There is much focus on the skin of the face and its proper care. However, the skin of the body is also subject to stress and the environment which requires it to be cared for as well. In fact, many people neglect the other important areas of the body that can reflect age such as the skin on the neck, decollete, and hands. Dr. Shirley Madhere, a graduate of the combined medical program at Dartmouth Medical School and Brown University School of Medicine, and a plastic surgeon, and Dr. Rebecca Weiss, also a graduate of Brown University, and an osteopathic physician share some skin care tips to keep your skin soft, supple and healthy.
Shower For the Skin
Avoid showering with hot water and minimize showers to eight minutes or less. Take advantage of the moisture in the air after a shower and apply moisturizer immediately. It is best to moisturize quickly because after three minutes the skin’s natural cuticle seals itself to protect the environment.
Moisturize the Body
Use a separate moisturizer than the one used for the face. For dry skin, use emollient-rich creams containing oils such as avocado, olive or sesame and/or hydrating products such as shea butter, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid. For oily or normal skin, use products that are oil-free but also help retain skin’s moisture. Remember to apply moisturizer at bedtime to take advantage of the body’s natural renewal process overnight. Be thorough with moisturizer and pay attention to not only skin, but also hands, nails, and hair.
Exfoliate Dead Skin
Routine exfoliation, at least once each week, is recommended for maintenance to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. Skin cells will shed naturally but the exfoliating dead skin will help prevent blackheads, whiteheads, rough texture and an uneven appearance of the skin tone. Body scrubs with moisturizing oils are a great way to exfoliate skin in the shower or bath.
Healthy Inside and Out
Eat well by investing in a well-balanced diet containing omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids (they help promote healthy skin, hair, and nails), fruits and vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking ample water daily.
Winter Skin Care
In winter and cold weather, reapply moisture as often as needed, as reduced humidity in the air tends to dry out skin faster. Dress in layers accordingly to prevent evaporative heat loss from the body in frigid temperatures.
Summer Skin Care
In summer and warm weather, avoid prolonged, unprotected sun exposure and wear a hydrating or moisturizing sunscreen appropriately to prevent sunburn, sun damage and the drying effects of the sun on the skin.
Skin care treatments like body facials, wraps, and microdermabrasion can offer an option for those that desire a more aggressive approach. These treatments are designed to hydrate and smooth the skin on the body and can also be used to address other conditions such as acne or irritation.