When it comes to skin care, it’s true facial skin gets the lion’s share of attention — even when it comes to sun protection and anti-aging. There’s definitely a sea change brewing, and we believe the future of skincare…is full body.
As our largest organ, it’s critical to have a full body skin care routine that keeps your skin hydrated, exfoliated, and protected. Not sure what you need before summer hits? Follow our four-step body care routine for glowing skin!
First, What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is a critical step in your body care routine. It removes dead skin cells on the top layer of the epidermis using a physical or chemical exfoliating ingredient and an emollient. The American Academy of Dermatology breaks down all things exfoliation really nicely, but generally, exfoliating has two major benefits:
- Removes dull or dry top layer of skin to reveal glowy, healthy skin beneath
- Encourages healthy cell turnover
- Allows for better penetration of lotions and serums, so your skin gets the most out of the products you’re using
Four Step Body Care Routine for Glowing Skin
Step 1: Noticing
We lead busy lives, and often we don’t notice the slight changes that occur day-to-day in our bodies. This might be a freckle you never noticed, or waking up with a sore neck from sleeping on it all wrong.
Before you embark on any body care routine, have at least one shower or self-care session each month where you simply “notice” what’s going on with your body.
A few ideas for noticing your body:
- Grab a mirror and take a look at your freckles and moles (and don’t forget to schedule a yearly skin check even if nothing looks “off” to you)
- Do your monthly breast self-exam in the shower
- Take note of how you’re feeling lately. Are you sore or aching anywhere? Any unexplained or sudden pains?
- Peek at your skincare shelf and throw out any expired products (or, god forbid, makeup from 2012)
Step 2: Exfoliation
Once you’re done noticing and taking stock, you’re ready to start your full body care routine with some light exfoliation. We’re not talking microplastic beads, alcohols, or harsh rubbing. Gentle exfoliation is the name of the game, but if you want a satisfying, manual exfoliator, opt for a body brush or dry brush.
Here are our tips for full body exfoliation:
- Less is more. It’s better to exfoliate less frequently to avoid irritating the skin. For sensitive skin, exfoliate no more than weekly. If you have oily or combo skin, you might want to up that number. Ultimately, choose what feels right for you!
- There are two types of exfoliation — chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants are your alpha and beta hydroxy acids, which can be a great option for those with body acne. They typically come in body washes and lotions rather than a traditional scrub. Physical exfoliants are your brushes, scrubs, and towels!
- If at home exfoliating isn’t your thing, opt for a seasonal spa treatment to prep the skin instead
- Be gentle! An intense physical scrubbing isn’t always the best thing for your skin. If you’re dry brushing or using a towel, try to imagine you’re at a spa. If you need to complete the mood, light a candle or grab a fluffy robe
Step 3: Hydration
After exfoliating, you’ll probably feel like a newborn baby from head-to-toe. Why not continue that feeling for as long as possible with the help of a hydrating lotion or cream?
The hydrating step of your body care routine is something you can do every time you take a shower, or as needed. You’ll likely need to lotion up more frequently in the winter, especially for dryness-prone areas like feet, elbows, and knees.
When it comes to choosing a hydrating lotion, look for ingredients similar to what you’d find in your favorite daily facial moisturizer — hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, squalane, etc. These will penetrate the skin barrier to hydrate more deeply. Most lotion formulas also include an emollient like shea butter, argan oil, and coconut oil or occlusives like petrolatum to lock in hydration.
Step 4: Protection
Finally, no body care routine is complete without sun protection. You didn’t think we were going to skip sunscreen, were you?? We put together an ultimate guide to sunscreen to answer all your Q’s about sun protection.
The important thing about sun protection? It’s not JUST for your face and neck! A body care routine that protects skin from UVA and UVB rays has myriad benefits, like:
- Combats signs of aging caused by sun damage
- Prevents sunburn
- Protects sensitive skin, especially if you use a chemical exfoliating product on your face or body
We’re big fans of simplicity at Covey. That’s why we believe a 4-step full body skin care routine and an easy, compatible 3-step daily skincare routine will change your life!