Now that summer ‘seems’ to be on the horizon (here’s hoping), it’s the perfect time to start with a prep regime in hope of some sunny times ahead. Here’s the essential kit you’ll need in order to be camera ready when its time to shed the layers.
First up, is this gorgeous Papaya Cane Sugar Body Scrub, £48.50, by Ushvani. Deliciously indulgent, this is a good starting point in which to kick-start a summer-ready routine and, best of all, a little really does go a long way. Unlike many other body scrubs, this sugar formula does not stick on the skin but instead it easily melts away, taking away dry skin with it. The rich organic cane sugar body scrub deep cleanses and exfoliates and is fragranced with essential oils of ginger and nutmeg. It also contains papaya oil, moisturizing coconut and cocoa butter leaving skin smooth and silky.
The scrub is perfect for pre-tanning and waxing and ideal for keeping limbs in tip-top shape, free of bumps and dry patches. The aroma is wonderfully uplifting, too, and leaves the bathroom – and you – exotically scented.
Ushvani products derive from the brand’s luxurious Malaysian-inspired day spa (voted the UK’s Best Day Spa by both Tatler and Condé Nast Traveller) in Chelsea. Natural herbs, spices and exotic flowers are the basis to the products – think botanical oils, hibiscus, coconut and Damascus rose. In this case, the scrub uses papaya which is an excellent skin conditioner, as well as having coconut oil and cocoa butter to keep skin soft and velvety, while ginger and nutmeg give therapeutic and aromatherapy properties. Use two to three times a week to slough off dead skin and to prime the body. ushvani.com
Next, follow up with Dr Renaud’s Grapefruit Slimming Concentrate Cream Gel, £28. It contains a cocktail of active ingredients to help eliminate fats, reduce water retention and to get rid of the signs of cellulite – making it a must-have for summer.
The cream-gel texture is lovely and light with a fresh fragrance. I’ve been applying it to limbs and problem areas after my daily shower and it seems to give a refined, contouring effect to the skin. At the heart is grapefruit essential oil, which has detoxifying and micro-draining properties. Macadamia and sweet almond oils are also included to keep skin soft and smooth. It works to refine and firm skin and gets rid of ‘orange peel’ areas. skinevolution.co.uk
Moving on to facial products, I’ve recently discovered SkinCeuticals. An American brand beloved by A-listers and once only used by dermatologist and in medical spas. The science-know how behind the formulas is born out of decades of research, with high potency formulas concentrated in pure ingredients. The range of products target problems and give excellent results.
The label’s hero products include Ultra Defense, £35, which has a SPF 50 and is ideal for protecting the face in the sun, the prime cause of premature skin ageing. It is formulated with state-of-the-art UV filters, and helps prevent UV induced collagen breakdown – ideal for taking on holiday with you. The Phloretin CF serum, meanwhile, is packed with advanced ingredients hence the hefty price tag of £150. It works to accelerate surface skin cell renewal and is rich in vitamin C. Add a few drops after cleansing to target fine lines and imperfections to reveal a fresh, radiant complexion. It’s like a breath of fresh air for the skin. skinceuticals.co.uk
Another ‘must-have’ is Korres’ Wild Rose CC Cream, £26 (just launched in M&S) .
The correcting and brightening cream has a light and airy formula. It reduces imperfections while hydrating and protecting the skin. Use after moisturising for colour correction and to give skin an ‘illuminated’ effect. It gives a lovely nude look with a touch of radiance. It contains wild rose fruit, high in vitamin C, which targets fine line and pigmentation. Perfect for a no-make-up look say for the beach or hot summer days. Available from marksandspencer.com
Finally, I’ve completely fallen for Caudalie‘s new summer fragrance, Rose de Vigne, £26, created for the French brand by master perfumer Ralf Schwieger.
Despite its simple name, it is a complex scent which combines the sweet notes of rhubarb and magnolia with the depth of rose. I was fortunate enough to visit Caudalie’s flagship spa at the Les Source de Caudalie in Bordeaux last year. It is a magical place, and it is where the Caudalie beauty brand was invented. Mathilde Thomas, daughter of parents who ran a family-owned winery (Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte) realised the most potent part of the grape was being thrown away in the wine-making process and could instead be used in creating skincare which would harness the rejuvenating properties of the grapes’ skin and seeds, and so vinotherapy was born.
The winery is also the source of inspiration for the fragrance: as it is also the place where roses grow, near the vineyards. Their beauty is harnessed in Caudalie’s fifth fragrance and combines the qualities of rose and vine with refreshing bergamot, mandarin, blackcurrant, musk and magnolia. It’s summer in a bottle. caudalie.com