Here's Why You Should Have a Skincare Routine for Your Body—Plus, the Products You Should Be Using
Because your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs need some love, too.
Even many of us who have a dedicated skincare regimen for our faces do not have any kind of regimented routine for our bodies. (We're raising our hands, guilty as charged, over here.) But it's important—from protecting it from ultraviolet rays to warding off dry skin and acne, your body is prone to having the same issues as your face. Generally, you should use products that are thicker and stronger on your body and gentler on your face, as the skin on your body is more "hardy" and stubborn than the delicate skin on your face. (That's why you often find separate washes, lotions, and sunscreens for body and face.) But when we're talking about body skincare, the neck and chest should actually be categorized in with your face, says Dr. Michele Farber, MD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. "Your neck and décolletage are more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body," she says.
Here, Farber explains how to make the skin on your body glow just as much as the skin on your face.
Don't Forget Sunscreen
You should wear it on your face every day, and the same goes for anywhere else that's exposed. "The most important thing in terms of body skincare is a good sunscreen," Farber says. "Your neck, chest, back of hands, arms-anywhere that's exposed on a daily basis should be covered. It's the best anti-aging and pigment defense."
Extend Your Facial Skincare Regimen to Your Neck and Chest
Using a retinol nightly? Maybe a vitamin C serum or pH-balancing toner? Apply it to your neck and chest, too! This area should be given the same pampering as your complexion.
Add in Chest-Specific Skincare
If you're worried about gravity getting the best of you, you can also add a firming décolletage cream into the mix. Farber recommends Revision Skincare Nectifirm ($92, amazon.com).
Treat Body Acne with Washes and Sprays
It can obviously be difficult to spot treat your back, so body washes and body sprays that spread easily will be able to target hard-to-reach areas. Choose formulas with alpha and beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic and glycolic acids) and benzoyl peroxide, like Murad Acne Control Clarifying Body Spray ($44, ulta.com) and Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Body Soap ($8, ulta.com).
Use a Cleanser and Moisturizer to Add Intense Hydration to Dry Skin
Ensure your body wash isn't drying, but rather gentle and moisturizing. Try CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash ($10.40, amazon.com), which contains ceramides to maintain and strengthen the skin's barrier. Couple it with heavier, super hydrating moisturizers-those with hyaluronic acid are a must, as they grab moisture from the air and can hold up to 1,000 times their weight in water. Farber recommends using a cream in the morning and an ointment in the evening. Try Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion ($44, sephora.com) and Skinfix Remedy+ 911 Ointment ($24, sephora.com).
Keep Cleansing Wipes in Your Gym Bag
"If you can't shower right after working out, use wipes because you don't want to be sitting in your sweat for too long-it can cause breakouts," Farber says. Use something like CliniqueFit Post-Workout Face + Body Cleansing Swipes ($11.50, amazon.com), and then shower when you get home.