Last week, we divulged that body skin was an important indicator of attractiveness, and looked at ways to help prevent (and correct) the aging process of your upper body. But just because your chest and arms happen to be closer to your face, which gets most of the anti-aging love, doesn't mean you should neglect your lower body. To that end, solutions for looking young below the torso...
You Want: A More Toned Butt and Thighs
Slathering on a light-reflecting body lotion can help diminish the look of bumps and dimples in minutes. One to try: Burt's Bees Radiance Body Lotion ($9, drugstores). And to some extent - though generally a minimal one - any moisturizer will help disguise bumps simply by plumping the surface. PLUS: Do you need anti-aging products for your hair?
While nothing you rub on your skin will magically melt away cellulite (wait, can sperm reduce cellulite?) some products do help in the short term. Look for a product that contains caffeine, such as St. Ives Cellulite Shield Advanced Body Moisturizer ($4, drugstores), which decreases fluid for a temporary tightening effect. More dramatic solutions, typically involving lasers (Vela-Smooth, TriActive, and others), are available at dermatologists' and plastic surgeons' offices. Though the financial (and time) commitment varies from treatment to treatment, most require an initial series of sessions, occasional maintenance sessions thereafter, and a cumulative cost of $1,500 or more. PLUS: Does your signature scent make you look younger?
Cruelly, cellulite has the tendency to worsen with age. But there are a few strategies that may help: Maintain a healthy body weight (yo-yo dieting can make the skin looser) and get plenty of exercise. Walking and stair climbing - or any other activity that targets the glutes - will help build lean muscle mass. Also, avoid salty foods, which cause fluid retention. PLUS: Eat for youth.
You Want: A Leg Up on Unsightly Spider Veins
Obscure veins with spray-on leg makeup (it will also make you look thinner) or a body-bronzing mist such as Soap & Glory Glow Getter Face & Body Sun Powder Spray ($13, target.com). Stand in the shower, as the spray will travel, and pat legs lightly with a paper towel to take off any excess after the first coat. Then let the spray dry for a few minutes and apply a second coat if you need more coverage. To avoid clothing stains, make sure your legs are completely dry before you get dressed. And though the product is water- and transfer-resistant, you may want to see how it fares with cutoff jeans before you expose, say, your favorite white capris to it. PLUS: Look five years younger.
Bulging varicose veins may be a sign of a medical condition, but spider veins - which are small, dilated blood vessels - can easily be treated by a trained physician. A technique called sclerotherapy dissolves veins with a quick injection of saline or glycerin and starts at around $200 per treatment. ("The vessels then collapse and disappear within a month or so," explains Margaret E. Parsons, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, Davis. PLUS: Make peace with your body.
Support hose will help keep veins from expanding, but won't look so hot with your shorts. One alternative is to elevate your feet whenever you can. And exercises such as rolling up onto your toes to work your calf muscles and keep blood flowing (repeated throughout the day) will help, too. Dr. Parsons cautions against sitting with your legs crossed. "The pressure makes the body try to correct the cut-off circulation by creating new blood vessels - and those can become spider veins," she says. PLUS: Match your makeup to your age.
You Want: Sandal-Ready Feet
Painting toes with an iridescent neutral is a great way to make feet look more attractive immediately. Try CND Colour in Gold Chrome ($9, cnd.com for salons). "Golds and other shimmery nudes work with any skin tone or shoe color," says Margaret Miner, owner of ten20, a nail salon in Boulder, CO. Miner suggests using three long, even strokes for each coat - one down the middle of the nail, and one on each side. PLUS: Try these quick-dry polishes.
Calluses may not rank number one on the list of embarrassing skin issues, but during sandal season they move higher. If yours are really bad, visit a podiatrist to have them shaved down (a pedicurist isn't licensed to use a blade to trim calluses). Once they're under control, use a pumice or foot file regularly to prevent another callus from forming. "Foot files work better on dry skin," says nail pro Jessica Vartoughian, founder of Jessica Cosmetics. Try Earth Therapeutics Ceramic Foot File ($6, Ulta). Vartoughian also suggests rubbing olive or coconut oil onto rough spots, then donning socks - and leaving the treatment on for at least an hour a day. PLUS: Try these products that pamper your feet.
Regularly massage in an alpha hydroxy acid - containing cream, such as Miss Oops Pedicure In A Bottle ($18, missoops.com), to control the buildup of skin. And whenever you can, choose supportive shoes (most lace-up athletic sneakers fill the bill) over zero-support alternatives such as flip-flops. Another smart strategy: Use insoles for a comfortable fit. When feet slip around inside shoes, calluses are the frequent result. PLUS: Give yourself a spa-like at-home pedicure.
GET MORE: Take five years off your body.
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