With the soaring temperatures, it's inevitable that even the most timid among us will bare arms and show some leg in order to keep cool. (My current summer fashion obsession? Turning maxi skirts into flirty dresses.)
But not so fast. From bug bites to blisters and body blemishes, a flurry of summer skin issues can have us feeling self-conscious about the prospect of putting on that new Express sundress.
Luckily, Maryland-based dermatologist Dr. Noelle S. Sherber has some clever tricks up her sleeve to quickly heal and disguise your most embarrassing skin concerns.
The best part? Not only are Sherber's tips skin-savvy, but they're budget-friendly, too. You likely already have everything you need to try these solutions the next time swimsuit calamity strikes.
Get the red out of sunburn. "Got sunburned from a day at the beach, and want to look less like a lobster by dinnertime? The best bet is to take green tea bags, dampen them with cold water, and place on the red areas," advises Sherber. The knockout combination of antioxidants and cold water will help rapidly diminish redness and inflammation. And next time, prevent the painful problem by wearing adequate sun protection. Our sunscreen report will help you decide whether natural or chemical-based sunscreen is best for you.
Beware of lime. From margaritas to mojitos and guacamole, limes often appear aplenty on summertime tables. Squeezing or spilling the tangy juice on skin is a notorious cause of persistent redness and itchiness, particularly if you're out in the sun after contact. "If you splash some, rinse the area right away and put some hydrocortisone cream on the spot when you get home," says Sherber.
Listerine for bug bites. "To take the itch out of a bug bite this summer, dab on some Listerine. The mint and alcohol combine for a super-cooling sensation that will stop itching temporarily," says Sherber. If there's no mouthwash handy, holding a piece of ice over the spot will also grant instant relief. Bonus: Having a fidgety child hold an ice cube over a bite is a safer bet than the Calamine lotion fix that will likely leave clothing and furniture streaked in pink.
Shrink puffy eyes. Long weekend trips and late night celebrations can be cause for the puffy eyes you wake up with come weekday work morning. "Keep metal spoons in the freezer, and hold them gently over the puffy areas for several minutes after applying your regular moisturizer," says Sherber. The cold touch of the metal instantly soothes swelling, and kicks up circulation in the thinned-skin area.
DIY body scrub. If you're going to show off your gams, nothing says sexy quite like a pair of smooth legs. Make your own body scrub by mixing sugar into your regular body wash if you have oily skin, or into vegetable oil if your skin is dry or itchy. "Gently massage into your skin in a warm shower until the crystals dissolve, and rinse thoroughly," says Sherber.
Silicone for blisters. Those hot wedges and strappy nude heels may look amazing, but blisters can be a buzz kill. Surprisingly, a quick solution may be hiding in your stash of hair products. "Use a silicone-based product like an anti-frizz hair serum to reduce friction on a blister, and top with a Band-Aid or Band-Aid scar pad for ultimate comfort," advises Sherber.
Massage chapped lips. "Go from chapped to kissable lips instantly by mixing sugar into Aquaphor or Vaseline, and massaging into lips until smooth," says Sherber. If there's no sugar around, simply dampen a washcloth, squeeze a dot of Aquaphor or Vaseline onto the cloth, and buff away flakes to reveal smooth lips.
Banish blemishes. Heat and humidity often combine to increase sebum production, which can clog pores on prone areas like the face, chest and back. If you've got an angry red zit that you want to quell ASAP, sleep with a steroid cream like hydrocortisone applied to the spot, and sealed in with a tiny Band-Aid.
Clever use for ChapStick. Sensitive areas like the bridge of your nose, ears and hair part often suffer sunburn because you haven't applied enough sunscreen, or have forgotten about swiping protection on these spots altogether. "If you're out and about and don't have any sunscreen with you, apply ChapStick to the area to block from further damage. The waxier, the better, so that it will stay put," says Sherber. The original chapstick formula contains SPF4, which is better than nothing, but if you have a lip balm with higher SPF floating in your bag, all the better.
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