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Goodbye, blemishes: breakouts are as necessary as commercials. TiVo your face with these fast fixes.

Summer skin is so spazzy. At first, it might improve because you're chillin' and getting all glow-y from the sun. But this gift from the clear-skin goddess is often temporary. Zits come, then clear up, then reappear like dermatology deja vu. It's a bummer summer cycle of pretty, then pimple-y, then pretty again. And when it's not pretty, the blotchy, zitty, bumpy breakouts often include not just the skin on your face, but it attacks your back and even your shoulders and chest. It's up here, back there ... wherever, it's got to go. Cure your summer skin right here (and there and there), right now.

STRIKE OIL

Clogs on your feet, like in tan leather with buckles from Nine West, are cute. Clogs on your face or back? Not cute. Clogged pores are the culprit behind eruptions of a wide variety. Blame heat and humidity. Or, rather, blame the perspiration those two provoke.

Add in the fact that your skin produces more oil from the drying effect of the pool or ocean, as well as your choice to smartly apply sunscreen (because no one wants to look the part of a dorky-burnt tourist), and your skin is now in pimple mode. Why can't your body's largest organ (it's true--look it up) get its story straight?

RUB-A-DUB

Start with proper cleansing. Scrubby-dub daily with a cleanser that has meds mixed in, such as Benefit Wooosh! Acne Medication Foaming Face Wash ($18, benefitcosmetics.com). Wash your face every morning and evening. And before bed each night, softly swipe your skin with astringent, like Sea Breeze Actives Deep-Clean Astringent ($5, drugstores). Sweep an astringent-soaked cotton ball across your face (avoiding your eyes) then use a new, fresh piece of cotton for your chest or shoulders (ask Mom for help with your back).

About twice a week, use a cleanser that exfoliates, like St. Ives Blemish & Blackhead Control Apricot Scrub ($4, drugstores), for dead-skin removal duty. Exfoliating with a grainy product reveals the new, healthy skin underneath.

ZIT ZAP

Get rid of blackheads and whiteheads with a 2% salicylic acid treatment product (Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, $6.50, drugstores). To attack major blemishes, go for benzoyl peroxide (Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, $5.50, drugstores).

DAILY DUTY

You've had salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide unclogging your pores all night, so you don't want to go out in the world and gunk 'em up again. To keep pores clean and clog-free, toss a pack of Biore Daily Deep Pore Cleansing Cloths ($6, drugstores) in your bag. Whenever your skin gets oily from sweat, just pluck one of the pre-moistened sheets outta the pack and swipe.

NO MORE BODY BUMMERS

Body breakouts bringing you down? To control all-over zits, wash your bed sheets every four days. Bacteria and dead skin accumulate (ew) and, even though you can't see 'em, they're doing their thing looking for a clean pore to harass. Also, avoid hanging out in your workout clothes or damp swimsuit.

In the shower, try a cool anti-acne body cleanser, such as Phisoderm Clear Confidence Body Wash ($5, drugstore.com). Every other day, follow with a body exfoliator, like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub (S6, drugstore.com). For hard-to-reach spots, get a Back Scrub and Massage Brush ($16, thebodyshop.com). Dry off thoroughly before applying a spray treatment, like Murad Acne Clarifying Body Spray ($32, murad.com).

Q & A

Can sunscreen cause me to break out?

Sunscreen is your most important summer accessory! But some sunscreen is for the body, some for the face. Face-friendly SPF has less pore-clogging oils and other ingredients. Try Neutrogena Healthy Defense Oil-Free Sunblock ($9, drugstores). If you're dealing with breakouts beyond the face, use the same sunscreen on your affected areas. What's good for the face is good for the bud. Reverse that, and you're back to clogging like a hairball in your shower drain.

QUICKIE SOLUTIONS FOR SUMMER BUMMERS

POISON IVY Hikes are fun! Now your legs are covered in red, raised patches of yuck-o. Worst thing to do is scratch, so use Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream ($3.50, drugstores).

SCRAPES Wipe out, skatergirl? Hit your knee with Benefit Boo Boo Zap! ($18, benefitcosmetics.com). The superpower formula contains good or camphor oil.

SUNBURN Restore moisture with Babor After Sun Care Soothing Mask ($16, babor.com) for face or body or both.

HEAT RASH Baby, when you're hot, you're too hot. Swipe a cotton round lightly soaked with tea tree oil (drugstores) over the rashy area.

BUG BITES That pesky ... Ouch! Try an aloe vera gel (the 99% kind in drugstores) to shoo away pain and swelling.
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Title Annotation:GL'S SUREFIRE CURES FOR SUMMER BREAKOUTS
Publication:Girls' Life
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 1, 2005
Words:768
Previous Article:Pick your perfect swimsuit color!
Next Article:Smooth moves: stubbly legs? Never-smooth underarms? Bikini line speed bumps? Not this summer!
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