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Beauty Tricks to Smooth Summer Skin

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You've put in the treadmill miles and kickboxed your way to a killer body. Now it's time to show it off. Here's how to get glowing, smooth and firm all over for your moment in the sun.

Smooth Things Over

Quick Fix: While there isn't an instant at-home remedy for cellulite or stretch marks, you can minimize how they look with body bronzer or self-tanner. Try DermaDoctor Brazilian Bombshell Skin Perfecting Body Lotion ($48, dermadoctor.com), which helps blur flaws and protects skin with SPF 30. "Cellulite is genetic," says Bruce Katz, MD, the director of the Juva Skin & Laser Center in New York City, who points out that he has patients who are Ironman competitors and even they have cellulite. Staying at a healthy weight will help reduce the orange-peel appearance and prevent stretch marks, which occur when extreme changes in the skin's tension cause the collagen there to tear and then repair itself, according to Dr. Katz. Exercise also helps "by getting your blood flowing, which makes skin look better," he says. Buff trouble areas daily in the shower with Orlane Paris Aqua Svelte Slimming Scrub ($65, orlane.com). It contains caffeine and algae, which firm skin short-term.

Go-the-Distance Solution: A deep massage with a cream containing caffeine or retinol may improve the appearance of jiggly bits for a little while, Dr. Katz says. You can DIY daily or book regular sessions, like the Bliss Spa FatGirlFirm ($180 per treatment, blissworld.com). "But it's only temporary," Dr. Katz points out. For the most noticeable improvements, it takes a derm's laser. Dr. Katz recommends Cellulaze for cellulite. The laser works through a tiny incision in the skin, melting the fat that's pushing up into the skin's fibrous bands and creating the puckered texture. The laser also stimulates collagen to tighten the skin. "It's the most effective treatment, because it addresses the structural issues of cellulite and treats them all at once," Dr. Katz explains. Cellulaze requires one session, which runs $4,000-plus. For eliminating stretch marks, a fractional carbon dioxide laser targets problem areas to speed up collagen production and replace scar tissue with new tissue (cost: up to $800 a session). "It takes several treatments, but there's no recovery period," Dr. Katz says.

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