Written by Nina Kate
Want to look better in the buff? You have a gorgeous body—you just need to unleash it! Part maintenance and part confidence, a fabulous physique can be yours with a few tips and tricks. Though it's okay to want to look your best, please don't strive for anyone else's body. And forget about perfection; it's a myth. Some self-love and these beauty secrets will have you admiring your nude reflection in no time.
- Exfoliate: When dead cells accumulate on the skin's surface, they give your complexion a dull, pale and rough appearance. Say goodbye to blah skin with a topical exfoliator like alpha hydroxy acid, a natural substance. Rub it on and then moisturize, or multitask with a moisturizer that also contains an exfoliating agent. If you do go for the alpha hydroxy, make sure your product contains at least 10 percent of the stuff or else it won't be very effective.
- Shine it up: Without moisture, my skin sometimes looks like it belongs on an albino crocodile. After a swipe of luscious lotion, however, all is fixed. To give your flesh a more even, flawless appearance, go for shimmer with a slightly glimmery product. Radiance Body Lotion by Burt's Bees is my pick because it's all natural and has royal jelly and sunflower oil, as well as mica for a touch of glow.
- Exfoliate again: It's extra nice if you do it twice! In addition to alpha hydroxy acid exfoliation, do it the old-fashioned way by sloughing off dead skin in the shower. I love The Body Shop's bath gloves, which make my skin feel oh-so-smooth when I'm toweling off. Just don't scrub too hard or you'll rub yourself raw, and always use soap or bath gel for lather.
- Fake bake: Okay, so it's sort of cheating—but tanned skin just looks so sexy. The sun's rays are trouble for your complexion, causing premature wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer. Luckily for us, there are myriad natural tanning sprays, lotions, gels, mousses and creams that turn your skin a healthy shade of brown. The older versions used to have an orange tint, but these days manufacturers add a touch of green to offset this effect. The active ingredient in all self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a type of carbohydrate shown to be nontoxic on the skin.
- Eat well: Your body is a reflection of what you feed it, so help it look its best with a healthy diet. This means ditching the processed foods, French fries and sugary sweets. Reach for plenty of fruits in veggies in colors like purple, green, orange, red and yellow. Choose whole grains over white breads and pastas, and pick lean proteins like organic tofu and black beans. Fats from avocados, walnuts and other plant sources are awesome too, and daily consumption can help to actually reduce body fat, particularly around the midsection.
- Love what you have: The hottest women aren't the flawless ones. They're the ones who know how amazing they are, and aren't afraid to flaunt it. Trust me, your partner is going to notice your sexy smile and alluring enthusiasm more than a couple of dimples on your bum. Conversely, the less attractive you feel, the less attractive you seem to others. So be yourself--without shame!