We're in the middle of winter and I have talked about dry skin on the face, but not specifically the body. Today I'm talking about all the ways to care for the skin on your body including skin texture and discolorations!
Step 1: Soft Skin
The only way to achieve the softest skin ever is exfoliation. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells allows for a more even texture, smoothness and fresh glowing cells. A lot of new clients come to me with dry skin on their face and between exfoliation and proper hydration, their skin is significantly improved if not cured of dryness! Without exfoliation, any lotion face or body cannot properly hydrate your skin. Think of applying your lotion over your clothing, it cannot penetrate! Here are all my tips for proper body skin care!
What ways can I exfoliate my body?
#1 Dry Brushing
I have talked about this many times in various blog posts. I won’t go into great detail this time, but here are a few articles that talk in great detail about how to drybrush and the benefits. I do not personally drybrush my neck or décolleté as the skin is too thin and sensitive for myself and most people. Be sure to wash your brush every few weeks with a gentle unscented cleanser like the one below. You can purchase a dry brush for $12 at the spa!
#2 Sugar Scrub
I personally do not purchase scrubs in the store. They can often be so expensive, contain a lot of oil that makes my shower slick and are loaded with synthetic fragrance. When I do use a sugar scrub, I make my own! I use about 1/2 cup organic white sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar (makes the grit a little heavier). I add just enough water to make a thick paste. Do not add so much that it becomes soup! I do not add oil, but you can add about 2 tablespoons if you would like. Essential oils are also great. I find peppermint makes me feel cold in the shower, and citrus oils can sting, so stick to something like lavender or rosemary. 6-8 drops should be good unless you like a more potent scent.
#3 Exfoliating Gloves
These are also an option that can be used dry or wet with body wash. Be sure to ring them out and hang them where they will fully dry to reduce bacteria. Replace them every few months.
How Often Should I Exfoliate?
For the body I recommend 3-4 times a week. Which method you choose to exfoliate your skin determines how often you can exfoliate. If your skin can handle it, you can drybrush everyday! But if it feels a little irritating to your skin everyday, try every other day, or every 3rd day. I will say your skin does adjust to more dry brushing over time! A sugar scrub I would only do every 2-3 days. If you wanted more often, reduce the brown sugar. It is possible to over exfoliate and cause damage to your acid mantel (what protects your skin) and cause your skin to have MORE moisture loss. So don’t think that more often is best!
Step #3: Within 60 Seconds
For the face the rule of thumb is to apply your moisturizer within 60 seconds of cleansing your face to lock in moisture. Unless you can work REALLY fast, this probably won’t be happening for your body. But I do recommend you apply your body lotion either after patting your skin off while in the shower, or I personally actually don’t dry off at all. I don’t love the feeling of lotion or body oil, so the more water to spread the product further the better for me.
What Should I Use?
We’re all different in our body lotion preferences. I for a long time have used pure jojoba oil. Jojoba oils is the most similar in structure to the oil our body produces. A few drops on my legs goes a long way. My legs feel silky, hydrated and have a light sheen to them. I do this for my whole body, not including my face. If you are extra dry I may recommend this and then a layer of body lotion OVER it. If you prefer body lotion, like I said an application on lightly damp skin is best. If you’re extra dry or don’t mind the feeling of a heavier moisturizer in the winter, body butters are great! I love shea butter and cocoa butter based products.
A Natural Difference Skincare offers a lightly Cranberry scented body lotion that is rich and luxurious, but absorbs quickly into the skin. I use this when I use body lotion!
Uneven Skin Texture or Coloring?
Do you have rough skin texture or discolorations? Maybe you’re self conscious about them. Following the above steps can improve these conditions! Another option is a glycolic body lotion. Glycolic goes down into the pores, swirls debris around and brings it to the surface. It helps to keep pores clearer, increase your cell renewal factor (fight aging), improve discolorations and is anti-aging. This lotion can have an itchy or tingly effect, especially after exfoliation or shaving. I would recommend rotating this lotion with your exfoliation and shaving regimen. So exfoliate and shave on say Monday, use just the glycolic lotion on Tuesday. Back to exfoliation and shaving Wednesday. A.N.D. has an awesome glycolic body lotion called Poly Glyco Body Lotion with 10% glycolic polymer. Being a polymer it releases slower to allow almost no inflammation and irritation.
Another step to take for body discolorations is to use A.N.D. Skincare’s Discoloration Bar. Apply to the body and allow it to sit for a minute. Rinse and continue with your shower. Apply Poly Glyco Body Lotion after showering. The Discoloration Bar contains kojic acid which has been shown to help lighten discolorations on the skin. It is also in the Discoloration Solution Serum!
Do you have raised bumps on your arms, maybe legs or buttocks that can sometimes appear to look like pimples? Read this post!
I hope this has been really helpful for you! I might be getting a breakout or just having a rough week and taking a few steps for soft skin can make me feel instantly a little lighter. Try it sometime!