Prepare to Bare

 

Moisturize After Shower

Slather on moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower. Dermatologists recommend lotions with urea and/or lactic acid. These ingredients are naturally humectants and draw water from the air into the skin. Try Eucerin Everyday Protection Body Lotion SPF 15 ($7.59 at DrugStore.com).

Then, seal in the moisture with products rich in shea butter, cocoa butter or avocado oil. Packed with fatty acids and lipids, they also mimic normal skin, so they penetrate easily and won't leave an oil slick on your body. Dr. Graf is a fan of Palmer's Cocoa Butter and coconut oil from the health food store. "They're so good for you and I love that tropical smell," she says.

What to stay away from? Mineral oil, petrolatum and anything too thick. These ingredients are occlusive—meaning they can clog pores so you feel sweaty and greasy.

If you've noticed sun spots on your chest, dermatologist Vermen M. Verallo-Rowell, founder of VMV Hypoallergenics, advises applying lotion with salicylic or alpha hydroxyic acid (like glycolic acid), preferably one that also contains a skin lightener like kojic acid. 

 

Sunscreen SOS

Once you've exfoliated and hydrated, don't undo all that TLC with sun exposure! Always use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 with both physical (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) and chemical (Parsol) sun blocks. And remember, just because you don't burn doesn't mean you get a free pass on sunscreen, says Dr. Verallo-Rowell; you want to avoid hyperpigmentation triggered by the sun, which she calls "the skin bane of women of color." 

 

Cover Up

If you're tired of that now-faded butterfly tattoo on your shoulder, but not ready to pony up for laser removal, try camouflage makeup. Also designed to cover scars and birthmarks, it gives long-lasting, full coverage. Even better, many are water-resistant.

To make the concealer blend in seamlessly, have it color-matched exactly to your skin at the makeup counter if you can. Sharon McEntee recommends Tattoo Camo ($34.95 at Tattoo.com). 

 

Get Sexy Color

Take your skin from soft to sexy! You'll have a head start with moisturizers like coconut oil because they add natural sheen, especially if you're dark-skinned. To amp things up, try tinted body moisturizer. If you're in a hurry or not a whiz at using self-tanners, try goof-proof Sue Devitt Microquatic Tinted Body Moisturizer ($36 at Beauty.com), which is oil-free and lightly tinted.

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