Suffice it to say, 2020 has not been particularly kind to us. A global pandemic, widescale police brutality, frankly hopeless politics, extreme weather – it has been absolute hell. And if you’re like the majority of us, it has probably worn you down on a deep physical and mental level. Taking time for self-care has honestly never been more important. This can look like therapy and deep emotional work, but there’s also something to be said for the more bare bones simplistic stuff like just properly moisturizing after a bath or following your skincare ritual. Notice the word “properly,” because it turns out that there are several places people miss while moisturizing. Here are five of the weirdest ones. Lets's get weird!
While hands, elbows, and faces tend to get the most airtime when it comes to moisturizing, there are others that totally deserve a little TLC. Potentially one of the strangest ones is our ears. We know it sounds odd, but ears actually go through a lot in our day to day lives. They’re one of the most sensitive areas of our skin and face and deal with some of the most dramatic and harsh environmental conditions. Unlike other areas of the body, they aren’t really covered barring the occasional earmuff use in winter, which means there’s little buffer between them and wind, sun, rain, heat, cold, etcetera. The result? They tend to dry out quickly leading to itchiness, flakiness, and general discomfort.
Weather and temperature aren’t the only things that cause ears to dry out, though. There are several common issues and conditions that affect how hydrated (or not) they are including seasonal allergies, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, overcleaning, hearing aid use, piercings, and more. Combine this with the reality that our earlobes keep growing throughout our lives and we often make them suffer heavy earrings, they should be treated with more respect than they currently get. This is where moisturizing comes into play. Lotions will work just fine if they aren’t too far gone already, but you’ll likely need something more heavy duty should you find your lobes flaky and irritated on the regular. Ointments would be a great fix in this case. Like everything else exposed, however, it is best to layer a sunscreen or SPF over your moisturizer of choice to protect from damaging UV rays.
As a general rule, most people try to take good care of their hair. This doesn’t seem to extend the same way to eyebrows, but it absolutely should. Much like our earlobes, our brows are forced to suffer through the elements with very little protection. Unfortunately, dull, fragile, and sparse eyebrows tend to be the end result. It shouldn’t be shocking. After all, the hair on our head would also end up looking similar if it lacked moisture and proper care. It still remains an issue that needs solving, though. Brows seem unimportant at first glance, but they’re integral to our whole look. They frame the face and complement our style and makeup. They also have a critical, much more practical function, protecting our eyes from sweat and moisture.
These important features are constantly losing and gaining new hairs, but this cycle can very quickly find itself interrupted for a variety of reasons. Hair loss and a lack of moisture are two of the biggest. If you want to keep your brows looking full and smooth, just moisturize them rather than letting them do their thing. They can always use the additional support. There’s a few ways you can do this, but the most typical ones include:
- Store-bought brow conditioners
- Coconut oil
- Castor oil
- Facial moisturizer
Our recommendation is to use either an oil or the moisturizer you usually use on your face. Dedicated conditioners are great to use and contain fantastic ingredients, but they can often be overpriced and hard(er) to find. Meanwhile, you probably already have our recommendations on hand and odds are that they’re pretty affordable. Bonus, they traditionally work just as well as other stuff to keep your brows hydrated, silky smooth, protected, and nourished. Particularly worried about hair loss? Maybe opt for the castor oil first to stimulate your follicles. While not completely proven, many users report having significant re-growth with a consistent castor oil regimen. It’s not a sure thing, but it certainly won’t hurt.
In a culture that believes all stomachs should be hidden unless perfectly flat, toned, and tanned, it’s pretty obvious that most of us aren’t treating it as well as we should. We need to change that. Our bellies are awesome parts of our bodies. They protect important organs, expand and shrink as our bodies change through the years, and are often a physical indicator of our lived experiences. For those who have been pregnant, they’ve even helped house their growing, developing babies and kept them safe. In other words, we should love our stomachs more and do more to take care of them. Moisturizing is one part of the equation. Adequate hydration will go a long way to supporting our skin as it stretches from weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and aging.
Lotion will naturally work well here as our bellies aren’t quite as fragile as other body parts. Although, we’d still urge you to pick something a little bit nicer than the cheapest option at your local grocery store. We want to treat our bodies, not just appease them for the moment. Try to go for a lotion that is super hydrating, free from alcohols, parabens, and fragrances, and preferably one that is vegan and cruelty free. Together, all of this will keep any potential irritation at bay while giving yourself the most moisture possible. For those worried about any stretch marks, lotions with shea and cocoa butter and bio oil are both fantastic options.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents or guardians would obsessively lather both your hands and your elbows in lotion? Well, they forgot another stranger but just as needed place: your knees! We know you’re still missing it to this day, but you should make a concerted effort to moisturize them every day, especially when it’s particularly dry or hot outside. Considering it’s the middle of summer right now, that means you should start paying special attention to your knees ASAP. They hold us up every single day and allow us to walk, move, and jump. It’s the least you could do to pay them back.
To get rid of the rough and welcome in nice, smooth knees, you should attempt to follow a few steps beyond just hydrating with a general body lotion. For a comprehensive home remedy, you should:
- Exfoliate with a scrub – Keeping skin moist is necessary, but that only addresses one reason for dry knees. Dead skin build-up can also be attributed to this common problem. Take care of it by exfoliating your knees regularly. You shouldn’t need to do this more than two or so times a week. Just ensure you’re not using a scrub that’s too irritating. If your skin seems unhappy with it, either switch products or try scaling back your exfoliations to once a week.
- Switch body washes – Knees looking far from their best? Your body wash or soap could be to blame. Generally, choosing one that’s labeled “moisturizing” or “for sensitive skin” will do the trick. Sometimes even the best products have some drying agents slipped in, though, so always read the label to see what you’re getting.
- Embrace sleep – Our bodies repair themselves whenever we sleep, so don’t skimp on the shuteye. Aim for a solid 8 hours of sleep every night for smooth, glowing skin. Applying lotion or oil on your knees prior to sleeping will also give you a great boost of hydration.
- Heal with aloe vera – Knees really cracked and irritated? It happens to all of us once in a while. Apply a nice layer of aloe vera for a few days and you should see it turn around in no time.
- Apply a nourishing oil – Lotions aren’t the only moisturizer out there. Oils work great for everything, including our knees. Castor oil, almond oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, the choice is yours. All work great for nourishing the skin.
- Mask – Masks aren't only for the face. Using a moisturizing mask works wonders for the knees (elbows included) for its moisturizing and restorative benefits. Cut your mask into 2 parts (4 if including elbows) and apply as directed.
Pop culture says that your hips don’t lie. Well, assume that we don’t either because your hips need to be moisturized. Yeah, it’s a weird one but it needs it just as badly as everywhere else on the list. Our hips take a shocking amount of abuse through the day, especially thanks to our clothing. Our jeans cling to them and rub, causing a surprising amount of dryness and irritation. This is an even bigger issue for those of us who love our skinny jeans as they dig in, squeeze, and generally cut off our circulation a bit. That doesn’t mean you should just stop wearing them for the rest of your days, but it does mean you should be more conscious afterwards.
Applying a traditional moisturizer after a shower is a good initial step, but there’s also a few other ways you can help your hips. You can also opt to try some massage oil or take some baths with essential oils. Not only is this incredibly relaxing (and a great way to reconnect with your own body) but it will also leave your hips extra soft, supple, and smooth. There are also a couple practical things to do on top of these. The most helpful is to take breaks from tight or constricting clothing. This will help reestablish good circulation and provide your skin the break it needs to breathe. Better hydration will naturally follow. Get naked if you want - we're good with that! Baby, you were born that way!
We could come up with some more weird places - but - we've got you covered for now.