This has been a really wonderful summer but unlike some years I've spent a lot of it more covered up than usual, and some important steps in my typical summer beauty routine fell by the wayside. By the middle of August I felt as though I definitely haven't been moisturising enough and I could seriously use a good dose of exfoliation. So I set out to rectify some wrongs and gathered together a group of products that I thought would leave me looking and feeling as glorious as possible. But this time it wasn't so much about pampering my skin, it was about giving it an overhaul!
First up was a new discovery I made at Lush's Oxford Street store - the Cup o'Coffee Exfoliating Mask (£6.50). I often see coffee included in body scrubs and I've generally steered clear of them as they're often on the more expensive side. However, Lush's Cup o Coffee is within my typical budget for a body scrub whilst claiming to do quite a bit more that the products I usually buy. It's pitched as an exfoliating mask (although I wouldn't use this on my face for love nor money, it's just too harsh) so I slathered a healthy dose of it all over my arms and legs for about twenty minutes. I found that after I massaged the product off in the shower, my skin was left looking radiant and feeling incredibly smooth. I think that it made a visible improvement to the appearance of my legs, which is great because now I feel that bit more confident getting them out in these last few weeks of summer.
After the exfoliating mask I typically found that I'd need to get some moisturise back into my skin. For most of the summer I was using a body lotion but I recently started using a product that my best friend sent me from Greece, Sweet Almond Oil. I've never used almond oil before but I really do swear by the stuff now! I've found that it absorbs into my skin (especially my freshly exfoliated skin) really quickly and leaves it unbelievably soft. It rivals the results I've experience from really expensive body oils and it's only a fraction of the price. If you're not into daily moisturisation then a once-a-week application would still be enough for you to notice a real improvement.
On areas of my body that are more sensitive - specifically my breasts and décollatage - I do like to exfoliate my skin but I reach for something really gentle that won't do me any damage. The Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub (£29.00*) is my favourite choice for this area of my body as I feel that it always leaves my skin looking healthier, firmer and more radiant. I usually follow-up with the Mio Skincare Boob Tube + Multi Action Boob Firmer (£31.00*) which I think really does make my skin look and feel firmer. It's not necessarily targeted at women of my age, but I'm definitely of the belief that prevention is better than a cure. Plus, I also think it's a bit like eye cream - we often neglect certain areas of our body until it's too late. By paying some extra attention on this area once a week I've noticed that I get far fewer breakouts (I used to get the ocassional chest blemish - not very sexy but I'm sure I'm not the only one) and my skin consistently looks and feels healthier.
In terms of skincare, I still swear by the Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Face Mask (£32.00). If I'm short on time and want to use just one product that will make a noticeable improvement to the appearance of my skin then this is the mask I always reach for. I find that it leaves my skin looking clearer and more radiant, and with weekly use I've suffered from far fewer breakouts than before I introduced it into my routine. Once a week, to really rehydrate my skin, I like to reach for the ESPA Skincare Optimal Skin Pro Serum (£48.00*). It's a very lightweight oil that absorbs into your skin pretty quickly, leaving it looking fresh, plump and hydrated. I don't find that it breaks me out (which I had found the case with heavier oils) and the results are so noticeable that I've been singing this serum's praises to everyone who'll listen.
Even if I were to do nothing to my skin all week then I'm certain that this routine would always leave me feeling and looking a million times better. I find all of these products so reliable and I'd definitely repurchase them all. What products do you like using when you're in need of a heavy duty beauty pamper?