From Keratosis Pilaris to Bacne: The Expert Guide to Body Care
The skin is our body’s largest organ; in total, it covers about 21 square feet and contains approximately 300 million cells. And yet, when we speak about skincare, we often focus on our face, neck, and chest while leaving everything else behind. That’s a whole lot of skin that isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
Our back, legs, bum, elbows, hands, shoulders...they all have skin concerns, too. Our body can sag, wrinkle, break out, and exhibit signs of dryness, irritation, and hyperpigmentation. So how do you take care of the skin below your chin? Can you use the same ingredients and products you use on your face? Learn how to create an effective body care regimen below.
What Is Body Care?
When shopping for body care, you’ll find products meant for the skin beneath your shoulders down to your feet. Think body lotions, washes, scrubs, oils, sunscreen, and even masks. Sometimes the decollétage will be included, but most skincare products that are meant for the face can be applied to the neck and chest, too. (In fact, when it comes to products like retinol and our Advanced Night Cream, we recommend it.)
HOW DOES THE SKIN ON OUR BODY DIFFER FROM OUR FACE?
Not all skin is the same, and that’s especially true when comparing your body to your face. There are three major differences between the two:
Thickness: The layers of fat beneath the skin on our body are much thicker than our face. Our hands and feet are the thickest of all, given these two parts are designed to withstand heavy use and force. This also means the body is much less sensitive.
Number of Oil Glands: Our face has more active oil glands than the rest of us, so we tend to experience more dryness, flaking, and ashiness on our elbows, knees, and other parts of the body.
Cellular Turnover Rate: The body has a slower cellular turnover rate, which is why fine lines typically show up on our face before anywhere else. This, however, also means body scars and dark spots can take much longer to heal.
THE MOST COMMON BODY CONCERNS AND HOW TO REPAIR THEM
Pretty much any skincare concern you have on your face can appear on your body as well. Here are some of the most common body care concerns:
Blackheads, whiteheads, and inflammatory acne (like cystic pimples) can show up anywhere, not just your face. Bacne is extremely common and can occur due to hormones, bacteria, sweat, lack of cleansing, tight-fitting clothing, dead skin cell buildup, and even your shower routine.
A pro tip from Licensed Esthetician Danielle Lawrence is to wash and condition your hair before your body and face. “Most hair care products, especially conditioners, leave a film of product on our skin as well as in our hair and, most of the time, that film is then deposited into the pores on our back. Eventually, it will build up and clog the pores, which will often lead to bacne.” Also, never shower in piping hot water; heat triggers inflammation, a leading cause for breakouts. Besides that, spritz acne-fighting ingredients onto your back, shoulders, bum, and more with the Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist.