Last week we wrote an intro into summer beauty and we promised to come back this week to include body and haircare. I love summer body care because if done right you can skip a day of moisturizing and don't need to worry about dry, itchy skin. I also like making my own body scrubs which I contain in large glass jars made with fresh herbs and fine Spanish sea salt. Last year I came up with a honey coconut salt polish for a friend who had recovered from a bad sunburn, she just couldn't scrub away the flaky skin with shower gel and needed a little healing boost. It turned out to be a hit with her and my sister who asked me to make it several more times. I'm always much more playful during summer with products and enjoy trying new things and wanted to share a few rituals and DIY recipes. I'm also going to reveal details on the six new products coming to the La Bella Figura line later this summer. Exciting!
1. Body Exfoliation
I'm not a fan of "dry brushing" the way so many beauty lovers are. I don't like the feel of scrubbing my skin while dry, but know so many people who swear by this technique to slough off dead skin. I have however fallen in love with a Turkish and very European technique of body exfoliating with an exfoliating mitt. I am in love with the one from Come Clean Cosmetics and was given a very thorough instruction on how to use the mitt. It's not complicated at all, but there is a method in order to use it optimally. You should allow your skin to steam and never use the mitt with soaps or shower gels as they leave a film on skin not allowing for deep exfoliation. You can watch the video on the brand website, but once you try this type of exfoliation, dry brushing doesn't compare. Your skin will feel so smooth and soft and the exfoliation immediately brings oxygen flow to the skin so you look fresh and radiant. I do this on evenings when time is not an issue, but once a week seems to be enough for me.
I have a preference for salt vs sugar scrubs. I believe salt is more healing, purifying and detoxifying to the skin than sugar. I also believe if you're acne prone that sugars can make that condition worsen especially if you're also suffering from candida overgrowth, a condition very common with acute and cystic acne sufferers. If you suffer from this type of acne avoid sugar based scrubs. I like a simple sea salt scrub made with fine salt from the Costa Blanco region in Spain, but you can use any fine or medium grain sea salt. Adding certain herbs can increase the detoxifying effect, such as thyme or rosemary. Adding a little olive oil (or argan, coconut, sacha inchi or your favorite skin soothing oil) will make your scrub moisturizing and I find I don't need to apply body oil after using my scrub. If you're trying to increase blood flow to certain areas where cellulite is an issue adding a bit of coffee grain is wonderful. The caffeine addition improves circulation to the skin and scientific studies have shown that it also temporarily shrinks fat cells. I'll gladly take that temporary effect!
2. Foot and Heel Care
Summer means ditching socks and I love that! I was probably meant to live someplace where I could walk barefoot all day, alas I crave weather that makes me not need socks. I like pretty pedicures and bare feet whenever possible, but that also means that my heels are more exposed and therefore tend to get dry and cracked even during summer. Give yourself weekly foot treatments and use the DIY salt scrub on feet and heels, then apply a generous amount of a thick cream (I use Rainforest Hydration Treatment) and plastic wrap to cover your feet. You can use socks over the plastic wrap so you don't slide around your kitchen floor. After 30 minutes take a blowdryer and gently blow dry over the plastic wrap and directly on your feet! Are you laughing yet? I am, but I'm not joking! This will cause the cream to soften and penetrate your skin. Unveil the plastic wrap and viola, baby soft heels and soft, soft, skin. If you're a sandal or flip flop junkie this is going to save you from having unattractive heels.
3. Beach Hair
Summer hair styles are free spirited and sexy mostly because there isn't much fuss to be had. Not much blowdrying, hairspraying, or many products to use. I use high quality organic shampoos and conditioners, spritz wet hair with a homemade detangler or if I happen to have John Masters Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor around, a dime sized amount into my hair before combing through keeps hair loose and untangled. I wear top knots, loose braids and ponytails during the summer A LOT. There doesn't seem to be much point to drying, curling or straightening when they weather is hot or humid or worse, hot and humid. I also love the look of a beach kissed hairstyle which can easily be achieved by using a sea salt spray. I also mix oils into plain whole milk yogurt for a hair mask that makes your hair feel like silk. This mask is perfect if you're reading poolside or lounging around on a Sunday afternoon. Give this yogurt mask a try and everyone will ask what new shampoo you've been using to make your tresses look so pampered.
Yogurt Hair Mask Recipe
Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir as a scalp treatment (apply 15 minutes before yogurt mask)
1/2 cup full fat yogurt (Greek yogurt is best)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut oil
10 drops lavender oil
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Apply your favorite oil to the roots of your hair before using the mask and allow to absorb for 15 minutes. I like using our Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir for its unique blend of high quality oils, but you can use argan, olive or coconut. Add the mask to your roots, ends and all over, wrap in a bun and cover hair in a warm towel or shower cap. Allow the mask to set for an hour. Rinse with cool water and style as usual. OMG, this the softest your hair has felt since babyhood! Helps fight frizz too.
The messy braid is also a favorite summer staple hairstyle for me!
We hope you've enjoyed our summer beauty tips and guide and look forward to hearing about any of the recipes you've tried or tips you've implemented. We also hope you stay tuned this summer as we launch Modern Radiance Concentrate, a skin brightening, toning, collagen building and skin smoothing gel cream created with advanced technology from plant cells and fortified with actives carefully selected to make this product a one of its kind natural skin wonder. We are also launching a luxurious Italian scented body and bath oil with notes of frangipani, blood oranges and other LBF secrets, a truly gorgeous facial mist and three new perfumes in our continuing series, The Travel Diaries Collection. We expect these products to launch in late August and are so excited to introduce you to our growing collection of natural products that work to soothe, repair and delight beauty lovers from all over the world, natural and otherwise. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful summer beauty season!