Many of us will happily splurge on anti-aging face creams and serums and use them diligently, but only occasionally slap on basic body butter when we remember. In a way, it makes sense to pay more attention to what’s up top—after all, our faces are what we present to the world, while our bodies stay under wraps most of the time.
Still, it seems we are beginning to twig that our bodies get older too. “There is increased interest in procedures off the face,” says dermatologist Dr. Shannon Humphrey, medical director of Vancouver cosmetic dermatology firm Carruthers & Humphrey. “Patients are noticing the difference between aging of their facial and body skin, particularly if they take great care of the former.”
Signs of body aging include wrinkles, sagging, and hyperpigmentation. They’re worse if you sunbathe and, says Dr. Humphrey, smoking, diet, and exercise make a difference, too. Then there’s chronological age—though our bodies typically stay youthful longer than our faces. “Body skin aging is a complaint of patients in their 40s and onwards, not their 20s or 30s,” says Dr. Humphrey.
Aside from taking care of ourselves and bathing in SPF 50, what can we do to keep ourselves youthful all over, or reverse the damage we’ve already done? Well, there are dermatological procedures. The latest is Belkyra, an injectable designed to dissolve double-chin fat that according to Dr. Humphrey, can also stimulate new collagen and tighten skin. It’s used for niggly pockets of fat on the back, knees, and ankles.
Our bodies have fewer sebum-producing glands than our faces, and as a result, skin repairs less quickly, so we need to go easy with procedures like lasers. The same goes for active ingredients like retinols, glycolic acid, vitamin C, and peptides, though Dr. Humphrey says they are useful in lighter doses. That basic body butter does some good too. “One of the things that’s often forgotten is the importance of moisturization, so make sure you find a good daily hydrating product that you can slather on after a bath or shower,” she says.
Six anti-aging body creams to try:
Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Cream, $36, at pharmacies and Reversa.ca.
This contains exfoliating glycolic acid, which boosts skin turnover to make skin look younger. The ingredient also helps keratosis pilaris, a “chicken-skin” condition that can affect the upper arms.
Clarins Renew Plus Body Serum, $71, at all Clarins counters and Clarins.ca.
One of a few body products to contain vitamin A (retinol), This also has AHAs for exfoliation, plus antioxidants and hydrating ingredients, and is designed to work on roughness, wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging.
StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch Marks, $79, at pharmacies, Hudson’s Bay and Thebay.com.
The product was originally developed for stretch marks, but customers noticed that it reduced wrinkles as well and started using it on their faces. Its key ingredient is a form of niacin that’s said to boost collagen and elastin, diminishing the number, length, and depth of wrinkles.
Nannette De Gaspé Bust and Tush Infusers, $225 each, at NannettedeGaspe.com.
Collagen in the body degenerates with age, which is why skin sags. These dry masks are placed inside the bra or panties and contain collagen and hyaluronic acid to lift and plump the breasts or bum.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Body Total Transforming Anti-aging Moisturizer, $140, at Elizabeth Arden counters.
The key ingredient here is idebenone, an antioxidant that’s supposedly more powerful than staples like vitamin C and CoQ10. There’s also a peptide complex. Together these address sun damage, dryness, sagging, scars, and stretch marks.
Rodial 24 Carat Gold Body Souffle, $190, at BeautyBoutique.ca.
Here, anti-wrinkle peptides from bee venom are combined with 24-karat gold, which supposedly stimulates cell turnover. There’s also moisturizing hyaluronic acid and shea butter, and the product has a touch of shimmer for an immediate radiance boost.
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