I get it—it can feel like enough of a chore just picking up your facial cleanser to take your makeup off (because we’re absolutely, categorically not using skin and earth-damaging face wipes anymore, right?), let alone adding in any extra steps to your beauty routine, but hear me out on this. While committing to caring for the skin on your face is an absolute priority (the face is constantly exposed to changing temperatures, dirt, bacteria and pollution throughout the day), the skin on the rest of your body requires some TLC too.
And I’m talking real TLC—not just a 99-pence shower gel and some fruity moisturiser when your legs are looking a little scaly. Just like the skin on your face, the skin on your body can suffer if you’re not looking after it correctly and using the right products. To help get to the bottom of exactly what the skin on your body is trying to tell you, I’ve enlisted the help of Lesley Reynolds, skin expert and co-founder of Harley Street Skin Clinic. Keep scrolling for all of the issues you might be experiencing as a result of a body care regimen that isn’t right for you.
Besides having dry, flaky skin in the summer after spending too much time in the sun, the skin on your body can become dehydrated at any time of the year. “Our skin (with the exception of the neck and chest) is thicker on the body than on the face. Body skin has fewer sebaceous glands and requires a lot of moisturising, otherwise, dead skin buildup will cause it to look dull, flaky and in severe cases will crack,” warns Lesley. So, if you’re wondering why your skin looks so dull, but you’re guilty of slipping straight into your clothes post-shower without using any body cream, you might just have your answer.
On top of making sure you’re regularly moisturising, it’s also important to keep the skin on your body exfoliated. To make sure you avoid dryness, Lesley advises, “Exfoliation is the key, along with good hydration and high sun protection.”
While many people dedicate a lot of time to dealing with acne and breakouts on their face, body breakouts are often overlooked and simply put up with, meaning they can often lead to scarring and pigmentation issues. “Body breakouts are caused by excess oil production. The back can be a problematic area because it has a greater number of sebaceous glands,” says Lesley.
So what can be done? The key is to incorporate similar ingredients into your body care as you would your usual face skincare. “Look out for ingredients like glycolic, salicylic and lactic acid in your moisturiser to help control breakouts,” says Lesley.
If you know the feeling of red, itchy skin all too well, it’s time to look to your bodycare lineup. “Winter weather can trigger dry, tight, itchy skin. The cold, dry air and low humidity cause the skin to moisture,” warns Lesley. The key, therefore, is making sure your body care regimen works to restore moisture and prevent any further drying.
However, if you feel as though your skin is irritated all year round, it could be down to the products you are already using. Lesley says, “Skin irritation and dryness can also be caused by perfumes and fragrances used in many beauty products, including shampoos, which can be very harsh on the skin.” If this is the case, it’s important to limit the amount of fragrance, alcohol and retinoids in your regimen to minimise the risk of dehydration and irritation.
Sound like something you could get on board with? Keep scrolling for the very best products to help get your body skincare regimen started.
If you find that your skin is always a little tight-feeling after you get out of the shower, it’s worth looking into shower oils. If you ask me, this is one of the very best body washes out there. It goes onto skin as an oil but soon transforms into a rich cream that smells absolutely heavenly. It’s seriously luxe.
Worried about how much plastic you’re consuming? This soap on a rope is the perfect way to offer your skin some nourishing deep cleansing without contributing to the global waste issue. It’s a win-win.
Not only is this body wash super affordable, but it’s also one of the most skin-loving washes out there. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal, it’s ideal for those with sensitive, dry skin.
Perfect for those who have eczema or other skin conditions, this shower gel works to rid skin of any potentially irritating bacteria and lock in hydration at the same time. I always keep a bottle of this for eczema flare-ups.
With shea butter and coconut oil, this epsom salt scrub leaves skin feeling deeply nourished both during and after use.
The thing that’s so great about this scrub is that it really is zero effort. It’s a thick, gloopy consistency that makes exfoliating your body every few days a total breeze. Plus, it doesn’t leave an unwanted film over the skin after you’ve used it which is a massive tick for me.
I challenge you to find a body scrub that smells this good. Unlike other sugar scrubs that can be irritating and aggressive, this particular polish uses brown sugar crystals that prevent moisture loss as they buff.
Before you judge the price of this, I want to put out there that it is by far one of the best body care products I have ever got my hands on. It’s a total dream to use thanks to its lightweight and non-sticky texture, however, it’s the formula that does it for me. With both lactic and glycolic acid, it really smooths the skin and prevents unwanted bumps while hyaluronic acid provides much-needed moisture.
If you suffer from those little bumps on the backs of your arms or legs (scientific name is keratosis pilaris, less scientifically referred to as “chicken skin”), it’s worth adding this serum to your routine. Jam-packed with resurfacing acids, not only does it improve the skin’s texture, but it also leaves it glowing.
Unlike so many other body products, this serum works to help combat the signs of ageing. Offering deep hydration, it helps to plump and rejuvenate tired-looking skin.
For a rich body cream that leaves skin feeling nourished from top to toe, look no further. Ideal for sensitive skin, it contains no fragrance and is formulated with super moisturising Brazilian passionflower to help soothe and calm the skin.
Perfect for warmer months, this gel-cream not only contains high amounts of moisture-restoring hyaluronic acid, but it also cools the skin as it works. Honestly, come summer, it’s one of my hero beauty products. Plus, it’s £5. Need I say more?
I know what you’re thinking: “Urea?!” Well, it’s true—this body lotion is formulated with urea alongside other skin-loving ingredients such as ceramide. I’d go as far to say that it could potentially be the best body cream on the market for insufferably dry skin. It soothes, calms and relieves dryness almost instantly. It’s a real winner.
It’s pricey, yes, but it is La Mer. Unlike other body oils, this particular formula comes as a super-rich balm that, when massaged in, transforms into one of the most luxurious oils I’ve ever come across. It’s a treat, sure, but the glow that it gives is worth every penny.
This body oil smells so good that I was recently caught smelling my own arm over lunch. Formulated with citrus and mint, applying it makes for the most invigoratingly wonderful experience.
When I’m feeling a little down in the dumps, I swap out my usual body moisturiser for this. A little goes a really long way so one or two pumps on each leg are all I need to feel instantly lifted. With grapefruit and rosemary, the scent is specifically blended to revive a tired soul. It also leaves skin silky smooth, of course.
If you like your body oils to come with a spa-like experience, this one is for you. Not only does the wonderful blend of oils rejuvenate skin and offer deep nourishment, but the dreamy scent and rich texture make it perfect for body massage.