You know the saying—skincare ends at your nipples. Perhaps an absurd expression, but the silliest thing about it is that it’s patently false. Our skin certainly doesn’t end there, so why should your regimen? Hopefully, you’re already using body lotion with SPF, as sunscreen is our first line of defense against skin aging. “Nothing is more important than sunscreen,” says Dr. Gerald Imber, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City. “The evidence of the importance of anti-aging skincare for the body is obvious every time you see the wrinkled, lined, and suntanned arms of the last generation.”
Beyond SPF, many of the same ingredient rules you follow for your facial anti-aging routine apply to body care. Protection courtesy of antioxidants will support the work of your sunscreen while defending the skin against free radical damage that causes the deterioration of collagen, the protein responsible for firm skin. Dr. Imber recommends vitamin C in particular. “One should use a 15 percent L-ascorbic acid product to help build collagen and keep the skin of the hands and arms from thinning and aging,” he says.