Beach Body Blitz Part 1 - Holiday Skin

Whether you prefer a real tan or faking it, it's worth investing a little time and effort to prepare your skin for sun exposure.  Regular exfoliating and moisturising will help slough off dead skin and get your skin in prime condition for tanning and ensure it looks gleaming and smooth, which can only be a good thing for those of us who will be exposing a lot more of it than usual. It's important to pay particular attention to particularly dry areas such as elbows, knees and ankles, where self tan can tend to 'catch'.  Removing dead skin cells on the surface will allow your moisturiser, self tanner and sunscreen to work more effectively.

It really doesn't have to cost a lot of money or effort - I'm sure most of us can fit 5 mins extra into our day, 2 or 3 times a week.  I'll talk you through some of the products I've been using recently, but you can do it for even less with an exfoliating glove from Boots or Body Shop (I find these a bit too abrasive, but lots of people love them) or even a good old fashioned flannel.  And a Google search will bring up numerous recipes for home made body scrubs and moisturisers made from products such as olive oil, sugar and salt.

The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Sugar Scrub, Coconut Body Butter, Shea Body Butter
I've revisited my teens recently with a new found love for the Body Shop.  I don't know if formulas are improved since then, but I've been seriously impressed.  The three I've been loving most are Sweet Lemon Sugar Scrub and the Coconut and Shea Body Butters.

Sweet Lemon is gritty and almost gel like in texture. The sugar particles dissolve as you massage it into the skin in a warm shower, meaning it isn't too harsh or scratchy. It's not the most amazing exfoliator I've ever used, but it's very nice and the smell is divine (I have the matching shower gel - a great wake up call!).  

Coconut Body Butter is like Summer in a big fat tub (which I got half price) - the texture is quite rich and stiff, so works best if you soften it between your palms before massaging in.  I find that I need quite a lot of it and seem to be getting through the tub at an alarming rate.  I also have a shimmer version of this, which does what it says on the tub.

Shea Body Butter is my fave of these three products - it feels extra rich and luxurious and leaves a lovely sheen on my skin, which I've tried to capture in the pic below, probably not very well.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter leaves a lovely sheen on the skin, difficult to capture in a pic
I'm not sure why, but the Body Shop has been running a lot of promotions lately, so if you fancy trying any of these, pop into one of their shops or subscribe online and you'll receive regular email updates.  I've just noticed they have started a sale with 50% off some body butters, which are £6 instead of £12.  Body scrubs are £12.50 for 200ml, but you can try a smaller tub for £5.

He-Shi Exfoliating Body Wash and Souffle Body Moisturiser
Alternatively you might like to try some of the skincare products affiliated with  tanning companies, such as He-Shi, whose self tan I'll be reviewing as part of this Body Blitz series. Lots of other companies such as St Tropez are now offering ranges like this. He-Shi's exfoliating body wash and souffle moisturiser are two unisex products designed to help buff and moisturise the skin pre-tanning.  I assumed these would be more expensive, but they actually work out the same price as Body Shop products, at £12 and £12.50 each - you can see the full range of prices here.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

A sophisticated ingredients list includes fruit AHAs, micro-dermabrasion crystals, aloe vera and antioxidants, but the quality I noticed the most was that they smell of strawberries, especially the exfoliator.  My husband (who is almost as big a product fan as me) felt this was a bit girly for him, so I'm not so sure about the 'for him and her' bit, but that's fine, because it's mine!  

He-Shi Exfoliating Body Wash
I've always liked very fine grained exfoliators. If you think about it, a handful of very fine grains will be much more gentle and effective than large, coarse ones, as they will cover the entire surface of your skin.  I'm very careful not to over-exfoliate (2-3 times per week is about right) and never use harsh or coarse products on my face, neck or decollete.  This product is fine enough to use all over, including the face, which reminds me I forgot to photograph the facial exfoliator that I would normally use, which is by Nuxe.

He-Shi Souffle Moisturiser
The Souffle Moisturiser is really rich and smells lovely and fresh.  It takes a fair bit of rubbing in, which is fine by me because I love the richness and this really feels like it's nourishing my skin.  It doesn't leave the same sheen as the Body Shop butters, which I guess is partly to do with the 'for him and her' element as most men prefer to be discreet about skincare.  He-Shi advise not to use this immediately before self tanning, so I'd suggest using it in the days running up to tanning, or even a couple of hours beforehand.

Have you tried any of these products and have you been preparing your skin for baring the flesh?!  If you have any other Body Shop recs or know of any current offers, feel free to mention them in the comments box below.  I'm always up for trying something new!

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  1. I don't know why I never get into body products? I guess because I never have time to pamper myself anymore. Thanks for the review. Maybe it's time I check some of these out!

  2. I really love the body shop body butters & scrubs! They all smell amazing!
    There's this one body lotion from the body shop.. I think it's cocoa butter but it has the slightest shimmer in it! It looks really nice in the evening :)
    I haven't tried any he-shi products! :( xx

  3. I have to try that sugar scrub! X

  4. My favourites are the Body Shop strawberry body polish and body butter (smells so yummy and sweet!), or the Soap & Glory scrubs are AMAZING! x

  5. I'm tempted by that Lemon Sugar Scrub so I might just try it.

  6. I placed an order with the body shop last week because of the 50% off sale. I haven't used their products in quite some time, but so far I'm very impressed! I don't use fake tan or sunbathe, but I still think it's nice to pamper yourself a bit, and a good body scrub and yummy scented body butter is a great way to do it :)

  7. I have a full tub of the Body Shop Shea Butter which I haven't touched yet - must dig that out!
    Great post x

  8. I loooove anything coconut flavored for summer, thanks for the reminder!

    Great blog! Follow each other?

  9. Hi ladies just thought I'd let you know I got an email from Body Shop with a great offer for scrub, butter and bodywash £15 instead of £30 - see here and an extra 50% off sale prices when you enter VMQ2 at the checkout - pretty good huh?! I may have to stock up myself! :D

    @Perilouslypale I can get out of the habit of pampering in winter but I feel so much better when I set aside even half an hour a week to do it.

    @sriya yes I have a shimmery coconut butter too - lovely for evenings!

    @manda I've tried Soap & Glory Flake Away and found it a little bit too coarse but like the sound of the other one - is it Breakfast Club?

    Hope you all enjoy these products if you decide to try them ladies - do let me know how you get on. And even if it's just deciding to have a nice candlelit bath with your usual products - do it. We all deserve a little pampering and it's good for the soul as well as the body in my experience! :) x

  10. The lemon scrub from the body shop looks amazing! Good enough to eat lol :) thanks for the great reviews!

    Holly x


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