Is there any difference between the skin on the body compared to the skin on the face?
The skin on our body protects us from the outside world. It provides a barrier against environmental stressors such as pollutants, bacteria and protects against water loss. It provides a flexible covering for our vital organs and plays a crucial role in regulating our body temperature.
The skin on our body can appear like the skin on our face, however, it has some unique differences to facial skin and as a result, requires particular care. The main differences between facial and body skin are:
Skin thickness: Facial skin is thinner than the skin on our bodies. This varies depending on which part of the body however, the fat layer under the skin is thicker on the body than the face. There are also some unique differences; one of these is that some areas of our body such as the hands and soles of the feet have a whole extra layer in the Epidermis (the top layer of the skin) that covers them. This additional layer allows for increased resilience and stretch in these areas.
Skin Cell Turnover Rate: There is a naturally occurring slower skin cell turnover rate in the skin on the body, often resulting in dryer, thicker and scalier skin. As it takes longer to replace existing skin cells with new ones, dead cells can linger for longer on your skin making it appear dry, dull even flaky.
Dryness: The skin on the body has less oil producing sebaceous glands than the face so dryness tends to be more of a concern.
How does the skin on the body age compared to the skin on the face?
The skin on our body – apart from frequently exposed areas such as the arms and hands – does tend to have better protection against UV rays because we generally cover it up. As exposure to the sun is one of the primary causes of skin ageing, this means that the rate of extrinsic or external ageing in covered areas will be slower.
Age-related skin changes to the skin on the body are like those on the face in that they can include thinning, sagging, wrinkling and in areas frequently exposed to the sun, the appearance of age spots. Broken blood vessels and areas of dryness as well as skin health concerns such as skin cancer, are also more common as we age and appear on the skin on our body.