When you have stretch marks and cellulite, it's easy to feel self-conscious -- particularly when swimsuit season rolls around. But there's no reason to avoid the beach, pool or your favorite short shorts. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can hide your stretch marks and cellulite quickly -- and be rocking that swimsuit with confidence.
Get a Tan
Tanned skin usually looks tighter and more toned, so getting some color can help make cellulite less noticeable. A bronze glow can also disguise the lighter pigmentation and textural differences of stretch marks. Avoid baking in harmful UV rays and instead opt for a sunless-tanning product. Go to a salon to get a spray tan, which uses a fine mist of self-tanner to coat your body and usually offers the most streak-free finish. Or, opt for creams, gels and mousses that you can use at home. Follow the instructions carefully, and make sure to exfoliate your skin before applying the product to achieve the most natural-looking tan.
Choose the Right Clothes
The easiest way to hide stretch marks and cellulite is to choose clothing that covers them. If you have cellulite on your upper arms, stay away from tank tops and sleeveless blouse and instead choose shirts that end at around your elbow. For cellulite on the thighs, pick skirts that hit at the knee and long walking shorts. Don’t opt for clothing made of fabric that’s tight and clingy like Lycra or spandex to avoid calling attention to the dimpling. If you’re trying to hide stretch marks in a swimsuit, choose a one-piece suit to hide stomach marks. If you have stretch marks on your upper thighs, opt for a two-piece style and choose boy shorts or a skirted bottom.
A Little Makeup
If you want to temporarily hide your stretch marks and cellulite, cosmetics can help. Bronzing gel imparts a golden glow to your skin instantly, but washes away with soap and water. You can also use concealer to hide stretch marks. If your marks are pink or red, start with a green-tinted concealer to counteract the redness; then, layer a concealer that matches your skin tone to help the first product blend in. If your stretch marks are lighter than your skin, skip the green tint and use only the skin-matching variety. If you plan to go swimming, opt for a water-resistant formula. For your cellulite, try a moisturizer with light-reflecting properties to help make your skin texture appear smoother.
Heat It Up
When your skin is warm, it swells -- this makes stretch mark lines and cellulite dimples look less apparent. If you’re going to be wearing a swimsuit, try taking a hot shower or bath beforehand. Even a soak in a hot tub can help. A quick 20- to 30-minute workout can also help improve your skin tone so cellulite and stretch marks aren’t quite as obvious. A brisk walk or jog helps boost circulation so your skin looks more radiant and toned. If you have stretch marks and cellulite on your arms, try lifting weights or doing a few pushups to temporarily tighten and smooth the area.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.