Sometimes I think that body care is underrated, so is body care routine. We often fail to remember that the skin on our body needs some extra care too. After all, skin is the largest organ of all!
Skincare doesn’t end at the neck area. Your body is as exposed to the surrounding environment as your face.
Daily pollution, sweat is accumulated on the skin of your body making it more susceptible to things like bacne (back acne), saggy and dry skin. You need to build a body care routine that works for you.
So, next time you step out of the shower, don’t forget about your body and apply these five body care routine steps.
Step 1: Cleanse the body
Cleansing is where your body care routine starts. Just like with skincare for the face, cleansing is exactly where the magic begins. Of course, you should choose body cleansers that agree with your skin type. If your skin is dry, look for cleansers with ingredients such as ceramides, panthenol, shea butter, glycerin, jojoba oil that are hydrating to the skin. Gentle cleansing is key here as well.
If you have never said goodbye to soaps, now is the time. NEVER use traditional soaps (not to be confused with soaps that are made with balanced pH levels) to wash your body. Stay away from soaps with harsh ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, phthalates.
The star ingredient especially for sensitive skin would be Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (I know sounds like the bad guy). It is a very gentle cleansing agent that is used in a number of cleansing products such as body washes and cleansers. It is based on vegetable fatty acids and is biodegradable. Good for the skin, good for the planet!
You should also check the product label and avoid fragrances, artificial dyes if you have very sensitive skin.
Oily skin would best benefit from using cleansers with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, niacinamide, or tea tree oil.
Step 2: Get rid of dead skin cells – Exfoliate!
Although people are divided in terms of their exfoliation preferences (physical scrubs vs chemical exfoliation) just like Dems and Republicans on their political views, one thing is for sure: never skip on exfoliation day.
If cleansing is the foundation of a body care routine, exfoliating is definitely the building block of a body care routine that works.
If you don’t know what chemical exfoliation is, we got you covered: Understanding Chemical Exfoliation: What is the Best Chemical Exfoliant for Your Skin?
It is true that using AHAs or BHAs is better for the face skin as it is more delicate. As for the body, the skin is thicker there, so using body scrubs can be more OK. We are a strict no-no team when it comes to facial scrubs, but body scrubs can work for many, including the driest parts like elbows, knees, and heels.
We even wrote a blog post about it, so scrub away! (only for body tho)
Use the body scrubs two or three times a week maximum, don’t go overboard with it.
If your skin is oily or you are just looking for a safe option, go with chemical exfoliants. Especially body washes with salicylic acid would be your best bet if you are oil-prone. Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA would be a great product choice.
Don’t forget that using chemical exfoliants makes your skin sensitive to sunlight. Wear SPF daily to prevent skin complications.
Step 3: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
All the steps so far lead to moisturizing at the end – just like your good old skincare routine. So, your body care routine is no exception.
When you take a shower you basically strip the skin of its natural oils. So, it is only normal that the skin on your body gets dry and dehydrated after a long, how shower even though it is so relaxing.
You also have to strengthen the skin barrier on the skin of your body. Enter body creams and lotions. Unlike your face, your body skin can take some thicker products like ointments, oils like coconut oil (although don’t EVER use it on your face directly), or argan oil, jojoba oil.
However, if you have acne on your back (bacne) or oily skin, you might want to skip the oils since they are going to make you break out. In that case, get lotions with ceramides, Vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid.
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a classic when it comes to body lotions. It is affordable, formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid and it works!
Step 4: Shave away. But the right way.
Ugh, I know how painful those shaving blunders can be. But there are some tricks that can come in handy as a part of your body care routine.
Shaving can be more of an underrated part of a body care routine, but we think it is worth talking about.
Don’t dry shave your skin. Some of us might be aware of that already, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to be reminded every now and then. Your skin needs to be soft before you shave the hairs on it.
The exfoliating step we talked about earlier can actually work better when it comes to shaving. Clumped-up dead skin cells on the skin can make the shaving job harder. So, if you use loofahs or body scrubs to exfoliate the skin before shaving, it will work like a charm.
After exfoliating, shaving hair, and cleaning pores (preferably with cooler water), make sure you close the pores. This means applying a moisturizing cream immediately to prevent dry skin on the body.
If you are into hot showers (I mean, who isn’t?!) you might want to turn the temp down a little bit for shaving. How water can make the skin too soft so it will be more prone to getting cuts, put simply.
DON’T make the mistakes of using soaps, always use shaving creams. Soaps will have a drying effect on the skin and the razor won’t glide on the skin as smooth as shaving cream will. Pay attention to hygiene, try to replace your razor if you can’t get all the waste in the razor out.
Step 5: Apply sunscreen on your body too
If you have been reading our blog for a while, you know our mantra of life is, sunscreen rain or shine.
Your body care needs sun protection, especially in summer. You don’t want to expose your body to damaging UV rays that are the number one reason for skin aging. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunlight is the number one reason behind photoaging.
In autumn or winter, aside from your face don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your neck and décolletage area. That way you will also prevent chest wrinkles from forming.
Bonus step: Invest in anti-aging products for your body care routine too
Anti-aging for the face? How about a body anti-aging routine? When it comes to body care routine, anti-aging should be an integral part of it.
Retinoid creams or creams with retinol will slow the loss of elastin and will promote collagen production. These two are major players in keeping the skin firm and plump.
Related: 5 Greatest Benefits Of Retinol On Skin
As we mentioned 3000 times before (I know, annoying) using Sunscreen is also a part of the body’s anti-aging routine.
Ceramides should be a must addition to your body care routine in terms of anti-aging. These are lipids (what are they?) that protect the skin barrier by locking in the moisture. The damaged skin barrier is the main source of many skin disorders, especially for sensitive skin conditions.
Niacinamide is another superstar ingredient when it comes to preventing wrinkles, oiliness of the skin.
Check out our blog post about niacinamide to learn more.
To sum it up
Well, folks, building a body care routine is a serious thing and shouldn’t be ignored. Just like you shouldn’t take your skin for granted. Take care of your body and build a body care routine that cleanses, exfoliates, and hydrates your skin.
And for the 3001st time, SPF away!