We’ve been told how to layer our clothes, our skin care…even our hair care. I ask you: What about our body care? Given the amount of square footage you have to cover compared to your face or hair, body care is probably the most important product-layering lesson to learn.
I spend the bulk of my “getting ready time” applying body care products – longer than I spend on my face & hair combined. This has been the case since the beginning of my beauty product obsession, so I’ve learned some best practices along the way…usually through making mistakes. (For instance, if you’re going on a beach vacation and want to do Baby Foot for super-soft feet and a spray tan for super-tan skin, make sure to do Baby Foot far enough in advance that the bulk of your peeling is complete BEFORE getting your spray tan! Otherwise your feet will look like a map. Or a cheetah. Either one is not so cute.)
Before We Begin: Are You Exfoliating?
Don’t get me started; I’ve talked about body scrubs for years now! From there, here’s a step-by-step game plan for getting the best body out of your body products.
Step 1: Self-Tanner
The first step of this first step is to cream up the palms of your hands before even looking at self-tanner. You don’t want to get caught tan-handed. Especially in summer when I am applying self-tanner over most of my body regularly, I like to use self-tanning towels for this step. As you’ll see with the number of products I apply to my body, listed below, having one more cream/oil/gel to apply is a bit of a pain. The towels can be used first thing after getting out of the shower, so they don’t interfere with all the other creams/oils/gels. In fact, if you use exfoliating tan towels, they will actually help all subsequent body products absorb deeper into your skin.
Step 2: Treatment Products
If you’re not using self-tanning towels, these should be applied first to the appropriate areas. They are full of active ingredients that you want to apply directly to bare skin. You may have different products for cellulite, bloating, etc. It’s the same idea as spot treating on your face or hair. If you have one pimple, you only apply a pimple cream to that area. Try Mio Skincare’s award-winning range of targeted treatment products!
Step 3: Body Oil
Should go next; all over body or to treat a specific area. (I will say, though, that a high-quality body oil, even one designed to firm or treat specific conditions can be used everywhere else on the body, so don’t be shy!) Mix up a cocktail with….
Step 4: Body Cream
Also apply cream to targeted areas. In small doses, oils make skin radiant. Put them on dry areas after creams—as a rule, oils can penetrate moisturizers, but not vice versa. The A Cream from Mio Skincare or Emma Hardie Super Rich Body Butter are superb.
Step 5: SPF
Last but not least, I always apply SPF later than I do all other body products; closer to when I’m actually leaving the house and usually when I’m almost fully dressed. This should be old news, but if you’re baring your arms and shoulders, make sure to protect them! And don’t forget the backs of your hands and your décolletage, which are usually exposed until it gets very cold out. Institut Esthederm Adaptasun for Body is the gold standard against which all other body SPF should be measured!
Overwhelmed? Too many steps? Take it slow…add new layers to your routine at your own pace. And ask any questions in the comments, below!
By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack