Well, it's officially summer! I had every intention of following a pre-summer prep routine of exfoliating and sunless tanner, but like most years, I didn't get around to it and have just been parading my winter white legs around NYC with abandon. In an effort to get my act together, I came up with this easy 4-step routine for the upcoming months. Here's everything you need to keep your whole body smooth and glowing through the rest of the summer...
Dry brush. I love dry brushing and try to incorporate it into my routine year-round. It's a great way to exfoliate and encourage lymphatic drainage, which means that it helps clear out toxins from your lymph nodes, reduce water retention, and smooth out cellulite - all things I need during swimsuit season! Using a natural bristle brush and medium pressure, brush your entire body towards your heart starting at the tops of your feet and working your way up. It's recommended to dry brush before your morning shower so you can rinse away exfoliated skin and also because it is very energizing, making it the perfect way to get revved up for the day ahead. Dry brushing can be a pretty intense exfoliation; some recommend doing it every day, others say only a few times a month. I like to do this once, maybe twice, a week using my Mio Body Brush. Just find whatever feels most comfortable for you!
Body scrub. Hands down, my all-time favorite body product is REN Guérande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm. It's a magical mix of sea salt for exfoliation, sweet almond and Tuscan olive oil for intense hydration, and peppermint, rosemary, and basil oils for cooling and toning the skin. All in all, it is the perfect treatment after a hot summer day. This product can be used either pre-shower on dry skin or during your shower on wet skin for a more gentle scrub. I prefer the pre-shower method, as using on dry skin allows for better absorption of all those nourishing oils. I just jump in the shower and rub this all over for 2-3 minutes, turn the shower on, add a little water, scrub a little more, and rinse! The end result? Super smooth, refreshed, and hydrated skin.
Firming cream. When I saw Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream on Sephora.com a couple months ago, I immediately went to the store and got one. A cream that promises to give me the smooth, lifted derrière that Brazilian women are world renowned for? SOLD. The star ingredient here is guaraná extract, which Sol de Janeiro says is the most potent source of caffeine available, making this cream great for smoothing out cellulite; plus it has capuaçu butter, açaí, and coconut oil for intense hydration and antioxidants. The cream's pistachio caramel fragrance smells like your classic tanning cream; it's a bit too sweet and heavy for my taste, so instead of wearing it all day I've been applying it at night before bed and rinsing it off in the morning. But this stuff really works! My legs are looking smoother and firmer, and they feel tighter, so I plan to stick with it for the summer.
Tinted body luminizer. Prtty Peaushun (pronounced pretty potion) is a longtime favorite of mine. It is a 100% natural illuminating cream that you can use on your face, body and hair, and comes in a range of shades from the un-tinted Plain to Deep Dark. Not only does this cream have light reflecting particles to give a healthy glow, but it also contains jojoba and avocado oils, arnica, rosemary, calendula, and green tea that all promise to hydrate, firm and tighten, reduce cellulite, ease sore muscles, and minimize bruising. I don't know what this cream can't do. I use this in the shade Medium, which gives my skin a gorgeous sheer golden tint - just enough color to take the edge off my paleness without looking like I slathered on a tanning cream. I always use this on my legs when wearing shorts or dresses, but also love it on my shoulders and décolletage - anywhere you want to catch the light. The best part is that I can use this anytime. Unlike self-tanner, there's no need to wait for the color to develop or worry about staining my clothes because, really, who has time for that?
So that's it! My four essentials for keeping your body smooth and glowing through the summer. Do you have a summer body plan? Let me know what your routines are in the comments below!