Why You Should Treat Facial Skin Differently Than Body Skin

Do you use the same products on your face that you do on the rest of your body? If so, you are probably not aware of what it is doing to your skin. Different areas of your skin should be treated differently, as each area has unique characteristics that require special attention.

Facial Vs Body Skin CareMost areas of our skin are made up of three layers: the epidermis (the outer-most layer), the dermis (the middle layer) and sebaceous glands (where sebum, or the production of oils, occur). The two exceptions – soles of feet and palms of hands – lack sebaceous glands and should therefore be treated differently than all other areas of our skin.  And just as our hands and feet require a special regimen, our facial skin must be cared for differently than our body skin.

The products we use on these separate areas should cater specifically to the needs of each, individually. Therefore, a heavy hand cream should not be used on the body and a body butter should not be used on the face – simple fact: just like skin differs amongst people, it also differs from place to place on our own bodies.

Several factors contribute to the differences in skin care needs each area requires:

The Environment:
What area of our skin is constantly being exposed to sunlight, air pollutants, and let’s not forget…our hands? If you answered, “Face,” you’re right! Lucky for our arms, legs, feet, stomachs and backs, they get protection most days out of the year. Our face on the other hand, does not have this luxury and is therefore, the first to succumb to these harmful environmental effects.  Other environmental factors such as smoking, excessive drinking and those that hasten fatigue and stress, can also contribute heavily to skin conditions such as premature aging and acne.

Epidermal Thickness:
The thicker the epidermis, the heavier and harsher a treatment it can endure. Our palms and soles are the thickest area of our skin, followed by our body and finally, our face.  Our facial epidermis is approximately 0.48 mm thinner than our body epidermis. In comparison to our body skin regimen, our facial cleansers and moisturizers require a much lighter and gentler product.

Sebaceous Activity:
I’m willing to bet that anyone who reads this has probably heard of (and likely detests), the “T-zone.” Why? Because it’s evil! Only kidding — but in all actuality, there’s a reason that some may call this a “problem area.”

Sebaceous glands sit right beneath the dermis and produce oil through our pores. Our sebaceous glands play an important role in keeping the skin hydrated, but when overactive, an excess amount of sebum may clog pores and contribute to the growth of unwanted bacteria living on the skin. A common result is acne.

Our face, especially our T-zone, is crowded with sebaceous glands, making it extremely susceptible to excessive oil production. Therefore, it is important that the products we use on our face are light and will not clog pores.

While it is relatively normal to have drier body skin (especially during the winter months), each person’s face is different — some are more oily, others more dry; some are sensitive and others, a little bit of it all.  The point is: you wouldn’t perform surgery on an arm the same way you would a nose, and skin is no exception – each part is different and therefore deserves to be treated differently.