Body Care 101
Many of us spend a lot of time and money building a great facial routine but we tend to overlook creating one for our body. This daily ritual can include a cleanser, hydrator and gentle weekly exfoliant. From there you can add in different types of hydration layering from lightest to heaviest and rotate the type of weekly exfoliant for different results. Just like our approach to building a facial routine, do what feels best for you and your lifestyle because consistency is key.
The foundation of a good routine starts with a pH balanced cleanser that hydrates while it cleanses. This is where our artisan soap enters the picture. We manufacture these bars using a cold-processed soapmaking method for a tried-and-true product. We formulate the product using organic olive oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter for a firm bar that produces a generous, creamy lather and provides base hydration for skin without leaving it taut or tight.
These bars can be lathered directly onto skin or on an organic cotton washcloth. While they can also be lathered onto exfoliating mitts or a loofah, we do our best to encourage our clients to ditch the mitt or loofah. Like the face, exfoliation should only happen once a week so incorporating this into your daily routine is too much for skin. When we over-exfoliate we disrupt the skin barrier which can cause skin to become dermally parched, and shows itself as red, inflamed, and reactive or sensitive skin. In addition to the negative effects on skin, if your loofah is made from plastic it can cause microtears which can lead to further dehydration and skin reactivity.
Many of us apply some sort of hydrator on skin after showering without giving it much thought. This step is one that can make or break a routine. After cleansing it is important to provide skin with nourishment and protection from the environmental elements just like we do our faces. This can mean using a base oil followed by a moisturizer and balm for those that live in cooler climates or using just a base oil for those that live in more humid climates.
We like to approach the hydration step as one that shifts with the season and while traveling. We love having a year-round base oil on hand that is applied to damp skin after the shower or bath. This base oil helps keep your skin supple and helps prevent it from becoming chronically dehydrated. When it comes to keeping that hydration in, we layer the body oil under another product that has a richer texture and heavier barrier on skin. To prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) we apply products that are formulated with a barrier and match that type of barrier to the climate. For most of us this means adding a layer of our moisturizer over skin in the fall and winter and layering an additional barrier like our body balm on hands in the evenings. This additional barrier gives skin the nutrients it needs to repair and protect when the humidity level begins to drop.
Same goes for those that live in a humid climate. Keeping the weight of the product to a minimum by opting for a body oil that feels good during the day helps to keep skin supple and hydrated. From there adding a moisturizer at night for extra hydration and protection helps to prevent deeper dermal dehydration and skin reactivity.
When using nutrient dense hydrators, it is important to encourage a healthy cellular turnover to allow these plant-based ingredients to absorb to the dermis quickly reducing any potential for congestion. That is where your exfoliator comes in. You can use a dry brush weekly to increase lymphatic flow and exfoliate skin, or apply one of our sugar scrubs removing cellular buildup and skin debris. You can even mix up and apply one of our facial masks, painting on the body in addition to the face, neck and chest for a 5-minute gentle weekly exfoliant.
Each of these exfoliants do the job of encouraging your dead skin cells to release allowing your products to work more effectively so it comes down to preference on how you choose to exfoliate. I like to rotate each week making sure that I incorporate the dry brush into my ritual once a month to help with stagnant lymphatic fluid that might be lingering around.