Woman working on her body skin care routine in the bath

The 9-Step Body Skin Care Routine for Soft Skin


Christine Barbara & Sarah Barthet


This post is all about crafting the perfect body skin care routine in a few simple steps.

Everyone knows that skin care is important but, with the rush of daily life, our bodies are often neglected – or only sometimes prioritized. Even when skin care is routinely practised, it’s generally the face that takes priority.

And yet, the skin elsewhere on the body is equally subject to the same skin issues and similar signs of ageing, from fine lines to dark spots and more. It’s the reason why a full body skin care routine deserves to get bumped up on our list of priorities and given its due attention.

With regular care, signs of ageing and skin issues are kept suitably at bay, which in turn helps to boost self-confidence. Perhaps a more immediate effect is the delicious feeling of pampering and self-love that comes with treating your body to regular attention.

To help you get the ball rolling on your own body skin care routine, we’ve put together a list of body care recommendations that you might want to incorporate into your own personalized routine. From body brushing to soothing showers, this article covers all that is needed to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful – from head to toe! 

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Step 1: Enjoy Body Brushing Benefits

A traditional Ayurvedic practice used by ancient Greeks and Japanese alike, dry brushing is possibly one of the most under-rated treatments in body care today. It is often carried out in spas, however it can very well be done from the comfort of your own home.

All you need is a firm, stiff-bristled brush. Before having a shower or bath, simply grab the dry brush and, starting from the feet, sweep it across dry skin in circular movements working your way upwards. Pay particular attention to the areas that need more attention, such as elbows and knees. If preferred, you can also use a touch of body oil to aid in the brushing process, but not too much!

The Benefits of Dry Brushing

Scientific research into dry brushing is limited, however there are some benefits for both the skin and body that we can be sure about:

  • It’s a great exfoliator: it’s no secret that brushing a firm dry brush across your body will aid in removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, making it a great manual exfoliator. In fact, many prefer to dry brush in the shower, before turning the water on.
  • It can boost circulation: and you’ll notice this as your skin will appear slightly red after dry brushing – that’s all down to better blood flow in the areas you’ve brushed.
  • It helps to unclog pores: the bristles of the brush will help to unclog pores and lift any ingrown hairs in the exfoliation process.
  • It will give your skin a natural glow: by temporarily removing a layer of dead skin cells, your skin will appear smoother, softer and more radiant – even if only for a short while!

Note: readers with highly sensitive or acne-prone skin should consult their dermatologist or aesthetician before attempting to dry brush at home. It could cause irritation or spread bacteria and this could do more harm than good.

Step 2: Remove Body Hair

As the summer months approach, hair removal becomes even more of a priority! Whether waxing, body sugaring, shaving or using a hair removal cream, regularly removing body hair keeps the skin looking smooth and well-groomed.

Choosing the best hair removal method is a balance between personal preference and skin type. For example, people with sensitive skin might favor shaving over waxing whilst others might prefer to opt for more semi-permanent options such as laser/IPL hair removal.

Deciding when to fit body hair removal into one’s routine entirely depends on the type of hair removal method. It is important to take a shower before a waxing or body sugaring appointment (just avoid any lotions afterwards), as showering immediately after the appointment could easily irritate the skin.

On the other hand, you may prefer to use a hair removal cream before hopping into the shower, whilst shaving using shaving gel and a razor blade can easily be done during a daily wash. Whichever method chosen, regular hair removal will definitely make your skin feel silky smooth!

Step 3: A Shower Routine For Glowing Skin

A clean body is a healthy body! Cleansing away the daily dirt, sweat and grime is an essential daily routine which is guaranteed to refresh the mind as well as the body. In many ways, showers offer a calming oasis away from the bustling pace of day-to-day life, but also a multitude of skin benefits which keep it looking clean, supple and healthy.

We understand that each of our readers have different schedules and varying amounts of free time, but if there is one thing to do on the daily to ensure you are caring for your body, it’s following a good shower routine. For this reason, we’ve broken this step down into 3 parts:

– Pick Your Ideal Cleansing Body Washes or Bar Soaps

Before hopping into the shower, start by picking the best shower gel or bar soap for your skin care needs. The scent is usually the first thing to draw us in. After all, smelling good is part of what makes showering so enticing.

To keep the skin hydrated and glowing, look for a shower-gel with a formula that’s free of harsh chemicals and made of natural, moisturizing ingredients, such as coconut oil, honey and aloe vera.

Those with particularly oily skin who experience acne breakouts on their back might benefit from a medicated body wash as long as they make sure to moisturize afterwards. If unsure, always check with a dermatologist.

– Thoroughly Polish Your Skin with a Body Scrub

If you plan on skipping dry brushing, or at least feel like a change, then follow on from your shower gel with your favorite body scrub of choice at least once a week.

As already described, not only will scrubbing give your skin a healthy glow, but body scrubs are also attributed with a myriad of benefits, from promoting skin rejuvenation to increasing the efficacy of the skin care products.

Simply scoop a generous amount of body scrub onto the hands or loofah, and gently massage it into the skin using circular motions before rinsing it off.

– Moisturize From Head to Toe

Keeping the skin well hydrated is key to achieving healthy looking skin. Why include this as part of the shower routine? Because it’s worth getting into the habit of making it a part of your daily shower routine!

A daily dose of a simple everyday body moisturizer at the end of a hot shower helps to prevent the skin from losing its softness and youthful elasticity. 

Pick an indulgent body cream for treating particularly dry skin, or a refreshing body lotion for normal to oily skin as part of a daily skin care routine. Gently massage this into the skin after a daily shower, and enjoy the way this leaves the skin feeling deliciously smooth. If you begin to use body lotion, body serum or body cream on a daily basis, you will soon start to notice what a difference it makes!

If unsure whether body lotion, body cream or body butter is right for you, check out our article on Lotions vs Creams.

Step 4: Nourish Your Skin with the Right Active Ingredients

Those who routinely follow a strict facial skincare routine will already know the benefits of using products with different active ingredients on the face, products such as retinols or retinoids, hyaluronic acid serums, vitamin C serums, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) and more.

And if we invest so much in skin care for our face, why not treat our bodies to these products too, so that they can reap the same benefits? It’s a step up from the everyday drug store body lotion – nourishing the skin with active ingredients that are right for you is an important step in up-levelling any body skin care routine.

Active Ingredients in Skin Care

Here are some of the most popular active ingredients in skin care that you may have already heard of. Further research is needed before deciding which is right for you and your body, however this serves as a good intro. Remember to always consult an expert if unsure:

  • Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E – great for brightening, dark spots and inflammation
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): chemical exfoliants such as glycolic and lactic acid that can be used on most skin types
  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs): another chemical exfoliant such as salicylic acid or willow bark, ideal for oilier skin
  • Retinols and retinoids: vitamin A derivatives that encourage cell turnover, helping to treat fine lines and acne. Stronger retinoids require a prescription, however retinol is available over the counter
  • Hydrators such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides: great for retaining moisture in the skin and perfect for dry skin
  • Collagen: the protein responsible for increasing skin elasticity and firmness, a regenerating active ingredient that aids in tissue repair

Step 5: Facial Skin Care

Caring for the face is a skin care routine all on its own and a beast of a topic in its own right! It is a crucial part of a full body skincare routine as the face tends to be the first to show signs of ageing, stress, sun damage and more! It is also, of course, the most noticeable and recognizable part of a person’s body.

Nourishing, facial skin care products such as Vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and retinoids help to keep the face looking supple, healthy and glowing with a youthful bloom. Whichever product is suitable for you, it is best to apply these products on a freshly cleansed face, using a cleanser or face wash of choice.

Make sure to layer them in the correct way, starting from the thinnest to the thickest viscosity: cleanser, toner, serums and moisturizers, finishing with facial oil to lock in the moisture. Finally, consider spreading your choice of face oil around your face using a soothing face roller or a gua sha stone to help promote circulation and enjoy all the benefits of a face massage.

Woman applying skin care whilst sitting on a bamboo chair, inspired after reading skin care quotes

Step 6: Hand and Foot Care

A truly effective full-body skin care routine must not neglect daily hand and foot care. After all, we use them all the time! To us at Dukes Avenue, a good manicure and pedicure is the finishing touch to any outfit, and a key component to looking well-groomed!

The hands are particularly prone to dryness due to constant hand washing and exposure to the elements, and we’ve written a whole article on how to create your own hand care routine in 12-steps. We recommend checking out the whole article, but here are some of the points you can expect to find:

  • Apply cuticle oil to the nail bed
  • Wear cotton gloves to bed after moisturizing
  • Deep condition once a week

Just like hands, feet are also in constant use (and abuse). Many of us are on our feet, whether at home, at work or carrying out day-to-day tasks, typically whilst wearing uncomfortable – at times ill-fitting – shoes. As can be expected, these common practices do the feet no favors and so, they are usually in dire need of some care and attention.

A spa pedicure at the salon is ideal, however if you can’t fit that into your schedule, just make sure to exfoliate the feet using a pumice stone and large bowl of soapy water. Never use a pumice stone on dry skin! Focus your attention on the driest areas such as the heels, the ball of your foot, and any other dry areas you recognize.

Alternatively, the more adventurous might want to try a foot peel mask to remove any dead skin on extra dry feet. We highly recommend the Baby Foot Peel Mask. Your feet will start to peel after about a week, but they will feel so soft afterwards that it will be worth it! Just like your hands, face and the rest of your body, don’t forget to moisturize to keep them feeling lusciously soft for longer.

Step 7: Protect Your Body From The Sun

The sun is the number one contributor to ageing skin. Without proper care, over-exposure to the sun’s rays can cause premature wrinkles, dryness and pigmentation, which is why it is essential to always use sun protection before leaving the house.

A good quality sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF can easily be picked up at local drugstores. Remember to look for ‘broad spectrum SPF’ on the bottle or label. Broad spectrum SPF refers to sunscreens that protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Sunscreen should be the final step in any day time skin care routine before walking out the door. When it comes to the body, don’t forget to apply it in forgotten places, such as the back of the neck, and the tops of your hands and feet.

Step 8: Body Tanning

Many of us love that tanned look like we’ve just come back from a summer holiday, but realistically, how many of those do we get in a year?! And of course, we tend to hold back from sunbathing too much due to the sun’s notoriously harmful UV rays. Fake tanning is the solution here!

The good news is there are plenty of high quality tanning lotions that can be bought from your local drug store. Simply shop for a self-tanning mousse, gel, lotion or spray and evenly distribute it all over the body. Don’t forget to remove any old tan first, and to exfoliate in the shower before applying, paying particular attention to the elbows, knees and ankles. You might also want to consider apply some lotion to the same areas after exfoliating, to ensure your tan goes on evenly – no one likes those pesky tan streaks!

A self-tanning mousse can last anywhere between 5 to 10 days after one application, and allows for an appealing, sun-kissed look that doesn’t damage the skin.

Step 9: Spritz on Your Favorite Scent

To add a touch of sophistication to your body care routine, add a splash of scent. Whether it’s a fruity summer perfume or a warm vanilla scent, applying a scintillating fragrance can transform a mood with a single spritz.

There are plenty of reasons why you should wear perfume, so much so that we covered this in an entirely separate article on the Importance of Fragrance. We recommend checking out the whole article, but here are a couple of few things to note:

  • The Aromatherapy Factor: perfumes are essentially a blend of complementary ingredients and essential oils, and different essential oils have different therapeutic effects on different people.
  • It Leaves a Lasting Impression: Before a handshake, scent and sight are going to leave the very first impressions someone may have of you, but it will likely be scent that leaves the more lasting impression.

The power of scent is not to be underestimated and any body care routine benefits from this olfactory treat. You might also want to check out our article on How to Make a Perfume Last Longer in 17 Simple Ways.

Woman spraying perfume on wrists

**Bonus** Show Your Body Some Extra Love

Whilst an at-home body skin care routine is a great place to start, occasional spa treatments can give the skin that extra boost. For those who wish to treat their skin to professional spa treatments (and show their body the love and pampering it deserves!), there are a few indulgent options to consider:

  • Microneedling: using very small needles to gently puncture the skin, microneedling helps to improve signs of ageing, treat scar tissue, and minimize the appearance of stretch marks, amongst other benefits for the skin. This cosmetic treatment has had glowing reviews, and it’s worth discussing with your dermatologist for problematic areas.
  • Full-body massage: without a doubt, a massage is a treat for both the body and the mind.
  • Body mask: just like face masks, only body mask treatments cover a much larger portion of the body. They differ to face masks in that they are formulated to target issues related to specific areas on the body (for example cellulite), rather than a mask for the whole face. Whilst body masks are certainly available to purchase for at home use, getting this done at the spa (if available) ensures that all areas are treated, whilst enjoying a thoroughly relaxing experience.
  • Mud baths: mud baths are exactly what they sound like: taking a bath in mud. This treatment has a surprising amount of benefits for the skin which leaves it cleansed and beautifully rejuvenated.

Of course, there are plenty of beauty treatments available at the many salons and spas around the world, but these are some of our own personal favorites!

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