With this weeks heatwave telling us its well and truly summer, we're all grabbing our loofas and hitting the bath tub for a head to toe pamper session so those cute denim shorts from last summer don't seem so intimidating. I love a good body care product and nothing feels better than a long bath, scrub and lotion routine, so I've compiled a guide to some of the best body care I've ever used that's not only super effective but good value for money to help you sift through the gimmicks and find some simple body care that isn't going to cut into your tanning time.
Keep reading for some beautifully scented all-natural skincare products, that between them have some amazing ingredients that are sure to leave you glowing head to toe. Normally my body care routine in the winter is fairly basic, I obviously shower everyday and shave and then just pop a lotion on after. However in the summer is when I really like to go to town, mostly because I fake tan a lot more in the summer so I like to give my body a tough exfoliation at least twice a week to get rid of any left over tan. I always scrub before I tan to make sure I get the most even application. Adding a lot more steps into my routine in the summer means I'm shorts ready always, because there is nothing more annoying that someone suggesting some spontaneous plans and you have to go in jeans because you haven't shaved your legs or having to wear a cardi because the skin on your arms is less than glowing. Not that your summer should be put on hold if you haven't done a 10 step routine - no ones got time for that, and lets face it true friends won't judge your stubbly legs, especially if you're too busy having fun, but I do know that for me doing this gives me a lot more confidence and I hope it works for you as well.
Ok so starting from the beginning, we're going to look at scrubs. A good body scrub should buff away the dead skin cells, get your circulation pumping and leave your skin feeling velvety soft and glowy. What you don't want is anything too harsh thats going to leave your skin red, irritated and dry as a dessert because our next step is shaving and no way jose do you want to be shaving on irritated pins *ouch*
There are lots of different ingredients to look out for in scrubs and lots of different forms they come in, if you have sensitive skin you are going to want to stear clear of anything containing pumice stone or sometimes in natural scrubs it can be some kind of nut shaving that they use to give the scrub it's grit. Instead reach for a shower gel or body lotion with glycolic acid to give your skin a boost or go for a scrub without sulphates like this one from Kind Natured which is 97% natural and vegan friendly.
If you're like me and your skin can handle some serious scrubbing then I have some absolute gems to share with you. I'm a huge fan of a decent body scrub but I find that I go through them really fast and I just can't afford to spend £10 a month buying new scrubs. So I wanted to look for something I can use regularly without having to worry about taking great big scoops out of it and running out. That's when I discovered this bar soap from The Sanctuary Spa range in boots, it's £6 so cheaper than most scrubs but it's a bar of soap with little scrubby bits mixed in. Of course as is with all sanctuary products it smells absolutely incredible, it contains natural sea salt, softening sweet almond oil & evening primrose oil. Like I said, heaven. I use this every other day and I just rub the bar all over my body in the shower, it does lather up but not as much as I'd expect from a normal bar soap which I'm actually ok with because then it doesn't dry out your skin. I've put this product in first because it is the handiest find of the summer for me. The only downside is however, that if you want to leave it in your shower, you've got to put it in a container because otherwise it'll wash away super quickly, so because of that it's not massively portable. This product lasts for ages, gives a really good daily exfoliation and will no doubt become a long standing resident of my bathroom cabinet.
Another scrub I have to mention are the all natural scrubs from Sister and Sister Co, these are made from raw ingredients but are full of such goodness for your skin. I've been obsessed with the coconut sugar and matcha scrub, the matcha in this product is the star of the show, it works as an antioxidant to banish anything that's dulling your skin and holding you back from glowing to your full potential. This balanced with the baobab oil which is rich and highly nourishing it makes for the perfect pamper product. The other scrub I've tried from them is made with coffee grounds which is such an amazing ingredient for battling cellulite and dull skin, really soft to use but smells so good, I'd definitely recommend this for. a morning shower. I always feel like I've had some kind of luxe treatment once I've used this. I'd also say a little goes a long way and I feel like if you were to use this once a week maybe then this bag would last you the summer if you're careful (so tell the boyfriend, your sister, your Mumma and anyone else you loves a scrub that this one is not for sharing). Also this is 100% natural and again, even though I'm not vegan I understand the struggles you vegan gals and guys have with finding good vegan products so I'll always mention it, but this is 100% vegan as well. A beautiful brand start to finish and whilst the sanctuary bar is my everyday scrub this is definitely a pamper product.
Shaving & Hair Removal
Urgh. I know I should feel lucky that my hair on my head grows really fast and really thick but that also means that I have to shave my legs. every. single. day. in the summer and that is a chore! Eventually I'd love to get laser hair removal on my legs so I'll never have to worry but for now I have a routine down that prolongs the effects of a fresh shave and I'll keep sticking to that. First of all I always scrub before I shave, what this is going to do is loosen any hairs that had/have potential to be ingrown hairs, its going to remove dead skin cells so you're able to get a closer shave and if you use a scrub with a heavy oil content then its going to soften the hair and make it easier to remove, so no tugging from your razor and more importantly no razor rash/burn. Once you've done a scrub, then it's time to grab a barrier or something to protect your skin, a great tip is to use a shower oil like this one from BioDerma which is super rich and hydrating, or for a more budget friendly option Dove have a really nice one, or if like me you're trying to use more natural and eco-friendly products then I'd recommend this lemon vitamin e shower oil from Burts Bees. All really good options, I've been testing a Pinterest hack I found of using this Johnsons baby oil gel and it does work as well as the shower oils but I find it does clog up your razor quite quickly and you need to run it under water a lot. Anyway the point is to have something on your skin protecting it from the razor, wether that be a shaving gel, a shower oil, or even some unwanted conditioner something it better than nothing.
Now for the razor, it does wind me up how expensive women's razor heads can be, and I don't know if this is widely known (because it wasn't to me and my girlfriends) but you can use any Gilette women's razor head on any of the razor handles. Seems like common sense but it didn't occur to me before I knew, I will say that although they're expensive having a super sharp razor does make all the difference. I really like the Venus Swirl razor because it does a really good job on knees and ankles without cutting you and it's generally quite easy to use. Personally I don't like the Venus razors with the shave bars, I find they only last a week and then the bars dissolve or fall off and you're left with exposed blades. The classic razor head and the embrace one are my favourites from Gilette and although I also thought it was a gimmick at first, the Gilette Snap travel handle is amazing and I would high recommend them to anyone who ever travels. It's so small, light and compact and the carry case has little holes in the bottom so it can drain on the side in the bathroom without collecting bacteria. Also its so easy to shave with, the handle itself has a grippy bit on it that makes it so easy, it's quite often on offer in Boots for £5 so definitely keep an eye out and consider investing.
Although Gilette have such a large range of razors and they do seem to have something to suit everyone, for the summer time they're not my go to. I'm a huge fan of the Wilkinson Sword Intuition razors, mostly because they're that much bigger that you cover more of you leg in less time and when it's hot I want to be outside sunbathing not inside shaving my legs. Am I right? The shave bars on the outside do not dissolve and fall off like the Gillette ones do. Personally I find they give me a really quick, reliable shave and they're cheaper too, which is a bonus.
I seem to have rambled on about shaving for quite a while but the basics are, scrub, shave, scrub again and then pop on a lotion or oil to keep your legs looking glowing and beautiful.
Body Lotions and Oils
Ok so we've had our bath or shower, our skin is glowing and super smooth, we've cracked out our Wilkinson Sword Intuition razor and our we're feeling magical. The final step in my bodycare routine is to put on an oil, lotion or body butter, I am not a fan of waiting for things to sink in so everything has to sink in fast. My favourite lotions for everyday have to be this topanga waves scented lotion from & other stories, if you've never looked before their body care is amazing and seriously some of my favourites I nearly always have some of their stuff on the go and this one is only £7. In the summer I don't like to wear anything too heavily scented especially if I want to wear a perfume or something on top, but this lotion is so light and summery I can't help but cover myself in it, a mix of coconut and pineapple is what everyone wants to smell like whilst they're lying on a beach (or just a beach towel) somewhere.
If you've read this post from a few months ago you'll know I absolutely LOVE antipodes product, super good for the environment even the packaging is sustainable and their products always seem to just work. I know that sounds silly but I've never been let down yet. This Jubiltion hand and body cream is an everywhere, keep it in your handbag, lend it to your bestie just to see her face light up when she uses it, type product. A beautifully balanced dose of Vitamins A, C and E provides the ultimate daily nutritional skin boost, the more you use it the better your skin looks, body care is so often overlooked but as the days heat up its just as important to get your limbs glowing.
A tried and true hero lotion that I've used for years is the Molton Brown Patchouli and Saffron lotion, and I feel mean including it because it's not available anymore (although I think a few people have been selling it on eBay) but the scent of this is my favourite thing, it's deep and warm but has a floral top scent. Molton Brown have some gorgeous summer body products, like this orange and bergamot body oil or their classic Gingerlily lotion which has been one of their bestsellers for years and years.
Bodybutters should not be put in the same category as body lotion in my opinion, they're much thicker and don't sink in anywhere near as fast, definitely a pre-bed product for me. Some of my favourites are this whopper of a product from Cocunat, it smells like strawberries and is almost a whipped texture which I quite like. Nice and cooling on freshly shaved legs so if you're doing your shave routine before bed then this would be a great choice of product. A body butter that I've used so much of I actually don't even have the packaging to show you is from The Scottish Fine Soaps company, and it's part of their coconut and lime range, smells amazing, soaks in really fast and leaves my skin super velvety which I love.
Lastly but by no means least the last product I want to recommend is this unscented vitamin e body oil from Previse skincare, I'm normally only a body oil person when it comes to night time or the deepest darkest depth of winter, but this product has changed the game for me. The first thing I love Is that its unscented so it doesn't interfere with whatever scents I plan on wearing that day, secondly, it just leaves my skin feeling super soft and hydrated, not heavy or sticky at all. I've actually been able to use this in the morning and not have to get stressed about having to wait for it to sink in. Absolutely love it, the range is full of natural ingredients and it comes in the handiest spray/mist style bottle for easy application.
SO there we have it, my summer 2018 body care edit, hopefully there's a few products in here that have caught your eye and I hope you've found it useful! I'll leave all the products linked down below and if you have any recommendations for me I've love to hear about them!