Welcome to Dear Soko, a series dedicated to answering your biggest skin care questions with advice from Soko Glam’s skin experts. Whether you’re confused about specific ingredients or what you need to do to achieve healthier skin overall, these experts are here to guide you.
This week Jenna asked: “I would love some tips for body care. What products or ingredients do you suggest for extremely dry skin? And to treat/fade ingrown hair scars.”
Here, a Soko Glam skin expert’s answer:
Have you ever seen that meme that says “Me: skincare! My other organs: please help us”? It gets like that. We obviously can’t help you with your internal organs, but the outside of your body is definitely an area that gets overlooked in favor of the face.
Dry and scaly patches as well as scars from both ingrown hairs and acne are issues that many people deal with, but often ignore. Here are some ways you can target these concerns and amp up your body care game.
The first factor to consider is the temperature of your bath or shower water. Hot water is not the best for either your face or body as hot water can dry out the skin. This can actually compromise the overall barrier function of the skin leading to the skin having a hard time maintaining its’ own general health and hydration. In short, it makes your skin more dry! I understand that hot showers can feel like one of life’s little luxuries but best to try to shower or bath in water that is lukewarm as often as you can.
If you have extremely dry skin, you’ll also want to opt for really pared-down body product formulas that are gentle and fragrance-free. For bar soap or body wash, consider products like unscented Dove bar soap or CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash.
Also to ensure that your moisturizer will able to penetrate deeply into the skin as well as to remove any dead skin buildup, you’ll want to exfoliate your skin a couple times a week in the shower. You could use an exfoliating bath washcloth like the ones used in Korean spas or a sugar or coffee scrub!
For body lotions, consider products that contain ingredients to strengthen your moisture barrier, especially if you refuse to give up hot showers. Both the Skinrx Lab MadeCera Body Moisturizer and Klairs Supple Preparation All-Over Lotion contain ceramides. Cermaides are great because these lipids are actually the building blocks of the moisture barrier.
Another thing to consider is how quickly you are applying your moisturizers after getting out of the shower. In Korea, there’s a 10 second rule that refers to how quickly one should apply toner to the face after getting out of the shower to prevent dryness. The same principle applies to your body as well. This is because we know that water as a compound will move from higher concentrations to lower concentrations. So after showering you have a higher concentration of water on your person than in the air. This leads to rapid moisturize loss.To prevent this and keep your skin hydrated, especially in the colder months, consider keeping your body moisturizer in the bathroom so that you can apply right after towel drying.
Body scarring – from ingrown hairs or body acne – is another common concern. The best way to help fade these scars is first going to be make sure the skin itself is healthy and hydrated by following the steps above, but with an added treatment step. We talked about physical exfoliators for general body care, but to better target scarring concerns look for products with chemically exfoliating ingredients. One option is AmLactinn, a body lotion that contains AHAs and is gentle enough to be used daily. Another option is the COSRX One Step Original Clear Pads which are conveniently pre-soaked in a toner formula containing betaine salicylate and willow bark water (BHAS) and would be used before your body lotion step. These pads also help to clear acne and can be used on both the face or body!
You don’t need to have a full 10 step routine for your body care, but by understanding how to protect your body’s moisture barrier just as you would your face, you can help prevent and address these common concerns. If you would like more personalized help, we offer 1:1 Skin Consultations that you can schedule here.
Your Skin Expert