Tuesday, 27 January 2015

My Top 5 Smooth Skin Bathtime Essentials

Products for smooth skin

On Sunday, I was getting ready to go a day date with Mr WLL.  He passed a comment along the lines of 'ooh isn't your skin smooth' as he was fastening my necklace to save my freshly manicured nails from a fate worse than death.

It got me thinking about my smooth skin essentials and what I do to keep my skin soft and smooth.  Smooth skin isn't something that's particularly revolutionary for me as I've always followed these tips and have therefore almost always had smooth skin, for as long as I can remember at least.

Keeping my skin smooth is important for me because it helps me to feel put together and prepared for any fashion eventuality.  If stay on top of keeping my skin hair free and smooth, I can pop on any outfit in my wardrobe without worrying that I need to do my legs or rid my skin of dead cells!

Of course there are lots of ways to make your skin smooth out of the water but, for me, it all starts in the bath and I thought that it was about time I shared my top tips with you and the essentials that I use in the bath to achieve and maintain my smooth skin.

Products for smooth skin

Let me start with the indispensable products that I keep in my shower and around the side of my tub.  They're all very quick and easy to use, even when I'm having a very quick bath and they're all affordable options that really make a noticeable difference to my beauty routine.

First of all is a product that I use in and out of the water.

Essential One: Body Brush

EcoTools Bamboo Bristle Brush
EcoTools Bamboo Bristle Brush*
A body brush is an essential for me because it helps me to be able to exfoliate the areas of my back that I can't twist to reach.  I also find it to be very useful when sun tanning to exfoliate the skin while it is dry, before hopping under the water to wash, then dry and apply an intense moisturiser.  I've tried body brushing in the past with small, round hand held brushes but I find ones designed like this one from EcoTools to be much easier to use thanks to the long handle.

Aside from helping to slough away peeling sun drenched skin, dry body brushing is good for combating cellulite and using a brush with a long handle like this one certainly takes away the awkward twisting that I've done in the past while trying to dry brush my body before getting in the bath.  However I mostly use the body brush for its exfoliating benefits rather than for its effect on cellulite as I do not believe that dry body brushing alone will eliminate the orange peel effect on the skin.  While dry body brushing is obviously completed before coming into contact with water, the EcoTools Bamboo Bristle Brush can also be used in the water too.

I use the long handled body brush mostly for scrubbing my back while I'm in the bath to exfoliate it and to make sure it is thoroughly clean and exfoliated as surprisingly, it is an area that is easy to neglect when you cannot reach it easily.  Before I started using a long handled body brush, the only time that my back would get a very good exfoliation would be when I would pay for a full body scrub in a spa, so using a brush like this is certainly a much cheaper option for me.

For exfoliation, I will gently scrub my back with the Bamboo Bristle Bath Brush when my back is either dry or a little damp and for general cleaning I'll pop a little shower gel on the brush and then use it when my back is a lot more wet.

The brush is so easy to use and the bristles are soft but abrasive which I love because it means that I can vary the pressure that I use for a gentle or more abrasive scrub, making it ideal for when I have drier patches of skin on my body.  I tend to use two to three times per week although I do alternate with a manual exfoliator depending on how my skin looks and feels.

I couldn't be without my body brush and you can buy your own from Boots.

Essential Two: Nair Hair Removal Cream

Nair Tough Hair and Argan Oil Shower Power Hair Removal Cream
Nair Tough Hair and Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream*
Before jumping into the bath or shower, I use hair removal cream on all of the areas of my body that I want to remove hair from, usually my legs, bikini line and underarms.  The only brand that I use for hair removal is Nair, which you will know if you've been reading my blog for a long time.

Nair products are extremely effective at removing hair and keeping my skin smooth but very gentle at the same time.  I have never had an adverse reaction to any of their hair removal creams, including their ones designed specifically for the bikini line (review hereand for the ol' girl tash (review here).

The two that I have in my routine at the moment are the Tough Hair that I have been using for years and the new Argan Oil Shower Power Cream that I received to try out from Nair.

I'll start with the Tough Hair as you might remember me using this one way back in my 'how to get party perfect legs post' and I am still repurchasing it.  Tough Hair is Nair's souped up formula designed to rid your body of even the toughest of hair.  If you have particularly coarse or dark hair then this is definitely the hair removal cream for you.  While I am happy to use this all over my body, I particularly like it for the tops of my legs and my bikini line where I find my hair to be more coarse.  If you're someone who has shaved for many years, your hair may be more coarse and Tough Hair may be the right hair removal cream for you.

Tough Hair removes the hair in around 7 to 8 minutes without irritating my skin at all and leaving it feeling smooth and moisturised thanks to the Rice Oil and Grape Seed extract in the formula.

While there will always be space in my bathroom for Tough Hair, the Argan Oil Shower Power Cream for dry and sensitive skin has really stolen my heart because it leaves my skin even softer and smoother than the other Nair products.  The super softening formula contains a blend of Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil and Cocoa Butter to leave the skin soft as well as smooth.

I apply this hair removal cream in the same way as the Tough Hair.  It does come with a spatula to help with the application but I find it easier to just spread on a layer with my hands.  The difference with the Argan Oil hair removal cream compared to many of the others available is that it is designed to be used in the shower in that it will stay on the legs, unless stood directly under the flow of the water.  I apply it about 3 to 4 minutes before getting into the shower, a couple of minutes longer if I'm having a bath, and then I get into the shower, wash and condition my hair and then remove the hair removal cream with the spatula that you get in the box.

I find that I get a much smoother result using hair removal cream than shaving and it isn't any more time consuming as I only need to use the hair removal cream every six days.  Both of the hair removal creams, in fact all of the ones I've tried from Nair, remove all of my unwanted hair, without causing ingrown hairs, rashes or cuts on my legs.  My legs are left feeling smooth and looking silky!

Nair products are available from Boots and Superdrug.

Essential Three: Gritty Exfoliators

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Brighten and Refine Facial Scrub Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub Boots
Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Facial Scrub and Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub
When it gets down to the nitty gritty, smooth skin cannot be achieved without a bit of manual exfoliation.  Using a sugar or salt scrub on your body helps to work that little bit harder at sloughing away the dead skin cells and smoothing the roughest areas of your skin, which for me is my knees, elbows and heels.

I like scrubs that are densely packed with exfoliating particles as I find that they work the best at smoothing my skin.  If you're looking for a gentle scrub then use them under the water in the shower but if you're really looking for an abrasive exfoliation then do what I do and turn off the running water.  Dampen your skin but don't stand under the stream of water as this will dilute the product and wash most of it away.  Rub the scrub into your skin in circular motions and cover all of the areas that you can comfortably reach, as you can always pop a little of the scrub onto the EcoTools Bamboo Bristle Brush to cover areas such as the middle of your back.  Again, use your hand in circular motions as you wash away the exfoliator from your skin.

It goes without saying that you should be using separate products for your face and body.  Some body products contain ingredients that can clog the pores on your face and the exfoliating particles are not ground up to the same extent as face products so they can also scratch your skin.

I really like finely ground face scrubs as I find that they are the most effective for my skin.  The ones that I am using at the moment are the Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub which is extortionately priced but extortionately fabulous and the Superfacialist by Una Brennan Brighten and Refine Facial Scrub that I reviewed here which is a much more affordable option and the best scrub I've used from the drugstore in years.

For body scrubs, I don't think you can go far wrong with Soap and Glory.  The Breakfast Scrub and Sugar Crush are my favourites as they're moisturising too.

Essential Four: Lazy Moisturisers

My fourth bath time essential for smooth skin are lazy moisturisers.  While I try to make the effort to moisturise my body daily, it can sometimes be a chore, especially after a long day.  If you feel the same way or feel as though you have no time to add this step into your routine then moisturising my lazy way is better than not moisturising at all.

Simply add some body oil to your bath water and soak in it.  Then when you get out of the bath, pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it and you'll find that the oil in your bath water will have moisturised your skin.  I've reviewed loads of oils that you can use in the bath from the super affordable Johnsons Baby Oil (review hereto the Argan+ Dry Body Oil (review here) which is my current favourite.

While I'd never suggest moisturising in this way alone, it works really well when used together or alternated with a body butter to maintain your smooth skin.  I tend to do this once a week and never in the bath at the same time as I'm removing the hair from my legs.

Essential Five: Routine, Routine, Routine

My last smooth skin bath time essential isn't a product as such, its you as you're the one who can ensure your skin is silky smooth.  You only have one body and its the only one you're going to get so look after it by setting yourself a routine.

Maintaining smooth skin is pretty easy when you keep your essential products in the shower and by the bath tub with you so just make sure that you make a mental note to use them and if you need to, write them down!  Mine changes all of the time depending on the temperature outside and what I've been up to, such as sun bathing, false tanning, walking outside, etc, but what doesn't change is using the products that I have religiously as once you're in a routine, it is so quick and easy to maintain.

At the moment I generally use hair removal cream every six days, body brush every other day or every third day and manually exfoliate on the other days if my skin needs it and I use a bath oil once a week, usually on a Sunday as that's when I tend to pamper myself with a hair and face mask.

Do let me know what your routine is like and what your tips for smooth skin are in the comments!

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  1. I like to do a body scrub when I'm in the steam room at the gym.

  2. I do like the soap and glory scrubs, they mean business

  3. I definitely try to keep on top of exfoliating/moisturising as well to make my skin smooth :) my boyfriend often compliments me on that as well haha it's quite sweet they notice really!
    I love Soap & Glory scrubs for body, they are the best I've tried. I am also a fan of dry body brushing but often forget to do it before jumping in the shower


    1. Haha it is easy to forget I think, especially in the cold weather when you just wanna jump straight in the warm shower! xxx

  4. I tried the Nair Shower Power Cream and was really impressed, normally I react to everything and have had awful reactions in the past to hair removal creams but this one I loved!! It left my skin so soft and smooth, I did exfoliate first to help it along. I really want to try the Nair upper lip cream (I read your review and was sold!!), although my hairs are blonde a bit of sunlight and they show!!!! xx

    1. So pleased you loved the Shower Power Cream, Nair products are awesome! Im sure you'll love the upper lip cream, it is brilliant, all of my friends use it now! xxx

  5. Perfect post for winter! These all sound like great products that are worth a try. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Thanks Denise :) They are SO good! xxx


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