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Lessons In Body Skin Care

When it comes to skincare and our bodies, many of us tend to take an out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach. Our face and neck are generally more visible than the rest of us, so the beauty industry tends to focus there—and so do we. But skin on the body is often prone to the same issues as the face, and it benefits from regular attention. Here we provide the best advice on how to care for the skin underneath it all.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

We cannot emphasize it enough: Your body needs moisture as much as your face does. While this is a time-honored skincare truth, too many people neglect moisture because of lack of time or laziness. The oil glands on the body are far less dense, so when people skip moisturizer the skin becomes extremely dry, resulting in cracks and fissures. Moisturizing every single day after bathing is essential for maintaining the skin’s barrier function and protecting it from stressors.

We suggest cycling moisturizers by season (lighter for summer such as Environ’s Multivitamin Body Moisturizer, heavier during the colder months for optimal product retention such as a combination of Environ Multivitamin Body Moisturizer and A, C & E Enhanced Oil) and zeroing in on those with ceramides, squalene, and botanically derived oils. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil are body-hydrating triumvirate. There have been clinical studies on shea butter that show improvements in wrinkles and hydration levels in the skin. Cocoa butter melts at body temperature, so it’s perfect for good penetration. Rubbing coconut oil all over the body not only hydrates and restores the lipid layer with omega-3 fatty acids, but also increases metabolism at the cellular level. And while it may seem obvious, the most common moisturizing mistake (even for those who are dutiful) is overlooking areas like the hands, feet, neck, and knees. For skin that needs additional TLC (that’s most of us in the winter months), there’s a new class of body serums and masks with more concentrated active ingredients. The body can benefit from these more intensive treatments, like body serums, which can improve the tone and texture of the skin just like face serums do.

Don’t Forgo Exfoliation

Exfoliation has the same benefits for the face as for the body: glow and a smoother, more even texture. It also builds an ideal canvas for anything that follows. Ridding your skin of dead cells allows products to penetrate better. Unfortunately, it’s often forgotten. Exfoliating is the key to great skin and makes a huge difference in the way skin looks, but it’s also the most frequently skipped step in at-home body skincare routines. Using a scrub on the body increases collagen production, makes skin smooth, maintains elasticity, and keeps breakouts at bay. For sensitive skin types and areas (like the décolleté), ditch the more intense scrubs in favor of a chemical exfoliant, which will be far less abrasive. Go through the motions at least once, but no more than three times a week.

For professional full body exfoliation we recommend our Age Management Body Treatment. This treatment includes a gentle cleansing, lactic acid is applied to assist in exfoliating, smoothing, and clarifying the skin. This is followed by a soothing and effective massage with oils rich in Vitamin A, C, E and Beta-carotene which serve to nourish and intensively hydrate your skin. The prior exfoliation serves not only to remove dead skin cells and improve your skin’s complexion, but also to enhance penetration of the nutrient rich oils and your home-care products allowing both to work more effectively. A seaweed masque is then applied to help re-mineralize, tone and smooth the skin’s appearance. This luxurious renewal treatment provides intense hydration, while tightening, firming and smoothing to create younger looking, healthy skin. This powerful treatment is highly effective in addressing: the visible signs of photo-damage, aging, and lax skin however, if you’re looking to further enhance it’s benefits we recommend combining it with Full Body Light Therapy. The effects of Phototherapy and LLLT are photochemical. When the correct intensity and frequency are used, the light energy photons, generated by the LED light sources, are absorbed by selected chromophores in the tissue. This process stimulates mitochondrial and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) production; promoting blood circulation and tissue oxygenation, leading to a reduction in inflammation, increased lymphatic flow and cell proliferation, while also facilitating the creation and extension of the anti-aging enzymes ultimately resulting in skin rejuvenation that includes: a reduction in wrinkles, toning, tightening and texturing.

You can also easily DIY a body scrub. A combination of yogurt, brown sugar, oatmeal, and a few drops of avocado oil; or a version with 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1 cup coconut palm sugar, 1 tablespoon organic matcha powder, and 1 teaspoon organic honey are recommended at home body scrubs. Coconut oil hydrates and gets rid of inflammation, sugar exfoliates without drying like salt, and matcha’s high levels of polyphenols increase skin cell growth. The more collagen in your skin, the firmer it will be. We also recommend the complete Body Range by Environ Skincare, which is formulated with vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizers that work together to enhance your skin’s appearance and assist in revealing your natural beauty.

If a professional sloughing treatment is in your budget, we also suggest an occasional full-body microdermabrasion. It’s so luxurious, but also very results-oriented. You get glowing soft skin and an hour of true relaxation.

A Bid For Body Brushing

This type of body exfoliation—which can and should be done on a daily basis—is also one of the oldest. Dry brushing, whereby a stiff, dry brush is swiped across the skin to activate blood flow, was embraced by ancient Egyptians and is a cornerstone of any solid Ayurvedic practice. Dry brushing is a favorite method of body exfoliation because it helps stimulate the lymphatic system, and it’s incredible as a cellulite treatment because it increases elasticity. Before you shower, start brushing at the tops of the feet, heading upward toward the heart. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thighs, and don’t forget the backs of the arms and the back.

Addressing Specific Skin Issues

Although similar conditions may rear their head, there are significant differences between the skin on the face and the body. The facial skin is studded with adnexal structures, or tiny hair follicles, oil and sweat glands, and nerve endings. As you move away from the face, the density of these structures diminishes significantly so the type of skincare and frequency of use is different. While acne on the face is often treated with retinoids, these products can over dry when you treat blemishes on the body—usually the back and chest—and actually lead to more breakouts. Retinoids are a mainstay of acne treatment, but they can be very irritating on the body, so we usually recommend washes with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or tea tree oil. Both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide help kill acne-causing bacteria (the former, a beta-hydroxy acid, also exfoliates) while tea tree oil has mild antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are key for acne treatment. Red Light Therapy is also highly beneficial in treating body acne, as is our Back Purifier Treatment in treating acne on the back.

We also like charcoal (specifically Joanna Vargas’ Miracle Bar) for drawing out acne-causing bacteria from the pores, and recommend dabbing Environ’s Sebu-Spot Blemish Gel, or apple cider vinegar on pimples (or applying ACV all over breakout-prone areas). Drinking green juice daily will also help oxygenate the skin, so it will be better able to rid itself of impurities. Because eczema—which manifests itself as dry, irritated, and itchy skin—is caused by disruptions to the skin barrier, it’s essential to treat it with products that restore barrier function and lock in moisture. Look for ingredients like ceramides, free fatty acids, and hyaluronic acids in emollients and avoid products with scents and dyes. Colloidal oatmeal (or finely ground oats) is another classic eczema remedy; chamomile and rosemary are also beneficial. Just cook one cup each of chamomile tea leaves and rosemary in a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes, then strain and add to a bath to heal dry, sensitive skin.

Keratosis pilaris, or rough protein bumps that surface on the arms, thighs, and buttocks, are another common complaint. We prefer chemical exfoliants, which can smooth bumps by promoting cell turnover, or more natural remedies. Lactic acid acts as a mild chemical exfoliator, using a product like Environ’s Derma-Lac Lotion, and/or adding two to three cups of milk to a regular bath can help. Or try making a toner from one part apple cider vinegar, which contains alpha hydroxy acids, and three parts water. Apply with a cotton ball.

Some Bath Wisdom

A bath’s “me time” potential is well-known (and well-founded), but keep in mind some rules so your skin benefits as much as your psyche from all that soaking. First, regulate the temperature. Baths that are too hot can disrupt the natural balance of oils on the skin and cause dryness and itchiness. If your skin is red when you step out of the bath, it’s a sign that the water was too hot. For the most skin benefits, swap fancy fragranced bath salts and oils for natural ingredients. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral compound made of magnesium and sulfate that helps replenish magnesium levels and ease pain, inflammation, and sore muscles. Essentials oils (like lavender and rose) are acceptable additions as long as they’re properly diluted in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. We’re definitely fans of adding green tea to baths. If the skin feels stressed, dry, and dull, putting chamomile and green tea in your bathwater will calm and brighten it. Green tea is also great for spider veins because it’s an antioxidant and will reinforce the strength of your capillary walls. While many dermatologists suggest capping your bath time at 15 minutes to avoid dehydrating, if you’re adding any of these constituents we encourage luxuriating it up to 45.

Before You Shave Or Deodorize

Shaving and traditional deodorants can pose problems for those prone to sensitive skin. To protect skin while shaving, we suggest letting warm water soften hair, prepping with an alcohol-free shaving cream or lotion, using a quality razor blade like the Billie (a 5 blade razor encased in 360° of charcoal shave soap to float over your skin and available at half the cost of comparable razor), and shaving with (rather than against) the grain. When choosing a deodorant, opt for one of the new-generation natural varieties free of aluminum or heavy fragrance, both of which can irritate your skin and cause redness and rashes. Discover great options at, A Guide To Natural Deodorants And Why You Should Switch.

Consider Waxing

Waxing is an effective treatment for the removal of hair that will leave your skin hair-free and smooth, and without scratchy regrowth or nasty rashes! The biggest advantage waxing has over all other types of temporary hair removal is that the hair takes considerably longer to grow back. Although the rate of re-growth can vary between each individual, typically no hair begins to reappear for over a week – a pleasant relief compared to the unsightly stubble which starts to emerge almost immediately after shaving.

Not only does wax remove the hair at the root but it also exfoliates the skin, providing ultra smooth, silky results. Potential side effects are relatively minimal with wax. We will advise you on after service care, including recommending products to ensure your results are hassle free and minimize ingrown hairs. We perform waxing hair removal services on all areas of the female body including the Brazilian wax.

Health & Beauty Tips

At PLEIJ Salon+Spa, we are committed to sharing health and beauty tips to enrich your life. Everyone deserves to live an empowered life and we want to help you get there.

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