A Beauty Editor's 2-Step Routine For Smoother Skin Overnight
I want smooth, glowing skin from head to toe. My body is where I see most of my textural issues. My thighs, bum, and arms have always had rough, bumpy skin—often accompanied by dryness, redness, and flakes. Not only that, but I'm prone to getting strawberry skin on my legs, which isn't necessarily a textural issue, but it certainly doesn't help the appearance.
I've always been self-concerned about it, especially when this time of year rolls around and I start showing more skin in the warmer weather. Well this year, thanks to two science-driven formulas, I'm feeling much more assured in my skin. I've truly found the most effective combo at smoothing skin—and the results are shockingly fast.
My secret exfoliating-and-hydrating duo that gives me silk-like skin.
On the face, textural issues are usually treated by a combination of smooth exfoliation and plumping hydration. Both are equally important and become exponentially more effective when used together.
Plus, if you exfoliate without hydrating you run the risk of compromising your delicate skin barrier, which will lead to inflammation, irritation, and potentially premature aging.
The body is no different: Exfoliation always needs to be paired with hydration. What is different about the skin on the body is that it tends to be thicker and requires slightly stronger products to see results.
And up until recently, I struggled to find a product pairing that provided as astounding of results as I was hoping for. But now, I'm truly obsessed with this routine.
Step 1: Exfoliate with U Beauty's Resurfacing Body Compound at night.
U Beauty, founded by one of the original fashion bloggers Tina Chen Craig, is a science-driven, biotech beauty brand that's earned a much-deserved reputation for crafting sophisticated formulas. The products work so well thanks to the proprietary delivery method, called the "siren capsule technology." It's an encapsulation system that mimics the skin's cellular structure, so it's more easily accepted by the skin—and therefore the ingredients can get where they need to go more readily.
One of their cult products is the Resurfacing Compound, and now there's a version for the body. I've been using the Resurfacing Body Compound for a few weeks now, and the way it evens out skin feels something like magic.
The formula uses the aforementioned capsule technology to infuse a comprehensive collection of ingredients like mandelic acid, salicylic acid, peptides, enzymes, and antioxidants. Once in the skin, these work together to renew your skin's natural cell renewal process—essentially making sure that skin buildup doesn't happen in the first place.
It's a light, silky texture (almost like a serum) that sinks in rather quickly. I apply it at night just before bed, as the brand suggests that it's used alone for at least one hour. While I do cover most of my arms, bum, and legs, I pay closer attention to areas that are prone to rough texture—like the backs of my arms and thighs. I'm always mindful of exfoliation, and no matter how gentle a product, I usually stick to no more than two to three times a week on my body.
It's a splashy product that comes with a major price tag, but it uses serious ingredients and technology—and things like that are going to cost a bit more. If you can fit it into your budget, I do have to say: It's worth it.
Step 2: Moisture with mindbodygreen's postbiotic body lotion.
Come morning, it's time for mindbodygreen's postbiotic body lotion. No matter what products you use elsewhere in your routine, it means truly nothing if your barrier is compromised. Why? Any healthy aging ingredient's work is simply going to be undone by the consequences of a weak barrier, which includes inflammation and oxidative stress.
mindbodygreen specializes in holistic, naturally derived, science-backed body products, and the postbiotic body lotion is the hydrator I turn to when I need to strengthen my barrier. The formula uses a special biotech postbiotic that feeds the skin essential fatty acids and peptides and is shown to support epidermal framework reconstruction. It also contains a microalgae ferment prebiotic that nurtures the skin's microbiome, soothes irritation, and can even help smooth texture.
It also contains a robust assortment of botanical ingredients that hydrate, plump, and provide antioxidant protection. For example, it contains aloe, coconut oil, and organic, cold-pressed moringa seed oil to moisturize and condition the skin. This is layered with the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 and a fruit extract complex that fights free radical damage. Then it's rounded out by oat oil and shea butter, which are both shown to provide the skin precious ceramides.
It keeps skin moisturized, strong, and delays the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging.
To say I'm loving my new body smoothing duo would be an understatement. Truly the combination of these smart, science-backed formulas has rejuvenated my skin to a level I hadn't yet experienced.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.