Byrdie recently dubbed 2022 as ‘the year of body care,’ and you know what? It’s about damn time that the skin below our necks took center stage in skincare dialogues. It’s only been four months into the new year and the newform body care movement has ensued in full force, with more and more conventionally “face-focused” beauty brands branching out into the body care category, too. If you’re looking to refresh and update your body care routine this spring, here are eight ingredients worth looking into to combat all types of body care woes from dryness, keratosis pilaris, acne, and more.
The Hailed Hydrators
One ingredient that I love love love to use on my body when dealing with bouts of dryness is, colloidal oatmeal. I’m sure you’ve now noticed my deep appreciation for all things Aveeno, and that’s due to their use of colloidal oatmeal and oat extracts in their formulas. For centuries, colloidal oatmeal has been a go-to remedy for dry and inflamed skin as it offers moisture-retaining, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. So if you’re currently seeking an ingredient that will rehydrate and soothe, this baby will do wonders in boosting your skin’s moisture barrier.
Urea is another gem that is both a humectant and a natural moisturizing factor, meaning it not only attracts and holds onto moisture but it also keeps your skin plump and elastic over time. And its perks don’t end there as it’s also keratolytic, so it helps break down the buildup of dead surface skin cells, leaving you with a much smoother, buffed out (and also ingrown-hair-free!) base. With its concentration, the sweet spot for urea is 10% — get anything below this dose, and it won’t give you optimal exfoliation.
The ingredient that needs no introduction. If the skin on your face is currently reaping the rewards of this topical overachiever, I promise you your body will love it ten times more. For any of you dealing with backne or chest acne and dryness simultaneously, niacinamide is a little miracle worker for inflammation, and it also revs up ceramide production, resulting in an improved skin lipid barrier that will allow the skin on your body to retain moisture far better. I could honestly speak about niacinamide all day, so to avoid sounding repetitive, I speak about niacinamide in more depth in my blog post The Ultimate Guide to Niacinamide: From Benefits to The Best Products. Here, I address the pros, the cons, the concentrations, and everything else in-between. You can take a deep dive with me here.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs come along with a myriad of benefits. They gently exfoliate the skin, helping shed dead skin cells on the superficial layer of the skin to reveal a fresher and brighter base. Glycolic (my favorite) revs up cell turnover and collagen production to smoothen and retexturize skin. Lactic is amazing for brightening and diminishing dark spots and dullness, so if you have keratosis pilaris or are struggling with ingrown hairs down under, lactic acid will help you clear all of that up. And then, there’s mandelic acid, a much gentler acid for the more sensitive souls that’s great for treating acne and hyperpigmentation.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
For acne on the body, such as bacne, chestne, and even buttne, you should definitely consider incorporating salicylic acid in your routine. It slows down excess sebum production while gently exfoliating and clearing out congested pores, resulting in clear and brighter skin on the body.
As a collagen booster, retinol is another worthwhile active to include in your body care repertoire to strengthen collagen in the decolletage and any other areas or folds of the body that are prone to wrinkles. So, your neck, upper knees, arms, and hands.
Now that we’ve tackled the ingredients, it’s time to chat products. In the video below, I share my current body skincare go-to’s from brands like Aveeno, Eucerin, Cetaphil, and Ren. So clear your carts and get your bank cards ready cause I’m about to drop some gems…