6 Things You Never Knew About Muscles

30 Beauty Tips: Get Rid of Acne for Smooth Skin

We know, we know—you’ve heard it a million times, but wearing sunscreen is the single easiest way to look younger for life. “Ninety percent of wrinkles are from sun exposure,” says Day. “It’s so much easier to prevent the damage than it is to fix it afterwards.” That means no slacking during winter months either, when rays are just as strong and can reflect off of buildings and sidewalks. Look for a formula that offers broad-spectrum protection to guard against UVA rays (the ones that cause premature aging) and UVB rays (one of the main causes of skin cancer). Try Philosophy Shelter Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in SPF30.

2. Clean your makeup brushes. A British study found that 72% of women never wash their brushes or sponges, even though they harbor dirt and bacteria which can cause breakouts. “You should wash loose powder brushes every two to three weeks, and those used to apply foundation once a week,” says Jessica Wu, an LA-based dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face. Mix a couple of drops of gentle facial cleanser or shampoo and lukewarm water in a cup, swish your brushes around, rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry, and lay flat to air dry.

3. Munch on mixed nuts. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, which increases skin elasticity and may decrease skin cancer, according to recent studies. Throw in walnuts—which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids—to lower inflammation and put the brakes on breakouts, says Molly Morgan, Board Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian and author of The Skinny Rules. Finally, add some macadamias. “They’re full of high quality oils and fatty acids that aid in skin repair and rejuvenation” says integrative practitioner Isaac Eliaz. Aim for a handful of each daily to reap their pore-perfecting benefits.

4. Start using serum. “It’s much more concentrated than cream or lotion, so you tend to only need a small amount daily to see results,” says Fran Cook-Bolden, Director of New York’s Skin Specialty Dermatology. Look for one with antioxidants, the skin’s major defense against free radicals and stress, and pentapeptides, which are a must-have when it comes to boosting collagen, the support structure that gives skin a firm, youthful appearance. Don’t worry about spending a fortune on the ingredients; one of Cook-Bolden’s favorites is Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum, a sheer formula whose small molecules can dive deep into pores. For best results, apply to freshly washed skin; follow with sunscreen or moisturizer to lock in hydration.

5. Sanitize your Smartphone. According to a Stanford University study, that iPhone you can’t keep your hands off of can get more germ-infested than a toilet in a subway bathroom. In fact, the glass touchscreens on mobile devices are so good at spreading viruses that sharing them may be almost as bad as sneezing in someone’s face. Here’s a scary thought: All those germs land right on your cheek and jawline every time you chat away, causing pimples and irritation. To keep your phone (and face) bacteria-free, wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes a few times a day.

6. Put your skin stash in proper order. The sequence in which you apply your products could be even more important than the products themselves. Reach for those with the most active ingredients as soon as you wash and pat skin dry. “These are the most powerful, so you want them to come into direct contact with your skin,” says Syed Amiry, a dermatologist practicing in Reston, Virginia. If you’re using more than one active product (like an antioxidant serum and Retin-A), start with the thinner one. “Anything that’s water soluble should go first, followed by the product that’s thicker and creamier. If you do it in reverse, the heavier cream will block the ingredients of the lighter one from penetrating the skin, so they won’t have any impact.” If you need moisturizer, it’s next up in line, followed up by—what else?—sunscreen each morning.

7. Drop dairy from your diet (even that little bit in your latte).”Dairy products—even those that are organic—contain cow hormones that stimulate your oil glands and your pores, leading to acne,” explains Wu. Beware of hidden dairy in foods like salad dressing, protein bars, and shakes. And if you have to go there, stick to skim. “The hormones are concentrated in the fat, so it’s your best option.”

8. Start using retinol. “Everyone should use retinol,” says New York dermatologist Doris Day. “It has decades of clinical data to support its efficacy, helps skin cell turnover, and boosts collagen production to keep skin firm and youthful.” Most dermatologists agree that if you’re only going to use one anti-aging product, prescription Retin-A (and even over-the-counter versions like RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 or Olay Pro-X Deep Wrinkle Treatment) is the magic bullet, and can even reverse abnormal and cancerous growth, among other forms of sun damage. “It has great anti-inflammatory effects, which is why it’s as effective at treating acne as it is at treating wrinkles and other signs of aging,” adds Amiry.

9. Hit the sack early. We know, you’ve heard it all before, but it’s called beauty sleep for a reason. “Sleep deprivation lowers circulation, which is why you look pale and washed out if you only get a few hours,” says Amy Wechsler, one of only two U.S. physicians board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry. It’s also the best time to rejuvenate your skin. “Your body’s cellular renewal team has the night shift, so this is when you want to equip your skin with as many nutrients and hydrating ingredients it needs to do a fine job,” she says.

10. Exfoliate for smaller-looking pores. It’s amazing how something so tiny can feel so huge, but enlarged pores are one of the most common beauty complaints. “Pores appear larger when they’re filled with dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and keratin, a protein that lives on the surface of skin,” explains Amiry. “Remove those plugs, and they seem to shrink.” To clear out the gunk, start exfoliating regularly with daily applications of salicylic and glycolic acid, like those in Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel. Then add in microdermabrasions (like Physicians Formula Derm@Home Mineral Microdermabrasion System) once or twice a week to clear the dead surface cells. To keep pores from getting even bigger as you age, practice safe sun. “Sun damage breaks down collagen, which can affect pore size as well.”

11. Give your skin a sip of merlot. Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant and polyphenol found in red grape skins, has been found to prevent the lines, wrinkles, and sagging caused by environmental skin saboteurs like smog and second-hand smoke. “In many preparations, it’s an even more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C, and studies show it creates mild-to-moderate skin tightening for a firmer look,” says board certified dermatologist and research scientist Erin Gilbert. Apply a small pump of B. Kamins C-Resveratrol Serum each night to plump up lines and smooth skin texture.

12. Don’t neglect your neck and chest. Most of us are guilty of stopping our skincare routine as soon as we hit our chin. And our neglected neck and chest take vengeance by wrinkling, sagging, and displaying dark spots that beg to be hidden by a turtleneck. “The skin on these areas is thinner, and doesn’t have a strong blood supply, so it doesn’t heal well,” explains Amiry. “Plus it’s an area that we often forget to protect with sunscreen.” Use the same products as you would on your face, but start lightly (every other day) when applying active ingredients like retinols or acids since they may cause some initial irritation.

13. Strip off your makeup before bed. Leaving makeup and dirt on skin doesn’t just clog pores; it can cause excessive dryness and even skin dandruff. “Most makeup contains a sugar-type molecule that can grow yeast overnight,” says Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. Don’t forget to thoroughly remove eye makeup too. “It can lead to bumpy rashes around the eyes or small white bumps called milia cysts,” says Wu, who loves Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover, a gentle, oil-free cleanser that even melts away waterproof liner and mascara.

14. Running low on sleep? Pick up some soy milk. Wu keeps a carton in her fridge at all times to “fake a good night’s sleep.” The natural anti-inflammatory reduces swelling while soy proteins hydrate skin to soften the look of crow’s feet. The cold temperature helps shrink swelling and constricts veins to make eyes look less bloodshot. To make soothing, redness-busting compresses, pour a small amount of soy milk in a bowl, dunk two cotton balls, and squeeze out the excess. Then hold the cotton balls over your eyes (or any other area where you have red or irritated skin) for five minutes.

15. Roll away your puffy eyes this morning. “Fluid fills up under our eyes each night because we’re lying down,” says dermatological surgeon Anne Chapas. Start by sleeping on two pillows to elevate the face. In the morning, massage away the excess fluid with the Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller, which manually pushes out fluid. To reduce dark shadows, use your ring finger to lightly tap Origins GinZing Eye Cream, which contains caffeine, onto the delicate area. “Caffeine constricts vessels to minimize leaking, which causes the darkening, while titanium dioxide, mica, and iron oxides reflect light away to brighten.”

16. Stay out of hot water. A steamy shower may feel great, but it’s one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Not only does the heat strip essential oils, but it creates a mild burn. Blood vessels respond by dilating in an effort to cool the skin, causing flushing and ruddiness. “When you’re in your twenties, you can take a hot shower, be red & swollen and recover in an hour, but in your thirties, it may take 2 hours,” says Alexiades-Armenakas. “By your forties, your skin just doesn’t have the ability to shrink back to its original state so you stay ruddy all the time.”

17. Don’t wait to moisturize. Most creams and lotions have key ingredients that create a protective barrier on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture, but because skin cools itself by evaporating water, you only have a few minutes before that hydration is gone forever. Slather on a moisturizer with dimethicone, a form of silicone, while your face is still damp. Alexiades-Armenakas’ research shows that it locks in moisture for up to 24 hours, plumping and improving the appearance of fine lines as skin drinks up the moisture (like the difference between a raisin and a grape). Try NIA24 Skin Strengthening Complex.

18. Be extra gentle when defuzzing your face. Waxing and tweezing can cause scarring or spots, especially for women with darker skin. Prep your skin before hair removal by washing the area with an antibacterial wash, suggests Cook-Bolden. And to avoid discoloration, make sure to have an aftercare plan that includes anti-inflammatory ingredients to quickly calm skin and help it heal. Cook-Bolden recommends a dab of Avène Cicalfate Restorative Cream immediately after hair removal, and for a few days afterward. “Investing in this type of product will save you money in the long run since preventing discoloration costs a lot less than trying to get rid of it.”

19. Snack on watermelon. Adding a lycopene-rich food, such as this juicy pink treat, “helps reduce damage and redness caused from sun exposure, prevents future wrinkling and possibly even lowers skin cancer risk,” says Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of Eat Your Way to Sexy. Aim for one cup each day by tossing it in salads, salsas, and smoothies. Or try her recipe for refreshing ice cubes: Purée watermelon, sweeten with concentrated apple juice, pour into an ice tray, and freeze. Then add cubes to water or club soda for a refreshing, skin-saving mocktail.

20. Exfoliate… without scrubbing. “Over time, the natural enzymes in your skin work less effectively at removing dead skin cells, so they hang on and prevent your skin from reflecting light,” says Wechsler. The result? You look ashy and gray. Speed up your skin’s cellular turnover and smooth its surface with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) like glycolic or lactic acid. But beware: Although lots of products include AHAs, the concentration is often too low to do much. “Look at the label to see how much it contains and pick one that’s around 8%. Anything more is too much.” Expect some initial stinging at first; it should subside as your skin gets used to it.

21. Slip on your sunglasses. As if you need another reason to buy a new pair of sunglasses, turns out they provide more protection against undereye wrinkling and aging than sunscreen. “While your eyes are equipped to handle sunlight, the area around them is comprised of the thinnest skin, where most of the signs of aging are,” says Amiry. “Every time you squint from bright light, you’re creating lines from that repeat movement.” To keep the wrinkles away, choose a pair of polarized glasses that’s wide enough to fully cover the eye area.

22. Drink an extra glass of water. “Water helps clear the toxins that cause inflammation and blemishes,” explains Eliaz. “It also assists in transporting nutrients and oxygen to skin cells, and preventing dehydration, which can cause premature aging.” It can even make skin appear fuller since the hyaluronic acid that naturally exists in skin will pull in and hold the water for a wrinkle-plumping effect, according to Day. Both recommend at least 8 glasses of water each day, more if you’re active or live in a warm climate. To add a little flavor, try a skin-soothing tea like chamomile or mint.

23. Pour yourself a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. If your skin has a case of the blahs, a lack of zinc may be to blame. “People who are trying to lose weight or eating a lot of processed foods might not be getting enough zinc to keep their skin glowing,” says Wechsler. And since zinc helps repair damaged tissues and heal wounds, it also helps clear acne and other irritating skin conditions. A cup of Cheerios has 25 percent of the daily recommended value of the powerhouse nutrient, which will get you well on your way to a clear complexion.

24. Be patient with your products. We’re all in a hurry to see results, but putting on the brakes can ensure that the results you get are positive. When you’re starting a new product, use it every other day, and never try a few new buys at once. “Even if you just got a new skincare system, introduce one product every three to four days at the least,” says Cook-Bolden. “You’ll rarely experience dryness, irritation, and burning. And if you do, you’ll know right away who the culprit is.” Give any new potion at least 12 weeks (and up to 6 months) to see if it’s really improving your skin before calling it quits.

25. Put down the French fries. Research shows that a diet high in fats and carbohydrates causes more wrinkles. “Creamy cheeses and red meats are actually known as aging fats because of what they do to our skin,” says Wechsler. To keep your cells revved up and rejuvenated, stick to lean protein like fish, white meat poultry, tofu, beans, and lentils.

26. Don’t forget your veggies. Look for an anti-aging cream that has plant-derived antioxidants such as mushroom or soy. Data from Alexiades-Armenakas’ lab shows that the level of antioxidant-free radical scavenging (i.e. the little warriors that fight off all of the bad stuff that causes premature aging) with plant-derived antioxidants is off the charts. “Plants have anti-cancer properties when we eat them, which means they survive the digestive process,” she says. “Think of what that that means for their long-lasting powerful benefits when applied directly to the skin.” Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum.

27. Eat your broccoli. Move over, oranges. “Just a half cup of raw broccoli is loaded with 65 percent of your daily value of vitamin C,” says Morgan. Research shows that vitamin C-rich foods not only mop up the free radicals that cause wrinkles and sagging, but can help remove the DNA damage they form. While you’re reaping the wound-healing and skin-protecting benefits of eating more vitamin C, try smoothing some on your skin as well. In one study, women who treated sun-damaged skin with a vitamin C cream for 6 months saw significant improvement in fine lines and discoloration.

28. Keep your hands off your face. “Picking—even lightly—can permanently damage skin,” says Amiry. “I actually have patients whose skin cleared up with no medications, just because they stopped touching it.” Every time you press against a pimple, it causes inflammation and distress to the skin. At the same time, bacteria is pushed deep inside the pore, and the oil glands burst, causing even more trauma. The result? More acne, plus discoloration and scarring. If you’re really hooked on popping, leave it to the pros and schedule regular monthly extractions with an aesthetician who knows how to do them safely and gently.

29. Whip up a berry tasty treat for your skin. A powerful (cheap!) anti-aging potion is lurking right in your fridge. Raspberries are loaded with ellagic acid, an antioxidant that research shows can prevent wrinkles when applied to the skin. “It protects the collagen that keeps skin plump and beautiful from being worn down by the sun,” says Wu. Add in honey, a natural humectant that holds water against the skin for maximum moisture, and you’ve got a recipe for gorgeous, dewey skin. Mash up a handful of raspberries with a spoonful of honey, and apply the mask to clean skin for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

30. Make your sunscreen work harder for you. Antioxidants like vitamin C offer an extra layer of protection again environmental damage and toxins, diverting them before they can damage your cells. “That’s why applying them as part of your morning routine boosts the efficacy of your sunscreen,” explains Amiry. “It’s important to know that sunscreens are chemicals that you are applying to your skin and they absorb into your body. So, use a lighter sunscreen daily such as SPF 15 along with vitamin C and a higher sunscreen (about 30) every two hours if you are outdoors for a long period of time.”

14 Healthy Snacks and Meals that Travel Well

Family vacations can be really tricky when you’re trying to stay on track of your diet. There are hazards everywhere when you travel—every rest stop has enticing fast food options, every gas station has a candy aisle brimming with cheap temptation, and every beach town has a signature ice cream shop calling your name. Basically, every road trip is a pitfall of unhealthy food waiting to happen.

Of course, a little indulging here and there is definitely OK (and encouraged), but we know you’ll want some ideas in your back pocket to help you stick to your daily plan. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite easy-to-pack lunches and snacks that you can find on your Cooking Light Diet plan to keep you healthy and happy all travel-season long.

Avocado-Egg Salad Sandwiches with Pickled Celery

This delicious twist on the classic egg salad sandwich will make any park picnic seem like a gourmet get-together. The chopped celery and sunflower seeds add crunch while avocado adds creaminess without the calories. Simply make the sandwiches before you head out the door, or package the salad in a container with a side of bread to make before you enjoy.

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Take boring cheese sandwiches to the next level with the addition of avocado and tomato. Wrap them in tinfoil to toss on a park grill, or grill at home and wrap in paper towels to absorb the moisture while on the road. Not able to heat things up? These sandwiches are also delicious cold!

Hummus Club Sandwiches

Homemade hummus just can’t be beat, and this recipe calls for a super simple version that’s extra creamy from yogurt. After you’ve stacked your sandwiches for the road, spoon the rest of the hummus into a small container and bring along a small bag of chopped veggies for an additional snack.

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Watercress Slaw

When you’ve filled your beach cooler with packs of deli meat, mix up your sandwiches with this refreshing watercress slaw. The tarragon leaves add a breezy freshness, and baguettes are crusty enough to not let the mayonnaise mixture soak through throughout the morning.

Apple, Almond, and Cheddar Sandwich

Kids will love this day trip-friendly sandwich. Stuffed with almond butter, sliced apples, sharp cheddar, and deli ham, your family will go mad for this sandwich. We recommend slicing thse down the middle and wrapping each half individually with plastic wrap to avoid any of the ingredients from slipping away.

Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha

These grown up egg salad sandwiches are sure to be a winner at your family picnic. Mix in crispy bacon, creamy yogurt, and hot sriracha for a play on the classic version that you’ll want to eat again and again. We recommend keeping the mixture in an airtight container, and spooning it on the bread slices when you’re ready to enjoy.

Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich

Use up last night’s chicken for this picnic-ready masterpiece. Pile it high on whole grain bread and add thick slices of summer tomatoes and green leaf lettuce for a tasty meal. Fresh tarragon gives a slight anise flavor, so feel free to make a separate batch omitting the herb for little ones.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps

Roasted red pepper hummus makes these wraps a quick, flavor-packed lunch for any day out. Roll up whatever veggies you have on hand and sprinkle on some goat cheese for a tart, creamy kick. Simply pop a toothpick in to keep everything together and you’re good to go.

Turkey and Swiss Wrap with Carrot Salad

The dilly Dijon spread makes this wrap a true winner in our book. Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fresh dill, lemon rind, lemon juice, and black pepper and spread it onto a wrap with turkey, veggies, and cheese. As an added bonus, the carrot salad on the side is a forever favorite.

Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix

Goldfish crackers and dried cherries take this trail mix beyond what you’ll pick up at any rest stop. Snack on this while you’re cruising the highway or with your kids after you’ve constructed the world’s coolest sand castle.

S’mores Chew Crispy Bars

Indulge on a snack your whole family will love. Marshmallows, cracker crumbs, and chocolate chips make this crispy bar absolutely irresistible. Plus, the kids can help you make these the day before you head out. They’ll love getting involved!

Almond Date Bars

Dates, dried apples, sweetened coconut, and honey make this bar extra sweet. But believe us, this is totally Cooking Light Diet-approved for an on-the-go snack to keep you on track.

Linzer Muffins

When you’re staying at a vacation home, these muffins are a quick fix for an easy breakfast no matter what equipment you have on hand. Bake a batch before you leave home and pop them in the freezer for a healthy raspberry almond breakfast or snack any day.

Orange-Hazelnut Snack Muffins

Pack these away for easy to enjoy midday snacks. Baked with hazelnut flour and cake flour, they have a subtle nuttiness and a light, fresh sweetness from the agave and orange juice.

30 Simple Diet and Fitness Tips

13 Quick Weight-Loss Tips Even Nutrition Pros Approve

The key to lasting weight loss?

Losing the weight quickly. Here’s why: It may give you a psychological boost that helps you stick to your new habits; in studies, fast weight loss led to more pounds off overall plus longer-term success in keeping it off. However, “anyone can do a cleanse or an extreme plan,” says Lisa Lillien, founder of HungryGirl.com and author of the new book The Hungry Girl Diet. “But the minute you stop, you gain the weight back and haven’t learned anything.” We interviewed top nutrition and fitness experts to get their best advice for quick and safe weight loss.

Close your kitchen for 12 hours.

That should be the time between your last bite at night and first in the morning, says Lauren Slayton, RD, author of The Little Book of Thin. If you finish dinner at 7:30, that means no eating until 7:30 the next morning. Need motivation? “Tell yourself, ‘Go to sleep now, wake up wow,’” says Slayton.

Heading to the kitchen? Pour a glass of water.

If it’s a cliché diet trick, it’s for good reason. “People confuse hunger with thirst, especially when they’re trying to stick to a weight-loss plan and may expect to feel hungry,” notes Lillien. When you find yourself walking toward the kitchen, get a glass of water instead of food.

Any time you reach for something to eat, ask these two questions:

“One, am I hungry? And two, what am I hungry for?” says Jennipher Walters, a certified personal trainer, co-founder of Fit Bottomed Girls LLC, and author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet. “You could be procrastinating, or bored, or stressed. Or maybe you just really need a hug. Distract yourself for five to 10 minutes, a buffer time to decide if you’re really hungry.” That can have a big impact on quick weight loss.

Eat an appetizer.

Choose wisely: Walters recommends beginning dinner with a broth-based soup or a salad. “It fills you up and elongates the meal, which prevents you from scarfing down your food,” she says. To avoid eating too quickly, keep your entrée and sides off the table until you’re done.

Shrink your portions, except…

Supersize your veggies, pleads Tosca Reno, author of The Eat-Clean Diet series. “Two sprigs of asparagus is not enough,” she says. One of the biggest mistakes Reno sees clients make is eating too much of everything else. If you eat proper portions of just two food groups—carbs and meat—you will accelerate weight loss and improve your health. Tip: Pasta should be the size of your fist; meat should be about 3 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards or bar of soap.

Find new favorites.

Don’t deprive yourself; deprivation is not a great place to start, says Walters. “If you want to stop drinking soda, don’t just cut it out—find something else with bubbliness, like seltzer or flavored water, to replace it.”

Set a time for treats.

If you know you have something indulgent to look forward to—a piece of high-quality dark chocolate, say, after dinner—it may be easier to turn down other temptations, such as office birthday cake, says Walters.

Track your food.

Often after working out, notes Lillien, people tend to overcompensate (“I just did Spinning, I can order the French toast at brunch!”) and eat more calories than they burn. That’s less likely to happen if you write down what you eat. “It’s just about being more aware so you make better food choices,” she says.

Balance your breakfast.

“A lot of people think that a low-fat yogurt and fruit is a healthy breakfast, but it’s not that satiating, so you will be hungry again soon,” says Walters.  She recommends a morning meal that includes a balance of protein, fat, fiber, and veggies, such as a veggie egg scramble with avocado or cheese, or oatmeal with fruit and nuts.

Toss your trigger foods.

“Everyone has foods that make them want to keep eating more,” says Lillien. When craving starchy picks like chips and pasta, she continues, “instead, I use tofu shirataki noodles made from tofu and yam flour—the whole bag has 40 calories.” Reno advises clients to get “hidden foods” out of the house so you don’t have that crutch when you feel a need to binge. “Chances are you’re eating too much of them,” she says.

Watch for added sugars.

“Sugar is an addictive ingredient,” says Reno. “The more you eat it, the more you want. When you decrease your intake, your body will keep asking for it, but after two or three days, you’ll be amazed by how your body responds.” If you don’t feel like reading food labels, just try switching from processed choices (say, an energy bar) to whole ones (like an apple).

Stop drinking your calories already.

It’s not just soda. Healthy-sounding juice, iced tea, and other beverages can be big calorie bombs. But cut them out, and you’ll watch the number on the scale start to drop instead. “Sometimes a bottle of iced tea or juice has 2.5 servings,” says Lillien. “Read labels and you’ll see it’s just not worth it.”

Switch up your exercise.

If you’re stuck in an elliptical rut, ditch the low-key cardio for some circuit training or interval training, says Walters. “In circuit training, you’re doing strength training and cardio at the same time, which gets your metabolism up and burns fat,” she says. A good interval workout—where you alternate short bursts of all-out effort with less-strenuous recovery zones—“is super effective and challenging—it will shake you and your body out of your comfort zone,” says Walters.

10 Tips for Preventing Acne

1. Keep your face clean. Whether or not you have acne, it’s important to wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin’s surface. Washing more often than twice daily is not necessarily better; it may do more harm than good. Use warm, not hot, water and a mild facial cleanser. Using a harsh soap (like deodorant body soap) can hurt the already inflamed skin and cause more irritation.

Avoid scrubbing your skin harshly with a washcloth, an exfoliating glove, or loofah (a coarse-textured sponge). Gently wash it with  a very soft cloth or your hands. Always rinse well, and then dry your face with a clean towel. (Toss the towel in the laundry hamper, as dirty towels spread bacteria.) Also, use the washcloth only once.

2. Moisturize. Many acne products contain ingredients that dry the skin, so always use a moisturizer that minimizes dryness and skin peeling. Look for “noncomedogenic” on the label, which means it should not cause acne. There are moisturizers made for oily, dry, or combination skin.

3. Try an over-the-counter acne product. These acne products don’t need a prescription. Most of them have ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid, which curb bacteria and dry your skin. They may cause drying or peeling so start with a small amount at first. Then you can adjust how much you use and how often. Another option is a new OTC topical retinoid gel. It works to actually keep the acne from forming. Use these products with caution if you have sensitive skin.

4. Use makeup sparingly. During a breakout, avoid wearing foundation, powder, or blush. If you do wear makeup, wash it off at the end of the day. If possible, choose oil-free cosmetics without added dyes and chemicals. Choose makeup that is labeled as “noncomedogenic,” meaning it should not cause acne. Read the ingredients list on the product label before buying.

5. Watch what you put on your hair. Avoid using fragrances, oils, pomades, or gels on your hair. If they get on your face, they can block your skin’s pores and irritate your skin. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Oily hair can add to the oil on your face, so wash your hair often, especially if you’re breaking out. Got long hair? Keep it pulled away from your face.

6. Keep your hands off your face. Avoid touching your face or propping your cheek or chin on your hands. Not only can you spread bacteria, you can also irritate the already inflamed facial skin. Never pick or pop pimples with your fingers, as it can lead to infection and scarring.

7. Stay out of the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase inflammationand redness, and can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark discoloration). Some acne medications may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a broad-brimmed hat. Whether you have pimples or not, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Look for “noncomedogenic” on the sunscreen label to make new pimples less likely. Read the ingredients on the product label to know what you’re putting on your skin.

8. Feed your skin. Most experts agree that certain foods, like chocolate, don’t cause pimples. Still, it makes sense to avoid greasy food and junk food and add more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains to your diet. Dairy products and foods high in processed sugar may trigger acne. Avoid these.