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*---Summer Skin Saver---

Posted by on May. 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM
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Summer is coming and unless you’re planning to hibernate, it’s hard to avoid showing a little extra skin when the weather heats up -- so sign up for our Summer Skin Saver!

Sign up by replying below and you’ll get 5 days of tips and tricks for soft and sexy skin!

We’ll cover all the basics from the dreaded hair removal to self-tanning without splotches and of course preventing sun damage. Plus, you could win a $25 gift card (perfect for stocking up on sunscreen)!

sunfloating in poolsexy

Giveaway Rules

  • The Summer Skin Saver Giveaway starts 5/17/12 at 12:30pm (ET) and ends 5/27/2012 at 11pm (ET) (the "Giveaway Period").
  • Enter by replying to this post and 4 of the related posts with appropriate comments during the Giveaway Period.
  • Multiple entries are permitted and encouraged, as it increases your chances of winning.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing of all eligible entries to receive a $25 gift card to Target, Walmart or
  • The random drawing shall occur on or about 6/5/12.
  • No Purchase Necessary.
  • Open to US residents 16 years and older.
  • Void where prohibited. Click here for the rest of the Official Rules.

by on May. 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM
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by Group Owner on May. 21, 2012 at 12:59 PM


Summer Skin Saver Day 1: Make your unwanted hair history

Hair removal is kind of a pain, but soft, smooth, stubble-free skin sure is nice -- especially in summer. Here's how to get the smoothest skin possible.

Shaving. Shaving is probably the cheapest, easiest, and least painful way to remove hair. The only downside is that it has to be done often because you’re just cutting the hair at the skin’s surface. Here are some tips for getting the closest shave possible every time:

  • Exfoliate with a salt or sugar scrub the day before or a few days before you shave (never right before as your skin may be irritated).
  • Always use a sharp razor. Consider using a men's razor as they often have more blades for a closer shave.
  • Use a moisturizing shaving gel or cream -- or even hair conditioner -- to soften the hair.
  • Rinse your razor often while shaving, and always rinse it clean when you’re done shaving. Leave it in a spot where it can dry thoroughly.
  • Replace the blade every 3-5 shaves.
  • If you shave in the shower, let your hair soften in the warm water for a a few minutes before you start shaving (and don’t forget to turn the water off while you shave to conserve resources!).
  • Shave in the opposite direction of hair growth.
  • Rinse the shaved area, pat it dry, and apply body lotion or oil right away to seal in moisture.

Waxing. Waxing works by ripping the hair out from the root (ouch!), which is not exactly fun, but it will leave you smoother longer than shaving. It is usually more expensive, too, especially if you go to a salon. But waxing can be done at home as well. Here are some suggestions for waxing well.

For home treatment:

  • Let hair grow out ¼ to ½ inch so there’s enough hair there for the wax to grip and pull out.
  • Do not exfoliate right before or right after waxing (the waxing itself exfoliates the skin, and afterwards it’s very sensitive).
  • Clean and thoroughly dry the area you’re planning to wax. You can even sprinkle a little baby powder on the area so it’s as dry as possible before waxing.
  • Follow the directions on the package for the wax you’re using.
  • Spread the wax in thin layers in the direction of hair growth.
  • Pat the cloth strips down firmly in the direction of hair growth, and then pull the strip off quickly in the opposite direction.
  • Don't go over the same section too many times; you'll just irritate the skin and potentially cause bruising.

For salon treatment:

  • Let hair grow out ¼ to ½ inch so there’s enough hair there for the wax to grip and pull out.
  • Do not exfoliate right before or right after waxing (the waxing itself exfoliates the skin, and afterwards it may be irritated).
  • For sensitive areas like the bikini line, after waxing, clean the area with soap and water, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol, pat it dry, and follow up with an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.
  • Be sure any salon you go to is clean and the person doing the waxing is a certified aesthetician – she should not dip the same applicator stick back into the wax once it’s been applied.

Whether you're waxing at home or salon-style, try to avoid doing it during the week before your period when it’s likely to be more painful.

Chemical Depilatories. Chemical depilatories such as Nair, are easy to use, pretty painless, and the results are very similar to shaving. The cream works by weakening the hair so it is easily rubbed off with a damp cloth or towel. Some good tips to keep in mind:

  • Get the right cream for the right area – the stuff for your face is likely gentler than the one for your legs.
  • Do a spot test before doing the whole area in case you are sensitive to the cream.
  • Follow the directions on the box for the product you're using and be sure to leave the cream on for the right amount of time.
  • Wet and wring out a wash cloth or towel to use to remove the cream and apply a bit of pressure so you're sure to rub off all the hair. Rinse and wring the cloth in between rubs.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly after removing the hair and follow up with a gentle moisturizer.

Do you hate hair removal? (Silly question?!) What’s your preferred de-fuzzing method? Got any great tips?!

sexyTo sign up for the Summer Skin Saver, click here.

by Group Owner on May. 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM


Summer Skin Saver Day 2: Baby your skin to keep it beautiful

The pre-summer rush to get soft, sexy skin is a great time to recommit to keeping your skin healthy and beautiful all year 'round. Here are some basic tips for doing just that:

Keep it clean: There are ZILLIONS of options when it comes to skin cleansers, but there's also just plain water (seriously, that works best for some!). Some people even swear by an oil cleansing method. The first step is to figure out your skin type, and from there, determine what cleansers and other products might work for the skin on your face. You can also try making your own products. Then it's time to go below the neck.

Exfoliate: That fancy -- and expensive! -- salt scrub is pretty much as easy as it sounds. So make your own! Salt (or sugar!) scrubs are great because they exfoliate and the oil seals in moisture. Scrub your body, shoulder to toes, once or twice a week, but try something gentler, like baking soda or a finer grain of salt or sugar, for your neck and chest where skin is more sensitive.

Moisturize: Now that you know your skin type, find a moisturizer that works for you and use it. For day, get one that's labeled as "broad spectrum," has an SPF ("sun protection factor") of at least 15, and contains antioxidants. For night, choose one that with an ingredient such as hyaluronic acid that helps hold moisture in your skin, as well as anti-aging ingredients such as retinol. A separate eye cream that contains caffeine is great for diminishing dark circles and puffiness -- antioxidants and peptides are also good for anti-aging effects around the eyes.

Banish acne: Unfortunately for some (myself included), this is easier said than done. It seems that fighting acne is a full-time job. For your face, knowing your skin type and keeping it clean is a great start, but certain things like clay masks and pimple spot treatments are also helpful. Body acne can be more difficult because it's often in hard to reach areas. But here are some tips:

  • Don't stay in sweaty sports bras or clothing after a workout. Shower right away and use a body wash with 10% benzoyl peroxide; Allure magazine recommends PanOxyl. (I've used it and it works, but if you have very sensitive skin, as I do, use it every few days and rinse it off well.)
  • Use a loofah or gentle scrub brush with a long handle to clean and exfoliate your back.
  • Keep your showers short and cool. This is good advice for everyone as shorter, cooler showers are less drying.
  • Allure also recommends applying a 2 percent salicylic acid product all over and allowing it to dry before rinsing it off, once a week to keep future breakouts at bay.
  • Wear breathable fabrics like cotton and silk over synthetic fabrics that trap sweat more easily.

Relax: Stress triggers acne and other skin problems in many people. Try these relaxation tecniques.

Eat well: Eating a well-balanced diet can do wonders for your skin. These foods are particularly great for keeping your skin healthy, clear, and wrinkle-free, and these foods are proven to make your skin glow (really!).

Drink water: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and your body healthy. Flavor and fancify it with lemon or cucumber slices!

Stay away from sugar: Sugar speeds up the aging process and causes wrinkles. Read more about it here. Bonus, cutting out sweets might lead to losing a few lbs!

Exercise: Exercising is a great stress reducer. Exercise also increases blood flow, which helps bring oxygen and nutrients to the skin and carry waste products away from it.

Stay young: There are tons of anti-aging products out there, but it seems the most effective ones are retinol, peptides, and antioxidants such as vitamin C and coffeeberry extract. (Read more about these ingredients here and here.) Again, it's important to know your skin type and choose which products works best for you from there. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants like sweet potatoes, salmon, blueberries, etc. also work wonders for keeping your skin young and healthy.

Whew, there's a LOT of info out there on keeping your skin young and healthy! What are your favorite tried-and-true tips? Please share!

sexyIf you missed yesterday's tips on hair removal, you can find them here. To sign up for the Summer Skin Saver, click here.

by Group Owner on May. 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM


Summer Skin Saver Day 3: Skin Check

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon -- and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

Pretty scary stuff, but skin cancer is also the easiest cancer to cure, if found early.

Today's activity is to take a good look at ALL your skin. Learn about what to look for on The Skin Cancer Foundation's Website. Use a handheld mirror for your back and, ahem, other hard to see areas. Become aware of any freckles, moles, and spots you already have so you can easily see any changes or new ones that form. Don't forget to check between your fingers and toes, behind your ears, the bottoms of your feet, etc. -- skin cancer can form anywhere on the body. Make a promise to yourself to keep an eye on your skin and do this thorough check once a month.

Then be sure to make an appointment with a dermatologist who can do a full-body scan and see if anything looks weird and/or needs to be watched or removed.

You can read more about skin health and skin cancer prevention here.

Do you have a lot of freckles or moles? Have you had a full-body check by a dermatologist?

mirrorIf you missed yesterday's tips on head-to-toe skincare, you can find them here. To sign up for the Summer Skin Saver, click here.

by Group Owner on May. 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM


Summer Skin Saver Day 4: Sunscreen and Aging

Many moms mentioned anti-aging in our Happiness Makeover. Well, our number 1 tip is, you guessed it – wear sunscreen! Every. Day.

Be sure to:

  • Choose a sunscreen that’s labeled "broad-spectrum," which means that it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of sunscreen to cover your body from head to toe, applying it 30 minutes before going out into the sun, and reapplying every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating, as The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends.
  • Don't forget chapstick with SPF of 15 or higher as well!
  • The Environmental Working Group has rated these as the best sunscreens.

In addition to sunscreen:

  • Wear a hat with a wide brim, use an umbrella, and if you can, try to stay in the shade between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Invest in a good pair of sunglasses with anti-glare and UV protection as skin cancer can occur in and around the eyes as well.
  • When you're driving, use a window shade that blocks UV rays.

Wearing sunscreen is rule # 1 if you want your skin to look great for life, but there are so many other things you can do to fight the signs of aging, and doctors and scientists are coming up with new findings all the time. Here are just a few of the most important tips:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water to keep your body healthy, your systems running smoothly, and your skin soft and supple.
  • Sleep: Our bodies repair themselves when we sleep; skin cells regenerate and are more responsive to anti-aging ingredients, which is why they are often found in night creams. It's not easy when you have kids, but make an effort to get more, or at least better, sleep. Find tips here.
  • Eat well: This one's worth repeating. Eating a well-balanced diet can do wonders for your skin. These foods are particularly great for keeping your skin healthy, clear, and wrinkle-free, and these foods are proven to make your skin glow (really!). Foods rich in lycopene are also great for the skin.
  • Stay away from sugar: Sweets are not just bad for your waistline -- too much sugar causes dull and wrinkled skin.
  • Treat your skin: There are tons of options for treating everything from blotchy skin to undereye circles. Retinol seems to be a miracle product for fine lines. Hydroquinone can lighten sun spots. Antioxidants fight free radicals and improve skin tone. Read up on what's out there to see what might work for you.
  • But first, prevent: Wear sunscreen. Yes, we're repeating it. It's that important. It's much smarter -- and easier! -- to avoid sun damage than to treat it after the fact.

What are your favorite sunscreens and anti-aging products? Which ones do you want to try?

celebrityIf you missed yesterday's tips on doing a full-body skin check, you can find them here. To sign up for the Summer Skin Saver, click here.

by Group Owner on May. 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM


Summer Skin Saver Day 5: Glow from Head to Toe

Many of us want to have beautiful bronzed skin in summer -- without the sun damage. Enter self-tanner! Here are some tips for a perfect sun-kissed glow from head to toe!

Exfoliate: Slough off dead skin cells with a salt or sugar scrub a day or two before you're planning to use self-tanner, otherwise the color will stick to any rough patches of skin and you'll have uneven coloring.

Wait 2 days after waxing to apply self-tanner to allow any irritation to heal and sticky wax residue to wash off completely. If you're shaving, do it in the morning and apply the self-tanner that night.

Pick your potion:
Self-tanner comes in many forms -- decide whether you want to use a cream, gel, foam, towellette, or spray, and follow the application instructions on the packaging. It's also possible to find more eco-friendly self-tanners to avoid harsh chemicals.

Some solid self-tanner tips:

  • Do a patch test somewhere discreet in case the product irritates your skin.
  • Apply self-tanner at night so color has time to develop overnight while you sleep.
  • Shower and towel dry well before application. You might want to apply an oil-free, water-based body lotion to evenly hydrate your skin (especially on drier parts like the knees and elbows), but don't use anything with any oils, deodorants, or perfumes, which can interfere with your tan.
  • Don't forget to tan the tops of your hands and feet, but do wash your palms well after applying to keep them tan-free.
  • Let the tanner dry completely before putting on any clothing and stick with loose-fitting garments.
  • If you're not going straight to bed, avoid showering or working out as water and sweat will keep your tan from developing evenly. Give it at least 6 - 8 hours to set.
  • A gradual fade from the toes up looks most natural; as in legs can be pretty dark, upper body slightly lighter, and face and neck should be about a shade lighter than your legs.

To make your tan last as long as possible:

  • Try to avoid tight clothing, at least for the first 24 hours after application.
  • Exfoliate every 3rd day or so to help the tan fade evenly, and apply lotion after exfoliating or shaving.
  • Pat yourself dry after showers so you're not rubbing color off.

Have a fresh face: There are self-tanners made specifically for the delicate skin on your face, but you can also try tinted moisturizers (NARS makes a great one that has an SPF of 30 and contains antioxidants, although it's a bit pricey) as well as bronzing powders, gels, and creams.

REMEMBER: Most self-tanners DO NOT protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays, so use sunscreen as well!

You can also just embrace your pale skin and work it a la Nicole Kidman!

Have you used self-tanner before? Any products you love or great application tips? Please share!

sexyIf you missed yesterday's tips on sunscreen and aging, you can find them here. To sign up for the Summer Skin Saver, click here.

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