I don’t mean to brag, but if there’s one thing I can say confidently about my appearance, it’s that I have soft skin. And not so much from just myself thinking that, but from a lot of people telling me. I guess I can thank my mum for this as she’s always taken care of her skin, as well as mine when I was a child, so the habit has just always existed. Though I can get lazy with my skincare when it comes to my face, no matter what I always look after the rest of my skin. After all, it is the largest organ we have and a third of our body’s toxins are excreted through our skin.
Though a healthy diet and plenty of hydration is of course important, this post talks about what I do and my essential products for making sure my skin stays as soft and smooth as possible.
1. Dry Skin Brushing
I read an article about dry skin brushing years ago and it was one of those moments where I couldn’t believe I was not doing this sooner. Not only does the brushing exfoliate the skin to help remove dead skin cells, it unclogs pores and also stimulates the lymphatic system which is essential in helping your body rid itself of toxins. Dry skin brushing has also helped in reducing the appearance of cellulite for me, as since it helps with the lymphatic flow it can help release the trapped toxins in the fat cells. Dry skin brushing can seem a little intimidating in the beginning (it did for me anyways), but it actually feels really satisfying—like a gentle massage.
How to Dry Skin Brush:
- Purchase a natural bristle brush. I have had the same wooden boar bristle brush (similar here) and it has worked perfectly. You can also purchase one with a longer handle to make it easier for doing places like your back.
- Before hopping in the shower, brush your skin starting at your feet using long brush strokes up towards your heart (never brush away from your heart). I usually brush the same area 3-4 times, but be careful around more sensitive areas (breasts, underarms, etc).
- Immediately hop in the shower after to wash away dead skin cells, as well as to help stimulate the blood circulation.
- Repeat daily. It is recommended to do this twice a day, but I only do it once a day before I shower.
Though dry skin brushing helps exfoliate the skin, I still like using a scrub 3-4 times a week to ensure my skin is as smooth as possible. I sometimes get those ‘chicken bumps’ (keratosis pilaris aka keratin buildup) on the back of my arms and using a good scrub on them in a circular motion really helps to get rid of them paired with the dry skin brushing. I have tried a ton of different body scrubs and my all time favourite one remains the Freeman Pomegranate Sugar Body Scrub. I have used this one since high school and I love how gentle, yet effective it is. The only place I could find it was at Walmart and they stopped carrying it a couple years ago. Since then I have bounced around trying out different scrubs (personally, I avoid salt based scrubs as they can be drying on the skin) and my second favourite has to be the Live Clean Spa Therapy Polishing Body Scrub. This one contains corn meal and walnut shell, and though in the past I have found walnut too abrasive, this one is so finally milled that it does not irritate my skin. As always, I love the Live Clean brand as their products are plant derived, cruelty-free and free of any nasty ingredients like parabens, phthalates and dyes. This scrub is enriched with soy protein, certified organic aloe vera, fresh lemon and ginger, which helps stimulate the skin.
To me this seems like a no-brainer, but I’m always baffled when people say they’re too lazy/can’t be bothered to moisturize out of the bath or shower. Unless you take ice cold showers, the hot water strips the skin and it is essential to replenish the moisture by applying a good lotion out of the shower. I have always been a fan of cocoa butter and my daily moisturizer for years has been the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion. Not only does this stuff smell amazing (like hot chocolate) and sink into the skin quickly, it has helped even out my skin tone and fade scars, especially on my legs. This lotion is paraben and phthalate free, cruelty-free, offers 24 hour moisture (seriously, it really does live up to this claim) and is also great for soothing the skin after a day in the sun.
In the last year, I have gotten into oils as well for added moisture. Before I always avoided them as I generally don’t like that oily feeling on my skin. Then I discovered sesame oil, which not only is it super beneficial for the skin, it also is absorbed easily. I started using the Aura Cacia Sesame Oil last year and it has been incredible for extra hydration and leaving my skin silky soft. The only two ingredients in this cruelty-free oil is sesame oil and vitamin E and dry skin is literally non-existent when I apply this stuff. I apply this probably 2-3 times a week and it is especially great after shaving. Some of the benefits of applying this highly praised, antioxidant rich healing oil is that it is anti-aging, thanks to sesamol, which helps prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps repair damaged skin cells and is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.
And there we have it—my essential steps and products for achieving smooth, soft skin. I hope this post was helpful! Do you have any of your own secrets for keeping your skin smooth and soft? Let me know in the comments!