When I was training for the marathon, I would do my long runs on Saturday morning when my husband was on kid duty and we were upstate, where I could plot my runs along endless scenic country roads (so much more inspiring than city blocks). After my runs, I’d be sore and tired and in need of a long shower and a little TLC before getting back to mom duty and the lunch shift.
As a former beauty editor, I had a closet stuffed with body products: all kinds of scrubs and creams, serums and washes. Most mornings I had less than 10 minutes to shower, but on Saturdays I liked to take my time, testing the products that promised smoother, tighter, glowing skin—and delivered.
Even after the marathon, when I started weight training, I kept the workout/shower ritual going, and as much as I love trying out new products, a few of them have emerged as my favorites.
BUT FIRST, COFFEE
Frank Body’s Coconut Coffee Scrub ($18.95). Made from roasted and ground coffee grains, grape seed and coconut oils, this scrub is plenty messy (it helps if you have one of those detachable shower heads for easy clean up) but smells so good, you’ll feel like you’re drinking espresso on a a shaded stretch of beach in Phuket. (In other words: Bliss.) Plus, the caffeine from the coffee is a known cellulite-fighter and the Vitamin E-rich grape seed and coconut oils leave plenty of moisture on the skin so you can skip the post-shower moisturizer if you want.
JUARA’s Invigorating Coffee Scrub ($38). Juara is an all-natural skincare brand based on Indonesian traditional beauty balms. The brand’s scrub is a rich paste that also cleanses and hydrates with rice bran oil as it tightens and brightens the skin.
FRANCE VS. CELLULITE
Whether or not French women don’t get fat, it’s indisputable that they take they have practically a nationwide obsession with fighting cellulite. Just one trip down a French pharmacy’s skincare aisle, and you’ll get the picture. That’s why when it comes to losing the dimple, I go French—every time.
ORLANE PARIS Acqua Svelte Slimming Scrub ($65) exfoliates and combats cellulite with caffeine, algae and and ginger oil. It has a pleasant, oceany scent and is less abrasive than the coffee scrubs. The directions say you should rinse it with a blast of cold water to help tone and tighten the skin, which I think helps enhance the effectiveness of the treatment—and wakes you up, too.
NUXE Body-Contouring Oil for Infiltrated Cellulite ($40) uses a mix of ten essential oils including hazelnut, macadamia and sesame oils as well as cocoa extract to reduce skin’s dimpled appearance. We’re still not sure what “infiltrated” means in this context (apparently it has something to do with water retention), nor are we 100 percent convinced that the vigorous massage we’re encouraged to use when applying the product can actually break up fat stores, but we do love how fast drying and hydrating the oil is.
SKINCEUTICALS Body Tightening Concentrate ($78) helps lift the appearance of sagging skin on the abdomen, thighs and upper arms. We love Skinceuticals (a line recommended by rising-star dermatologist Dendy Engelman) and we love that the lightweight, cooling lotion relies on rice protein (magic word: protein) to help firm skin. I use this like a post-shower chaser to one of my coffee scrubs for an instant boost before a big night out with friends.
DR. DENNIS GROSS Alpha Beta Glotion for Body ($38) is the multi-hyphenate of body care products. It’s a self-tanner that not only assists with skin laxity, but also slows hair growth, reducing how often you need to shave. We kind of don’t even want to know how any of that works but for those curious minds out there, it’s caffeine and soy protein deliver skin firming and radiance, while other, cutting-edge ingredients create a subtle tan and minimize the texture and length of hair.