Brazilian women spend lots of time on the beach, so they're really into perfecting their silhouettes -- not just by sweating it at the gym, but also with firming lotions and creams. Many of those contain guarana, an Amazonian plant that is an extremely potent source of caffeine. It boosts circulation to smooth and tighten skin. Enter Sol de Janeiro's Bum Bum (pronounced "Boom Boom") cream ($45, soldejaniero.com). It combines the magically caffeinated ingredient with cupuacu butter, acai, and coconut oil to create a taut bod that you'll feel confident rocking a teeny bikini in.
Most of the ingredients that make Brazilian skin care so effective is grown right in their lush, rainforest backyard. Some examples: Acaí, an antioxidant which protects from environmental stressors and delays the signs of aging; Brazil nut, a seed that contains ultra moisturizing and healing vitamins (like A and E); and mango butter, an emollient and regenerative go-to. All of these plants are utilized in Teadora, a Brazilian and U.S. based line of vegan hair and skin-care products. A must-try: Their exfoliating lip butter ($14, teadorabeauty.com). It scrubs and softens in one step. Plus it tastes delish!
Despite spending lots of time at the beach and outdoors, Brazilian women know that a sunless tan is the safest tan. Their favorite way to get bronzed? A DIY spray called BestBronze ($39, bestbronze.com). It's been the number one best-selling self tanner in Brazil for over a decade thanks to its quick-drying, easy application, and it recently became available in the U.S., too! Just make sure to exfoliate before getting started, and wear gloves while you mist it on. Their website has helpful how-to videos, too!
The same way the we've been obsessing over the multitasking uses of coconut oil (from cooking, to DIY hair masks, to body moisturizers), Brazilians are reaching for babassu oil. Extracted from the nuts of the babassu palm tree, this oil -- again, like coconut oil -- is in solid form until heated up. But unlike coconut oil, this is absorbed into skin and hair much more quickly without a greasy, sticky feeling and without weighing your hair down. A quick Google search will reveal that you can order some from eBay or Etsy. Or, you can try the products from The Body Shop (thebodyshop-usa.com) that include babassu oil as a key ingredient.
Another body-sculpting trend that Brazilian women love: slimming massages. They're sometimes called lypossage, modeladora, or simply lymphatic drainage massage. Many Brazilian beauties have regular lymphatic drainage massage appointments (some even go several times a week!) where a masseuse uses long, brisk strokes to firm and define while flushing out bloat-causing toxins and excess water. This is not a relaxing, stress-relieving massage. It can feel a bit uncomfortable or awkward (though not painful). While, they're not as common here, you can find lymphatic drainage treatments in the U.S., too! If you're in the NYC area, Brazil Rio Spa offers it (starting at $60, brazilriospa.com).