A dermatologist explains why you shouldn’t be skipping body care

One of the biggest breakout beauty trends this year is about looking after your skin, below the neck. We know the age-old advice of not forgetting the neck when applying your daily skincare but, what about the skin below that? 

Taking your body care seriously is popular amongst Gen Z and according to stats from Meta and Google Trends, searches for ‘body care skincare’ are up 1025%. This isn’t about just slapping on any old bog-standard body lotion though, new body care products are chock full of active ingredients that benefit your skin.  

Many often skip daily body care for lack of time or effort but according to consultant dermatologist Alexis Granite, body care is as essential as your daily facial cream: “98% of our skin is found below the neck, so it stands to reason that building awareness of caring for skin beyond the face is vitally important.”

Woman applying exfoliating scrub on her legs © Getty
Exfoliation is just as important as moisturiser

Just like your face, there are a few essential steps to achieve glowing body skin and cosmetic doctor, and owner of possibly the most beautiful skin we’ve ever seen, Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, says these key steps are “exfoliation and hydration.”

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Why is body care important?

If you’re diligent with your facial skincare and are regularly using active ingredients like retinol or vitamin C, you’ll know the power a good routine can hold. When you’re skipping body care, often the areas that are on show the most including the hands and neck or chest, can give away your age. “I see a lot of patients in clinic that are worried about their body skin as they’ve grown older. They’ve looked after their face but neglected their body,” says Dr Alexis. 

Sticking to a consistent body care routine is just as important as your facial skincare and helps your skin look its best. 

Woman applying body cream to her legs© Getty
Applying lotions and creams when your skin is damp helps seal in hydration

Jump out of the shower and get dressed straight away, your body skin is often overlooked and common conditions like body acne, keratosis pilaris or dry, scaly skin need daily treatment to keep them under control or they could return. 

What are the basics of body care?

  • Exfoliation: Start your routine in the shower or bath and get removing dead skin cells with a thorough exfoliation. A pair of exfoliating gloves, a loofah or a body scrub all work brilliantly to remove the scaly patches of dry skin. 
  • Hydration: The optimum time to apply moisturiser, according to dermatologist Dr Derrick Phillips, is when your skin is still damp: “This helps lock in the moisture in dry skin.” A body cream rich in hydrating ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid or glycerin is great. 
  • Targeted treatments: There’s no one treatment to fix all body skin concerns. Addressing these individually with purposeful ingredients is the way to go. For body acne, a body wash containing salicylic acid can be helpful, for keratosis pilaris, look for a body cream rich in lactic acid. If dullness is your gripe, look for a vitamin C-based body lotion. 
  • SPF: If you’re spending time outdoors, protecting your skin from head to toe is essential for preventing UV damage and it’s especially important during the summer when the sun is at its strongest. The best SPF you can use is one you will wear. 

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