If our bodies are our temples, then they sure don't look that way—at least not at this point, post-polar vortex and after a season of dry indoor heating and Arctic outdoor temps.
I don't know about you, but I get scales on my legs, like some type of lizard person, and the rest of my skin doesn't exactly say "touch me" either. I'm sure I'm not alone here—I felt my friend's hand the other day, and no offense to my friend, but it was like sandpaper. Oh, Canada indeed! As soon as April rolls around, there's mass panic because bare limbs and dry patches definitely do not mix.
But here's the thing. We need to be treating the skin on our arms, hands and legs JUST AS WELL as the skin on our faces. What a concept! I'll let that sink in (hehe) for a moment before I explain.
If you're a regular reader of this blog, then there is a 99.9 percent chance you're already a superstar with how you take care of your face: layering your products, using anti-aging ingredients, hydrating to the max, yadda yadda. Congratulations! You make your Beauty Mama so proud.
Now I urge you to consider sharing that love below the neck. Most of us seriously, woefully neglect the skin there—which, when you think about it, doesn't make a whole lotta sense, since it covers the largest surface area. I know that means a little extra time and a little more product... but it doesn't have to mean a lot more money. (Honestly, I could never in good faith say you need to use a $100 body lotion.) Lately, I've been testing body products from Aveeno, one of my favourite drugstore brands, and here's how I recommend using them to get a daily dose of healthy skin.
1. Layer your products
I can't stand layering when it comes to my hair, but if we're talking skincare products? Bring it.
As you probably know, layering a serum underneath your moisturizer is the best trick ever to give the skin on your face some extra hydration. I suggest following the same principle with your body products, except with a body wash like Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash. Its rich emollients leave skin coated with a light layer of moisture—and using it underneath your body cream or lotion is the one-two punch that combats dryness as we ease out of winter.
Formulated with soothing collodial oatmeal, it's translucent but creamy and produces a rich, softening lather. (If you're really in a rush, it's so hydrating that you might even skip the post-shower moisturizer... once in a while.)
2. Moisturize like a mofo
Pardon my French, but lotions and creams really are the magic bullet of skincare. They eliminate dryness, soften the look of wrinkles, give dull skin a glow, do the dishes... is there anything they can't do? (Okay, maybe not that last part. But I'm sure they're working on it.)
Obviously, this applies to your bod as well, so if you're not in the habit of using a daily body lotion, I suggest to a) start already why don't you, and b) consider Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This stuff is the real deal; the workhorse of body moisturizers.
Don't let the light, non-greasy texture and rapid absorption fool you into thinking this is some wimpy, do-nothing product—it actually moisturizes very well, and for a full 24 hours post-application. Other things I appreciate about it: I can get dressed right away without getting grease marks on my pants; it's fragrance-free, so it'll never clash with my perfume; and the ingredients list is surprisingly short (just 10 things!). Apply it while your skin is still damp out of the shower to lock in the most moisture.
3. Wear protection
No, I don't mean that kind of protection, silly. I'm talking about the skincare type! Just like you protect your face from exposure to the elements, you want to do the same for your hands. Because, dude. Those things can look weathered, FAST. They're the first body part to show signs of wear and tear, but usually, the most neglected.
Maybe the reason is it's damn hard to find a decent hand cream. (Call me crazy, but I feel like some of them actually make my hands drier than when I started.) For your consideration, I put forth Aveeno Skin Relief Hand Cream, which I discovered in December and have been wearing ever since.
It's similar to the body lotion in that it's light, unscented and non-greasy; it absorbs even faster to form a barrier that helps protect, soothe and heal your skin (that's the colloidal oatmeal again, y'all). I spend a few extra moments rubbing it into my cuticles as well, since the condition of your nails depends very much on the condition of their surrounding skin. I really love how soft this makes my hands feel, and for so long—I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this one.
4. Load up on anti-aging ingredients
Anti-aging products for your face are a no-brainer, but you know what? Anti-aging products for your body are the next frontier in skincare. You heard it here first.
For me, this is all about body confidence—which frankly, I need a lot more of when baring my arms and legs versus my mug. So anything that helps them look softer, stronger, younger is most welcome. Aveeno Positively Ageless Skin Strengthening Body Cream does the job by restoring and strengthening the skin barrier.
The magic ingredient is Southernwood, a natural antioxidant and skin conditioner. (As you know, antioxidants are one of the very best ingredients to help slay the free radicals that contribute to aging skin. I slather them on myself, I eat them for breakfast... heck, I even drink them. Or at least that's how I justify a big glass of wine.) This cream has the same excellent texture and 24-hour moisturization benefit as the Daily Moisturizing Lotion, but with a pleasant subtle scent and an even deeper level of hydration. With continued use, it'll help dry, thinning skin to become more resilient over time.
The bottom line
Taking care of your skin means head to toe, people. Head to toe. I say, you can never apply too many moisturizing products—so go for an affordable brand that works (like Aveeno) and do the job right. Now go show that body of yours some love, okay?