At the very least, you probably wash and moisturize your face daily and that’s great, you should take care of the skin on your face, but there are other body parts that deserve a little TLC. Your hands, feet, scalp, knees and neck are five often overlooked body parts that also need cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing to keep them just as healthy — and youthful — looking as your complexion.
An unhealthy scalp can lead to itchiness, dandruff, flakes and even thinning hair. Does your scalp feel tight or itchy? You may have dry skin that needs nourishing. Make sure you’re using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner (did you think washing your hair was only about your hair?) and treat your scalp to a massage with an oil like coconut or olive. Massage slightly warm oil into your scalp starting at the temples then wrap your hair and head with a towel and relax for 20 minutes, then wash.
Exfoliation is also key to a healthy scalp and can unblock clogged hair follicles and help slough off dry skin before it embarrassingly falls onto your shoulder. Simply add a teaspoon of sugar (brown or white) to your shampoo and gently scrub your scalp.
Neck and Décolletage
“We want to treat the skin on our neck and décolletage the same as we treat our face, it’s just as important,” says Ferranti. “Make sure that when you exfoliate your face you bring it down onto the neck and décolletage every once and a while. Also, applying your moisturizer there helps give the skin a natural glow.”
She also adds that facials are a great way to stimulate circulation, not only of the face but also of the neck and chest. “Massage will also give the collagen and elastin a jump-start to keep producing. This is what will keep the contour and firmness to our skin,” she says.
But skincare alone can’t get you the elegant swan neck of a ballerina. You can prevent and improve sagging skin and jowls by doing facial exercises. One simple exercise to tighten the neck is to stick out your tongue and say “ahhh.” Hold for ten seconds and repeat five times.
They say that hands are a dead giveaway of someone’s age. And they can often look older than you are. As Leslie Ferranti, in-house esthetics expert at The Ten Spot beauty bars says, “The one place on our body that gets the most use is our hands. They carry everything, including germs, and we are constantly washing and sanitizing them, which in turn really dries them out. Moisturizing our hands is a very important step that we all seem to forget.” Ferranti suggests leaving a body or hand lotion on your night stand so you don’t forget to apply it before bed. She recommends The Ten Spot’s in-house brand Get Nailed Spiced Pearfection whipped body cream.
Another step we often forget is to apply sunscreen to the tops of our hands. “This is very important because they always see the sun,” says Ferranti. “Hyper-pigmentation (brown spots) are typically seen on the backs of hands and can be completely avoided with a little SPF.”
Ferranti also sees manicures as a hand-care necessity for both men and women. “It keeps our hands exfoliated and moisturized all while taking care of our nail health.”
Demi Moore famously got a knee lift — among many other cosmetic procedures — about 11 years ago for her 40th birthday. It’s not an area most of us give much attention to, but the dry, dull, sagging skin around our knees can definitely add years to your look. And while plastic surgery isn’t really recommended except in extreme cases (or with extreme wealth), there are other ways to keep those knees looking firmer. First, it’s important to exfoliate and soften the dry skin on your knees. A simple scrub or dry brushing before hopping in the shower should do the trick, but you could also use an exfoliating mask or peel made for your face on those knees for a deeper cleanse. Follow with a thick moisturizer and don’t forget to exercise.
You can tighten the muscles and skin around your knees by doing leg lifts, either on a machine or with weights on your ankles at home. Sit on a chair with legs bent and raise ankles up, then lower. Easy, right? Another great way to strengthen your quadriceps (the group of four muscles that surround and support the knee) is to do yoga. Many basic yoga poses gently stretch and strengthen this area.
“Ahhh, at the end of the day all I want is for someone to massage my feet,” says Ferranti. Isn’t that what we all want? And for good reason. Like your hands, your feet do a lot of work in a day, especially if you wear heels. Ferranti says that regular pedicures are a great way to get your feet into sandal shape and keep them healthy all year long. But of course, there are benefits to at-home upkeep, too. “Exfoliation and moisturizing are key,” she says, adding that a foot file is good to have to tackle those calluses. She also recommends Gehwol foot balm for cracked heels.