Living in Manhattan means most of us don't typically have the luxury of having big bath tubs. Therefore, bathing either consists of scrubbing down in the hole you stand in under a make-shift showerhead or squeezing your bum into the smallest space imaginable in the effort of achieving horizontal relaxation.
To make the bathing process most enjoyable, I always have a variety of body products to choose from in my bathroom. After years of putting different scents, textures and brands to the test, I've finally come up with three staple body scrubs and accompanying body lotions that I always have on hand. Friends of mine that are reading this will smile and nod because most of them have received one or more of these as gifts on occasion.
Keep in mind I have super sensitive skin so using any ol' product doesn't always work. I also have a tendency to lean toward the price-conscious side — another topic we'll cover off and on in its own good time — so you'll see reference to discounts and how you can find and use these products efficiently.
Take any three of these combinations for a guaranteed good time and enjoy the lovely, lingering scent left behind that will have people asking what you're wearing.
Always a great staple and found at most W Hotels along with other stores such as Sephora.
Try: Bliss Super Slough Scrub will gently exfoliate and has a fresh laundry scent. Follow up this crisp scrub with any one of the Bliss Body Butter scents and you'll have skin feeling silky and creamy for hours.
Tip: If you travel much, book your room at a W Hotel and never pay for Bliss basics again. They provide travel sized Bliss products that actually make great containers for your other products once you've used them all up. I've collected hundreds of these little bottles over the years and have also used them as "stocking stuffer" type gifts to add a little punch to a birthday or special occasion gift.
Known as the definitive Dead Sea cosmetic brand that can be found in more than 30 countries in the world's most selective department stores, perfumeries and chain outlets.
Try: Ahava Softening Butter Salt Scrub is amazingly yummy...turn the water off mid-shower and scrub up with this mandarin and cedar scented goodness, then rinse off. Next, moisturize with the Ahava Caressing Body Sorbet. This body sorbet is like nothing else I've ever used. I think you'll feel the same. It's so soothing, I promise!
Tip: This brand was actually recommended to me by my dermatologist a few years ago and I've been hooked ever since. I've gifted this duo on multiple occasions and have always received raving reviews from the friends that received them. Keep an eye on Ahava's website because they do run specials from time to time, sometimes up to 30 percent off.
THE BODY SHOP
It's probably not that widely known that The Body Shop was founded on the notion that natural, ethically produced beauty products are the only way to go. It was founded in 1976 by human rights activist and promises to be "the best, most breathlessly exciting company".
Try: The best-selling Shea Body Scrub and Shea Body Butter are arguably my favorite products and currently what I'm using this summer to rinse away the heat. The body butter provides the most intensive moisture I've ever experienced. Give it a whirl and see if you agree!
Tip: This product combination is one my newly discovered favorites and I enjoy packing them along for beach trips or to lift my spirits at home as the smell puts me in a vacation-like-tropical mood. The inspiration for my first Body Shop purchase was the 50 percent off discount they offered on Groupon last year.
Signing off so fresh and clean,
Renee Woodruff blogs about travel, food and living life to the fullest on Shape.com. Follow her on Twitter!