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Don’t Forget Your Body! 7 Skin Care Tips

hands with lotion
Brandith Irwin, MD - Blogs
By Brandith Irwin, MDBoard-certified dermatologistDecember 10, 2018
From the WebMD Archives

You probably have a daily skincare regimen for your face – but what about your body? We often focus so much on our face, neck, and chest that we forget the other 80% of our body.

I suspect that some people think that their body skin doesn’t really need much special attention. But if we want to age well and be comfortable in our skin, even in a bathing suit (okay, a bikini might be pushing it for me) or shorts until we are 80, then we gotta take care of our bodies.

At our clinic, we have patients in their 80’s, and 90’s even. Not all of them have wrinkled, blotchy, sagging skin – some who took good care of themselves have firm skin (maybe not like it was at age 20, but firm and relatively unwrinkled). With consistent attention to your skin (all of it) and good nutrition, you can age well, too.

Here are some good body-care basics:

  • Take shorter showers or baths (3-10 minutes). Keep in mind that hotter water is more drying.
  • Use gentle lotion cleanser (like CeraVe) or gentle soap (like Dove for sensitive skin) – and only wash the armpits, groin and head and neck area.  Don’t “soap” the limbs or trunk – you need your natural oils.
  • Once or twice a week, soak 5-10 min in an Epsom salts (2 -4 cups in the bath) or other mineral salt bath – this helps to remove the outer dead layer of skin. You can exfoliate just before you get out.
  • Once or twice a week, GENTLY exfoliate your body with a wash cloth or gentle loofah. A harsher salt scrub may be used once a month.
  • Every day and every time you get out of the bath or slower, lube lube lube your entire body with cream or lotion. I like organic ones like the Eminence honeydew or coconut body lotion, but those can be expensive. Try the CeraVe Cream, Cetaphil Cream, or Vanicream for more budget-conscious alternatives.
  • If you have dry skin, creams and oils are better for your skin than lotions. Try the CeraVe cream or one with a coconut oil base. Oils can be good also, like the Eminence apricot body oil, or one based on jojoba oil. The apricot is nice and won’t get your clothes oily.
  • If you are very dry, use creams like AmLactin, Lac-Hydrin, or glycolic-based body moisturizers.

If you get a rash, it’s typically because you are over scrubbing or allergic to something in the product you’re using. If it’s not gone in a day or two after you’ve stopped using the product, see your doctor.

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About the Author
Brandith Irwin, MD

Brandith Irwin, MD, is a board certified dermatologist and founder of Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle, Washington. She is also Co-Founder of SkinTour.com a website focused on accurate consumer education on nonsurgical, aesthetic procedures and products. Through her books and website, Dr. Irwin is dedicated to educating people about skin care in the context of a global conversation about beauty, self-esteem and inclusiveness.

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