We saw our first Texas Bluebonnets of the season this week. This is usually our signal in the area that spring is here to stay and our skin couldn't be happier.
But what exactly is our skin craving at this time of year? We hear so much about "exfoliate your dry skin" and "seal in the moisture". And though it's true that what works for one person may not work for another, below I'm sharing a body care routine that works for almost anyone.
Simplicity is key here. A body care routine should be effective, effortless and a ritual that encourages you to take time out for yourself. Truth be told, when we take better care of ourselves, we are better able to care for others.
Have a wonderful weekend. I hope some sunshine is in your forecast.
STEP ONE: EXFOLIATE
Are you someone that thinks of body exfoliation as something that only happens on a trip to the spa? Or maybe you think that using a body scrub takes too much time with very little payoff.
The first step in an effective body care routine is exfoliation. In our last newsletter and also on the blog, I shared more about why exfoliation preps your skin for your favorite moisturizer. In order to be effective, body exfoliation should optimally be done a few times a week. Whether it's dry brushing or a mechanical exfoliant* (sugar scrub), consistently helping your body gently get rid of dry, dead skin is a game changer that leads to softer, smoother skin.
*fine grain exfoliants vs. those that are larger in size with possible jagged edges will give you the most comfortable and effective exfoliation without causing irritation or micro tears on the skin's surface.
Do you ever remember a time when you forgot to apply cream in the morning and when you applied it later in the day, it didn't seem to work as well? Long after your shower or bath and after exposure to the elements including dry, cold/hot air, what your dry skin craves is moisture.
The moisture on your skin right after a shower plays a huge role in how creams, butters, and oils perform. Damp skin + your favorite moisturizer = soft, hydrated skin.
The takeaway: Stop yourself from completely drying off when you step out of that bath or shower and follow immediately with your favorite moisturizer. This is one of the best things that you can start doing today to begin your journey to more nourished, hydrated skin.
STEP THREE: LIMIT TRANSEPIDERMAL WATER LOSS (TEWL)
TEWL = stop water (moisture) from leaving your skin.
So now that you have exfoliated and added moisture, it's time to seal it all in. Some ingredients in our skin care arsenal work better than others to limit the loss of moisture from our skin. Think cocoa butter, shea butter, certain botanical oils and natural waxes – all of these deliver on their promise to help keep moisture in and dryness out.
Using a moisturizer with skin-loving ingredients that limit TEWL + adding in your own moisture (take a shower) + applying it to your freshly exfoliated skin is a winning combination for dry skin that needs extra attention.
It's never too late to begin this simple, yet effective body care ritual.
Do you have any tips that you would add to this simple routine? What has worked best for you in achieving soft, smooth and nourished skin? Are you new to exfoliation and have more questions? I would love to hear from you!