Caring for the skin on your body can seem like an afterthought when you have things to do and a seven-step routine for your face as it is. But if your usual apply-and-go body lotion habit isn't cutting it then it might be time for you to incorporate some fresh tips for soft skin into your everyday routine. Not only does dehydrated skin look dull and feel rough, but it can even become itchy and irritated if left unchecked and not properly moisturized on a regular basis. The good news? The right steps can help you fix it, starting in the shower — and better yet, they don’t take a ton of time. We're also highlighting our favorite cruelty-free skin-care brand Kiwi Botanicals, since their products are packed with clean, moisturizing ingredients that give you head-to-toe hydration. Here's everything you need to know.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Choose a Cleanser That Also Moisturizes
Good: A body wash that suds up and smells good. Even better: A body wash that suds up, smells good, and offers moisturizing ingredients for skin. Old-school cleansers could lather a little too well, removing skin's naturally moisturizing oils and leaving it dry and tight. Kiwi Botanicals Nourishing Shower Gel is infused with manuka honey to hydrate as you cleanse. Also important: It's free of sulfates, which is often the culprit behind skin dryness caused by body washes.
Keep Your Shower on the Short Side
A long, hot shower sounds nice in theory after a long day, but it won't do any favors for your skin. In fact, "hotter temperature showers pull moisture from the skin and can result in dryness," says Dr. Michele Farber, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. She recommends sticking with a shorter, lukewarm shower — which, bonus, may actually be preferable during heatwave season.
Don't Forget to Exfoliate First
Unless you first remove the superficial layer of dead skin cells, those moisturizing ingredients you're enthusiastically applying on aren't actually going anywhere. In removing those dead skin cells (which also give dry skin a dull, rough appearance), exfoliation clears the way for your moisturizers and creams to penetrate skin, leading to better hydration and softer skin.
Apply a Moisturizer as Soon as Possible
Before you towel off completely, "apply moisturizer to slightly damp skin, as this helps seal in moisture," advises Dr. Farber. Short on time? Skip this step by using an in-shower body conditioner, which cuts out the middleman. We're fans of Kiwi Botanicals Soothing Body Conditioner, which packs both shea butter and glycerin to lock in moisture. Plus, manuka honey is anti-inflammatory, so it easily calms and nourishes dry skin. "In-shower body lotions are designed to apply on wet skin and avoid feeling sticky—a big plus to allow you to get dressed immediately after the shower," says Dr. Farber. After cleansing, massage the body conditioner into skin, rinse, and you're good to go.
Soothe Dry Skin With a Velvety Body Cream
Not all body moisturizers are created equal. "If you’re especially dry, choose a thicker cream or ointment rather than lotion, which has a higher proportion of water," says Dr. Farber. "These are more hydrating." You can't go wrong with Kiwi Botanicals Nourishing Body Butter, a rich (but not greasy) formula that pairs shea butter and manuka honey to restore and relieve dry skin.
Choose Your Moisturizing Formula Wisely
Your face, neck, and chest need moisture, too. And in some areas where skin may be more sensitive, there are certain considerations. Dr. Farber recommends seeking out fragrance-free creams and calls out glycerin, a humectant that draws in water, in particular. "This is best for sensitive skin and will help seal in moisture," she says. Try Kiwi Botanicals Nourishing Night Cream which is both fragrance-free and has moisture-attracting glycerin.