When we think of skincare we often forget about body care, even though some of the most common skin concerns (like acne, wrinkles or blemishes) may appear all over our skin. Do you think you take good care of it? If you want to target your concerns with the right products, this is for you.
In many cases, when we begin to care about skincare, we do so by focusing on our face, usually because we observe the appearance of spots, wrinkles, acne, dryness, etc. However, we have a certain tendency to neglect body care. When I speak of body care I mean that the skin covers the entire surface of our body and, however, in many cases it seems that we only focus on the neck and face area. Is everything else less important? The answer is a clear no.
We must give the skin of our body the same care, pamper and love as that of our face, but since the latter is the one we see most frequently and the first we look at (when looking at ourselves in the mirror and when looking at others), it seems It has a greater prominence (and, in fact, a very important part of skincare products are focused on facial care).
In this article I want to give the skin of the rest of the body the same importance that we usually give to the face. And not only does it deserve it because the skin problems that concern us the most (those wrinkles, spots, pimples, etc.) can also occur in other areas of our body, such as the back, chest, arms and legs, among others, but because our effort to have healthy and protected skin must extend to all skin. The fact that we cover it with clothes does not make it less important.
In the first part of this article, you will find a series of basic body care tips that will help you improve the way you pamper your skin, both in the shower and in your day-to-day life. After that, I will help you choose a good body cleanser to take care of your skin as it deserves.
THE MOST BASIC TIPS ON BODY CARE
Here I have included several elementary tips that will help you take better care of the skin on your body, but this is not an exhaustive list and, therefore, adopting a proper body care routine goes beyond these indications, which can serve you as base to give your skin the pampering it needs.
- As I state in my guide on how to create a skincare routine, we must always start from three basic steps, essential to keep our skin healthy: cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection. By cleansing we remove from the surface of our skin the particles that have been deposited on it throughout the day, through moisturizing we nourish it and help maintain its firmness and elasticity and, finally, with sun protection we prevent the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation to our skin (such as the appearance of spots, wrinkles and severe diseases such as melanoma).
- When we talk about body cleansing, we are referring, of course, to showering. There are few things more relaxing than a long shower after a tough day or an intense training session, but it’s time to change that mindset. Short showers are preferable because we don’t spend as much time underwater, so we unbalance our skin barrier less and, besides that, we take care of the environment by reducing our water consumption.
- In addition to not spending too much time in the shower, you should shower with lukewarm water, so ditch the steamy, boiling ones. It’s really common to raise the water temperature more than we really need (especially during the colder fall and winter months), but showering with excessively hot water ends up acting against your skin, so remember this tip next time you let the steam surround you in the shower.
- Continuing with the tips for the shower, remember that it is not necessary to use a sponge. When using it, we tend to apply more pressure than we should, so we do a physical exfoliation on our skin, something that is not necessary on a daily basis. Replace the sponge with your hands, they are just as effective for washing.
- Another important aspect to assess regarding body care is the frequency of our showers. News and myths appear periodically about how often we should shower (usually because some famous people say that they shower once a week and loads of media outlets echo it). And then you ask yourself, how often should I shower? As usual when talking about skin care, this question does not have a single answer that can be extended to everyone. If you do not shower frequently enough, you facilitate the colonization of various microorganisms that can lead to skin problems (and other health problems) and, in addition, you are likely to develop an uncomfortable body odor. On the other hand, if you shower excessively (the character of Christian Bale in The Machinist and a friend who showered five times a day come to mind), you will end up unbalancing your hydrolipidic barrier, thus promoting premature aging of the skin and the appearance of irritation. You should shower as often as you need depending on your physical activity, the climate in which you live and the characteristics of your own body. Generally speaking, showering once a day is enough.
- Have you considered the possibility of using actives to take care of your body? You already know that I like to talk about the ingredients of cosmetics so that you know them better and find the most suitable beauty products for your skin. As I said at the beginning of the article, cosmetics are not only for the face, so if you are concerned about acne, spots, wrinkles or irritation on the body, you can also use cosmetics with ingredients that help you improve the appearance of what worries you.
- Of course, cosmetics are not everything when it comes to improving the appearance of our skin and a healthy lifestyle is also essential. Among the actions we can take to take care of our skin without using cosmetics, a key one is avoiding exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Not only is it advisable to expose ourselves to the sun to the bare minimum, but you can also use UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing, which incorporates fabrics that prevent ultraviolet radiation from reaching your skin. This type of clothing has become ubiquitous, I already have some and I hope that their use will spread to help us avoid all the serious skin diseases associated with the exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
- The last piece of advice that I want to include in this article is one of the most important tips: if you detect any change or unwanted element on your skin (spots, acne breakouts, etc.) it is important that you go to your dermatologist to assess and determine the most appropriate treatment for your case. Remember, even though our face is the most visible part of our skin, all of it is just as important and skin changes might be a symptom of other diseases.
As you can see, there are many changes that you can adopt in your daily life to improve your body skin care, most of those changes are very easy to implement and will help you keep the skin on your body healthy and well cared for. In the next section I’m going to help you choose a good cleanser for the shower, do you think you use the right one?
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BODY CLEANSER FOR YOU
As I explain on my post on how to create a skincare routine, one of the keys to achieving healthy skin is knowing your skin, its characteristics and its needs. Only then will you be able to choose the most suitable cosmetics to take care of your skin.
We normally pay little attention to the body cleanser we use. It is common for us to choose any shower gel, based mainly on economic reasons and its perfume, but not all cleansers are the same. As with facial care, depending on the needs of your skin you should choose some cleaners or others.
Depending on their composition, the most common products we can find are shower gels, oil-gels and shower oils. Although the product that we find most in our bathrooms is gel, oil-gels and shower oils are progressively gaining a niche in the market, especially for those who have drier skin, since they provide a gentler cleansing than gel cleansers (which usually incorporate more powerful surfactants that do not always match the needs of our skin).
It is essential to use a body cleanser with a suitable pH. As you can see in the following graph, our skin has a slightly acidic pH, so we must use a cleanser with similar characteristics to avoid unbalancing it. If you use a product with an excessively acidic pH it is easier for irritation to appear, while cleansers with a pH that’s too basic tend to promote dehydration, so you should find a balanced product.
Although I have the feeling that they are steadily becoming less common, we still find quite a few physical body scrubs on the market (those with small particles or beads that we drag through our skin). Exfoliation is a great way to help our skin’s cell turnover process, but if we abuse it (for example, using this sort of products too often) we will end up causing imbalances and facilitating irritation, so if you like physical scrubs and you want to continue using them, do so in moderation.
And now that you know the keys to finding a body cleanser with the right characteristics for your skin’s needs (and you’ve already read my guide on skin cleansing), it’s time to share some body cleansers. Let’s get to know them!
This Bioderma shower oil is one of the best known among this type of products, so it could not be missing in this brief comparison. It is intended to be used on very dry sensitive skin, even in those cases of atopic and irritated skin. Like other products in the comparison, even children can use it, except premature newborns (according to the brand).
The idea of using a shower oil instead of a gel can be striking, especially the first few times, if you haven’t used it before. Although there is an immense variety of products on the market, it is true that we do not usually think much about what we use for our body cleansing, which can sometimes lead to using products that perform a more aggressive cleansing than we really need.
In this case, Bioderma has developed a cleanser that incorporates mild surfactants along with some interesting ingredients, such as niacinamide or tocopherol (vitamin E), which contribute with their antioxidant capacity to prevent damage caused by free radicals. One aspect that perhaps seems unnecessary to me within the composition is the presence of fragrance, especially in the case of a product designed for sensitive skin.
As for the necessary amount of product, I use three or four pumps and it is more than enough, although in the end you must find your own balance. I do appreciate that I think it is a fairly durable product, so it can be a good addition to your body care.
Using this product I have been able to observe how my skin remains better moisturized than using other shower gels, so if your skin is dry you will surely appreciate starting to use an oil like this.
This cleanser is intended to be used on dry to very dry sensitive skin, and I have actually observed that it is very respectful of the skin barrier. This body gel has a denser texture than what we usually find on the market, something that makes it unctuous when it comes into contact with the skin. Due to the type of surfactants that it incorporates, you may be surprised to note that it does generate much foam, although that does not mean that it is not doing an effective cleansing.
Being such a dense product, you’ll end up using a greater amount than you’re used to (I use around three to four pumps for my whole body), so it runs out faster than I’d like. Because of this, I’ve tried using this with a foamer (a device that adds air to the product to create a greater amount of foam and facilitate its usage) and application has been way more comfortable, since that way it’s easier to extend it all over my skin.
It has a very characteristic scent, which is slightly smoky to me (although in the end the scent may vary depending on each one’s skin and tastes). In addition to citric acid, this cleanser incorporates perfume among its ingredients.
Even though I’ve enjoyed using this product, I prefer the Bioderma one I’ve mentioned before, since its durability and the sensations on my skin make it feel nicer on my skin.
I hope this guide has helped you to better understand the needs of your body care routine and to find the best body cleanser for you. Tell me, what is your favorite body cleanser? Do you usually use shower gels, oil-gels or oils? Let me know in the comment section!
If you liked this article and want to continue learning how to take care of your skin, I recommend you take a look at these other posts:
- What actives can you combine in your skincare routine?
- What is sensitive skin and how to take care of it.
Do you want to learn to take better care of your skin? You can see an index of all my informative posts here.
*I have received some of these products as PR | Read more about my transparency code.