Taking Care of the Skin Below Your Neck
You might have an extensive routine for your face, but it’s important not to neglect the rest of your body. It’s understandable why you would make your face a priority – since it’s the first thing people will see, but skin care should mean your whole body. Just like you use a facial cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer on your face, you should use skin care products on your arms, chest, legs, feet, and more. It would look a bit off if you have a glowing, smooth face and dry, rough hands and elbows. So, if your full body skin care routine is basically just washing up with a bar of soap and quickly slapping on a layer of lotion, it might be time to step up your skincare game. Here are a few tips on taking care of your skin:
- Cleansing: No matter what part of your body you’re focusing on, the best way to start any skincare routine is to get the skin completely clean. For your body, that means using a cleanser specifically meant for washing your whole body. A gentle body wash is best, especially because it won’t irritate or dry out your skin. Lather up with help from a loofah, washcloth, or just your hands, then be sure to rinse off before moving on.
- Exfoliation: When you exfoliate your face, things can be a little tricky. You shouldn’t scrub your skin too much because it can cause irritation, but you need to do it regularly so that dead skin cells won’t cause dullness. Luckily, the skin on your body can handle more exfoliation. The skin on your body is usually tougher than your face, so you don’t have to be so cautious of scrubbing too much. One easy and simple way is to add a sugar scrub to your shower routine. You can exfoliate up to three times a week by gently massaging your chosen form of scrub into your skin. One thing to remember is that because your skin is constantly rubbing against clothes, it can make the skin on your elbows and knees particularly dry and leathery. Make sure that you focus on your elbows, knees, and heels – these areas are more likely to have rough patches that need a little extra attention because of the additional friction they experience.
- Shaving: Most of us have been shaving more than half our life. But, we’re not perfect and there are a lot of mistakes we have probably still been making. Shaving the right way basically means spending time in the shower because the water helps soften skin and you will be less likely to irritate your skin by shaving. It is also important to take your time while shaving; apply the shaving cream to your skin and run the razor with the grain of your hair.
- Moisturize: Cleansing, exfoliating, and shaving- these are all important steps when it comes to taking care of your skin. Of course, shaving is always optional, but moisturizing after doing all of these steps to your skin is not. The best time to hydrate your skin is when your skin is still wet from the shower. Smoothing a hydrating cream or lotion over your body is the best way to seal in moisture. Make sure to let it absorb before putting your clothes on and choose non-comedogenic creams and lotions because they won’t clog your pores (yes, all of your skin has pores). On hot days, it’s best to wear moisture-wicking natural fabrics or else sweat and oils will get trapped against your skin.
- SPF: SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and it is essentially a measurement of how long a sunscreen can protect you from UBS sun rays. You should wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. You should also wear sunscreen even if it’s cloudy or you’re not going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside, since it usually takes a while for sunscreen to activate. Even if you have a darker skin tone, you should wear sunscreen. Not only to protect you from the sun but because hyperpigmentation is a lot harder to correct when unprotected.
- Hands: Not everyone thinks about it, but our hands get as much sun exposure as our face. But, there’s not a lot of talk about protecting them. We also expose them to things like harsh dishwashing detergent. Make sure to put some sunscreen on them and put on rubber gloves when washing dishes. Another important area people forget is their nails. If you notice that your nails are dry and brittle, the best thing to do is to add extra moisture to your nails, both the ones on your hands and feet.
- Neck: Did you know that our necks are very delicate and contain fewer oil glands? This makes this area a lot more prone to dryness, itching, and redness. Look for products that are anti-aging and moisturizing.
Our skin is seen as the most visible reflection of how healthy our bodies are. People equate healthy skin with beauty. But having healthy skin is more than just about how beautiful we are; it’s essential to our survival. The best thing we do to make sure that our skin is glowing is by using the right skin care techniques, eating healthy and whole foods, getting lots of exercise, and drinking plenty of water.