6 Steps to Building the Best Body Care Routine
When it comes to putting together a skincare routine, people tend to think about their face. But what about the rest of the body? Our skin is the largest organ, and it encompasses everything from our scalp to the tips of our toes. It’s easy to leave our body as an afterthought, but a proper body care routine is just as important as taking care of your face. Here are six steps to help you get started on building a routine that is right for you.
Just like you wash your face, it's essential to cleanse your body with the right products. Cleansing might seem like a no-brainer, but fruity, floral or dessert scented body washes might do more harm than good. Things such as fragrance, dyes and harsh ingredients can irritate the skin. Instead, look for a body wash that has ceramides to nourish the skin as it cleans. Ceramides are lipids that makeup to 50% of our skin. They also act as the glue that holds our skin cells together to strengthen the skin barrier. Ceramides allow the skin to seal in moisture while locking out impurities. If you have body acne, look for a body wash that has salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Getting a no-frills gentle cleanser might seem like a boring option, but it will do the job of cleansing your body without irritating or drying it out. Using warm water rather than hot water will keep moisture in and keep your skin looking smooth, young and healthy!
- For combination to oily prone skin: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser
- For acne prone skin: CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser with benzoyl peroxide
- For sensitive skin: Dove Sensitive Skin, CeraVe Soothing Body Wash or CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
Our skin is constantly shedding old skin cells, but some can linger longer on the surface. Properly exfoliating the body is one of the key steps to soft and glowing skin. It's necessary to keep a couple of things in mind when exfoliating the body. The first is to not over-exfoliate! The skin on the body is stronger than facial skin, so it will withstand physical exfoliators such as scrubs. However, limit exfoliating to one to two times a week. Gently massage the scrub into your skin and work your way into thicker areas such as the knees, elbows and feet. You can also choose a chemical exfoliator such as a lotion containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). These acids work to melt away dead skin cells. They can also help regulate sebum production, which will also help prevent body acne.
- AmLactin Daily Moisturizer or Glytone Hydrating Cream
- Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash with 8.8 Free Acid Value
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
- CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser
- The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (face only)
- The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Let's face it – shaving can be a drag, which is why you should never shave if you are in a hurry! This is where unwanted knicks, cuts and irritation can occur. To ensure a nice smooth shave, you will need to prep the skin. When showering, leave shaving as the last or second to last thing to do. Allowing your skin to spend more time in the shower will help soften the skin and hair follicles. This prepares the skin for a smoother shave. Don't skip using a shaving gel or cream, along with a razor that has multiple blades. Most importantly, take your time!
Just like you use serums, topical medications or toners on your face, you can also use this step to treat any skin concerns for your body. First, check with your dermatologist to see what is the best treatment for your skin concern. Creams, lotions or gels that contain vitamin C or retinol can be applied during this step.
- Normal to combination skin: La Roche Posay Vitamin C Face Serum, Skin Ceuticals Vitamin C Serum (splurge), TruSkin Vitamin C Serum, bioBare Vitamin C, B, E & Ferulic Serum
- For sensitive skin: CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
- Hyaluronic Acid or La Roche Posay Hyalu B5
- La Roche Posay B5 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum (at night only and exfoliation only for face)
After you have stepped out of the shower or bath, moisturize while your skin is still damp to lock in the moisture. Make sure to apply a lotion or cream from your neck to your feet. Just like the cleanser, it's best to avoid lotions or creams that are heavily scented. Make sure your body moisturizers contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help draw in and seal the surrounding moisture. You will also find that these types of moisturizers will keep your skin softer and more hydrated longer than scented body creams. Again, it might make for a less enjoyable sensory experience, but it will highly benefit your skin.
- Body cream (Creams are better than lotions)
- For very dry skin ointment is better:
- For dry feet:
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 and above
Last but not least, don't forget your sunscreen with a broad UVA and UVB spectrum! Sunscreen should not be reserved only for beach days. I know it's tempting to think that we do not need to apply SPF every day, but you do! Sunscreen prevents sunburn and helps slow down the aging process. Most importantly, it can prevent skin cancer. So, don't forget to apply your sunscreen before stepping out and reapplying every 80 to 120 minutes based on the rating on the bottle. I know it's tedious, but trust me, your skin will thank you! Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50 or above clothing is a great alternative to sunscreen and keeps your skin protected longer and does not require reapplication.
- For sensitive skin (face):
- For acne prone skin (face):
- For body: