If you’ve been making summer plans as the weather heats up, you’ve probably thought at least a little about how you can look your best during the season of leisure. Whether you’re training for your beach body photo shoot, hoping to fit into that sexy dress at your friend’s wedding or simply wanting to look healthy and fit on your summer vacation, we’ve got a few easy tips for bringing out your natural beauty.
Follow these 17 secrets for a younger, healthier look without going over budget or breaking up your schedule:
It should go without saying, but physical activity is a necessary component in leading a healthy lifestyle and banishing bulges for good. If you don’t have time to hit the gym every day, try making a commitment to do some cardio and strength training 2 or 3 times per week. In addition to improving your health overall, regular exercise will stimulate your metabolism, burn calories and help you develop lean muscle. Lots of people training for “beach bodies” focus on their glutes and abs, but it’s important to also have a couple go-to cardio workouts to shed excess pounds so your muscle can show.
You can also incorporate more physical activity into your day-to-day routine by changing simple habits. Try these easy tips to boost your daily activity levels and burn more calories:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Switch to a standing desk if you work a desk job
- If a standing desk isn’t an option, schedule a quick break every 30 minutes to get up, stretch and walk around, even if it’s just to the water cooler and back
- Bike to work one day a week
- Plan weekend outings that involve moving instead of sitting, like beach days, the local zoo, picnics or amusement parks
2. Avoid Crash Diets
It’s no secret that what you eat (or don’t eat) can cause you to lose or gain weight, but crash dieting is never the answer. Also known as “yo-yo diets” and sometimes marketed as “cleanses,” crash dieting can actually harm your cardiovascular health and tend to not be nearly as effective as more responsible, long-term dietary plans.
Besides, who says a healthy diet should be torturous and revolved around what you can’t eat? A good nutrition plan should make be one that incorporates a wide variety of healthy foods you enjoy, increases your energy levels, clears your complexion and helps you look forward to eating, not dread meal times.
Consider adding more of these tasty and nutrient-rich foods to your diet:
- Fish and lean meats
- Dark berries, fresh or dried
- Leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
- Whole grains like rye, brown rice and quinoa
In the meantime, do your best to cut out sugary, fatty and processed foods. If you find that you don’t have the time to cook healthy, balanced meals each day, plan your meals over the weekend. You can even make and freeze your meals for the week so following your diet is a no-brainer.
3. Grab a Buddy
A little extra accountability never hurt anyone, and when it comes to achieving your weight loss or fitness goals, two heads are usually better than one. Ask a friend or coworker to embark on your fitness journey with you, holding you accountable to workout dates and healthy eating. Having someone to celebrate your achievements with and make progress with you can make fitness fun and keep you motivated.
4. Wear Sunscreen
Sun damage is one of the top accelerants of the aging process. Many people don’t wear sunscreen as much as they should because they underestimate the power of UV rays. If you’re going outside on a day that appears overcast, you can still get a sunburn or otherwise damage your skin if you aren’t careful. You can even develop sun damage inside from light streaming in through the windows in your home, office or car.
As good as it may feel to bask in the warmth of the sun, you’ll thank yourself later on if you start protecting your skin now.
Wear a daily moisturizer that contains at least SPF 30 and reapply every couple hours when spending a significant portion of the day outside. You can also purchase a foundation that contains sun protection. Buy a cute summer hat and new pair of shades to protect your skin in style, and don’t forget to bring an umbrella or shade structure to beach outings, barbecues or camping trips.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Do you drink enough water each day? The standard 64 ounces per day (that’s 8 8-ounce glasses) isn’t necessarily sufficient when the weather is warm and you’re spending time outdoors or being physically active. Staying hydrated is ever critical during the summer months, and drinking enough water can help keep your complexion clear and your waistline trim. This is because hydration helps our bodies spread nutrients throughout our bloodstreams, flushes toxins from our system and keeps our skin moisturized.
Increase your water intake over the summer and try to ditch the sugary drinks and cocktails for a glass of still or sparkling water every once in a while. Mix in your favorite fresh herbs or unsweetened fruit juice for a refreshing “mocktail” that keeps you slim and well hydrated.
6. Cut Down on Alcohol
Speaking of drinking, it’s also a good idea to dial back on boozy drinks anytime you’re hoping to bring out your best look. Not only does regular alcohol consumption contribute to oily skin, facial redness and breakouts, but it can also tack extra inches onto your waistline before you even notice.
If you’re a regular drinker, try taking an alcohol-free month to get into shape and remember how your body feels without alcohol. If the cocktails are an indispensable part of your summer fun, sandwich each drink between two glasses of water and make sure you eat a healthy meal before or during your nights out.
7. Quit Smoking
While aging is inevitable, aging quickly is not.
Cigarettes are one of the most avoidable accelerants of age, and if you haven’t quit already, there’s no time like the present. Not only does smoking dry out your skin and cause wrinkles to form in the lips, but it also depletes your skin and tissue of valuable nutrients, which can get in the way of your fitness goals. You also might not realize how much a smoking habit can affect your lung capacity and limit your workouts, making you feel more tired and sluggish on a daily basis.
Kick the cigarettes for good and replace them with a healthier alternative, like exercise, meditation or preparing healthy snacks. Talk with your doctor if you need assistance quitting smoking.
8. Cleanse & Soothe Your Complexion
Whether you have problem skin or have never seen a blemish in your life, a routine facial can do wonders for how you look and feel. Oftentimes, environmental damage builds up on the skin’s surface, which can lead to complexion issues if left untreated.
If you feel like your skin could use a boost of nourishment, schedule a couple rejuvenating facials before summer hits. Facials can hydrate the skin, cleanse and minimize the pores, soothe blemishes or sun damage, and replenish your skin with valuable nutrients. Ask a professional aesthetician for a recommendation based on your own skincare concerns. A monthly or even weekly facial with an aesthetician you trust can help clear up any ongoing skin problems you may have.
9. Go Medical-Grade
If you’ve been skimping on skincare products and feel that your complexion has suffered as a result, it may be time to skip the drugstore brand and invest in medical grade skincare solutions. Medical grade products are scientifically-proven to nourish, protect and heal the skin, and have been developed to treat anything from run-of-the-mill problems like oily skin, acne or dryness, to more complex facial concerns like rosacea and burns.
A professional skincare regimen can renew your complexion completely in a matter of months.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and as such, it’s constantly producing new cells to replace old ones. Without a good exfoliation every once in a while, this high turnover of skin cells can produce lots of old and dead skin particles that cling to the skin and can clog our pores. Lots of people use an exfoliating product at home as part of their normal skincare regimen, but every once in a while, it may be time to bring in the professionals.
Microdermabrasion is an aggressive exfoliating treatment that clears and smoothes the skin without any downtime. This simple “lunchtime” treatment blows tiny diamond particles across the skin to buff the surface, minimizing fine lines, acne scars, pore size and more. Microdermabrasion treatments are often combined with facials to soothe, cleanse and exfoliate the skin all at once.
11. Get a Photofacial
A facial treatment that uses laser energy instead of soothing creams and cleanses, the Broadband Light facial is a special procedure designed to attack common signs of age. If you’ve thought about getting a laser skin treatment but weren’t sure where to start, the Broadband light facial offers a treatment that isn’t too aggressive and can still achieve beautiful results. By stimulating healing from within the facial tissue using high-concentrated laser light, photofacial treatments can improve the following conditions:
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Liver spots
- Pigmented lesions
A short series of only 2 photofacials can produce excellent results, making this procedure one of the best ways to stay looking young without breaking your budget.
12. Dissolve Away a Double Chin
Anyone who has struggled with submental fullness, or the stubborn fat pads under the chin known as a “double chin,” knows how difficult slimming this area can be. The truth is, where your body stores fat is at least as much genetic as lifestyle-related, and characteristics like a double chin can be passed down through generations.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get rid of a double chin. Kybella® is an FDA-approved nonsurgical double chin treatment that uses a simple series of injections to dissolve the fat below the chin, creating a sleeker and better-defined jawline.
13. Start BOTOX® Treatments
There’s good reason why BOTOX® Cosmetic is one of the most popular treatments for maintaining a youthful look. Formulated with botulinum toxin, a muscle relaxant that has been used in medications for decades, BOTOX® relaxes the facial muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles to form. Dynamic wrinkles most commonly show up beside the eyes (crow’s feet) or between the brows (frown lines), but BOTOX® can be applied to other areas as well.
Starting BOTOX® treatments young can help prevent dynamic wrinkles from forming at all and delay the aging process, making this treatment increasingly popular among young people today. However, BOTOX® can help reduce these pesky facial lines at almost any age, so bring a friend or family member along with you for a fun med spa date.
14. Restore Lost Facial Volume
Our skin and tissue tends to thin out as we age, which can result in sagging, loose or hollow-looking features. Dermal fillers, like JUVÉDERM® XC, are temporary injectable products that act like tissue to restore lost volume in the face. Fillers can plump up the lips, round out the cheeks and even increase symmetry in the nose or around the eyes. Injectable fillers can also lift the skin and help minimize deep creases, such as in the nasolabial folds.
15. Try Microneedling
Microneedling is one skin rejuvenating treatment that has been all the rage in recent years. The procedure uses a handheld device covered in tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin’s surface. These micro-injuries aren’t enough to scar the skin, but will stimulate your skin’s natural healing processes, including increased collagen production and skin cell turnover. The longer the needle, the more intense the healing, and your aesthetician can adjust your needle length depending on your needs.
Although this procedure does not require downtime, your face may be a bit red and puffy for the first day after treatment, so it’s best to schedule your microneedling appointment on a day when you have the evening free to relax at home.
16. Ditch the Razor Burn
If you’re feeling fit and ready to rock that sexy summer bikini, there isn’t much that will kill your fun like having noticeable razor burn, ingrown hairs and nicks. The perfect shave requires a professional razor, the right products and careful technique, but for many, it’s simply not possible to shave the skin for years without ending up with ongoing irritation. Tweezing is tedious and can be unhygienic without a sterilized pair of tweezers, and waxing can be expensive and painful.
Laser hair removal offers a more permanent solution for unwanted hair. Through a series of 4 to 6 treatment sessions, laser hair removal can remove hair in the following places:
- Bikini area
If you’re planning to get laser hair removal this summer, time your appointments carefully with any upcoming plans you may have, as you’ll need to avoid direct sun exposure for around 6 weeks before and after each treatment.
17. Freeze Away Fat Bulges
What’s easy to gain but difficult to lose? If you guessed love handles or other fat bulges, you guessed right. Stubborn pockets of fat are our bodies’ way of storing extra calories for emergencies, but with the right approach, you may be able to streamline these bulges without surgery.
Everyone’s heard of burning fat, but what about freezing it? Believe it or not, a freezing process called cryolipolysis actually does just that. CoolSculpting® is a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction and has become a common way for men and women alike to get rid of love handles, abdominal bulges, back fat and more. During your CoolSculpting® appointment, your technician will place the patented CoolSculpting® device over the target area as you relax in a chair. The device then cools the skin and tissue until fat cells in the subcutaneous layer freeze, subsequently breaking down and dissolving in the body.
The entire procedure usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the treatment area, and you may return to your normal routine immediately after your appointment. Most people see optimal results after a series of treatments and your results should develop gradually over the following 2 to 3 months.
While no fat-reducing procedure should be a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, CoolSculpting® can put the finishing touches on your weight loss success by permanently getting rid of bulges like love handles, which are infamously difficult to shed. Sticking to your lifestyle commitments throughout the summer will help you feel and look healthy and fit, while a handful of med spa treatments may be just the right boost to give your complexion that youthful glow.