Ask any skincare professional, and they’ll tell you that properly moisturizing your entire body is key to achieving and maintaining healthy skin. But many of us are guilty of grabbing our body moisturizer and slapping it on haphazardly, whenever we might think about it or happen to be suffering from a serious bout of dry skin. I think slathering on a rich, gentle, and hydrating moisturizer is one of the most indulgent ways you can pamper yourself at any time. However, if you want to get the most out of your body moisturizer there is a correct way to use it, and here’s a bit of a spoiler – many of us are doing it all wrong.
Why Do You Need a Body Moisturizer?
Before we get into the how-to of moisturizing your body, let’s talk for a minute about the “why.” Most of us understand the importance of layering on a body moisturizer when our skin is dry, like during those seasonal changes that just seem to rob your skin of every drop of hydration. What we sometimes fail to realize is that moisturizing your entire body is equally important long before dry scaly skin takes over and the need becomes obvious.
Aside from the fact that a quality moisturizer just feels incredible as it glides along your skin, there are plenty of reasons to use a body moisturizer regularly. You know that hydration is important for your body, in fact, you couldn’t live without it. Yet, by not moisturizing regularly you might be robbing your largest organ of the essential moisturization and hydration in needs to stay healthy. Here are a few of the most important reasons you should be using body moisturizer regularly.
Body moisturizers keep problem skin at bay. Your skin requires balance to be its healthiest. When skin is too dry, it becomes vulnerable to damage. Not only is its appearance less than desirable but dry skin is also more prone to abrasions and lacks the protective layer of skin oils that also help fight infections. By moisturizing your skin regularly, you’re protecting it on multiple levels.
Body moisturizers make you look more youthful. We tend to focus in quite a bit on keeping the skin on our face as youthful and vibrant as possible but sometimes forget that the state of the skin on the rest of the body can age you just as quickly. Body moisturizers plump up the skin. They help fill in and smooth out those little lines and “crepiness” texture that appears on the neck and chest. The skin on your arms and legs looks more youthful, and some of the best body moisturizers are formulated with effective anti-aging ingredients.
Body moisturizers help your skin repair itself. Whenever you apply a body moisturizer, you’re supporting your skin in staying healthy. However, when you apply a moisturizer at the end of the day, you’re also allowing all the active ingredients to work their magic while you’re sleeping – which also happens to be prime time for your cell renewal and regeneration.
When and How to Use a Body Moisturizer
Have you ever wondered when to apply your body moisturizer? Is it something you should do only after a shower or bath? In the morning or evening, regardless of if there’s bathing involved? Morning, noon, and night obsessively, or only when your skin is so dry and thirsty that it soaks it up instantly?
Let’s start by saying that everyone’s skin is different, and that means some people might need to apply moisturizer more frequently than others. You might have the type of skin that is happy with a once a day application, while someone else will need to apply it throughout the day to keep their skin in top shape. The thing these two ends of the spectrum have in common is that body moisturizer should be applied every day.
If you’re someone who thinks even once a day is excessive then maybe there’s a chance you’re using the wrong type of body moisturizer for your skin. If your skin feels excessively greasy, you might be using a moisturizer that’s too emollient and heavy for your skin type, or one that doesn’t use natural ingredients that are nourishing and easily absorbed by your skin.
The next question is when during the day to moisturize. In most cases, it’s immediately after a shower or bath that you’re going to get optimal results from your body moisturizer. The key is to not aggressively dry your skin after you bathe. A light layer of water left on the skin is ideal, as most moisturizers are formulated to seal that water into the skin, adding to the hydration provided by the moisturizer. The only exception to this might be some body moisturizers that contain retinol. The jury is still out on whether the effectiveness of retinol is diminished when mixed with water.
Another benefit of applying a moisturizer right after a shower or bath is that it immediately begins to restore any moisture loss from bathing in water that’s too hot. I love a hot shower or bath as much as the next person, but the hot water strips so much moisture from your skin. It’s best to use comfortably warm water, and generously slather a good moisturizer as soon as you step out.
It’s also helpful to apply body moisture before heading out into the elements. If you’re someone loves to jog on a brisk, cool morning, then a moisturizer is definitely your friend. If you work in dry environment, you’ll also want to moisturize before, and possibly after, work. Any time that you’re expecting to move into a drier environment, such as during air travel, is a good time to break out the body moisturizer.
Look for Natural, Quality Ingredients in Your Body Moisturizer
My last bit of advice on applying a body moisturizer is this. Look for a product that contains natural, gentle ingredients that nourish your skin. Oils like jojoba and olive are perfect for moisturizing the skin without leaving behind a sticky residue. Shea butter, avocado oil, rosehip extract and vitamin B5 are other natural ingredients that moisturize the skin beautifully.
The quality of the body moisturizer is reflected in how well in nourishes your skin. To reveal your most beautiful skin, choose a natural body moisturizer that surrounds your skin in luxurious silkiness while being gentle at the same time.