Bodycare products typically fall into one of two camps: conventional or luxurious. But there's no reason why a product shouldn't be both, and ultimately the only desirable quality [yes, more so than an aesthetically pleasing bottle], is efficacy. The most-reached for products on our bathroom shelves are the powerhouses of our daily routines; true, reliable, and failsafe, whether we are injecting our skin with a luxuriously scented glow, or a much-needed boost of hydration. Meet the staple products that reign as heroes on my bathroom shelf.
When devoid of a bathtub [and the consequent parade of bathtub paraphernalia - be it bombs, soaks, oils, or bubbles] those of us whose washing habits are confined to the stand-alone shower must find alternative means to inject a luxury into so mundane a daily ritual. A shower mousse is about as close as you're going to get, and thanks to Clarins, this one is by no means lacking on the luxe side of things. The weightless, airy foam is deliciously softening [thanks to the inclusion of ginseng, aloe vera, and essential oils] and leaves skin incredibly smooth as well as scented with the classic refreshing Eau Dymanisante fragrance. Its cleansing abilities are more than capable, and the pH neutral formula will be a welcome surprise to those with sensitive skin.
A shower scrub presents a ridiculously simple but effective solution to dry skin that in this case encompasses a good cleanse and a luxurious lingering fragrance. Ruby micro-crystals, cherry stone powder, and pomegranate enzymes gently exfoliate whilst sugar beet and coconut extracts soften and moisturise the skin. Deliberate application also facilitates the skin's natural detoxification process by increasing blood and lymphatic flow, as well as buffing away dead skin and encouraging cell renewal. Infused with aromatic cedarwood [which provides especially invigorating sensory stimulation come 6am] the fragrant formula leaves skin silky smooth, soft, and nourished.
A unique blend of complex and delicate fragrances and powerful moisturisers, this rich lotion nourishes and hydrates the skin via a light and easily-absorbed silky texture. Peach and plum complement a floral heart, infusing limbs with a subtle but warm and sensual fragrance, whilst cottonseed and vitamin E soothe and soften the skin. The pump bottle is a welcome addition to any fuss-free post-shower line-up, and the formula absorbs rapidly enough to act as an invisible layer of moisture, apparent only in a velvet-soft finish.
Granted, deodorant may not be the most glamorous of topics, but there's no reason why breaking a sweat can't be dealt with in a sophisticated and stylish solution. Beautifully packaged and gender neutral, this scent is overtly earthy, but with a dose of citrus that presents a fresh and clean element, keeping the likes of clove and thyme from being too overpowering. It might feel more like you're misting a bottle of perfume under your arms in place of a bottle of Dove, but the formula keeps me dry and odour-free, and because it's natural and aluminium-free, poses no threat with absorption.
Equally unglamorous, but also just as vital to maintaining impeccable personal hygiene as the above, mouthwash is a vital essential to any basin-side lineup. This alcohol-free formula [also devoid of dye and artificial sweeteners] combats oral malodour without imbalancing the pH levels of the mouth or causing any unwelcome burning or stinging. Instead, the formula cleanses, moisturises, and refreshes in one swish [and can even be swallowed thanks to a notably virtuous ingredient lineup]. The grapefruit twist on mint makes this a refreshing choice in more ways than one.
Arguably the most time-saving take on false tan to date, the three minutes this takes to apply in the shower might seem tedious, but when scheduled alongside a hydrating hair mask or facial massage, is actually decidedly convenient. The thick, creamy lotion is practically effortless to apply, and glides on over damp limbs, allowing for full coverage and even application. Whilst this is no one-stop wonder [it really is a gradual tan, and takes a few consecutive uses to build up from sunkissed gold to something a little more bronzed] the result is incredibly natural looking and notably streak and stain-free.
A good 'does-what-it-says-on-the-tin' cream formulated specifically for dry and sensitive skin is always useful to have on hand, especially during the winter months. This organic formula contains shea butter and almond extracts, and is virtuous enough to be used on both face and body, locking in moisture and providing intense hydration to even the driest areas of the body. I particularly favour applying this to my knees, elbows, and heels for immediately noticeable effect, without any unwanted residue or greasiness.
In the same vein to the above, this do-it-all wonder balm is another staple that can turn its hand to almost any skin-related SOS situation. A potent blend of essential oils chosen specifically for their healing, reparative, and soothing properties, this nourishing salve relieves the discomfort of chapped lips and dry cuticles, and soothes itchiness, cuts, and even minor burns. With consistent use, this can diminish the appearances of scars and even calm eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. Every ingredient serves its purpose; and the likes of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg offer antiseptic and antibacterial properties as well as contributing to a deliciously rich and complex fragrance.
I adore cleansing oils for speedy and effective makeup removal as well as a gentle and hydrating cleanse. I keep this one in the shower, where I find that its use prevents the all-too-familar tight, dry feeling that my skin boasts following exposure to hot water and steam. Those who cleanse with oils will be well aware that they are far from the most practical and mess-free products to use when cleansing over a sink, but use in the shower negates any need for conservative application. The thick texture is a delight to massage over face and neck, without having to worry about staining clothes. Those with sensitive skin should note that the odourless formula renders this a safe choice, even when massaging this in to remove mascara residue my sensitive eyes remain unirritated.
Affordable fig scents rarely hit the luxe note in leaning fresh, ripe, and woody - instead, most err on the side of sickly sweet and cloying as a result of their synthetic formulations. Created by the nose behind Byredo, the Fig Fiction range from & Other Stories was always going to be a winner. The scent is at first overwhelmingly green and musky, with a sweet [but not sickly] heart that lingers for far longer than you would expect of your average body mist. Indeed, this could easily rival any EDP, and what's more the price tag allows for liberal application.
What are your bathroom beauty heroes?