One of my least favorite parts of winter has always been the havoc it wreaks on the skin all over my body—and the unwelcome itchiness, dryness, and dullness only got worse when I hit my mid-40s. Still, I’ve tackled my skin woes the same way for years: With an in-shower body wash followed by a moisturizer.
Apparently, I’m not alone in sticking to a simple routine for the skin from my neck down: According to Dove, 80 percent of women say that facial care is more important than body care, a sentiment any pro will tell you simply isn’t true from a skin health standpoint. “We have all been programmed to focus on the face forgetting that most of our skin is actually below the neck,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Hamden, Connecticut who works with Dove. “The same tenets of facial skin health should be applied to one’s whole body. Cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliation, and protection are all necessary to keep our skin in its entirety in its best shape.”
To help fill the gap, the iconic beauty brand developed its Body Care Love collection of cleansers and shower butters, which contain active ingredients typically found in facial-care formulas. The line includes individual products that target specific skin issues—acne, dryness, and uneven skin tone—that have largely been associated with the face, but can actually occur all over.
For my own bone-dry skin, I was most excited about the “Age Embrace” faction of the line, which contains a Pre-Cleanse Shower Butter ($11) and a Liquid Body Wash Cleanser ($8) designed specifically for mature skin concerns such as dryness and lack of suppleness.
The two-step regimen includes a pre-cleanse body butter, which deposits moisture into the deepest layers of the skin, and a serum-infused cleanser to clean and fortify the skin barrier to lock in the nutrients from the butter. This doubling-down approach borrows from the facial care concept of “layering” moisture for improved results, says Dr. Gohara.
“Two are better than one. Think about layering on clothes on a cold day. The team adds more benefit than any individual player alone,” she explains. “Each step helps to lock in moisture and provide skin barrier nutrients to leave behind soft and supple skin.”
Both Age Embrace products contain peptide serum and pure glycerin to address common mature skin issues such as roughness, dryness, and dullness. The body cleanser is also infused with Dove’s unique 10x Moisture Boost Complex, a signature mix including stearic acid and glycerin with 10 times the moisturizers of the next leading body wash, says Dr. Gohara.
Putting it to the test
Using a body butter in the shower (instructions are to apply it to wet skin), before a cleanser was something I hadn’t tried before. As soon as I opened the jar, I fell in love with the product’s texture. It was soft and thick, yet went on easily and smoothly. The body cleanser’s creamy, lotion-like formula lathered well and felt soothing on my parched skin. It also made shaving my legs a breeze. (You can easily ditch the shaving cream and use this instead.) Although the products are not labeled as “unscented,” there was no scent that I could distinguish, which might be a plus or minus depending on your preference. Post-shower my skin felt moisturized, soft, and supple—just as promised.
One drawback: Adding the body butter to my shower routine was somewhat time-consuming. While the two steps are not something I can indulge in every day, it was a nice luxury on the days I didn’t have deadlines piling up. It’s a wonderful moment to give the skin below my neck the same love you give the skin above it. And thanks to these two products, my body-care routine has done a much-needed “about face.”
Get more tips for winter skin care form Dr. Gohara:
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