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A Complete Body Care Routine for Amazingly Soft Skin – Because You’ve Probably Been Neglecting Everything but Your Face

Nothing makes me sadder than to hear people who have elaborate, 15-step skincare routines tell me that they hardly even moisturize the rest of their body. Say it with me: body care is just as important as your skincare routine. I don’t know why this isn’t yet a fully acknowledged fact, but it should be! 

As someone who struggles with eczema, I’ve always had to take really good care of my skin – from head to toe – to prevent flare ups. This led me down the path to becoming obsessed with having the softest, glowiest skin I can get, and I think I’ve finally gotten there. I basically have my whole body routine down to a science, and I’m happy to share my secrets for those who have no idea how to banish their dry skin. In fact, this routine is so thorough that even if I skip a few days when I’m feeling lazy, I don’t get any dry patches! 

This routine is less focused on specific products as it is the technique and type, so whether you want to splurge on luxury products or keep it simple with drugstore classics, it'll work either way!

Exfoliate in the shower

Exfoliation is key to starting this routine off right; you can’t expect to have soft skin if you don’t remove all those dead cells! When I’m not shaving, I’ll just use a loofah and some body wash. I find that that does the trick, and I certainly don’t want to run the risk of over-exfoliating, which can lead to overly-sensitized skin. On days that I'm shaving, however, I’ll use a loofah with my body wash and a scrub. I don’t happen to have a favorite scrub, so really anything will work (at the moment, I’m actually using old face scrubs that I no longer use on my face).

Post-shaving, use aloe vera gel

Immediately after you’ve showered, apply aloe vera gel onto any areas you just shaved. This is supposed to be done while your skin is still wet, so don’t reach for that towel yet! Applying products to damp skin dramatically helps with absorption. Aloe vera will help soothe any sensitive areas, and can help prevent things like razor bumps. I really only do this step after I’ve shaved, so if you aren’t shaving, skip ahead to the next step!

Moisturize your damp skin

On damp skin again, apply your body moisturizer from head to toe. If you’ve just put on your aloe vera, put the moisturizer on top. Otherwise, do this directly after your shower (again, before you’ve dried off!). I’m not picky about what kind of moisturizer I’m using on my body, but I’m currently using the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cream, which I’ve noticed is amazingly lightweight.

Apply a body oil

This is probably my biggest secret for smooth skin. Once I’ve let my moisturizer sink in (I usually throw on a robe and do my skincare routine while I wait), I apply a body oil all over. Body oils can be a little tricky to find, but luckily the drugstore has some good options! A good, simple body oil is the Neutrogena Body Oil, which you can get at Ulta! I know some of you are probably worried about feeling greasy, but a few drops of oil goes a long way — definitely don’t go overboard! Besides making your skin extremely glowy, oil seals in all the moisture in your skin so it doesn’t just evaporate into the air. If you’ve ever applied moisturizer on your body and felt like it disappeared after a few hours, try putting an oil on top and I promise you, you’ll stay moisturized and smooth all day long. It’s a real game changer!

Spot treat dry spots at night with Vaseline

At night, I always apply a little Vaseline onto any particularly dry areas of my body (i.e. knees, elbows, hands, feet). Again, I use the tiniest amount so I don’t feel greasy, but I really feel like it makes a huge difference with my stubborn dry spots.

Related: 5 Skincare Products that TikTok Made Me Buy

And that’s it! I’m sure it sounds very elaborate to those of you who don’t currently have body care routines, but it honestly takes no more than around 15 minutes, and once you make a habit of it, you’ll never go back. If you struggle with perpetually dry skin (especially in the winter) or just want to up your game, try out some of these steps!

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Sarah Kopp is a student-journalist at Vassar College where she is studying History and Women's Studies. She has been published in Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan (check out her work here: https://www.teenvogue.com/contributor/sarah-kopp, https://www.cosmopolitan.com/author/226092/Sarah-Kopp/) and loves to write about all things from makeup and fashion to politics and social justice. When she's not writing, you can catch her binging the latest true crime show or practicing new makeup looks.
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