Despite the cold weather, now is the moment to buff , polish and hydrate your way to your best bod ever.
We asked a cosmetic physician the three things you may not know about the skin on your body (until now).
1. It’s not the same as the skin on your face
“The skin on our body is thicker in areas, such as on the back, palms and soles of the feet,” says Dr Geoffrey Heber, cosmetic physician and founder of Ultraceuticals. “It doesn’t have nearly as many pores and the skin cells turn over more slowly than facial skin.”
2. It enjoys ingredients that mimic it
“Moisturising daily with a body treatment cream containing AHAs and biomimetic ingredients (which mimic the skin’s lipid barrier) will make the skin smoother, softer and firmer,” says Heber.
3. It requires daily sunscreen
Just because the mercury has dipped, doesn’t mean you can skip the SPF. “Daily use of SPF on exposed areas is often overlooked,” says Heber. “Apply SPF 30 on the hands, arms and décolletage.”
A gentle body scrub two or three times a week will get lacklustre winter skin back to smooth.
“It removes dead skin cells and provides the perfect foundation for your body moisturiser to work its magic,” says SALT By Hendrix founder Kellie Collis, who suggests using natural scrubs spiked with coconut and jojoba oils. Try the SALT By Hendrix Soak Infusion Lavender + Hibiscus, $24.95, or the Sukin Purifying Body Scrub, $13.95.
To get your glowiest skin yet, “leave the scrub on the skin for a few minutes to allow the oils to absorb,” suggests Collis.
The Ingredient Checklist
When reading the fine print for your next body product, here are the additions to keep in mind.
OATMEAL: Boasting superpowers when it comes to retaining moisture and soothing the skin, oatmeal is ideal for keeping skin perfectly hydrated when the cold sets in. Try Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, $14.99
VITAMINS A & C: They’re power players in your skincare routine, so it follows that a dose of A and C in your body care will boost skin over time. “They plump the dermal layer of the skin and renew [damaged areas],” says Heber. Try Babor Spa Shaping Vitamin A.C.E Body Cream, $124
ALMOND OIL: Nourishing and rich in vitamin E, almond oil will keep skin hydrated in even the most moisture- zapping of environments. Try Nivea Rich Nourishing 48h Intensive Moisturising Care, $7.99 for 400ml
AHA: “Mild AHA exfoliation is the best you can do [for smooth] skin,” says Heber, who suggests applying an AHA cream regularly to rm things up. “You’ll get increasing results as time goes on,” he says. Try Ultraceuticals Ultra Retexturising Body Complex, $89.
Continuing the beach runs throughout winter? Well done, you. Here’s how to soothe those post-workout aches and pains.
BATHE: “Soaking away fatigue is ideal after intensive exercise,” says Cara Hitchens, education coordinator at Endota. “Look for de-stressing [bath] products with ingredients such as peppermint and eucalyptus, which have calming and deep-cleansing properties.” Try Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak, $93.
SCRUB: “Look for a body scrub with healing ingredients such as eucalyptus, rosemary and menthol,” says Hitchens. “The scrub exfoliates skin and allows rehydration to take place quickly.” Try Ren Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Salt Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Body Scrub, $46.
KNEAD: To get muscles relaxed post workout, knead in a recovery balm. Look for invigorating natural oils such as peppermint, rosemary and camphor. “They help stimulate and reinvigorate the skin,” says Hitchens. “A recovery balm also assists in reducing the appearance of bruising and targets
tired and tense spots.” Try Endota Clove & Mint Recovery Balm, $50.
First, the bad news: cellulite (caused when fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin) is tricky to treat. “Despite claims to the contrary, no product can eliminate cellulite,” says Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice.
The good news? There are ways to make dimpling less noticeable.
“My two best tips for boosting circulation are exercise (it can be as simple as a brisk 30-minute walk) and getting a massage,” says Begoun. But harder is not necessarily better when it comes to book- ing in a rub.
“If the massage pulls and tugs at your skin, you will stretch the precious elastin in your skin, which can cause more sagging.”
Hands and feet can suffer during the winter in the form of dryness, redness and cracks. The way to softness?
Formulas with high absorbency without the oily slick. “You want rapid relief without any nasties such as parabens, petrolatum, lanolin, allergens or irritants,” says Zina Richter, co-founder of hand and foot care brand Du’it.
Try Grown Alchemist Hand Cream Vanilla & Orange Peel, $27 for 65ml; Du’it Foot & Heel Balm Plus, $11.95.
An extended version of this article appears in the July 2018 issue of marie claire, on sale now.