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Body talk
The skin on your body may not be exposed to environmental hazards as often as that on your face and hands, but it is still vulnerable to a number of factors that mean dull, dry and uncomfortable skin.

Particular trouble-spots include the elbows and knees, where severe dryness and flaking can be recurrent problems. This is because the body has developed lots of extra skin here to accommodate the bending and stretching that your arms and legs must do every day. This 'spare' skin here undergoes lots of wear and tear, which damages the surface layer of the epidermis.
Good body care starts with thorough, effective cleansing that respects the natural balance and particular needs of body skin. The combination of water and ordinary soap can dry the skin, leading to a feeling of tightness, discomfort and flaking.

Although oily skin conditions are less common on the body, spots and acne can affect the chest, back, and shoulders.

Tip: You can use products formulated for spot-prone facial skin on spots that appear elsewhere on the body.
Exfoliating your body skin is just as important as exfoliating your face, especially problem areas like the knees, shins, elbows and heels.

Tip: When using a body exfoliator, massage the formula gently in small circles to stimulate circulation to the skin.
Vital Moisture
After cleansing your body, a layer of moisturising body lotion or cream will help counteract any dry-out and fortify the whole skin structure against trans-epidermal water-loss for the next 12 hours or more.
More skin facts
  • The only places where the skin does not grow hair, are the lips, palms and soles of the feet.
  • Ten per cent of the oxygen you breathe will be used by your body to maintain and regenerate your skin.
  • Because only 1% of the vitamins you eat will reach your skin, it is a good idea to apply them topically too. Look for skin care products that contain vitamins E, C and Co-enzyme Q10.
  • Because melanin protects against ultra violet damage, the darker your skin, the less likely you are to suffer from sags, bags and wrinkles caused by the sun.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids are natural substances. Some come from fruit such as apples or grapes, while others come from milk and sugar.
  • Around 60% of any cosmetic formula applied to the skin will be absorbed by the body.
  • After the menopause women often find their skin becomes drier and appears thinner. This is due to a fall in levels of the female hormone oestrogen, which helps regulate the skin’s natural moisture balance.
  • Using an exfoliator prior to hair removal will minimise the potential for ingrown hairs.
How can I tell which skin type I am?
Dry skin: feels tight and uncomfortable after washing. It may flake and look dull, or even become red, itchy and sensitive after using certain products such as detergents.

Oily skin: looks shiny and feels greasy within three to five hours of cleansing. It is prone to breaking out in spots and blackheads.

Combination skin: is dry on the cheeks, but oily on the forehead, nose and chin.

Sensitive skin: becomes red, dry and itchy on contact with many substances, including water, facial moisturisers and even some fabrics.

Normal skin: looks and feels good all day long, and experiences few problems.
Useful Tips
  • Collagen: round, plump protein cells that give your skin its fullness and resilience.
  • Elastin: stretchy protein cells that pull your skin back in shape and keep it looking young and firm.