Smooth Skin Operator

As Labor Day nears and the temperature begins to decline, time is running out to show off skin in seasonal staples (you do not want to be that girl, walking down the street in a mini dress when the thermostat reads like an ACT score). Bare your arms and legs with pride with these smooth skin techniques.

Shower

Beautiful skin begins with a well-executed shower—it should feel like a Vin Diesel movie—fast and furious with lukewarm reviews. A long, hot shower will dehydrate skin, so keep shower time and water temperature at a minimum.

While lathering, avoid foamy, perfumed body washes that are drying. Try to alternate six days a week between a creamy body wash like Dove, and an oil-based wash such as Eucerin Skin Calming or L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil. Once a week, use a body scrub to slough away dirt and dead skin. Try this hydrating DIY cinnamon sugar scrub [recipe after the jump].

Shave

It may not be the most exciting part of a shower, but it is necessary for smooth skin. After washing your body (and hairs have softened a bit), shave with a sharp razor that has at least three blades. Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel is a razor’s reliable assistant for legs like silk.

Moisturize

Apply lotion to damp skin—it will feel weird and slimy at first, but it is the only way to trap moisture on skin. Try CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring compound that can hold 1,000 times its weight in water.

If you accumulate obnoxious little bumps around your elbows and thighs—a very common skin condition known as keratosis pilaris—use a moisturizer with lactic acid on the affected areas. AmLactin carries a fantastic moisturizing body lotion with lactic acid.

Lastly, protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Always apply sunscreen (especially when using alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid). Pick up a continuous spray sunscreen for quick and easy application.

Cinnamon Sugar Body Scrub Recipe

1 cup brown sugar (contains glycolic acid, a chemical exfoliant that brightens skin)
¼ cup Greek yogurt (high in lactic acid, a skin softening compound)
½ lemon, juiced (citric acid, another skin brightener)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (increases blood circulation for skin that glows)
¼ cup honey (a natural humectant)
½ cup olive oil

Combine the sugar, yogurt, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the honey. Gradually add olive oil until the scrub has thinned to a desired consistency.

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