A simple, total body skincare regimen for healthy, radiant skin
A good skincare routine doesn’t stop at your chin.
Often when we think about taking care of our skin, the main concern is finding a routine that works just for the most visible part: our face. But the benefits of a top-to-toe skincare routine can’t be understated. From clogged pores causing acne on the body, to dehydrated and sun-damaged skin on the hands, and a build-up of dead skin cells on our body, the skin on our entire body needs just as much TLC as our visage does.
Here, we share the key building blocks to healthy, glowing skin for the entire body, including which products to add to your skincare line-up, as well as simple, regular maintenance tips (think: exfoliation) to incorporate into your regimen.
Why do you need a body care routine?
Typically, a body care routine is an afterthought or considered something best left to an indulgent spa day. However, just like the skin on your face, the skin on your body requires regular care to keep it healthy, clear and radiant.
Think about what would happen if you never applied any SPF to your hands and only applied it to your face. You may not notice immediately, but over time, your hands will inevitably show signs of sun damage, which may include pigmentation and/or wrinkles. Eventually your face and hands will look like they belong to two different people. But, if instead, when you apply SPF to your face during your morning skincare routine you also apply SPF to your hands (and any other parts of the body exposed to the sun), you’re on the path towards healthy skin, from the toes up.
What should your full-body skincare regimen include?
With many different individual body skin concerns including acne, pigmentation, ageing, stretch marks, cellulite and more, as well as different skin types (sensitive, normal, dry, oily, and combination), there is no one-size-fits-all body care regimen, but there are some basics that will help you think about building a routine that will work for you.
Firstly, SPF. Research shows that “excessive exposure of the skin to sunlight can lead to many negative effects, such as sunburn, photoaging [sic] and skin cancer development.” These effects occur on all parts of the body exposed to the sun, not just the face, and SPF plays a key part in protecting the skin from these harsh outcomes.
So, SPF is a must for a body care regimen. There are suitable options for every skin type. For instance, We Are Feel Good Inc have a Signature and Sensitive range along with a fragrant Coconut option. All are effective, non-greasy, everyday sunscreen solutions. A simple way to incorporate using SPF into your daily routine is to apply it at the same time as you apply sunscreen to your face—straight out of the shower in the morning and then reapply as necessary throughout the day.
The basis of a daily face skincare routine is cleansing, and it follows that the basis of an everyday body care routine is also cleansing. Similar to how we try to avoid stripping the skin on our face with harsh cleansers, it’s key to avoid doing the same to the skin on the body. There are host of nourishing and effective body washes from iconic brands such as Leif, Hunter Lab and Grown Alchemist.
Smelling fresh and clean throughout the day and keeping any unwanted body odours at bay is an important part of a daily body care regimen. Look to aluminium-free deodorants such as Grown Alchemist’s Roll-On Deodorant with odour-neutralising Icelandic moss or Natch Essentials Natural Deodorant which is aluminium-free.
Why do we need to regularly exfoliate? Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface to promote regeneration and healthy skin.
Regularly exfoliating may assist with preventing pores from becoming clogged and thus reduce acne breakouts. Exfoliation can also improve the appearance of the skin, giving it a youthful glow once dead skin cells are sloughed off. And, it may assist other products absorb more easily post-exfoliation.
So, which exfoliator, should you use and how often? There are a slew of product options and tools (such as body brushes) available, a good place to start is with a product suited to your skin type and skin concern. For those seeking a deeper, more active exfoliation, look for an exfoliator containing AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy acids).
As for how often you should exfoliate, that will depend on your skin type and concern. As a guide, dermatologist Ife Rodney speaking to Mind Body Green suggested the following: “Most people with normal or combination skin can get away with twice or even thrice-weekly exfoliation. Those with more mature, dry, or sensitive skin, may only want to exfoliate weekly.”
Research shows that moisturisers provide multiple benefits from smoothing and softening the skin to increasing hydration. Moisturising is therefore an essential step of any skincare regimen for face and body. If you prefer a lighter texture or have an oily skin type, opt for a lotion, or if you prefer a richer consistency or have a dry skin type, a body cream or body butter are the direction to go. A body oil is also a great option for boosting skin hydration and turning up the glow factor. Try one of the exceptional Arithmos body oils, which are hand-crafted with all-natural ingredients.
Ingredients to look out for in a body moisturiser include shea butter (exceptionally moisturising), Kakadu plum (learn about the incredible benefits of this native Australian fruit, here) and jojoba (particularly in body oils).
Hand wash and hand cream
In the era of Covid-19 we have all been reminded how essential thoroughly and regularly washing our hands is. Every body care product line-up should include an efficacious hand wash and moisturising hand cream to keep hands clean and soft. Consider one of Leif’s perfectly combined Hand Wash and Hand Balm sets. Each set features a Hand Wash and Hand Balm and will not only look pretty on your bathroom vanity but keep your hands in clean, soft condition.
Do you need different products for morning and night?
Similar to our face skincare line-up, our body care line-up might look a little different in the morning versus the evening. The morning line-up may include deodorant, body wash, moisturiser and SPF, while the evening may involve exfoliation in the shower followed by a richer moisturiser, especially on the dryer parts of the body (hands and feet) right before bed.
When your body (and mind) needs a little extra self-care, soaking in a bath filled with a few drops of soothing, healing, bath oil or bath salts is a skin and body saviour.