All you need is a simple daily routine.
Exfoliation is the first step to silky skin. Though dead skin sheds itself, a scrub helps the look and texture of the skin.
Loofahs are great for backs, and are useful for the speedy sloughing of knees and elbows, while a body brush loosens dead cells before bathing. Always brush upwards. Look for a body scrub with rounded particles
that won't irritate the skin. But nature's loofah is the best for body exfoliation. Or make your own by mixing sea salt with a body cream or olive oil. Soak for a few minutes to take the sharp edges off the salt before massaging in. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) now appear in body treatments, too.
But beware: Vigorous overuse of exfoliators can result in damage to the skin's barrier, which can cause irritation. So exfoliating is best done thrice a week at most.
A body moisturizer protects and softens skin and prevents moisture loss. Apply to clean, still-damp skin.
Body oils may make you feel too hot in warm weather. So use it very sparingly. A sesame seed body oil, can be used in the bath or directly on skin.
Body lotions are good for hot weather, when a rich cream is too sticky. Make sure you use a tight one.
Body cream heavier moisturizers give longer-lasting results for people with dry skin. Try high protein aloe massage cream.
TIME OUT FOR YOUR SKIN
Even if you've only got five minutes to spare every day, it's enough for a simple routine that guarantees softer skin.
FIVE MINUTES In the shower use a body scrub with a cleansing base. For super-soft skin fast, follow with spray-on oil, which is preferably deliciously silky and non-greasy.
TEN MINUTES If you're not scrubbing on a regular basis, try a double exfoliation. Apply exfoliating cream to damp skin, and then use a loofah mitt or loofah in the shower, taking care not to use too much pressure. Skin which is rarely exposed, such as the inner thigh or the inside of the arm, is most fragile. The outer thigh and lower arm can take more pressure. Then apply body lotion using firm circular kneading motions. The last few strokes should be upwards to help blood towards the heart.
THIRTY MINUTES Exfoliate first to prepare your skin for a body pack to soften and deep cleanse. Go for a mineral-rich mud mask to use on arms, back and shoulders. Leave it on for five minutes, then wipe away with damp cotton wool. Finish with a body lotion.
Paying extra attention to specific parts of the body makes a basic body-care
routine even more effective.
YOUR BACK VIEW
Blemishes often crop up on the back and shoulders because of a concentration of sebaceous glands. Use a back brush or loofah to exfoliate, and then use an astringent or spot cream on any stubborn blemishes.
If you neglect your elbows, they'll look dull and scruffy. Combat dryness with any intensive cream for dry and calloused areas preferably containing Shea butter and avocado oil for mega-moisturizing.
Red bumps and pimples on the backs of the arms are caused by plugged follicles. Treat them with a low-level salicylic acid product. Follow with a rich body lotion and you should see an improvement.
BUST AND NECK
There's no supportive muscle from the nipple to the collar-bone and the skin is very fine here. Firming creams for the bust aim to maintain elasticity and suppleness in this delicate area. Your neck is often the first place to show ageing and sun damage because it's constantly exposed. Neck creams are designed to tone and firm the neck area, keeping crêpe-y skin at bay.
Concentrate on knees, ankles and heels when you exfoliate. Massage in body lotion from hip to toes to keep legs soft.
If you suffer from cellulite, a firming cream used daily for at least three weeks can help improve the texture of the skin on your hips and thighs. But no cream alone can eliminate cellulite. Only regular exercise can reduce it. Remember, cellulite is just a name for fat. It shows up more on the hips and thighs because the skin is thin there. The best way to get rid of fat is with cardiovascular exercise, like swimming, cycling or jogging, three times a week. Aerobics instructors we know have noticed that both thin and fat women get cellulite; what they usually have in common is lack of regular exercise.
We suggest massaging aromatherapy oil into the soles of the feet each night, stretching the foot out from the center to soften and relax. A paraffin wax pedicure take-home is also available. Massage a rich cream into your feet then paint on five layers of warm wax. Wrap your feet in plastic bags, leave for ten minutes, and then slide the whole lot off. The cream will have been absorbed and dead skin is lifted off with the wax. Alternatively, you can smother your feet with mineral mud packs for a similar sloughing effect.