s filled with four cups of brewed, cooled black tea and 1 ⁄2 cup of ice for 10 minutes, then rinse.
Toss in your bag: A crystal roller like Equate Beauty Rose Quartz Roller (Buy at Walmart, $9.88). Use it to make 10 brisk, vertical strokes in the ankle area of each foot. The cool-to-the-touch stone eases swelling, and massage-like motions push out stagnant fluids to slim the ankles.
8. Smooth a crepey chest with an overnight patch.
Planning to bare your chest tomorrow? Apply a silicone décolletage patch onto skin tonight. “Silicone is amazing for decreasing wrinkles, especially in your chest area,” says plastic surgeon Roxanne Grawe, MD. “It thickens the outer layer of the skin, which keeps the moisture in, plumping up the wrinkles!” What’s more, she says, this also increases fibroblast production: More fibroblasts means more skin-firming collagen is being made, smoothing skin even more over time.
To do: Apply a patch like SilcSkin Decollette Pad, (Buy on SilcSkin.com, $31.99; enter code FIRST10 at checkout for 10 percent off) onto clean, dry chest skin before bed; remove in the morning. You can store in its original packaging for future use.
Toss in your bag: An illuminating body lotion. The reflective particles bounce light off of skin, visually blurring wrinkles. And one that’s also infused with aloe and sunflower oil like Pacifica Ocean Citrus Body Lotion Shimmer (Buy on PacificaBeauty.com, $8.40) hydrates and plumps, so décolletage skin appears even firmer.
9. Firm upper-arm jiggles with this mask.
All it takes to wave bye-bye to arm flab? Applying a rosemary oil mask covered with plastic wrap. The herbal oil has astringent properties that instantly tighten skin, so arms look tauter. “Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants that prevent the breakdown of elasticity in skin to keep arms firm,” says medical aesthetician Holly Cutler. “And covering with plastic wrap helps ingredients penetrate deeper into skin.”
To do: Rub a palmful of a mask like Ulta Uplifting Rosemary Mud Mask (Buy at Ulta, $14) onto upper arms, then cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 15 minutes; remove and rinse skin.
Toss in your bag: A cream bronzer like Colour Pop Sol Face and Body Bronzing Balm (Buy on ColourPop.com, $15). Apply a thin layer onto the inside of the upper arms; blend. This creates a slimming shadow that helps arms look instantly trim and toned.
10. Boost a droopy bottom with a fanny ‘facial.’
Gravity has a way of causing our backside to sag — dragging our confidence right down with it. Give your booty a summer beauty boost with Bawdy Bite It Butt Sheet Mask (Buy on Amazon, $11). The mask is packed with collagen, glycerin, and aloe. Collagen tones and firms saggy skin on contact, while glycerin and aloe moisturize, plump and tighten, giving the bottom a firmer appearance, says Cutler.
To do: Place the sheet mask onto the butt and let sit for 10 minutes, then remove and rub in any leftover serum.
Toss in your bag: Body drops like Frank Body Booty Drops Firming Oil (Buy at Ultra, $17.95). Apply onto skin along the bottom. A potent mix of caffeine-rich coffee seed oil and guarana tightens skin in seconds for a lifted-looking backside.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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