Skin Care For The Neck Down: This Clean Oil Is like A High-Tech Serum
You've likely been told that the skin on your body—the neck, chest, and hands specifically—is susceptible to aging, just like your face. We've talked about it here, too! Of course, we pay the most attention to the skin on our face because that's what people see. (There are also other factors like your face is exposed to environmental aggressors more, it tends to get more physical movement, and it's thinner.) But more and more people are starting to think about how their skin looks below the neck. I know I do: I consider myself far too young to be developing sunspots, and yet, there are a handful on my décolletage. And a few years ago, there was an influx of body products that promised to address this: nighttime neck products supercharged with retinol, body lotions with high-powered antioxidants, anti-aging allover oils. The majority of these, however, did not fall under the nontoxic umbrella; so if you had any wish to use something nontoxic, you'd have to go the more traditional route.
Enter: This body oil, which dropped today at Bluemercury. The M-61 Hydraboost Body Oil is basically a high-tech serum but formulated for your body: These sorts of ingredients are typically reserved for only the finest of face products. The base is a plant-based squalene from sugar cane and jojoba oil. (If I had to pick a favorite oil, it'd be jojoba.) Then there is calming aloe and centella asiatica, as well as the antioxidant-rich tamarind, which is said to improve elasticity. If that wasn't enough, the active I was most surprised by was the tripeptide. Peptides help natural collagen production and are a dermatologist-favorite ingredient. (I had the chance to ask M-61 founder Marla Beck about the formulation: "All skin is created equal in my eyes, be it the face or body—so I was very specific on the ingredients I wanted to use when formulating this.")
I've tested it out over the last few weeks: This is some serious stuff. Since the base is squalene and jojoba oil, it's so very light and sinks into skin immediately: no residue, no slimy-looking limbs, no greasy palm prints all over your bathroom. Within a few days of using it after my shower, my skin was less irritated: I run dry on my body (not my face), and I feel my skin is always itchy and angry, especially my legs. I also am a very pale person—which doesn't bother me, except for my legs. I'll be honest with you: If I wasn't afraid of sun damage, I'd absolutely be tanning my legs every time even one ray of sunshine is out. This somehow made my legs appear more glowy (can legs glow? Is that a thing?). And because plant-based oils mimic your body's own lipids (read up here!1), my skin barrier healed much faster and stayed hydrated for longer—back when I was testing more "standard" body lotions, midday my legs and arms would feel dry all over again.
And, listen, the price point is high. I'm also not a fan of telling people that they need a new product to address something they honestly might not care anything about. But, if you were or are someone who is looking for a cleaner body care item to target any concerns, this is a safe (if pricey!) option. Also: If you're worried about going through it too quickly, just target areas you're most concerned about, and then pair it with a less expensive option, like Weleda Skin Food (it continues to be a go-to for me) or even one from your kitchen!
In the end, I am a fan of finding a routine that makes you feel good in the skin you're in. And let me tell you, this made my skin feel very, very good.
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.