Body Articles by Type
We’re well past the days of using a bar of soap. Whatever a brand promises, you’re almost always better off with a shower gel or cream; they’re less harsh. Soaps, particularly strong ones, break down the lipid barrier on the skin and leave your skin feeling dry and dull. If you suffer with any kind of dry or acne related skin concerns on the body, always seek to use something cream based with low/no foam.
Exfoliating the body is as key as exfoliating the face. Remove all that dead skin the builds up and help unblock the pores. This is particularly important to for guys as our body hair tends to be thicker and follicles/pores are more easily blocked. Use a body scrub once or twice a week. My favourites are salt scrubs that have a very small amount of foam. This is so they get to work scrubbing but the slight foaming keeps them adhered to the skin, giving you time to work.
One of the most overlooked parts of body care; often because you don’t see them all that often! Foot care is important as it can lead to trouble later on in life if you don’t keep up to your grooming. Using a very strong foot scrub (The Body Shop do a great one) and Foot Lotion will keep them soft, dead skin and callus free.
Our hands take a hell of a beating, particularly through regular and repeated washing as well as touching almost everything we come into contact with. Keep them clean but keep them well moisturised. Because I deal with dermatitis, I use a good hand scrub (Lush Salted Coconut) and then a great moisturiser (Aveeno Skin Relief). Keeping hands soft and smooth is as important as good nail care.
This is rarely talked about in the industry because we all like to pretend we don’t smell. From roll-ons to sticks to sprays, there are a huge number of options out there including products that can stop sweating in certain areas altogether. My suggestion for anyone prone to sweatiness: keep armpit hair short and well cleansed. Shampoo can often do a better job of cleansing than shower gel! A product like Deodry or Driclor, whilst not great for sensitive skin, can help prevent sweating in certain areas. Deodry for sensitive skin (still wouldn’t use if I had very sensitive skin) is my favourite with a little Nivea Black & White afterwards.
This can be a tough one for guys. Moisturising the body can be hard if you’re even slightly hairy. If you are hairier and don’t suffer from dry skin, use a moisturiser that’s relatively oil free. This will sink more easily into the skin without leaving you greasy and your hair matted down. If you’re using any kind of body scrub, it’s important to moisturise right away, even if you don’t use a moisturiser every day.
Body Sun Protection
Sun protection on the body is as important as on the face. In the UK sun, you can be exposed for 15 minutes unprotected before the skin starts to burn; after that UVA and UVB is damaging the skin causing it to release an emergency shield of brown melanin – this isn’t good or healthy despite how ‘good’ it looks. With skin cancers on the rise, prevention with an SPF is much easier than the cure.
Body Sunless Tanning
Tanning products are a perfect way to get sun-drenched skin without the damage. There are so many different options for tanning including full-body sprays, lotions, foams and mists. When tanning, scrub and wash a minimum 12 hours before; never scrub and wash directly before tanning. This is because scrubbing and tanning changes the skin’s natural pH balance which is how sunless tanners adapt and alter to the best colour.
There are many body treatments available to treat many common skin concerns such as extreme dryness, blemishes and loss of firmness (although with firmness you’re never going to see miracles from products alone). For body blemishes I have two great guides on both back acne and acne of the bum. Whilst there aren’t anywhere near as many treatment products available for the body as there is for the face, there are a good number of highly successful topical treatments that deal with the most common skin concerns.