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Get Ready To Bare Your Arms This Summer


Summer is fun for a lot of reasons. Going to the beach, leaving work while it’s still bright outside, flirting with lifeguards because I'm “not sure if I saw a shark….” But it also means I have to change how I dress. Fall through spring I feel like a queen in my uniform of choice: high waisted jeans, an oversized sweater*, and booties.

But then every year, summer comes around and I’m like “Oh I guess I’ll just be half naked in public a bunch now.” Tank tops and sundresses should be fun, right? Time to take off my oversized sweater and show you how I love my bare arms and how they don't make me self-conscious at all. Easy! I just follow these steps whenever I remember it and it keeps me feeling confident. Tank tops 4 lyfe.


My favorite workout right now is Barre, where I use three-pound weights and nothing heavier. In college, a guy I “dated” told me that if I kept lifting weights I was going to get “man arms” which is offensive in like, a thousand different ways. Anyway, I never stopped lifting (very light) weights and my arms have muscle tone that I’m really proud of. I finally understand why guys in movies are always doing pushups before going on dates. Fuck Geoff from college who made fun of my muscular arms. I’ll think of him while I lift my hot pink, three-pound weights.


My arms are plagued by keratosis pilaris. But even worse than my KP are the scars I’m beginning to develop from my compulsive picking. I used to pick at my face, but then I had a genius idea to pick at an area that doesn’t see the light of day quite as often. I’m working hard on stopping my bad habit (currently on a 3 day streak, buy me a cookie) but I am also focusing on treating the original problem. Because if there’s nothing to pick at, I won’t pick. Right? Sure. I start by dry-brushing. I use this one because Amazon Prime told me to. It feels like heaven. I’m always down to add an extra step to my routine if it feels this good. Then, while still dry, I rub Dermadoctor KP Duty into my arms. It smells...bad! But this is the best KP product I’ve ever purchased. I’ve tried a lot. I have way fewer bumps to pick at since I ordered this during the Sephora VIB sale. Shhh I know this is about my arms, but I also rub some onto my backside and it really helps with the blemishes that accompany my SoulCycle addiction. Sidenote: I’ve never said “backside” instead of “butt” before and now I’m feeling really mature, maybe I’ll switch from debit to credit.


Nothing makes my arms feel smoother than Body Hero Daily Oil Wash. The neroli scent overrides the chemical (very bad, no good) smell of the KP Duty, and makes my whole shower smell like heaven. It goes on an oil and immediately makes me feel silky. But it also makes me feel fresh and clean, so I don’t need another cleanser afterwards, which is great because I already have so many steps in the shower. Finally, I love how the bottle looks in my shower, but I guess that’s not really as important.


When I’m done with all my cleansing business, I turn off the shower and I moisturize right there and then—standing naked and shaking like a wet dog. I’m not loyal to a moisturizer! I just finished a bottle of this Goat’s Milk & Chai Moisturizer I threw in my Dad’s cart at Whole Foods without him noticing while I was back home. It smelled sweet and was thick, which I need because my elbows get so dry they crack. I’ve also dabbled with this BHA moisturizer from Paula's Choice, which is also a great option for KP, but I prefer a regular ol’ lotion when I’m using chemicals beforehand in the shower. I grab my towel and dab off any wetness that hasn’t dripped off, wrap it around myself like a Juicy Couture tube dress, and put on an episode of Riverdale. I’m an evening shower-er, so it’s okay if I hang around damp for a while. Later, when I’m all dry and in my PJ’s I massage Everyday Oil into my arms. And literally everywhere else, for that matter. I want to marry this oil. It smells delicious, it doesn’t clog my pores, and it makes my arms soft, and smooth which is important after all that chemical and physical exfoliation in the shower. It’s also helping to fade my picked scars, but I’ll be able to tell more when I...stop picking.

*By the way, my mother did decline to buy me “anything oversized” for Hanukkah this year because she wants me to stop hiding my “best asset.” I said, “my big heart?” She said “No, your boobs.” But, I digress.

—Ariel Gitlin

Arms all ready to go? Read here for tips on caring for your feet, too.