As my Summer Series continues, I’m working way up to posts on hair removal and tanning, hoping that you’re all exfoliating religiously in preparation?! Exfoliating is a process that most of us now understand the importance of, but that isn’t always enough for us to get around to doing it, right? So here’s a quick reminder as to why we should…
Our skin is made of many layers and constantly renews itself. Exfoliation removes the upper, effectively dead, layer of skin cells, getting rid of any dry or rough patches to expose the softer, newer skin below. Crucially, it also enables our skin to absorb skincare products more effectively; particularly important before self tanning for a smooth, even finish. It also aids the hair removal process: removing dead surface skin cells helps avoid ingrown hairs and allows extraction (!!!) with greater ease.
I actually love exfoliating - it’s one skincare regime that provides instant results when done properly, ie baby soft skin. Here are some products I’ve been loving lately…
Dove Spa Hotstuff
Until recently I wasn’t even aware that the Dove Spa range existed! I’ve used (& loved) loads of standard Dove goodies; the Spa range is made up of professional products used in actual spas, which as far as I know are only in England.
Hotstuff Self Heating Sugar Polish is a huge 300ml jar of natural sugar grains and creamy oils that warm on contact with wet skin. It’s messy, gloopy, smells divine and is a joy to use!
The texture is quite difficult to imagine if you haven’t used a hot sugar scrub before, so hopefully these pics will help…
It feels a bit like liquid clay… you can see how fine the grains are - always a big plus for me. I don’t want to rub big jaggedy pieces of scratchy ‘bits’ into my skin thank you very much. The finer the better and much more effective in my experience.
Mix it well in the tub with your fingers, lift a dollop and massage it in (while in the shower!) using circular, upward movements. The warmth (& it is just warm, not burny hot) encourages pores to open, making it even more effective - and it’s fun to use! Rinse thoroughly and you will be amazed at how strokably soft and smooth your skin feels.
Hotstuff costs £23 from dovespa.co.uk where I must resist lingering for too long as so many of the products sound wonderful.
Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub
Rituals Wai Wang
I got this Rituals Wai Wang exfoliating body scrub as a magazine freebie a few months ago and have been really impressed with it. The delicate fresh fragrance is just lovely - reminds me a bit of a floral green tea - and again it has super fine grains.
The rich cream base contains ultrafine Chinese bamboo grains, so fine in fact that they are barely visible in this pic, but they are there - and it does leave my skin feeling very soft.
The full sized 200ml tube is available at Bath & Unwind for £11.90
Karora Smooth Operator
Karora Smooth Operator Multi-Action Micro Peel is unlike any exfoliating product I’ve used before. The completely smooth gel is massaged into dry skin to remove surface dead skin cells in an extremely gentle way. Enriched with Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Citrus it doesn’t contain any grains - and to be honest I was cynical about whether it would have any effect, until I tried it! It really is skin softening and is genius at removing icky self tans mishaps.
Specially designed to prep and prime the skin before self tanning, this will also be perfect as a regular exfoliator for anyone with sensitive or easily irritated skin. Karora products are made with organic, natural extracts and contain no parabens, artificial fragrances, synthetic colours or harsh chemical ingredients.
To use: Massage into dry skin, focusing on any rough patches, then wipe off with a damp cloth or rinse off in the shower. As far as I can gather, dry skin and impurities stick to the little bits and are then rinsed off. I find it easiest to use either standing on a towel or before switching on the shower.
- Multi-Action Micro Peel
- Prepares Skin for Tanning
- Non-irritating Grain Free Exfoliation
- Removes Dead Skin Cells
- Removes Resistant Tan Stains
- Stimulates skin renewal
I met the lady behind Dublin-based Karora on a recent press trip to Belfast and have blogged about her self tanner in the past. You can read my review here - I’ve another coming soon on the amazing Karora spray tan!
Skipping exfoliation can leave your skin looking dull and lifeless, so go pamper yourself and get glowing - I promise it will make your skin look and feel better! Twice a week is plenty in my opinion, possibly 3 times a week if you haven’t kept up the process throughout recent months.
Next steps - smoothing and tanning - the sun is coming I tell you!