An active skincare routine for the body.
I used to neglect the skin on my body. Anything below the chin didn’t get too much attention. Okay, sure, my legs would get a bit of love when they felt dry, but other than that, to be honest, a skincare routine for my body? Close to zilch.
And yet, I ask myself, why did I pay so much attention to my face and forget the rest?
Okay, obviously, like everything in life, the things we see, those things right in front of us, get the most attention.
If it’s not glaring back at me in the mirror? Yep. Zilch. Nada. Neglect.
Unless, of course, the skin is so dry, it’s starting to itch and burn. And if that’s happening? The neglect has set in, and it’s time to pull out the body lotion.
And this is where it all gets a bit slapdash. And while there’s no need to complicate things, caring for the largest organ of your body does need your attention.
Reaching for whatever’s lingering in the inner depths of your bathroom cabinet leftover from your last hotel stay will not do. Nope. But it was a 5 Star hotel? Yep, I hear you.
Okay, if it’s an absolute emergency? In which case, hurry up and get it over with, then continue reading, as I’m afraid to say you’re skipping a couple of vital steps in keeping your body’s skin healthy, dewy and all-a-glow.
Just like the face, the skin on your body is forever renewing itself to create the top protective layer of your skin, which is made up of lipids and dead skin cells.
And while these dead skin cells will drift away on their own, if the skin becomes chronically dehydrated, they’ll accumulate, leaving you with dull, dry skin.
Nope, it’s not pretty, and you deserve better!
So what do you need?
So let’s start with skin exfoliation. But wait, before you rush for the granulated apricot kernels, hold on a second—no need to add insult to injury.
The dead skin cells on your body need a nudge, not an all-out assault.
The best way to do this is with a fluid formula containing lactic acid or some other gently, low concentration alpha hydroxy acid. Once applied to the skin, it will bind to the intracellular bonds within the skin, gently dissolving them and setting any random dead skin cells free.
Voila, your skin is now ready for what’s to come next.
By gently encouraging these dead skin cells, we’re sending a message to the base of the epidermis to keep moving upwards, which means a more efficient cellular turnover.
As well as improved cellular renewal, we also have what you could call a clean slate for applying a body cream, lotion or oil.
If you know anything about the essentials of caring for your skin, you’ll know that synergistically, vitamins A, C, and E play a vital role in keeping the skin’s protective lipid barrier functioning at its best and maintaining the delicate balance of moisture in the skin.
But not only will the skin retain moisture, but it will also have the necessary nutrients for ongoing skin health.
What about pre-existing sun damage?
It seems, despite best efforts, the sun has a way of damaging specific areas; the dècolletage, the forearms and the hands. And, the telltale signs of too much sun exposure can show up in the most unwanted way. Pigmentation, sun spots and blotchy redness are all signs of sun damage.
If these areas of the body are of particular concern to you and show visible signs of sun damage, you can opt for a body oil with a more potent level of vitamin A.
It’s worth noting that vitamin A has a special relationship with the skin, and, with time, consistency, and diligent sun protection, you can restore the skin and reverse sun damage.
The perfect skincare routine for all the skin below the chin.
#1 Dry skin brushing exfoliation
It’s not necessary to do it every day, but when you have time, it’s an excellent idea to gently brush the skin with a dry bristle brush. This will encourage the removal of dead cells and improve blood and lymph circulation.
Dry skin brushing is best done before you hop in the shower. Now, before you rush for the brush. Remember, you’re just nudging dead skin cells; there is no need to be too vigorous, which will only aggravate and irritate the skin.
The dead skin cells on your body need a gentle nudge, not an all-out assault.
The Black Chicken Remedies Garshana Dry Body Brush is made of bamboo and sisal and is simple and easy to use.
Give yourself the entire rub down and experience the multitude of benefits that come from dry brushing.
Available from Adore Beauty $34.95 AUD
#2 Gentle chemical skin exfoliation
Once out of the shower, the next step is to apply an exfoliating body lotion that preferably contains lactic acid. Lactic acid will dissolve the anchors that hang on to cells and doubles as a catalyst for activating water-binding hyaluronic acid within the skin.
The perfect second step in a skincare routine for the body is Environ’s Alpha Hydroxy Derma-Lac Lotion. This exfoliating lotion will smooth away rough skin, improve hydration in the skin and prepare the skin for body oils and moisturisers. Amazing.
This product works synergistically with Environ’s Body EssentiA Vitamin A, C & E Body Oil.
Available from The Beauty Issue $110.00 AUD
#3 Nutrition for the skin of your body
The best way to hydrate the skin is by encouraging it in what it’s already doing. There’s one thing you should know about your skin And, it’s this. Your skin will do everything perfectly when performing optimally.
As well as a balanced diet consisting of quality protein and a variety of vegetables, topical nourishment is essential to keep the skin functioning properly.
Vitamin A will support cell turnover and repair sun damage. Vitamin C helps the lipid barrier and assists in collagen synthesis, and vitamin E is a natural antioxidant protecting your body’s skin from environmental stressors.
You can improve the texture and appearance of your body’s skin with Environ’s Body EssentiA Vitamin A, C & E Body Oil to provide the necessary nutrients that often go missing in the skin and are essential for skin health.
While the skin is absorbing these essential nutrients, the lightweight jojoba seed oil will nourish the surface of the skin of your body and eliminate dryness and help retain valuable moisture.
Available from The Beauty Issue $100.00 AUD
#4 Broad-spectrum sun protection
Find a broad-spectrum sunscreen you like wearing and do so—every day. Sun exposure has a way of creeping up on us and is accumulative, so even 10 minutes of sun daily can amount to a whole lot of damage that will upset you when it turns up unexpectedly.
Protecting your skin from UVA and UVB is essential if you want healthy skin. If you’ve struggled to find a sunscreen that you can happily wear every day, this may finally be the one you’ve been looking for—loaded with antioxidants too.
Available from The Beauty Issue $64.00 AUD
My final thoughts?
Is your skin so dry that it’s become red, itchy and inflamed? It may be a form of atopic dermatitis such as eczema, in which case you may need additional support skincare like Aquaphor that occludes the skin will assist the skin as it restores itself. Failing that? Advice from your chosen health care professional to determine the exact cause of your dry skin conditions is a worthwhile idea.
But, if you’ve been neglecting your largest asset, then treating dry skin conditions can be resolved quickly and caring for your body’s skin becomes second nature instead of a second thought. Perhaps it’s time to build an active skincare routine for your body with the four simple steps I’ve shared today, and it will go a long way in relieving dry skin conditions and keeping your skin optimally healthy.
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If you’d like help choosing a skincare routine for your body, I can help; shoot me an email here.
See you next time,