How to Moisturize Your Body
By Cindy Bokma
ThinkstockSkin is the body’s largest organ, a living breathing thing that actually needs TLC. And what it wants most — besides protection in the form of sunscreen — is a big, old drink.
Here’s how to keep it soft and silky.
You’ve heard it a hundred times before, but drinking six to eight glasses of water a day can keep skin dewy and help flush out toxins. So try to get as much water as you can, as often as you can. (Watch women with great skin — you will almost never see them without a glass of water by their side. Grab one as soon as you wake up!)
You can also find water in places other than the spigot: Consume foods that contain high water content like cucumbers, iceberg lettuce and watermelon. Avoid moisture-sapping caffeinated beverages. Instead, drink green tea, vegetable juices and fresh fruit juice — you’ll get a dose of skin-healthy vitamins and anti-oxidants to boot.
How-To: Here are five complexion-saving foods.
Have you been using bar soaps and taking long, hot showers? Most bar soaps contain chemicals that are harsh on the skin. Repeated use of these soaps can leave skin parched. Bathing with a gentle body wash or creamy liquid soap is much healthier for the skin.
Although I love nothing more than a hot shower, the hotter the shower or bath, the worse it is for the skin. Heat takes away natural oils. Instead, take a warm shower and make it short.
Let the New Shine Through
Exfoliating the skin is key. By removing all the dead and dry skin cells, your entire body will appear healthy and radiant. The perfect time to exfoliate is before you bathe. I like a natural body brush and starting from the feet, work all the way up to the neck. In the shower, you can use a bath mitt to gently buff with a combination of natural sea salt and olive oil.
How-To: Here are four exfoliation tips from a skincare pro.
For facial exfoliation, I really like using the Clarisonic brush with a slightly gritty scrub like Olay’s Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub. Beware of anything harsh or very gritty, which will be irritating, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Be Mad for Moisture
Dermatologists say that the best time to apply moisturizer is immediately following a bath or shower. Pat skin dry rather than rubbing it, and leave a little water on the skin. Lock in hydration by applying a moisturizer to that still-damp skin.
For rough areas that get a beating, like hands and feet, generously apply a rich hand and/or foot cream then slip on a pair of gloves or socks to allow product to fully saturate the skin. I like using natural oils like coconut, avocado or sweet almond. These sink right into the skin like magic. Lotions that contain alpha or beta hydroxy acids also help remove dead skin cells.
How-To: Here's how to properly wash your skin.
When you are shopping for products, keep in mind that for normal or oily skin, a water-based product is a good bet. For dry or aging skin, look for oil-based moisturizers. Do you suffer from skin that is easily irritated? Look for products that do not contain dyes or fragrances.
Now, stop reading this and go pour yourself a big glass of water!