Especially during the colder months, hydration is critical for preventing dry skin. In our daily complexion-care routines, we focus on hydrating our faces, but we need to give the rest of our bodies the same tender love and care. During the winter, "the skin barrier can become impaired due to less humidity in the air," Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in San Francisco, previously told Well + Good. This means that without extra hydration all over our bodies, the colder air can damage the skin's barrier, leading to a whole host of problems like dryness, irritation, and redness.
The most effective way to give the skin on your body the extra drink of hydration it needs comes from The Honest Company's latest launch. The brand's new Cleansing Body Conditioner ($12) is filled with oh-so-nourishing ingredients, including shea butter (which is ultra-soothing), almond oil (which reduces inflammation), and jojoba seed oil (which is extra hydrating), designed to give your skin the extra oomph of moisture it needs to stay healthy and feeling good during the harsh winter months.
But, what exactly is a body conditioner? We chatted with Dr. Rachel Nazarian, MD FAAD at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, about what body conditioners can do for our skin and why they should be a staple in your winter shower routine.
"Certainly during the winter season, when there is less moisture in the environment, you're more likely to experience dry skin and inflamed winter itch," says Dr. Nazarian. "You're also more likely to take hotter showers in the winter, which can increase the risk of dry, irritated skin." This tough-on-skin combination can impact its overall health, and strip it from the protective lipids that work to keep moisture beneath the skin's outermost layer.
That's why body conditioners are a simple and effective solution for giving your skin added nourishment. "Body conditioners are an effective and efficient way to moisturize a large area of skin quickly," Dr. Nazarian says. But they're not meant to replace body wash. Instead, they should be used as the last step in your shower routine because your skin sucks up the most moisture when it's still wet. So by applying the body conditioner last, your skin can absorb all of the extra hydrators and fatty acids from the body conditioner, leaving your skin feeling nourished throughout the rest of the day.
"This simple step in your shower regimen avoids the hassle of remembering to apply lotion later on, and it's so quick and easy so moisturizing becomes less of a chore," Dr. Nazarian explains. You'll know it's working if your skin feels smoother to the touch and appears brighter after use.
For more derm-approved shower tips, check out the video below.
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