Spring is in full swing, and summer is right around the corner. To help you look and feel your best, here are nine ways to prep for bikini season:

1. Wax your legs and bikini line

Before you head out into the sun sporting a bikini, wax your legs and bikini line to prevent stray hairs from turning up. Or, better yet, get laser hair removal starting a couple of months before summer.

2. Steer clear of bloat-causing foods

Avoid artificial sweeteners, which can lead to bloating. You should also steer clear of foods that are high in sodium, which can make you retain water.

3. Exfoliate and moisturize

Sloughing off dead skin cells is essential in the summer when you keep layering on sunscreen, self-tanners and other products that leave oils on the skin. Use different products for your face and body, since they have totally different needs.

4. Use multiple sunscreens

You should use different sunscreens for your face, body, lips, and hair. This is because you'll want hypoallergenic sunscreen specially formulated for your face, and moisturizing sunscreen for your body. Use a hair shield product to protect your strands against damage from sun, salt, and chlorine.

5. Find the perfect swimsuit for your body type

Shop until you find the perfect swimsuit for your body type. As a general rule of thumb, you should bring the focus upward if you want to minimize your hips. And if you want to draw attention away from your stomach, skip tankinis.

6. Stay hydrated

Be sure to carry water with you -- as the temperature goes up, so does the risk of dehydration. You should be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

7. Get a spray tan

Hit up a salon to get a professional spray tan that'll leave your skin looking flawless and smooth-looking.

8. Stand up straight

Improving your posture can make you look five pounds thinner instantly. This is because slouching takes inches off your height and makes your tummy appear rounder. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back.

9. Schedule a pedicure

Before showing off your feet to the world, schedule a professional pedicure. This way, your feet will be in tiptop shape.

Fun in the sun

In the weeks before bikini season, you should hit up the gym every day while following a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Right before going to the beach, be sure to wear a swimsuit that looks flattering on you and make sure your skin is totally prepped. Looking super hot this summer takes a little bit of prep work, but it's worth it!

  1. "14 Ways to Get Bikini-Ready in 24 Hours," Elle, June 25, 2014.
  2. "How to Prepare for Swimsuit Season," Glamour, May 12, 2009.

fitness | summer beauty | skincare