We hear a lot about skincare for the face, but what about products for the body? With the summer in full swing and more body skin on show, let’s talk about body skincare.
While the choice is still much bigger for facial skincare, body skincare products are getting better and have truly come a long way. People are no longer interested in purely hydrating skincare, that’s just not good enough, whether for the face or body. They expect multi-functional skincare products – and rightly so!
You may have seen the extraordinary claims some body skincare products make – ranging from tummy tightening to breast enlarging and butt lifting! I have seen it all.
Unfortunately, there are many nonsense body products on the market where products are pushed for specific body areas and concerns, although there is no true difference in mechanism of action between them.
At the end of the day, whether we want to firm the skin on the tummy, buttocks, breasts (or face and neck for that matter…), we will always need ingredients to stimulate collagen and elastin production (think retinoids for example). And products aimed at smoothing the skin and giving it a lovely glow will always need exfoliating ingredients (think hydroxy acids as an example). And then of course there may be irregular pigmentation, in which case we are looking for ingredients to inhibit tyrosinase for example, the key enzyme in the pigment formation process.
So with that in mind, there may be zero difference between a tummy tightening and a but lifting cream say … collagen stimulation is collagen stimulation is collagen stimulation, wherever on the body or on the face.
We simply have to be aware that different anatomical skin areas will be able to tolerate different concentrations of active ingredients. Generally, body skin tends to be more robust compared to facial skin, which is often more sensitive, which means that body skin usually tolerates higher concentrations of actives.
However, many body products actually contain lower concentrations (and sometimes an inferior quality) of active ingredients compared to facial skincare. This is of course somewhat understandable, as it’s much more expensive to fill a 200ml body product with good ingredients compared to a 30ml face product. So keep that in mind if looking for a good body product.
We also have to consider that different skin areas of the body may have different needs with regards to hydration. For example, the lower legs tend to be much drier than the arms, so may need more lipid-rich formulations.
Best to get your cosmetic dermatologist to advice on a tailored skincare regime for both face and body. Everybody is different, but two of my current favourite body products are: Exuviance Retexturing Treatment for exfoliation, hydration and skin conditioning, and Iluma Intense body lotion for any irregular pigmentation.