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The story goes that back in 1998 Johnny Depp spotted Vanessa Paradis across a room and it was love-at-first-sight…of her back. Paradis was wearing a dress with an open back. Depp caught one glimpse of her back and her neck before even laying sight on her eyes and his life as a single man was over. Though their union didn’t stand the test of time she certainly caught his eye and then some, and in these warmer weather months when it’s perfectly appropriate to wear back baring clothing you’ll want your back to be the most beautiful too. To do so, you’ll want near-perfect posture, great muscle tone and radiant skin.
PLANK FOR BETTER POSTURE: Your posture and muscle tone can be greatly improved by practicing the plank exercise daily. The standard plank is a simple and static bodyweight exercise that will strengthen your core, back, shoulders, arms and glutes. To do, place your hands slightly wider than the width of your shoulders (as if you’re going to do a pushup), and hold your tummy taut as you squeeze your glutes and push your toes into the floor. It’s important to keep your head in line with your back so to do so look at a spot on the floor approximately one foot in front of your hands. Hold this position for as long as you can without compromising your form or your breathing. The first few times you do it, hold it for about 20 seconds. Over time, work your way up to 3 sets of 60 seconds each every day. Note that there are a number of different variations of this move — some easier than this standard and others more difficult — but all will greatly improve your body.
BANISH BACNE: A beautiful back also means clear skin free of breakouts. If you suffer from bacne, an over the counter acne clearing face or body wash can help eradicate them. Choose one with Salicylic Acid and leave it on for a few minutes so it has some time to work before you rinse. If after a few weeks you notice it’s not doing the trick, your dermatologist can use LED light therapy treatments to address your acne causing bacteria. Silk’n Blue ($149) works to destroy ance-causing bacteria on contact and keeps oil-producing glands under control with regular use at home.
REV UP THE RADIANCE: A golden glow can elevate your back from so-so to spectacular, and a self-tanner is your best and healthiest option for getting it done. The trick lies in applying it evenly to this hard-to-reach area. If you can’t enlist the help of a trusted friend, you’ll have to do it yourself so go McGiver on it with a long-handled spoon, tanning mitt, and some rubber bands to attach it. Try a mousse formula, ideal for this area for its easy spreadability. Make sure you apply it evenly and blend well using large circular motions.
Murad Acne Body Wash ($40) treats existing and prevents future breakouts through a blend of skin-clearing Glycolic and Salicylic Acids, exfoliating Date Seed Powder, and soothing Green Tea and Licorice Root Extracts.
Vita Liberata Rapid Tan Mousse ($43) develops in as little as one hour and leaves your skin healthier and softer thanks to Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera and more. The beauty of it is that it allows your choose how tan you want to go. In one hour you’ll develop a light sun-kissed glow, at two hours you’ll have a medium bronze, and at three hours you can strut your deep, dark tan. To stop the tanning process where you want it, simply shower it off. You’ll also love the certified organic botanicals and moisture locking technology that nourishes the skin and the fact that there’s no odor at all, plus it comes complete with a mitt to help you with your ease of application.
NOTE: Product Picks were tested in store. Opinions are my own.