Get Your Skin Ready for Summer

There's not a woman alive who feels totally prepared for bare-skin season. These tricks will instantly smooth, firm, and make everything look better from the neck down.

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1. Hydrate in and out of the shower.

Start with a wash that has ceramides, vitamin E, or softening oils, says Melanie Palm, MD, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego. Find those in Olay Age Defying Body Wash ($5, and Softsoap Luminous Oils Body Wash ($4, Then rub on a moisturizer with shea butter or glycerin. Newer, do-it-all picks also have SPF and antioxidants to help prevent sun damage. Try EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ ($34,, Clinique Body Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen with SolarSmart ($23,, or Coola Classic Body SPF 30 Unscented Moisturizer ($32,

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2. Repeat after us: Bumpy skin must go.

Do you have little rough bumps on the backs of your arms or thighs, or possibly on your tush? (Not weird — actually common.) This could be keratosis pilaris, extreme dryness often associated with eczema. Moisturize with a rich cream. (Look for shea butter, squalene, or oils like jojoba or coconut.) Exfoliate gently with a lotion that has glycolic or lactic acid, such as AmLactin Ultra Hydrating Body Cream ($20, Use it at night, and shield your skin when outdoors, since the acids can make you sensitive to the sun.

3. Don't forget your hands!

They're thin-skinned, and we all seem to forget them when applying sunscreen and anti-agers. No wonder hands tend to age faster than the rest of our bodies. The latest hand creams are high-tech, with SPF and antioxidants such as niacinamideor vitamin C to prevent sunspots and wrinkling, says Palm. We like Hand MD Daily Hand Renewal SPF 30+ ($20, Take it up to your elbows to ward off brown spots on your arms, as well. Always a good idea: "After using an anti-aging product on your face, get in the habit of putting a little bit on the backs of your hands to protect against damage there, too," Palm says.

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4. Treat your chest like your face.

The skin on your neck and chest doesn't have as many oil glands as your face, so this area drinks up moisture. A rich cream with collagen-boosting peptides like BareMinerals Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream ($38, will help fight off wrinkles. Dark spots? Look for a moisturizer with brightening vitamin C to help fade them, says Julia Tzu, MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at New York University. And don't forget SPF to prevent them from coming back.

5. Lose the bacne.

Why do back breakouts happen, especially in summer? "Salty sweat can irritate skin and mix with oil and dirt to clog pores," says Palm. Make sure to shower off right after exercising, and use a body wash with salicylic acid, like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash ($10, To disappear existing blemishes, spritz your back twice a day with a salicylic acid mist, such as Paula's Choice Clear Acne Body Spray ($24,


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6. Create a subtle tint.

Faux-glow rookies can go the foolproof route with a gradual self-tanning lotion that you use like a body moisturizer. The results are slow (you'll notice a slightly warmer skin color after a few days of use) and subtle, so you won't tip into Vegas showgirl territory. When you reach a shade you like, use the lotion every other day to maintain it. Our pick is tinted, so you get a little instant gratification, too: St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion ($30,

7. Try the easiest self-tanner.

For safe summer color in less than half an hour, try a tinted bronzing mousse, says sunless-tanning expert Fiona Locke. She likes to use a foam mitt to put it on. (They come with most bottles, or you can pick one up at the drugstore.) Don't skip this step — the glove really is the secret to getting an even application. Plus, it prevents tanner from turning your palms dark.

Use a pump of foam for each limb, and massage it in circular motions starting at your ankles and working your way up. Finally, lightly swipe what's leftover on the mitt onto the tops of your feet and the backs of your hands. We like Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Tinted Mousse ($30, And now you don't need to be a contortionist to tan your back: The Bondi Sands Back Applicator (not shown; $12, has an extendable arm with a foam pad that does the reaching for you.

8. Glow for one night only.

We know — body makeup? Really? But L'Oréal Sublime Bronze Summer Express Wash-Off Body Makeup Lotion ($8, simply makes you look as if you got a little sun. More important: It stays put and doesn't get on clothing. Just be sure it's dry to the touch before you get dressed. Soap and water remove the color, no problem.

9. Use a BB cream for your bod.

If you just want to take the edge off your fish-belly-pale skin, check out cult favorite Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream ($9, It's a body lotion that evens your skin tone with a hint of self-tanner, minimizing imperfections such as bruises, brown spots, and veins with a tiny bit of color. It also delivers a blurring effect with moisturizing silicones. Magic, especially on legs fresh out of hibernation.

This story originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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