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How to Properly Take Care of the Skin on Your Body

We focus a lot on our face when it comes to skincare, but the rest of your skin on your body is just as important. As they say, your skin is your biggest organ and it is your body’s first defense, so it’s imperative that you take great care of it. Good thing, then, that body care is becoming one of the biggest things in skincare. 

So what does taking care of the skin on your body look like anyway? Is it just making sure that your skin is moisturized, or is there more to it than that? 

Below, we explore how to properly take care of the skin on your body. 

What’s so important about my skin?

Like we said above, your skin is your body’s first defense. It protects our body in many ways, including acting as a barrier for harmful bacteria and other potential hazards that are dangerous to your health. Beyond that, your skin also helps you control your body temperature, convert sunlight into vitamin D, and even alerts you to health problems. Things like rashes, an abnormal tint, or unusual moles could be signs of something bigger. 

Skin health also helps delay the natural aging process. Through proper care, you can keep wrinkles, age spots, and various skin cancers at bay. 

For all those reasons, it’s hugely important to take care of your skin so that it can perform properly and protect you in a number of ways. Having glowing, supple skin is just a bonus!

So what do I need to do to take care of my skin?

Skincare goes far beyond slathering on moisturizer; it is something that you have to work on from the inside out. The good news is that you do not need an intensive, 18-step skincare routine. Instead, focus on things like your diet, your lifestyle habits, your mental health, and the unique needs of your skin.

1. Use sunscreen

We know, we know—we have mentioned this a number of times in previous articles. But the fact of the matter is that protecting yourself from sun damage is one of the most—if not the most—important thing when it comes to skincare. Learn why wearing sunscreen every day (yes, every day) is important, and what to look out for when selecting a sunscreen. 

Sun protection also means that you are seeking shade when it is sunny out, and ensuring that you are wearing protective clothing, like loose long-sleeve shirts and hats.

2. Keep your skin hydrated

Okay, so moisturizer is important. But there are many other ways to keep your skin hydrated. For one, make sure you are drinking lots of water throughout the day. After all, up to 60 percent of your body is water; your body needs it to function optimally. 

Handwashing is important for good hygiene and for protecting yourself from harmful bacteria and germs. But hot water and overwashing can lead to dry skin. Try to avoid scalding hot water and harsh soaps, and be sure to moisturize your hands after you wash them. The same, of course, applies to bathing and showering. 

Finally, if you live in a dry climate or if your home is dry, try using a humidifier to help make your space less dry. 

3. Reduce stress

As it turns out, mental health is more important than we all once thought. Uncontrolled stress can lead to a weakened immune system, which makes your skin more sensitive, triggering acne and other such skin issues. To reduce stress, deep breathing, meditation, physical exercise, reducing social media time, and connecting with others are all great places to start.

Healthy skin comes from the inside out. Good mental health is a lifelong journey, and working towards it will also help with skin health. 

4. Try to get enough sleep

The recommended seven to eight hours for adults is actually more important than you think. Not getting enough sleep can lead to dull and lifeless skin and eye bags, and because a lack of sleep can also lead to a weakened immune system, it can trigger skin issues. As well, sleep can help reduce wrinkles and puffiness. 

5. Don’t forget about the oft neglected bits

Healthy skin requires attention. The oft neglected parts of your body, like your elbows, nails, and neck should be moisturized daily since these areas are prone to dryness. Elbows rub against your clothing all day, your nails become brittle as we age, and your neck actually contains fewer oil glands. Your chest is also important to moisturize in order to prevent cleavage wrinkles. 

6. Mind your lifestyle

Poor lifestyle habits like smoking and eating junk food can lead to your skin looking older, contributing to wrinkles. Smoking, in particular, is bad in that it restricts the blood vessels in your skin, decreasing blood flow and depleting it of oxygen and other nutrients your skin needs to be healthy. It also damages your natural collagen and elastic production. 

Exercise helps to encourage healthy circulation, which helps to keep your skin healthy, nourishing skin cells. And since exercise can help reduce stress, it is an effective way to achieve glowing skin.

7. Strengthen your skin’s barrier

Daily pollutants can weaken your skin’s barrier, leading to itchy, flaky, dry skin. Though your skin contains ceramides, overwashing your skin can strip it away. Look for moisturizers and products that are formulated with ceramides to strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. 

Evidently, healthy skin is more than just what you put on it. By following the tips listed above, you can achieve healthy, glowing skin. With that said, do not forget that everyone’s skin is different, and the needs of someone else’s skin will not be the same as yours. In addition to our tips for healthy skin, paying attention to your skin’s unique needs is also very important. Get to know your skin and learn if you have sensitive, combination, oily, or dry skin.