The face is where most consumers concentrate their time and resources when it comes caring for their skin. But experts say there should be more attention paid to the skin in areas such as the neck, hands, feet, legs and arms.
According to dermatologists, many consumers often neglect their largest organ unless it sends out a distress call.
“It’s a large area to cover and if there are not symptoms of dryness, itching or stinging, it would not even be thought of,” said dermatologist Dr. Amy Newburger, founder of Dermatology Consultants of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY. “In general, the exposed skin—arms and legs—gets weathered and dry, and the maintenance of the normal barrier is important.”
Maintenance via moisturizers is the baseline, but driven by aging Baby Boomers' desire to maintain a youthful appearance, demand is rising for products that will keep the entire body looking young. As such, more marketers are rolling out SKUs designed to work on skin that’s below the chin.
But experts know that not all skin is the same.
Taking care of your skin is an outer body experience.
“There are fewer and smaller sebaceous glands on the body than on the face,” Newburger said. In addition, there are differences in the stratum corneum and dermis—the thickness of the heel as opposed to the skin under the breast, the décolleté or the underarm, for example.
So, just like in facial skin care, body crèmes and lotions can’t be one-size-fits-all.
“The carrier of the active ingredients should enhance delivery of the actives to the target site,” Newburger told HAPPI. “One would use a chemical that softens thick dead rough skin on the heel, but one would use a protective emollient cream on the breast. The latter product wouldn't have much benefit for the heel, and the product for the heel would be very irritating on the breast.”
Body skin care SKUs are taking cues from the popularity of natural ingredients, and these days, there are few materials hotter than argan oil (for a detailed look at this material, be sure to read the June issue of Happi).
Moroccanoil, a leader in professional hair products, is bringing this über trendy oil to body care.
"We revolutionized the hair care industry with our original Moroccanoil Treatment, and through our continued commitment to innovation we hope to have the same impact on the body category," Carmen Tal, Moroccanoil co-founder, said in a press statement. "These new launches provide dramatic results and a sensory experience unmatched by brands currently in the marketplace."
The range includes Moroccanoil Body Buff, which features natural orange peel exfoliator to polish away dead skin cells as well as argan oil blended with vitamin E and avocado, grape seed, safflower, sesame and sweet almond oils. There’s also Moroccanoil Body Souffle (a rich formula of argan oil and shea butter), a hand cream and cleansing bar too. But one of the line’s most interesting SKUs is Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Treatment, which melts from a gel to an oil as it is massaged it into skin.
At AmLactin, a new look and name—and even a new spokesperson (swimmer Dara Torres) —are making news as the firm is bulking up its ingredients story. Now known as AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care, the collection has been revamped by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. “to attract 21st century women seeking innovative skin caresolutions while maintaining our scientific heritage as a serious, intense moisturizer,” according to Jim Hughes, vice president, marketing.
The range includes AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion—which is formulated with 12% lactic acid and is pH-balanced to gently encourage natural skin cell renewal through exfoliation, creating a soft, smooth texture—and AmLactin Ultra Hydrating Body Cream (formerly AmLactin XL), which is designed for severe, persistently dry skin areas that need extra attention. The cream contains a patented “Ultraplex” formula that gently exfoliates and is clinically proven to intensely hydrate for long-lasting moisture with rich humectants and creamy emollients, according to the firm.
Trinity of Youth Skincare’s most recent body treatment is BrilliantFx Body Serum, which offers lactic acid paired with Arnica montana. The latter is a flowering plant from the Helanoid family that contains sesquiterpene lactones, an active secondary plant metabolite. Arnica tinctures act in a similar way as glucocorticoids, such as prednisone, which is often prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions, according to the company.
And while promises of improvement via potent ingredients can sell products, one can’t underestimate scent, especially in the body care category.
Body Drench, part of American International Industries, has rolled out Fruity Treats, a new line of body care collection of lotions (Juicy Mango, Island Coconut Lime and Pomegranate Crush) and two new body scrubs (Candied Grapefruit Exfoliating Gel and Raspberry Gelee Body Scrub.
And Love Toast’s body care collection, which includes lotions, butters, scrubs and shower crèmes, now comes in five unique scents—Dew Blossom (which pairs notes of jasmine, white floral, fig nectar and exotic wood) Honey Nectar, Persimmon Plum, Salt’n Sea and Clementine Crush.
Tools of the Trade
Another hot topic in skin care is devices, led by the Clarisonic craze. But there are also applications beyond the face for modern hand-held tools that can enhance the effects of body gels, lotions and serums.
For example, NuSkin’s weapon against aging skin is ageLOC, and for the body, the firm offers the ageLOC Galvanic Body Spa system, which was designed for use in combination with its ageLOC Body Shaping Gel.
NuSkin's new weapon in the war against aging.
“Our ageLOC Spa has been a key aspect of our portfolio for a number of years. We had a great following with the multiuse device primarily for its use on the face but many are now using the body conductor with our ageLOC Body Shaping Gel to firm skin and target the appearance of cellulite,” said Helen Knaggs, vice president, Nu Skin global research and development. “We knew we could improve the experience for our consumers.”
With the Galvanic Body Spa system, pulsating galvanic currents aid in stimulating skin and increasing cellular communication to help purify and refresh skin and help reduce the visible signs of skin aging, according to Knaggs.
The instrument was designed to target a larger surface area with a patent-pending conductive surface that captures 10 times more key ingredients between the conductive surface and the skin (when compared to the older model’s conductor attachment), according to Nu Skin.
In addition, the design is more ergonomic which makes for easier handling during body treatments, according to Knaggs who recommends following the gel treatment with ageLOC Dermatic Effects.
“This combination of products has been shown to increase skin smoothness, firmness, and overall appearance in the upper arms, upper thighs, and lower abdomen,” she said.
Those are surely trouble spots for many women, especially as summer approaches. When the weather turns warmer, consumers begin their hunt for products that will make their bodies swimsuit-ready.
Just in time for summer, L’Occitane is expanding its Almond Collection with Almond Beautiful Shape, a formulation that reportedly trims up to 1.3 inches off trouble zones in just 4 weeks via powerful, natural ingredients that include almond and a new lemon micro-exfoliating extract. The extract is said to firm and tone the skin, stimulate microcirculation and decrease the appearance of cellulite.
The SKU joins L’Occitane’s existing Almond SKUs—Almond Shaping Delight, which refines, tightens and tones skin; Almond Shower Scrub, which has fine exfoliating particles; and Almond Smooth Hands, a light hand cream.
While often out of site, another zone that’s more visible during certain times of year (or under certain garments) is the underarm.
According to Dove, 32 million women in the US experience underarm red and dark marks caused by shaving irritation.Enter Dove Clear Tone antiperspirant/deodorant, which the brand is billing as the first and only US deodorant designed to reduce underarm red and dark marks caused by shaving irritation.
Specially formulated with calendula and sunflower seed extracts, the AP/deo Clear Tone formulations accelerate the skin’s natural renewal processes, while added moisture helps repair irritated skin and even skin tone over time with regular use, according to the Unilever brand.
A Hands- (and Feet) On Treatment
Many firms are addressing skin issues such as dryness and irritation from top to bottom and all places in between. Two zones that are especially troublesome in this regard are the hands and feet.
While many beauty and personal care companies place emphasis on products that will keep hands looking young and feet sandal-ready, there’s one brand that’s out to solve the worst cases of chafed, chapped and cracked hands and heels—but you won’t find it in the HBA aisle.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands and O’Keeffe’s for Healthy Feet are formulated to relieve even the worst cases of dry skin on the hands and feet and are “amazingly effective even when prescriptions can't do the job,” according to the company, which traces its routes back to needs of a rancher named Bill O’Keeffe. His daughter Tara, a pharmacist, was desperate to find something to relieve the cracked, painful skin on her Pop’s hands. She eventually formulated her own, and the O’Keeffe’s brand was born.
These non-oil-based products use water and glycerin to hydrate the skin. In addition, the SKUs trap moisture at the cellular level with two occlusive agents, stearic acid and paraffin, which prevent evaporation of hydrating compounds and water.
O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet has a higher concentration of allantoin to remove dead skin cells for better penetration and absorption of moisture and moisturizing ingredients through the tough, thick skin of the feet and dry heels, according to the company.
Both creams are hypoallergenic and odorless, the latter of which make them prime candidates for the “less fair” sex. As such, the SKUs are found in hardware stores like Lowe’s, rather than in traditional HBA aisles, according to O’Keeffe’s, which was acquired by The Gorilla Glue Company in 2010 for an undisclosed sum.
While consumers look to body care products to turn back the hands of time or solve specific issues, dermatologists stress the importance of daily maintenance and protection.
Said Dr. Newburger, “Gentle cleanser and sunscreen for sun exposed areas daily is a must and a barrier protectant moisturizer after bathingare sufficient, in my view.”