If you’ve been on Instagram at all in the past couple of years, then you’ve without a doubt come across someone sharing their skincare routine, moving you through each step of their usually detailed process to get a clear, dewy complexion. With all of the attention we devote to treating our faces like we’re seasoned aestheticians at an upscale spa, it’s no surprise that focusing on our all-over body care becomes a bit of an afterthought. We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve exfoliated, masked, and layered serum upon our faces while our other limbs look completely parched and desperate for attention, just hoping that we reach for a body oil after hopping out of the shower.
Historically, however, women were devout about their body care and made homemade oils, salves, and lotions out of spices, minerals, vegetables, flowers, and even animal fat to moisturize, protect their skin from various climates, and–of course– as a way to keep their skin looking young and fresh. Even women like Cleopatra, whom researchers claim bathed in sour donkey milk to reduce wrinkles, were willing to go to far out lengths to achieve great skin from head to toe. There’s something to be said about treating your body care routine as you would your face. After all, our skin is the largest organ in our bodies; it is alive and consistently sloughing off dead skin cells and regenerating new ones, and it’s our first line of defense against harmful UV rays, air pollution, and other toxins in the air.
Much like treating and protecting your face with products so that your skin remains firm, clear, and glowing as the years pass, developing a routine for all-over body care is a long term game. Unlike facial care, which occasionally feels like a menial task (especially if you’re one that swears by a 12-step routine) when you’re really just ready to hop into bed at the end of the night, It’s also a way to take a little bit of time out of your morning or evening routine to participate in some relaxing self-care. Something about rubbing oils and rich creams into freshly showered skin feels a lot more meditative and luxurious than the initial burn of swiping a strong salycilic acid across your fore head.
Recently, we’ve been enjoying devoting more time to body care during our evening routines, and in the process have racked up a list of favorite products that exfoliate, refine, and moisturize skin in need of some major nourishment. Instead of grabbing for Kim Kardashian’s new all-over super coverage body foundation (yes, that’s a thing), consider using products that are clean and specifically designed to serve the parts of your skin that aren’t your face. Here’s the list of our favorite clean all-over body products!
True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask
This came into our lives one particularly harsh winter, when our skin was looking so dry and dull we were thankful to be piling on the layers. This mask by True Botanicals is concocted of a mild combination of lactic acid, green tea, and sandalwood oil and is meant to be applied all over your body ahead of jumping in the shower. Good news for all of you that like hanging out in the buff, it recommends waiting about 5-15 minutes to let it absorb into your skin before washing it off with warm water. It carries a bright, citrus smell and while a little liquidy, left our skin feeling smooth and genuinely silkier after washing it off. Because it does boast a few stronger ingredients, we like using it only once a week or twice if our skin is looking really dull.
Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub
Indie Lee, oh how we love you. Besides the fact that the lemongrass and vanilla scent of this scrub mentally transports us to an exotic locale, it also really does the job in gently exfoliating and waking up skin in need of a refresh. We love that the scrub– which is made of a blend of raw cane sugar, coconut, and jojoba oil– isn’t rough at all and instead feels hydrating even as you massage it into your skin. This scrub is particularly great for dry patches around elbows and knees or really any other areas on your body that look like they need some buffing.
Lord Jones High CBD Formula Bath Salts
If we’re switching things up and have time to enjoy a long, relaxing bath, we reach for Lord Jones’ new bath salts, which are handmade in small batches and use Himalayan salts, arnica, calendula petals, magnesium-rich epsom salts, and a blend of essential oils to ease tension throughout the body and promote relaxation. The CBD oil included in their bath salts is sourced from selected hemp grown in the US, and we love that it effectively calms and soothes aching muscles or joints without feeling overpowering.
Hanami Body Wash
After we scrub we like to follow up with a gentle and silky body wash to soothe our just-exfoliated skin. Thanks to its coconut-oil derived foam booster, the Hanami Body Wash by PHLUR actually washes on like a light foam which is unique for a wash that’s crafted from completely clean ingredients. In Japan “Hanami” is a traditional age old custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers and ushering in the season of spring as the cherry blossoms bloom. The floral scent of this body wash is light, calming, and never overpowering! It cleans with two different natural surfactants and aloe vera for an extra hydrating shower.
Esker Beauty Firming Oil
Quite possibly the favorite step of our body care routine is when we get to go full luxury and use an all-over body oil to deeply hydrate our skin. After we exit the shower when our skin is still ever so faintly damp and our pores are still open, we layer on Esker Beauty’s Restorative Body Oil. The standout ingredients in this wonder oil include Carrot Seed, Frankincense, Bergamot, Rosemary, and Ylang Ylang, and– when blended together– go the extra mile in promoting smoother, firmer, and deeply hydrated skin. Consider this your coconut water of body oils and use it every evening after a bath or shower for an extra boost of moisture.
Pai Calming Body Cream
We have a love-hate relationship with body creams. On the one hand, it’s hard to compete with how hydrating they can be for our skin, especially thicker creams meant to alleviate really parched skin, but there is nothing worse than getting into bed when you think all of the cream has absorbed and you’re in the clear, only to discover you’re still greasy and now mildly sticking to the sheets as you try to fall asleep. We’re happy to report there is zero greasy, sheet-sticking going on with the Calming Body Cream from Pai. Yes, this cream is thick and particularly good for those who have extremely dry and irritated skin or for those who suffer from Eczema or Psoriasis, but it rubs into skin so effortlessly, and has a rich but completely non-greasy texture as it goes on. The two star ingredients of this cream are comfrey and calendula, both of which are known to act as anti-inflammatory healers and calm skin that’s overly dry, itchy, and red.