By: Shawna Davis
Summer is approaching quickly and you know what that means - queue the abundance of crop tops, maxi dresses, short shorts and open-toed sandals. As the old saying goes, ‘less is more,’ and when it comes to the summer season, this adage rings especially true. While we work our way into vacation season, there’s no better time than now to prepare our skin for the hottest months of the year. With a little bit of TLC that includes exfoliation and much needed hydration, we’ve put together a list of easy steps that feature a few delicious and all-natural products that’ll have your skin buttery-smooth just in time for the summer.
Glow on, honey.
Step One: Dry Brush
While this is technically a form of exfoliation, it’s important to complete this step before you jump into the shower. This detoxifying form of skin care helps shed dead skin cells and can also potentially help reduce the appearance of cellulite, revealing smoother and brighter skin. While this may sound like a fancy type of treatment that can only be done at a high-end spa, it’s something that can easily be done in the comfort of your own home. Simply grab your dry body brush and begin brushing your dry skin in long, circular and upward motions starting at the feet, then working your way up the body towards the heart and being especially mindful with sensitive areas.
Tip: Dry brushing doesn’t have to be completed every day and is generally good to do a couple of times a week. If you have sensitive skin, try dry brushing once every couple of weeks.
Step Two: Cleanse
The body is a work of art and it’s always best to start on a clean canvas. This All Natural Body Wash by NaturalAnnie Essentials is made up of castile soap and rich, natural oils that’ll help nourish parched skin. With notes of eucalyptus, ginger and spearmint, this body wash is a refreshing option to include in your shower routine this summer.
Step Three: Exfoliate
While we generally may reach for any washcloth to cleanse the body, swapping out your cotton towel for an exfoliating washcloth can make a world of a difference in the appearance of your skin. Simply implementing this step into your normal shower routine is one of the main keys to unlocking that coveted summer glow. Exfoliating washcloths such as the Ayate Wash Cloth by Shea Radiance or the 2-in-1 Body Cleansing and Exfoliating Wash Cloth by Cloverdale Organics, are great options to not only cleanse the body, but also work to smooth out the typical rough areas on the skin, such as the soles of the feet, elbows and the knees.
However, if you’re a person who prefers to use an exfoliant a few times a week rather than every day, check out SDOT Beauty’s Satin Rouge Body Scrub Polish. With ingredients like cranberry seeds, peach kernel oil and seaweed extract, this body scrub is gentle on the skin, but powerful enough to improve your skin’s complexion, all while leaving the skin soft and hydrated after rinsing off in the shower.
Step Four: Hydrate
Not all moisturizers are created equal and thankfully, there are plenty to choose from that can meet your skin’s needs and complement your skin care routine. If you have sensitive skin, the NAM Eczema Extra Dry Skin Serum by Angie Watts Naturals is composed of natural ingredients such as argan oil, neem oil, tea tree oil and shea butter, which work wonderfully together to help the skin retain moisture, improve elasticity and prevent scarring and flare ups. Is your skin super dry? If so, opt for Skin Enhancing Honeysuckle Body Butter by Melanin Essentials, a sweet-smelling whipped body butter that penetrates deep into the skin to provide extra moisture.
Tip: When stepping out of the shower, pat dry your skin and leave it damp right before applying your skin’s favorite moisturizer. Although there’s no scientific evidence that alludes to this tip, I’ve found that keeping my skin slightly wet before applying my body butters or oils, allows my moisturizer to seep into my skin better and instantly makes my skin smooth and soft.
Step Five: Apply Sunscreen
We’ve previously discussed the importance of using sunscreen and how to incorporate the beauty staple into your skin care regimen. While everyone should be using sunscreen daily, if you dry brush your skin, it’s important to make sure you’re more diligent when applying sunscreen, since your skin can become sensitive to the sun after completing that step. Two great environmentally-friendly options for sunscreen are Black Girl Sunscreen and UnSun Cosmetics.
What steps are you taking to have your skin ready for the summer season? Let us know in the comments below!