5 ways to protect, polish and pamper yours

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Everyone needs a little pampering and self care! Check out these tips.

Stretching the limit
Stretch marks are a sign of your skin's inability to cope with the rapid expansion of flesh underneath the area. Though in time they fade away to an almost unnoticeable silvery shade, once you get them, they are yours forever. However, keeping the skin well moisturized can help prevent new ones. Apply a body moisturizer after every bath or shower, and give it at least five minutes to absorb before putting on clothing. And remember, suntans are a stretch marked gal's best friend. Self-tanners are excellent cover-ups for disguising the marks from view.

Rosy glow
Cherries are full of malic acid-perfect for a quick body glow treatment. Malic acid, which speeds up cell removal and helps with skin exfoliation, is often used in professional treatments. Mix 3 tablespoons of cherry juice concentrate with two tablespoons of sea salt. Dampen skin in the shower and lightly apply mixture to the entire body. Rub gently, as the fruit acids do all the hard work for you. Rinse thoroughly and moisturize. Your body will feel fresh and clean and give off a healthy glow.

Here kitty
Cats start each day with a slow, whole body stretch that goes from the tip of each toe, up the legs, and onto the torso, ending with a huge yawn. We need to take notes from our feline friends. Stretching first thing in the morning and taking a few deep breaths will allow you to start your morning clearheaded and ready for anything. Meow!

Kid's play
Hula-Hoops are a great way to relieve stress, appeal to your inner-child, and whittle the waist. Instead of the usual ab crunches, try 10 minutes of Hula-Hooping. Ten minutes a day for 30 days can take up to two inches off the waist! Instead of a "toy" one, opt for the heavier, bigger kind found at sport stores. It will last longer and is balanced to give you a smoother and more effective workout. Skipping is also a great way to exercise the whole body. Buy a jump rope from a sport store -- a child's jump rope will probably not be long enough for you -- and try to skip for about 10 minutes a day.

Break out of breakouts
Aloe vera juice detoxes as well as nourishes oily or acne-prone backs, arms and chests. Fill the bathtub with very warm water and add one cup of aloe vera juice. Allow the water to fully cover the problem areas. Soak for 10 minutes. Then pour aloe vera juice onto a washcloth until it is saturated. Gently cleanse the area with the cloth. Immerse your skin once again in the tub and then pat dry.