Body Skincare Products Are Growing In Popularity — Here’s Why


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Back in 2015, a hilariously perceptive Instagram account called @NightLotion appeared on our feeds, capturing a growing trend. “Women on TV applying lotion before bed,” read the account’s bio. Featuring the common trope, which is often accompanied by an important plot point (such as an argument, a steamy sexual encounter or a mental breakdown — sometimes all three!), these particular scenes involved the show’s female lead applying a copious amount of a nondescript cream to her hands and limbs, often aggressively.

As it turns out, these A-list lotioners were onto something. Almost a decade later, body-care products have become integral parts of our beauty routine. (Thank you, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, for your contributions.)

In fact, a May 2020 report by McKinsey & Company documents a 65 per cent increase in bath- and body-product sales. By 2027, body lotions are expected to be a nearly $150-billion market — a staggering 50 per cent jump from where the category sits today. And that’s just body lotions; the figure doesn’t include products and treatments that go beyond a washing-and-moisturizing routine. Thanks to serums and masks that tackle specific body skin concerns (like bacne and keratosis pilaris), post-shower routines are becoming more targeted and elaborate.

And why shouldn’t the gold-standard ingredients that are traditionally used on the face for brightening and tightening find their way into body care? “I’m seeing more clients asking to extend their facial treatments down to the décolletage to better address signs of aging below the neck,” says Dr. Amanda Lau, an aesthetic doctor and the medical director at Skinfolio in Vancouver.

She explains that popular in-office procedures such as resurfacing lasers, IPL (intense pulsed light) and microneedling can be used on the body to address skin laxity, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation and have become especially popular for areas like the hands, neck and chest. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to more expansive body care. “Ninety per cent of your skin is on your body; it’s short-sighted to only take care of one small part,” says Dr. Mona Gohara, a Connecticut-based dermatologist.

The term “skinification” describes the concept of treating the rest of your body with the same attention you give to your face. “Brands are developing formulas with much-loved skincare ingredients to create results-driven, efficacious body care,” says Maria Sarris, product development manager for U.K.-based beauty company I Am Proud. For Sarris, working with these well-recognized ingredients was non-negotiable when formulating the Body Proud line. The latest collection to launch from the overarching I Am Proud brand, Body Proud (following Skin Proud and Hair Proud) is a range of head-to-toe formulas that debuted in Canada last year.

With its affordable price points and easy-to-understand labelling, the Body Proud line focuses on high-performance products, including a vitamin C-enriched oil and a body wash formulated with niacinamide, that target body-care concerns such as skin brightening and smoothing. “We’re seeing consumers asking for more from their body-care products,” says Sarris. “They’re looking for a routine that can be tailored to their specific skin type, concerns and preferences for a personalized experience.”

Retinol is another prime example. One of the most data-backed ingredients available in skincare, it now plays a starring role in body creams and masks, where it’s able to work its smoothing and collagen-boosting magic on crepey-skinned knees and keratosis pilaris-speckled upper arms. Hyperpigmentation and dark spots can be treated with melanocyte-targeting actives like alpha arbutin and kojic acid, while the popular antioxidant vitamin C is another top choice for skin that’s regularly exposed to the sun, such as the hands, neck and chest, to help minimize UV damage. And buzzy niacinamide’s benefits go beyond the face, tackling a host of issues, including dull skin, a weakened skin barrier and inflammation from bacne.

If these ingredients sound familiar, that’s because they are. “Ingredient lists for body-care products should be similar to those for face-care products because you experience similar external factors on all of your skin, including environmental stressors like ultraviolet light,” says Gohara. For example, Dove’s new line of body washes are formulated with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and collagen.

So, while we eagerly await body care’s next much-deserved starring role on the silver screen, can we make one small suggestion to screenwriters? Ditch the same old no-name cream and swap it for an AHA-packed serum or an antioxidant-rich mask that’s more befitting of the A-list stars we love.

Below, six head-to-toe heroes that deliver on softer and smoother limbs.

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Body Cream

Inspired by the brand’s cult-favourite face cream, this lotion offers up similar benefits for the body, including tighter and brighter skin thanks to a caffeine- and hyaluronic acid-rich formula.

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Body Proud Sleep Hero Overnight Recovery Body Mask

Body Care

This innovative sleep mask taps into powerful retinol to smooth and brighten limbs, while hyaluronic acid and niacinamide plump and hydrate.

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Nécessaire The Body Peel

Body Care

Packed with a potent blend of acids, including glycolic, salicylic and lactic, this nourishing peel helps treat ingrown hairs, uneven texture and keratosis pilaris.

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Youth to the People 10% AHA + Yerba Mate Energy Smoothing Body Scrub

body care

Think of this body scrub with 10 per cent AHAs (a combo of lactic, glycolic and mandelic acids) plus caffeine and jojoba beads as a smoothing, exfoliating facial for your body.

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Dove Glow Recharge

This refreshing shower staple is formulated with a 3 per cent brightening serum containing vitamin C along with exfoliating minerals to gently refine and illuminate the skin.

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Sidia The Body Serum

Formulated with squalane and prickly pear to lock in moisture and soothe the skin, this weightless serum can be used on all skin types for lasting hydration. Plus, the spray bottle makes quick work of hard-to-reach spots.

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This article first appeared in FASHION’s March 2024 issue. Find out more here.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

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