Not that I'm saying our bods are less than perfect as is, but mine definitely needed some tlc before getting my pins out in the recent sunshine. Here's what I've been using to help things look and feel a little more presentable...
It all kicks off with a tropical smells-like-Summer shower with Dirty Works Coconut Body Wash. This has a rich, creamy texture and fresh coconut scent, thanks to actual coconut oil content - and the packaging is so pretty. You can pick this up for a couple of quid from Sainsbury's and we all know that supermarket beauty purchases don't count, right?
Once a week I'll go in with Aveda Beautifying Radiance Polish to slough off any dry skin and prep for self tanning. I'm very fussy about scrubs and everything about this one is perfect. Made with salt crystals and organic plant oils, it's dense and oily with the perfect amount of grit. The flip-up lid is an absolute game changer - no juggling a heavy jar, lid and a slippery blob of scrub! The scent of organic rosemary, lavender and bergamot is so uplifting I can't even tell you. This leaves my skin feeling super soft and with a little oily residue - definitely not enough to bother me but I don't tend to tan immediately after use. I mean in all honesty, I don't think it's necessary to spend a lot on a body scrub, but if you really want to treat yourself, choose this - you won't be disappointed!
I keep things gently buffed in between with my Korean Magic Peeling Mitt, which I find much more gentle than the Body Shop or Boots versions. It's semi abrasive on one side and smooth on the other, so helps prevent tan build up without removing it.
Speaking of tanning and luxury products, Vita Liberata's new Marula Dry Oil - the first self tanning oil with SPF50 - is the absolute bomb. Hand on heart I expected it to be greasy, messy and tricky to manoeuvre, but it's quite the opposite. This is a proper dry oil - I mean it does leave a lovely sheen on my skin, but does not feel oily - and I can happily dress a few minutes after application. It gives an instant faux glow which develops into the most gorgeous golden olive colour and makes my skin feel great too. I've used this on really hot days when I was out and about a lot and hadn't tanned the night before, resulting in instant colour, a developing tan and the peace of mind that I was protected with SPF50. I'd recommend this for Summer events, parties and BBQs where you're outdoors a lot. No point wasting that SPF in a night club and it's not one I'd use on holiday... I wouldn't want to reapply every 2 hours (bit pricey for that and I'd end up with orange palms), but it's brilliant for special occasions and the colour and formula are seriously excellent.
PS regular SPF can be applied on top without smearing later in the day - I tested that too. PPS see below - it looks ombre in the bottle; shake before use and it becomes dark brown as in the top pic.
On days when I'm in more of a rush and want to give my skin a subtle oomph, I opt for Sanctuary Spa Wonder Body. If you've ever used a tinted radiance primer for your face, this is the equivalent for the body. The effects are subtle and it doesn't add a lot of colour or (any) coverage, but helps blur minor imperfections, gives skin a more even tone and just makes limbs look better! Infused with nourishing oils, it adds a whisper of colour (only noticeable on light to medium skin tones), hydration and a soft glow. Think a sheer my skin but better effect. I'm a fan.
For skin that feels parched all over, the Handmade Soap Company's Lemongrass & Bergamot Body Butter is hard to beat. I'd compare this to using a nourishing face mask on the whole body. Apply post shower, wrap up in a robe and relax to let it really soak in. This is a proper body butter, beyond your average rich body cream, with a texture like actual butter that melts onto skin with the most exquisite, uplifting lemongrass scent. Definitely one for dry skins (there's a body lotion in the same scent for all normal/oily skins), this is not one to apply just before you slip into a silk dress. It does take a little while to soak in and is more of a treatment than everyday product... emphasis on the treat.
The product I've used most from all of the above is Sanctuary Spa Wonder Body - so quick and easy to use with no fuss and I love the subtle blurred, illuminated effect.
Anyone else got their legs out yet? We've been so lucky with the weather here recently though it's due to pour today for my son's Sport's Day!