A Lesson In Body Hydration

We’re all well versed by now in the importance of hydration for your facial skin. But many neglect the hydration of their bodies, using a foaming but allegedly hydrating body wash, or minimising moisturising with a swipe of moisturiser on their legs and elbows alone. As a dermatologist, Dr Natasha Cook knows how important full-body hydration is, and how to most effectively hydrate from top to toe.  Going into the winter months, ignoring your body skin will give you a plethora of skin issues. Body care is imperative if you don't want to end up itchy, scratchy and flaky this season. Let alone with dull and lacklustre body skin.

Before We Begin, Here Are Some Skin Dictionary Terms That Will Be Important

Epidermis: The outermost layer of the skin, the layer that we can see and touch. It acts as a barrier to protect the body from the environment, preventing external aggressors from entering the skin, and preventing water loss of the skin. The epidermis is made up of 5 layers of cells, with these layers constantly growing and changing in a process called keratinisation.

Stratum Corneum: The topmost layer of the epidermis, made up of “dead” skin cells (aka corneocytes)  and a layer of important skin lipids (aka your natural moisturising factors), that provide a barrier against external elements. Think of it like your natural defence barrier. The Corneocytes are the “bricks” whilst the skin lipids are the “mortar”. Creating a protective “brick wall”.

The primary type of cells found in the epidermis, responsible for producing keratin, a protein that helps strengthen the skin.

Dead keratinocytes that have lost their nucleus and other organelles (a subcellular structure with one or more specific jobs to perform within the cell), forming the main component of the stratum corneum.

Facial Skin VS Body Skin

Not all epidermis is created equal. Depending where on your body it is, your skin will have different needs to keep it functioning at its finest.

Meet your face:
Home to your thinnest layer of skin, it’s also the most visible area for ageing. Keratinocytes make up 95% of the skin surface and are normally renewed around every 28 days, and it slows down as we get older.

Meet your body: Its skin is much thicker than your facial skin, and typically not as sensitive, as it has to be more protective. It has fewer oil glands than the skin on our face, leading to dry skin being more common, especially where skin is thickest, such as our elbows, knees, and feet.

These differences mean your face and body require different types of hydration. Although many powerful ingredients you may be familiar with from facial skincare overlap with body care, their concentrations and textures can differ to provide to best for your particular area of skin. 

But ultimately, both your face and body have the same needs. Gentle cleansing AM and PM, active ingredients in the right concentrations, and high-quality long lasting hydration.

How To Hydrate Your Body

There’s a reason you don’t wear a sundress in a snowstorm. Just like we dress our bodies for the weather, we should be dressing our skin to the season.

The colder months mean more environmental aggressors for your skin to battle against. Studies have found that whilst the barrier of both facial and body skin is affected by winter, that the hydration state of the stratum corneum was found to be significantly lower specifically on exposed body skin.

Dehydrated skin is part of a vicious cycle underlying dry skin, impeding the skin's structure and its ability to functionally recover the skin barrier. Hydrating during the winter is key to prevent dry, irritated, flaking, and itchy dragon skin.

The Best Body Hydration Routine

Dr Natasha Cook has formulated the perfect winter wardrobe for your body skin. Since body skin is thicker and dryer than that on the face, the oils and creams we use to moisturise tend to be heavier and thicker than what we would use to moisturise the face.

AM: dr.NC Concentrated Hand & Body Cleanser + dr.NC Dry Body Oil

Soap is a dirty word. It strips oils from your skin, leaving your body dull and dehydrated. The dr.NC Concentrated Hand & Body Cleanser is a non-foaming soap free formula, boosted with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and hydrating glycerine to remove, refresh and revitalise your body skin.

Winter is all about layering, so post-cleanser, apply the dr.NC Dry Body Oil for a hit of luxurious luminosity. This sophisticated world-first, dermatologist designed body oil brings the best of highly hydrating botanical oils to your skin, without the greasy residue. Finished with European-sourced velvet rose scent, this oil is decadent in touch, benefits, and scent. It's all coming up roses.

PM: dr.NC Concentrated Body Butter in the PM

Add this revolutionary 3-in-1 hand & body butter that transforms your skin in days to your PM routine, and say goodbye to crepey dull hand and body skin. This unique body butter exfoliates, hydrates and renews cells all in one thanks to a powerful combination of lactic, glycolic, mandelic, tartaric and salicylic acids to exfoliate and improve the skin's tone, texture and clarity. Rest and repair your body skin. Use a generous amount every night for smooth, luminous skin, and enjoy the calming scent of lavender as part of your pre-bed routine.  Wake up with hydrated, youthful, smooth exfoliated body skin.

Weekly: dr.NC Concentrated Micropeel Wipe

One minute. Once a week. That’s all it takes to get radiant skin thanks to this weekly wipe that lets you take the clinic home with you. Check out the rebirthing of this multi AHA + BHA cell renewing at-home treatment. Pigmentation, sun damage, acne, congestion, dullness and dehydration don’t stand a chance against this powerful AHA and BHA cell renewing and brightening solution. Now with more in every wipe (4.25ml), there’s plenty for both your face and body.

Dress your skin to impress this winter with double (or triple!) hits of hydration every day, and rediscover radiant, healthy skin in the face of drying air and intense environmental conditions. 


References used:

The Winter Season face and forearm skin study

Barrier disruption, dehydration and inflammation: Investigation of the vicious circle underlying dry skin