Looking after the skin on our body is such a vital part of our skincare routine, yet one that is often overlooked. As with our faces, our bodies need to be cleansed, exfoliated, hydrated and protected for optimal skin health. As we age our skin begins to lose collagen and elastin, which can be exacerbated by external factors such as exposure to UV light, diet and lifestyle, so a preventative approach and consistency are key to helping us age gracefully from head to toe.
These are a few of my favourite products and treatments you can easily add to your at-home regime.
Like our faces, our bodies need daily cleansing to keep the pores clean and remove any build-up of oils and debris. Look for ingredients that gently clean while also nourishing the skin. I prefer a gel cleanser as opposed to a foaming cleanser as these can often be quite stripping and drying to the skin.
Depending on your skin concerns a combination of chemical and physical exfoliation will yield great results leaving the skin soft and supple. Physical exfoliation can be incorporated into a routine bi-weekly, through the use of a body scrub and exfoliating glove. Dry body brushing is another great form of physical exfoliation to gently buff away dead skin cells while also promoting lymphatic drainage, and increasing circulation and blood flow. Use your body brush on clean dry skin sans product, starting at the feet working upwards and outwards move the brush in ciruluar motions with a firm but comfortable pressure. A chemical exfoliant can also be used to purify and rebalance the skin, targeting specific skin concerns such as congestion and acne.
The skin on our bodies is much thicker than the skin on our face, so products specifically designed for this area are often thicker and in consistency than those you use on your face. A good quality body moisturiser is important to maintain hydration, whether you use a cream, balm or oil, the delivery mode is simply down to preference. Look for formulations with lipid-rich ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin and essential fatty acids like omega-3.
Applying a body oil is a great way to add an extra dose of hydration to the skin, especially in winter. Apply directly onto the skin or simply add a few drops to your body cream to enrich the lipid content and boost nourishment. For best absorption apply after your shower whilst the skin is still slightly damp to deeply nourish and lock in moisture.
SPF is paramount when it comes to preventing the negative impacts our skin experiences from sun exposure. Sun damage can so easily be avoided with diligent protection, ensure you are applying a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30+ every day to exposed skin, reapplying as needed. When spending long periods of time in the sun wearing extra layers of protection are key such as a hat and sunglasses.
Incorporating regular massage into your routine with a tool or simply your hands will stimulate the muscles, encourage blood flow circulation, sculpt, tighten and tone the skin. Apply a generous amount of your favourite cream or oil and always work in upwards and outwards motions.