Summer Ready Body Routine

I haven’t talked too much about body care here, have I? Maybe just Max and Me body oil rave here or there, but in general I’ve neglected this topic. No worries, it’s gonna change! Today I’m talking how to get your skin in shape, looking and feeling good! I hope you enjoy this post!

*Products marked with asterisk(*) are gifted for consideration,
all thoughts are honest and my own. This page uses ad links to support the blog. Thanks!

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Getting Your Body Summer Ready

Have a body. It’s Summer (soon). The end!

No, seriously, I don’t think you have to do anything extra to be “Summer ready” skin, body, health-wise or anything. It’s just the title. But for me, I guess it’s paying more attention to body care - for fun and self-care purposes. Most of the year Finland is rainy, cold, and I all I wanna do is being wrapped in a blanket from head to toe. When it’s warm enough to ditch wool socks, giving some TLC to your body skin is well appreciated - not required, if you get what I mean. Take and use these tips as you like.

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

The Best Exfoliating Routine

This TLC boils down to main things: exfoliation and moisturization.

I’d like to be one of those people who enjoyed dry brushing. Every time I take out my body brush I swear I’ll make it a habit and slowly transform into Gwyneth Paltrow (..no). I rarely have the patience to rub my skin more than 2 minutes and after doing it once, maybe twice, I give up. But dry brushing can be an efficient and cost-effective way to exfoliate your body skin, boost circulation and help with swelling. If you haven’t given it a try, I do recommend it! You can use a body brush or even mittens, brush yourself for 5 minutes in a circular motions towards your heart. Rinse in the shower and moisturize thoroughly.

Since dry brushing isn’t my thing, I have opted for scrub products. My favorites are from Skin Treat (exclusive to KICKS) and Flow Cosmetics. Skin Treat has two great shower scrubs: the mud-style Healthy Radiance Warming Body Scrub* heats a little while the gentle Clear & Pure Enzyme & AHA Peeling* acid exfoliator is good if you have congested skin. The pH isn’t low enough for strong exfoliation, but it’s boosted with manual scrub particles. If you want a more intense scrub, go for the Warming Body Scrub or Flow Cosmetics Peppermint Scrub*. Its ingredients include a blend of Himalayan salt, shea tree butter, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. The oils make it glide on the skin while the salt gives your dry legs and arms a good scrub. I love the invigorating peppermint smell in the shower and thanks to the oils my skin doesn’t feel too dry or itchy afterwards.

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Body Moisturizers for Summer

As I do only mild scrubbing in the shower I’ve started using Skin Treat Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is comes in a handy foam pump bottle. I wear pantyhose 99% of my days and suffer from pimples on my tights and bum area. I’ve noticed this Skin Treat foam helps the existing pimples to calm down faster, I’m still testing if long-term use will clear out my skin completely.

I also like their Instant Firming Body Serum* for my arms and décolleté as it sinks in quickly and makes my skin feel silky. I doubt it will actually firm my skin, but I don’t need to wait for the body lotion to dry before dressing. For proper moisturization I reach for my Max and Me body oils.

Last but not least: feet. In the past I’ve enjoyed the CCS foot cream, which has appeared in my empties once or twice, but lately I’ve been liking the Flow cosmetics Peppermint Foot Butter*. Again, I feel peppermint is very invigorating for the feet, but this foot butter doesn’t leave my hands feeling slimy or a slippery film on the feet. The solid balm is also easy to spread and massage without cream or oil dripping everywhere.

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

How do you take of your body skin right now? Have you tried dry brushing?

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products

Have you paid attention if your household supplies are good for your skin or eco safe? I talk a lot about skincare on my blog and today I’d like to expand the chat to products that also affect our skin wellbeing. When I lived in Japan I didn’t only suffer from adult acne, but I got a nasty skin reaction probably related to my laundry routine. Since then I’ve tried to be conscious about my household cleaners and laundry detergents, creating an eco friendly home at the same time. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk (*) have been gifted for consideration.
This post contains affiliate links to support the blog.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My Background and Itchy Skin

About 5 years ago when I lived in Japan I didn’t have my own washing machine. I used a local coin laundry (very common in Japan) to wash my clothes, sheets and towels. The washing machines were set to wash everything in 40° and they did gather dust which nobody else seemed wipe off. I used local, pretty general laundry detergents and after a while I started to get very itchy skin. I doubt this was a reaction to water or any personal cosmetic product (such as body lotion) that I used. There was no visible reactions such as rash, but I felt very uncomfortable. After returning to Finland my skin calmed, but I wanted to avoid getting the same odd reaction. I was already a vegetarian and wanted to live an environment friendly life, so started to investigate eco detergents and soaps.

While “normal” laundry detergents are effective, they are often heavy on fragrance, cleaning agents and chemicals that prevent dirt from settling back or work well in harder water. I’m not going to list any “harmful” ingredients here as I couldn’t find too many reliable sources and this article is not about green washing. I want to share some options you can try, if you wish.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Soap Nuts | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skin Safe & Eco Friendly Way to Wash Clothes: Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are my favorite way to wash laundry, I’ve used them for about 5 years now. This may sound “too hippie” to some of you, but hear me out! Soap nuts are very simple, easy and wallet-friendly way to wash clothes efficiently. You take about 4 soap nut halves for one medium amount of laundry (check the instructions from your packaging), place them in a sock or a small cotton/muslin bag, close it, crush the soap nuts (I step on them) and put the soap nut bag with the laundry. You’re done. You may even reuse the nuts if your laundry isn’t very dirty.

Soap nuts contain an ingredient called saponin which is a powerful natural surfactant with foaming and cleaning properties. This works very well for clothes that are washed between 40°-60° celsius, removing dirt, oil and stains. Once the soap nuts soften or you’ve washed a couple of laundries with them you can compost the nuts! I know it’s possible to even make your own liquid soaps from soap nuts by cooking them, but I personally I’m lazy and reach for readily available products.

Mummi ja Minä | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Liquid Laundry Detergent and Laundry Vinegar

Since soap nuts work best in warm to hot water, I do have a regular laundry detergent for silk/wool. Lately I’ve washed sensitive materials such as linen and underwear with an eco safe laundry detergent called Mummi ja Minä*. These detergents are made in Finland and have a light fragrance, which has proven to be useful when washing workout clothes. They are rather expensive (~€12 for 500ml), one bottle equals about 16 washes. I only do laundry for 1 person, so these have lasted me a while – especially when I reserve the liquid for workout clothes and hand washes. My favorite is the laundry vinegar that makes my sheets soft and smell pleasant. I’m using it in the place of fabric softner.

The ingredients of the Peppermint Detergent* are only: Plant oil compound (Anionic surfactants) 5–10 %, alcohol <5 %, sea salt <5 %, peppermint essential oil 5 %. pH ~6. If you’re very sensitive to essential oils I might do a test wash first, but I don’t find the fragrance any way overpowering. The Laundy Vinegar (Peppermint)* has: vinegar >5%, essential oil < 5%, Natrium Benzoate (preservative), < 5% with pH ~3.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Other Cleaning Supplies

I do like to use Mummi ja Minä dishwashing liquid* as well thanks to the lovely bottle and nice, natural scent, but when I have very dirty dishes or perhaps grimy coffee pots I do reach for “regular” dishwashing liquid as it cuts oil better. With other eco cleaners I haven’t noticed much difference in efficacy vs regular ones.

I’ve purchased some eco conscious home cleaners by brands Lilly’s, Method and Ecover. Especially the Ecover Toilet Cleaner is very efficient and available at my super market. Otherwise I think I’ll dilute liquid home soaps myself in the future with Dr. Bronner’s.

Dr. Bronner's castile soaps* are very versatile and rather affordable, they can be diluted as hand soap, cleansing liquid, mopping, dishes, toilet cleaner, plant spray for bugs, even shampoo and brushing your teeth! Yup, lovely Mia told me she has tried.. and it tastes like soap. Dr. Bronner’s products are also biodegradable. The unscented castile soap* is one of the best for washing beauty sponges and puffs as it’s gentler than rubbing your sponges against a soap bar.

Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap* is nice for mopping when diluted in water, I got stains off my floors very efficiently. My new kitty, Haku, likes to carry his food around.. so it can get pretty messy, you know. The tea tree scent is fairly prominent while mopping, but does fade pretty quickly. I think I’ll purchase the eucalyptus scent for creating my own hand soap and kitchen spray.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What are the ways you’ve made your home more eco conscious and skin friendly? Have you heard about soap nuts before or gotten a skin reaction to a cleansing product? Let me know! x

Autumn Empties with Mini Reviews

Another season has passed, so time for another round of empties! This time I'm doing things a bit differently - there are a couple of products I'm letting go. Mostly because they are expired, but I've started a new rule that if an opened product t a) doesn't bring me any joy b) can't be repurposed c) I would feel bad to pass them on - they'll get some Mari Kondo and recycled. Mostly these products are win for me, I'll mention if they are or will get repurchased!

Autumn Empties and Product Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skincare

Innisfree Eco Safety SPF 50 Sunscreen

My favorite sunscreen of all time; I've even loved all of it's reformulation. The yellow tube is not very photogenic and the formula is a thicker cream, but for someone who has dry skin yet hates greasy feeling from a sunscreen, this is perfect. Mentioned in multiple posts, such as my Best Sunscreens for Summer 2018 post.

Absolution Eye Cream*

This slightly illuminating eye cream was okay, but in the end I noticed no difference in, well, anything. I would've preferred it if the illuminating properties were stronger to cancel my under eye darkness or if the formula was more hydrating. Not awful, but won't be purchasing this. Part of my Glamlin box review.

NIOD Flavanone Mud*

Speaking of awful, it remains a mystery to me what is the purpose of this mask. The smell was absolutely dreadful, like rotten olives, and usually I'm OK with funky smells (such as yeasts) if the mask performs. Didn't use this up, it's gotta go. In the future I doubt I will be reviewing any Deciem products.

January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic

One of my favorite toners of all time! This one I purchased, but January has sent me backups fyi. This tonic is gentle, both slightly hydrating and exfoliating with lactic acid, perfect for everyday use. I see all skin types would benefit from this product without irritation. Full review here.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelator

Josh Rosebrook makes some of my favorite skincare products and if you like mists this one is among the best. Great ingredients, the spritz is super fine, hydrating and has a slight vanilla scent (far from overly sweet). I prefer traditional toners over mists, but this one I'm planing to have in my routine.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (mini)

I got this mini size from my friend and fell hard in love. I've already purchased 150ml size and I rotate it with the January Labs toner. If my skin feels bumpy, congested or my blackheads look visible - it's time for P50. Very strong, so I recommend trying a sample size or a mini first.

Pur~Lisse Blue Lotus Serum*

As much as I like Pur~lisse, this serum falls into the category of products I just don't notice any benefit from or get particularly excited to use. I'm happy I powered this through, I used a ton on my neck and chest. Perhaps an okay 'starter' serum for someone in their teens, but for me.. nope.

Diego Dalla Palma Vitamin C Radiance Serum*

Vitamin C serum that doesn't discuss the % of Vitamin C. Despite the opaque package I felt this oxidized pretty quickly, could be because of the dropper packaging. Didn't see any results, won't use again. Part of my Glamlin box review.

Max and Me Sweet Serenity Mask and Wash*

One of the most decadent and delightful masks I've used. I would never ever use this as a cleanser, but it does "wash away" dirt when you rinse it off. Magical, creamy concoction of kaolin clay, manuka honey and shea butter that draws out impurities very gently, doesn't dry out the skin and pampers both mind and skin. Will repurchase (the mini-size, as this one is pricey)!

Mahalo Vitality Elixir Serum

One of my favorite oil-based serums of all time. Nourishing, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory and very balancing and hydrating. I love Mahalo products and I think this is one of the gems. This facial oil/serum is very luxurious but I will repurchase once I've worked through some of my other facial oils.

Mahalo The Bean Mask

Again, one of the best antioxidant and exfoliating mask. A blend of cacao, coffee and vanilla (thus, the Bean) that draws out impurities, balances yet doesn't dry out the skin. My favorite mask from this line is still the Petal (review here), but I can't wait to dig into a fresh jar of the Bean.

Mahogany Naturals The Blue Lover*

If May Lindstrom's cult favorite balm is out of your budget, but you love blue tansy - you need this balm. This under-rated balm is gorgeous: nourishing, moisturizing yet very calming and soothing for both your skin and mind. I used a decant version of this balm so unfortunately my full-size started to grow mold, so I had to discard it. Will get a new jar once I've used up some of my other balms. 

Lina Hanson Global Treasures Balm

Another balm I simply loved. This balm is softer, melts easily between your fingers and works great around the eyes. Packed with antioxidants, simply a delight to use. Again, will repurchase once I've worked through some other balms and masks.

Luxe Botanics Marula Oil*

Simple yet excellent facial oil that moisturizes without leaving your skin feeling too greasy or oily. I loved the scent of this. I love how well-curated line Luxe Botanics is, my favorite product is still the Camu serum, but I would recommend the Marula oil if you're looking for a high quality marula. Full review here.

Autumn Empties and Product Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Body and Hair

Ben and Anna Deodorant in Vanilla Orchid*

My favorite eco deodorant to date! I was very sceptic about this baking soda and shea butter-based formula, but it keeps me dry and odour free on most days. Vanilla Orchid is my favorite scent to date! Read my full review here.

Rituals Shower Gel in Sakura

I like Rituals, great if you're looking for a pampering gift. I prefer the shower foams though.

Mahogany Naturals Body Scrub*

Unfortunately this scrub was way too dried (or dried out?) on me.. The huge particles were kind of a messy for someone who'd prefer to use a scrub in the shower. Not my cup of tea.

Max and Me Flight to The Sun Body Oil

I adore Max and Me body oils! The Flight to The Sun was what I "needed" at the time, but at the moment I'm using Circle of Protection, which feels more like my cup of tea. Heavier than a dry oil, but doesn't make my skin feel greasy for a long time. They have several gorgeous nourishing body oils, just choose one what feels most like "you".

Makeup, Nails and Perfume

Essie Nail Polish

Unfortunately I can't find the shade name of this polish, I wonder if it was LE but judging by swatches 93 Mesmerized is pretty close

Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous Powder

My favorite powder of all time. Despite the fact I used this powder daily to set my under eyes this jar lasted me for ages. This is the most smoothing, finely milled powder you can ever imagine. Will definitely repurchase. Review here.

KATE Liquid Eyeliner in Black

This might sound gross but I think I used this liner for a good year or two at least. It simply just didn't dry out and the brush tip kept its shape beautifully. Long-lasting, nice shade of black and the price is very reasonable. Will repurchase. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

I think this is my second? third? Brow Wiz and sadly my last. It's an okay product, but I just don't see what's the hype when there's a lot of competition on the market. A spoolie that breaks is a total no-go and turn-off for me. I much prefer Clinique or Dior.

Wella Luxe Oil

Nice and basic hair oil. Despite my hair being dry I guess this was a bit too heavy and a bit too scented for my taste, but I can see why it's very popular. If you have more damaged, perhaps bleached hair, I think you'd really enjoy this one.

Chloe Eau de Parfum

Chloe's Eau de Parfum brings me back a lot of good memories from Japan and my friends who live there. It'll always have a place in my heart, but as the years went by I noticed the scent wasn't very "me" any longer and I had found perfumes that I prefer. I might give it a sniff if I'm needing a new scent, but not sometime soon. The bottle has little left as I didn't use it all up before it started to smell funky. 

Autumn Empties and Product Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Here's my most recent empties! Spot any favorites? What have you used up lately? x

*Products marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted for consideration.
My opinions are honest and my own.