It’s (almost) summer. It’s pre-summer tanning season. It’s pedi-time.
May/June is the time when I swap my winter wardrobe for my summer wardrobe, and along with that task I swap the comfort of keeping pale legs and less-than-perfect feet under wraps for the worry of Getting Them Out For The Summer. Despite that, it’s still my FAVOURITE month of the year.
Seeing my pale legs and the state of my winter-clad toes can be a bit of a shock to the system. It doesn’t help when you have to parade them online to the world when you haven’t had a chance to groom, tan, buff or paint.
But groom, tan, buff and paint I must.
(Well, I don’t HAVE to, I just choose to – my brain simply automatically recoils in horror at a sight it’s done well to forget all winter. I’m all about choice, and my brain chooses to shudder at the sight of the dry, pasty legs that are attached to it via a torso, neck and brainpan…!)
Disclosure: This post is a paid partnership with Astral (click here for my full disclosure). The post contains affiliate links which means if you click through and buy I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest. Any items listed as* were gifted within the last 12 months.
I do rather like the ritual of summer beauty routines, however, and there’s one thing I usually tackle first. I’ve always been one for a makeover or two – make-up before/afters, home decor before/afters, daily routine overhauls – and there’s not a lot more satisfying than the transformation of flaky, white legs and pedi-free feet into bronzed, buff limbs and tootsies.
What’s all this got to do with today’s post? Well, I was asked by Astral – yes, the people who’ve made the moisturiser in that distinctive blue pot for over 60 years – what my three can’t-live-without-them beauty products were. I guess it varies, but I went with what I’m thinking about at this time of year, and that’s ALL THE SUMMER THINGS.
My three essentials are a body brush, a tanning mitt and cotton moisturising socks. My third essential needs a moisturiser, of course, so that’s where Astral stepped in. A good moisturising cream can make ALL the difference to your feet when they’ve been in hibernation all winter. So Astral is what I tested in my little white socks, but first, let’s talk about body brushing, then tanning, and then moisturising…!
The three beauty products I absolutely can’t do without in summer
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d probably want these three things because let’s face it, if I’m on a desert island it should, in theory, be tropical and pretty fabulous weather… should it not? (Or have I been watching too many romantic deserted-on-a-desert-island movies?)
So by that reckoning, I’ll be wearing a bikini, or at least some sort of fabulous two-piece fashioned out of my own shredded clothes. I’m REALLY painting the picture now, aren’t I…
My desert island products
1. A body brush
I’ll need something to buff my [ahem] buff body. Hence: a body brush. Or, even better, two – one for each hand. I do this in the morning (good for the circulation and wakes you up a bit as well, and believe me, I need all the waking up I can get).
They say you should always swipe up and towards the heart to slough away the dead skin cells (is it just me or does this always seem a bit icky? Dead skin cells getting brushed off our bodies? Better than having them stay ON the skin, I guess…)
2. Tanning mitt
I’ll need something to apply my fake tan with, because it may be a desert island BUT – sun safety, people! So, drum roll: the tanning mitt. Fake tan is SO much better when applied with a mitt. Get a really good one that can be thrown in the washing machine, and one with a thumb helps it stay on your hand.
Make sure it’s big enough for your other half to get their hand in, because they’ll need to do your back for you. Another thing to add to my list entitled “Reasons why I married him…”
3. Cotton moisturising socks
Lastly I’ll need me some moisturising socks to wear overnight with a big dollop of cream slapped on in order to keep my feet from getting too dry from all that sand and sea I’ll be tackling every day.
Now this is where Astral comes in: It’s a REALLY luxurious and wonderfully thick moisturiser. After using it for a little while now I can safely say it’s the perfect cream to slather on your feet before popping on the little white socks and slipping into your satin sheets.
Or in my desert island scenario, before popping on the little white socks and slipping under my bed made of pampas grass and palm leaves. I’m GENUINELY getting into this stranded-on-a-desert-island idea now…
What I thought of Astral cream
In all seriousness, Astral challenged me to moisturise my feet with their intensive cream and my socks for a week to see what results I’d get. I didn’t get past two nights before being 100% convinced that this was THE cream to use to get my feet summer-ready. And I mean every day summer-ready.
I loved it so much I continued the moisturising all the way up my legs, and now I no longer have dry shins (body moisturising is one of those things I tend to neglect and my shins seem to bear the brunt of the resulting dryness). I’ve been using Astral as my nighttime moisturiser for my hands and in cotton hand socks (hmm they’re called gloves aren’t they…) and basically anywhere that feels dry.
There’s a reason why women have sworn by this cream for years, and it’s all too evident in my baby-soft feet and legs. I honestly couldn’t be happier that I’ve been reintroduced to this cream – I’ve bought small pots of it to keep in my handbag before – but now I know I should be using this throughout the summer (and beyond).
It’s criminally good value – no more than £4.00 for a 200ml pot. What other information can I give you…
Astral cream – the facts and science-y bit
Astral Cream was created in 1953, and although the distinctive blue packaging has changed somewhat over the years, it’s incredible that the cream itself is EXACTLY the same as it was when it first launched. It’s a classic case of If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.
Fun fact: Joanna Lumley swears by it. If her skin is anything to go by (she’s 73!!), then goodness this stuff must be good.
The reason that it’s so good for feet – which, to be honest, just suck up moisturiser like there’s no tomorrow – is that the formula is very rich. It’s got two key ingredients: (hypoallergenic) lanolin and glycerin. I’ll just quote what Astral themselves have to say about the ingredients:
Lanolin is a rich naturally-derived waterproof wax that creates a protective barrier to prevent the skin from losing moisture to the environment, whilst simultaneously allowing the skin to breathe. Lanolin is easily absorbed due to its high compatibility with the skin. Glycerin is a naturally-derived humectant, meaning that it attracts moisture to the upper layer of the skin where it is applied. In this way, it prevents dryness by maintaining the skin’s barrier against the elements.
It’s gentle enough to be used on hands, body AND face. It can be used to hydrate skin after showering. It can be used as a cleanser and make-up primer. It’s a flippin’ superhero.
Actually it’s so gentle they’ve brought three more Astral flavours* to go with the original: coconut oil (my FAVE), shea butter and cocoa butter. Then to really get the benefits, there are Astral body washes too. This brand has got it spot-on with a really simple, basic range of creams that do the job 100% properly. No fanfare, no whistles and bells, just straightforward, effective moisturising.
*not really flavours, you know what I mean… for goodness sake don’t digest them. And also don’t use the body wash as a moisturiser, like Keith mistakenly did. He was rubbing it in and wondering why his legs felt weird, until I said THAT’S SHOWER GEL, YOU NUMPTY…
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Astral: my conclusion
So will I be continuing to use Astral? YOU DAMN WELL BET I WILL.
At just a few quid for a huge pot you can afford to use this liberally and REALLY get those moisturising benefits. My feet are SO happy about me using it – and I never, ever have dry heels or shins anymore. That’s exactly what my summer body wants.
Honestly, I absolutely love it – it’s one of those products you try (even if you HAVE used it in the past as I have) and think, Why on earth have I been trying so many different creams with limited success? Why don’t I just stick with this one, because really – it does everything I want it to do AND it’s inexpensive?! I’m actually a bit cross with myself for not giving this fabulous cream more of a chance in the past.
If you try it (it’s available from Superdrug, amongst other places) then please do let me know what you think. If it’s good enough for the ever gorgeous Joanna Lumley, it’s good enough for me…!
ARE YOU ALREADY AN ASTRAL FAN – OR HAVE I PERSUADED YOU TO TRY IT (OR TRY IT AGAIN)? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS…!
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