Most people, even men, have some kind of facial skin care regimen. But for many of my clientele, a boudoir shoot is the first time they have worried too much about body skin care.
I know. You are thinking, “what does this photographer guy think he can teach me about skincare?”
Well, the only advantage to getting older is you have a lot of experiences to draw on. And one of mine has been managing a Medical Spa for ten years with my then-wife, a certified aesthetics physician. Yes, as in M.D.
And while the guidelines here are fundamental, I assure you they are based on the science of skincare
What is body skin care?
Body skin care is precisely what it sounds like. Care for the skin below your neck. Of course, body skin care products differ from facial skin care products to account for the difference between facial skin and body skin.
Specifically, some of the major differences are:
- Body skin is thicker and less sensitive than facial skin
- Body skin has far fewer oil glands, which makes dry skin extremely common.
- Body skin has a larger layer of subcutaneous fat making it less prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
Why is body skin care important?
Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Its primary function is to protect our more vulnerable organs from the rigors of the outside world. Also, it also plays an important role in maintaining fluid balance and is the first alert for danger and pain.
As a result dry skin, UV exposure, harsh chemicals, and lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of exercise, and smoking all negatively affect the skin’s barrier strength. Keeping healthy, happy skin should be one of your top priorities for your health and well-being.
(Hey smokers! Need another reason to quit? Smoking prematurely ages your skin, as in wrinkles.)
Building a Body Skin Care Routine
I mean, DUH! But cleansing your body to eliminate all the pollutants, chemicals, and bacteria you encounter daily is critical.
Try to avoid heavily scented washes, lest the fragrance is an irritant to the skin. Products like Shea butter and oatmeal soaps can provide a gentle fragrance without harsher chemicals.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliating just means physically removing the dead skin cells that accumulate along the top layer of your skin. These are completely natural and part of the defense mechanism of your skin.
Any gentle scrub will work. Loofahs (natural and nylon), as well as scrub products (salt, sugar, almond husk, etc), work great. Remember not to rub yourself raw. You just want to loosen up and rinse away the dead cells on top.
Be sure to do this 2-3 times a week. Put some extra effort into your elbows, knees, and heels since these are areas particularly prone to skin cell build up.
Step 3. Shave
If you choose to remove portions of your body hair, this is the time to do it. If not, move on.
Search a reliable source for techniques on how to effectively remove body hair without irritating your skin.
Step 4. Moisturize
This step is the kicker because everyone’s skin is different. If you have an existing skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis and you have products that work for you, by all means, keep using them. Some people may even have prescription products and again keep using those.
If you are still searching for a body moisturizer, look for ones that do not contain waxes or harsh chemicals. Don’t buy the big economy bottle the first time you try a product. You are less likely to stop using it if it doesn’t work for you.
Step 5. Sunscreen
DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT SUNSCREEN. If I learned anything from managing a medical spa for 10 years, it was this.
Our medical director even added her sunscreen straight into her moisturizer so there was no chance of forgetting.
There is a lot of literature out there about sunscreen and what types are good and what types are not. Just know that while which one is best may be controversial, the need to use it is not.
Still want that suntanned look? Check out my blog on To Tan or Not To Tan?