Want to "wow" your friends this summer? Try a summer makeover with eight ways to look good and feel great ... from head to toe!
1. Start with soft, shiny hair.
In the book Smart Cookies Don't Get Stale, registered dietitians Susan Mitchell, PhD and Catherine Christie, PhD, give natural ways to use food to help you look your best. To liven up dull, dry hair, they suggest coating your hair with mayonnaise or olive oil (other oils such as canola also work fine). Wrap your head with plastic wrap followed by a warm towel, and relax for 10 minutes or longer. Wash the oil out with an herbal shampoo for a great feel and fresh smell.
2. Protect your eyes from UV rays.
Just as you slather suntan lotion on your skin, your eyes deserve protection, too. Excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the cornea of the eye. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UV-A rays and UV-B rays. (UV-B rays do the most damage to eyes.) Even if you wear contacts with UV protection, remember to still wear your sunglasses for maximum protection of your entire eyes.
3. Whiten your teeth.
There's nothing like white teeth to bring attention to your summer glow. According to pediatric dentist Mike McIlwain, DMD, whitening teeth is a safe and rewarding procedure. "You can use either the whitening strips or trays for a two-week period at night. Or you can opt for the in-office whitening at your dentist's that takes a little over an hour."
McIlwain says although the in-office method is more costly, both methods work well. "Whitening toothpaste is good for maintenance," he says, "but the toothpaste will not give you dramatic changes. Also, the over-the-counter whitening systems do not work as well as the formula you can get from your dentist."
Make sure to get your teeth checked and cleaned every six months to keep them looking beautiful and healthy.
4. Be confident and stand tall.
Tampa-based rheumatologist Kim Smith, MD, says, "When you stand tall, make sure that your chin is parallel to the ground. Pretend you're balancing a book on your head and look forward, not down. Draw your shoulders together as if they are attempting to touch. Pull your stomach in toward your spine, and lift up your chest, keeping your neck long."
Here's an easy posture test Smith recommends to her patients: Stand sideways in front of a mirror and imagine a line from your ear to the floor. This line should go through the tip of your shoulder, the middle of your hip, the back of your kneecap, and the front of your anklebone. Do this several times a day to become more aware of how you stand.