The weather is warming up. Finally! Summer is here. Time to pull out those shorts, swimsuits, and sundresses. That means pampering and prepping our skin for the big reveal. Good skincare should be a year-round routine, not reserved for special events or skin revealing season. Consider it extended self-care and just as important as caring for the skin on your face in anti-aging.
There is a rich tradition of body care dating back as far as the ancient Egyptians, who kept it pretty simple with cleansing, treatment, and moisturizing; using Dead Sea Salts to remove impurities, cleansing with clay-based soaps and hydrating the skin with milk and honey baths.
Who doesn’t love a hot shower? It’s my favorite. However, that scalding water is not great for skin. It strips all the oils. Whether you love a shower or luxuriating in a bath, cleansing is the first step in anti-aging. Use a mild cleanser. You are trying to cleanse not strip the skin. Your cleansing tool, whether soap on a rope (I’m showing my age) or bodywash keep it mild. The purpose of a cleanser is to remove excess oil and pollutants you may have encountered throughout the day. Combining your cleanser with your preferred tool (i.e. puffer, scrub mitts, or washcloth) should leave your body clean and ready for the next step in your skincare routine, which is moisturizer.
Once you’ve cleansed, time to moisturize. I prefer a moisturizer that is all natural; but choose one for your skin type. If you tend to be dry, choose a lotion that is thicker in consistency. If you lean toward oily, choose something light, maybe a light lotion or gel. Whatever you choose, be consistent. Moisturizing your skin is very important and can stave off stretch marks. It also helps to lock in moisture from your shower. Moisturize immediately after taking your shower, while skin is still damp, not wet and enjoy a healthy glow.
Exfoliating is important for your skin. However, keep in mind that daily exfoliating could dry the skin more than if you skip moisturizer. I exfoliate from my neck to my feet. If you’ve never exfoliated, start with once per week. You can move up to twice or three times a week, depending on your skin type, if you choose. More than that can dry the skin and irritate it, unless you have really oily skin. Also, don’t scrub too hard. Let the tools do the work for you, it’s what they are designed to do. There are different methods for exfoliation (sugar or salt scrubs, dry brushing, scrub mitts, soaps). The difference between a sugar and a salt scrub is significant. Sugar granules are more rounded, meaning less abrasive. They are ideal for face scrubs and for those who have sensitive skin. Salt scrubs are more conducive to body scrubs; however, if you have sensitive skin, stick with a sugar scrub. Another caveat, if you have any open wounds do not use a scrub of any kind. There are soaps that are designed to be exfoliators, which contain granules. Black soap is one of those. Dry brushing is a method done using a dry bristled brush. This method exfoliates as well as assisting in lymphatic drainage. Two birds, one stone. There are two methods: 1) using a dry brush, no lubricant, 2) using a brush with oil.
I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention the importance of sunscreen. Especially during this time of year where skin is exposed to UV rays. Choose one with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. I go for 50. You can never have too much protection. If you are going to be outside all day, read the label. Some sunscreens only give you an hour’s worth of protection, where others will last up to two hours, before reapplying. Using a sunscreen can prevent premature aging of the skin, as well as skin cancer. So, while you’re lying out by the pool this summer, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and plenty of water to stay hydration.
The key to good skincare, as with face care is consistency. A daily regimen of cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen will help with glowing and healthy skin at every age.
DeLydia is our resident expert on skincare with extensive experience working in the skincare and makeup industry with one of the world's top cosmetic lines. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and a MISM in Information Systems. She is passionate about the health of our skin and providing information that is clear and easy to understand as well as links to her love of Nature's wisdom.