Most skincare routines will focus on the face, but the rest of your skin needs attention, too! From the delicate area of your neck, all the way down to your overworked feet, your skin needs care and pampering to stay healthy and keep you looking and feeling your best.
Skin cells only live about two to three weeks as new ones grow up from underneath to replace them. Sometimes, dead skin cells stick around on the surface for longer and create dry, rough patches which are uncomfortable and reduce your glow. Exfoliation is the process of gently scrubbing away those dead skin cells, usually while in the shower.
There are lots of exfoliants on the market to help slough away that stubborn dead skin and bring back the smooth, healthy skin underneath. While using your sugar scrub, loofah, scrub mitt, or whatever you choose, don’t forget to exfoliate your hands. They are often overlooked and dry skin can build up and cause cracking. After you exfoliate, use a good quality hand mask to moisturize and nurture those fresh new skin cells.
Remember, when using a new exfoliation technique, always start gently so that you don’t irritate the skin. Be especially careful of delicate areas like the neck and chest, inner arms, and thighs. Pay special attention to knees and elbows, and hands and feet where dead skin tends to accumulate the most.
Moisturizing Zone by Zone
You may be so pressed for time lately that you may be overlooking a necessary part of your skincare routine. Showering can strip away the natural oils that protect and nourish your skin. Taking time to moisturize after you get out of the shower replenishes those oils. With the right products at hand, it only takes a few moments to care for your skin.
Dry skin can feel tight and even itchy. If you notice these symptoms, you should be focusing on moisturizing all over your body. Skin becomes even drier in the winter when indoor heating systems create drier air and the humidity levels drop outdoors as well. If you live in an arid area of the country, you should focus on full-body moisturizing all year ’round.
If you have naturally dry skin, consider using a body oil that can be applied while still wet from the shower to help seal in moisture. Look for one with vitamin E to help heal skin damage caused by everyday UV radiation. Vitamin E can even help with areas of dry patchy skin.
If you have regular skin, try a lighter body lotion. A quick application after showering helps keep your skin smooth. Focus on areas where skin is thinner and more delicate, like the neck and chest, belly, and inner arms.
Apply a heavier cream to extra dry areas like elbows and knees. Lower legs often need more moisturizing. Don’t forget your shoulders and upper back, which can often be drier due to clothing rubbing on the skin and removing natural oils.
Focus on the Hands and Feet
The hands and feet are the workhorses of the body. They are subject to the most exposure and need lots of TLC to stay healthy. Hands need extra attention throughout the day. With frequent hand washing and use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, the skin can easily become dry and damaged.
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What Cuticles Are and Why It’s Important to Care for Them
Cuticles are the thin band of skin at the base of the nail that seals off the new growing nail bed. Cuticles protect the growing nail from infection by bacteria and fungus. As skin gets drier, the cuticles can pull away from the nail, which creates openings for bacteria and fungus to enter and create problems. Dry cuticles can also crack and become painful.
Ideally, cuticle care of the hands should occur multiple times a day if you wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer throughout the day. Using a cuticle treatment that you carry with you will help your cuticles stay moist and healthy. Massage a small amount into each nail area and spread any excess over the backs of your hands. Make sure to care for your cuticles before bed so that they can stay moisturized overnight.
The cuticle areas of the toes can be tended to after a shower or before bed. Avoid picking or pulling at any loose skin around the toes and cuticles.
How to Pamper Those Hard-Working Hands and Feet
Massage a heavy lotion into the soles of the feet before bed to help reduce cracking and peeling. A quick foot massage is also a wonderful way to wind down and do some self-care before bed. For an extra boost of moisturizing, put on some cotton socks before going to bed to help concentrate the moisturizing effect while keeping your sheets cleaner.
Whenever possible, try to use mild soap and warm — not hot — water for hand washing to reduce the stripping of oils from the skin. Apply a lotion or hand cream immediately after washing. Regular use of hand and cuticle cream pampers those hands and brightens the skin. As mentioned above, regular use of a hand mask facilitates healing of dry skin.
Just these three changes to your routine will help create softer, healthier skin to help you feel your best.