At press time, it is summer—and a cruel one at that. Looking ahead at New York's forecast, we've got four impending 90° days this week and I'm afraid to look into the humidity levels. This presents a whole host of issues: How to keep your makeup from melting, how to take the subway without fainting, how to best take advantage of the office A/C without committing to sleeping under your desk... But the one I want to focus on today is your skin. Specifically the skin that's not your face. Because you're not going to be wearing much in the way of clothing for the next few weeks, so your body's got to be ready for showtime. Jazz hands.
The key here is to think about your body the way you think about the rest of your skincare. If you wash your body like you wash your face, and you moisturize your body like you moisturize your face, then shouldn't you tone your body like you tone your face? My gut check says yes, particularly if you struggle with any stubborn ingrowns or keratosis pilaris (those bumps on your arms or legs that aren't quite pimples and aren't quite ingrown hairs and you haven't quiet figured out how to make them stop happening).
Two years ago, Annie beat me to the punch in recommending Stridex for winter's remnant chicken skin. Bookmark that post; truly words to live by. Sure, the 2% salycylic acid is a little stronger than your typical toner, but your body can take it. It's the step between washing and moisturizing that counts—swipe down once a day and you'll notice a change immediately.
Now, I'm not one to knock a drugstore gifthorse in the mouth (Stridex will always have my heart), but if you're willing to upgrade just a skidge, you can get a little more skin benefit for your buck. Something that knocks out bumps but also bears in mind that you are a delicate flower and should be treated accordingly. Something like...
Slightly cheesy name aside, these are your grown-up blemish pads. Not only soaked with glycolic acid (the ingredient that clears out your leg pores and makes them less bumpy), they've got aloe vera juice, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. Because now that you're not in high school, you know you need to pair the serious butt-kicking ingredients with a soothing chaser. And if you're into the adult angle, try...
Formulated with a whopping 10% glycolic acid, these babies are good for a whole host of things. 1. Keratosis pilaris. 2. Wrinkles! Yes, you can anti-age your body. 3. Uneven skin tone, scarring, and general brightness. 4. The easiest exfoliation experience you can do at home. Use all over your body to begin the process of gleaming more like Rihanna. To finish the Bad Gal look, end with...
For that freshly oiled look without the greasy feel. Perfect for situations like this. With this guy, you'll be moisturizing as you tone, thanks to hella antioxidants from olive oil, prickly pear seed oil, and cucumber seed oil. Altogether, they help the skin retain moisture, fight free radicals, and combat discoloration. Everything you wanted to hear and more when you pulled on those tattered denim cutoffs, right? Right.
Photographed by Tom Newton.
Also effective: a good body scrub.