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The Ultimate Summer Skin Guide

Get gorgeous skin from head to toe, with beat-the-heat advice.

By Dori Katz

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Woman on the beach
Tom Corbett/Shot on location in Playa Del Carmen at CondoHotelsPlayaDelCarmen.com
Tom Corbett/Shot on location in Playa Del Carmen at CondoHotelsPlayaDelCarmen.com
Tom Corbett/Shot on location in Playa Del Carmen at CondoHotelsPlayaDelCarmen.com
Tom Corbett/Shot on location in Playa Del Carmen at CondoHotelsPlayaDelCarmen.com
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Your Back and Chest

—Use a body wash with (at least) 2% salicylic acid on these areas—it exfoliates skin without causing inflammation, says Mary Lupo, MD, a dermatologist in New Orleans. Try Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash, $20, which has botanicals that simultaneously soothe skin.

—Finish treatment with a benzoyl peroxide gel or cream to kill any remaining bacteria.

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Your Scalp

Heads up: The skin underneath your hair is supersensitive.

—Wear a hat outside to protect this skin, which burns easily, causing dryness and flakes.

—Leslie Baumann, MD, a dermatologist in Miami, suggests using a shampoo with pyrithione zinc, such as aloe-infused Head & Shoulders Sensitive Scalp, $5, two to three times weekly.

—Choose a styling aid with UV protection. Fekkai Beach Waves, $24, prevents color fading and creates pretty, textured curls.

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Your Complexion

To stop shine before it starts, stock up on the right products.

—Wash daily with a gentle, foaming cleanser that won't strip skin or make it feel tight, says Renée Rouleau, a celebrity aesthetician in Dallas.

—Look for a sunscreen with physical blockers (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), as many chemical sunscreens contain oil—Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 50, $12, is sheer and lightweight.

—Mineral powders matte-ify skin for a flawless, natural finish, while adding another layer of sun protection.

—For oil emergencies, stash Boscia Blotting Linens, $10, in your purse; they absorb instantly and come in a variety of soft, summery scents.

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Watch our video to get expert beauty tips on preventing your make up from melting in the summer sun.

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Your Body

You can't change the weather (hello, humidity), but you can control its effect on your skin.

—Start with a power shower, keeping water temperature tepid to lessen puffiness, says Rouleau.

—Look for low-foaming shower gels without sodium lauryl sulfate, a harsh cleansing ingredient that tends to be superdrying. If skin is dehydrated, wash with a nourishing lotion-based body wash, like Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash, $4.

—Apply a moisturizer with glycerin or hyaluronic acid right away to seal water into skin; these hydrators are light but powerful and won't clog pores.

—Remember the three key letters: S-P-F. Stick to a sunblock with a minimum of 30, make sure it is broad-spectrum and, most important, reapply every two hours when in direct sunlight.

Your Feet

Give your tootsies a little well-deserved TLC.

—Sloughing off dead cells is essential for smooth soles, according to Dr. Lupo, who suggests lightly scrubbing daily with a textured paddle in the shower.

—In the evening soak feet for 10 minutes to soften. Pat dry, rub on foot cream and slip socks on to help lotion penetrate. Try Freeman Bare Foot Repair for Pain Relief, $6, with calming camphor and menthol.

Originally published in the July 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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