Body lotions are an essential part of any skincare routine, helping to keep the skin moisturized and healthy. However, with so many different types and brands of body lotions available, it can be challenging to know which one to choose.
Here are some tips to help you select the right body lotion for your needs and get the most out of it.
Choosing the Right Body Lotion
Look for shea butter
Shea butter is a fantastic moisturizing ingredient that can keep your skin moisturized all day long. It can also help keep your skin healthy. Therefore, it’s essential to opt for a body lotion that contains shea butter as the main ingredient.
Consider your skin type
Different body lotions are suitable for different skin types. If you have dry skin, look for a thicker, oil-based cream that contains heavier occlusive emollients. If you have normal or combination skin, a lightweight body lotion will work best.
For sensitive skin, choose a body lotion that contains soothing ingredients like chamomile and aloe vera, and avoid unnecessary and potentially irritating ingredients like added colors and perfumes.
Antioxidants promote new cell growth and protect your skin cells from free radical molecules, which can cause premature aging. Look for body lotions that contain antioxidants like green tea, chamomile, and pomegranate.
Protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays by choosing a body lotion that can act as a barrier against the sun’s rays. Ensure that the lotion has at least SPF 30 and is suitable for year-round use.
Getting the Most Out of Your Body Lotion
Use More Than One Moisturizer
Using more than one moisturizer can be an effective way to care for your skin. For example, a thin lotion for your face and a thick cream for your body may be just right for all-over skin care.
Apply moisturizer while your skin is damp
Applying moisturizer to damp skin helps to lock in moisture, keeping your skin hydrated and healthy.
Choose body-friendly ingredients.
Different ingredients work differently on different parts of the body. For example, avoid facial moisturizers with popular body product ingredients like lanolin, mineral oil, waxes, or shea butter, as these can clog pores and cause acne on the face.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients
Alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, and salicylic acid may penetrate the skin too deeply and trouble delicate skin, particularly if you have dry or sensitive skin. Avoid products with alcohol as well.
Look for moisturizers that contain hydrating ingredients
Look for moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, which help keep skin hydrated. Glycerin, propylene glycol, proteins, and urea also help attract water to your skin. Lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum lock in moisture.
The Best Cream Ingredients for Dry Skin
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends checking the label for the following lotion ingredients:
Jojoba Oil: This natural oil is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin as it mimics the skin’s natural oils.
Dimethicone: This ingredient forms a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture and preventing water loss.
Glycerin: This humectant attracts water to the skin, keeping it hydrated.
Hyaluronic Acid: This powerful humectant can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent ingredient for dry skin.
Lactic Acid: This gentle exfoliant also acts as a humectant, helping to keep the skin hydrated.
Lanolin: This natural oil is excellent for dry and sensitive skin as it locks in moisture and creates a protective barrier.
Mineral Oil: This ingredient is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin, as it forms a barrier that prevents water loss.
Petrolatum: This occlusive ingredient is often found in healing balms and ointments and is great for severely dry and cracked skin.
Shea Butter: This natural ingredient is an excellent emollient and occlusive, providing both moisture and protection to the skin.
Finding the Best Lotion for Dry Skin
The best lotion for dry skin should have a mix of occlusives and humectants. Occlusives such as shea butter and petrolatum create a physical barrier on the skin to prevent water loss. Humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and lactic acid are moisturizing agents that pull water to the skin to increase hydration.
Best Ingredients for Oily Skin
When searching for a moisturizer for oily skin, look for ingredients that are proven to be effective. Here are some of our favorite ingredients that hydrate the skin without making it greasy:
Glycerin – This ingredient attracts water to the skin and keeps it hydrated without clogging pores.
Ceramides – These help to maintain the skin’s barrier function and retain moisture, which is important for oily skin that can be prone to breakouts.
Glycolic Acid – This ingredient helps to reduce excessive oil production and prevent recurring breakouts.
Hyaluronic Acid – This is a commonly used ingredient in many serums and moisturizers, as it promotes increased moisture levels in the skin.
Salicylic Acid – This acid reduces redness and swelling caused by breakouts, while also breaking down dead skin cells and cleaning pores.
Niacinamide – This vitamin B3 derivative promotes elasticity in the skin, minimizes pore size, and regulates oil production.
Retinol – This powerful ingredient regulates oil production, relieves acne, reduces wrinkles, and promotes bright, glowing skin by speeding up the skin cell turnover process.
Clay – This ingredient soaks up oil from deep in the pores and brings it to the surface, resulting in a matte finish. Follow it up with your moisturizing routine to avoid dry skin.
Ingredients to Avoid with Oily Skin
Just as important as knowing what ingredients to look for in moisturizers for oily skin, it’s also essential to know which ones to avoid. These ingredients include:
Mineral oils – These can clog pores and trigger blemishes.
Beeswax – This ingredient can also clog pores and cause breakouts.
Alcohol – These can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause it to produce more oil.
Face oils with high oleic acid – These include coconut oil, hazelnut oil, camellia oil, and sunflower oil, which can clog pores.
Occlusive emollients – These can make oily skin worse.
Isopropyl myristate – This ingredient is a common emollient but can cause acne.
Harsh scrubs – These can irritate the skin and cause more oil production.
Artificial dyes and fragrances – These can cause skin irritation and inflammation.
Best Lotion Ingredients That Are Good for Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin can be caused by underlying skin carrier dysfunction and inflammation. Therefore, protecting or healing the skin barrier, calming, and hydrating the skin are critical for a good skincare regimen.
Natural ingredients that your skin knows and loves are always a safe bet for calming and soothing the skin. Here are eight of natural ingredients for sensitive skin:
Aloe vera is a timeless solution for sunburns, cuts, and scrapes, as just a dab can help calm inflammation, and its antimicrobial properties help speed up the healing process. In skincare, it hydrates and soothes the skin and can come in liquid or gel form, making it perfect for moisturizers, creams, gels, and masks.
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) has been used for centuries as a remedy for skin ailments related to irritation and inflammation. For those with sensitive skin and acne or clogged pores, witch hazel is a holy grail. Witch hazel is a naturally effective herbal extract that can unclog pores by removing excess oil. It’s commonly used in toners or in a spray bottle.
Seaweed is a powerful concentration of seawater that holds minerals, vitamins, amino acids, lipids, and proteins inside. It can help soothe inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea and acne, and the magnesium and zinc in it can also help reduce redness. There are many different types of seaweed you can use to target specific skin issues.
Shea butter is a natural ingredient that works like an emollient to soften and hydrate the skin. It is especially effective at treating eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, as well as minimizing scars and stretch marks.
Edelweiss extract comes from a flower that grows in the Swiss Alps. It has antibacterial, anti-blemish, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It also contains lignans, a type of compound that has a natural skin-calming benefit, as well as leontopodic acid, which strengthens the skin’s barrier, making it more resilient against environmental stressors.
Green tea extract has become a popular ingredient in skincare due to the polyphenols that act as antioxidants to help heal sun-damaged skin and prevent further damage.
Centella asiatica (also known as Gotu kola or Tiger Grass) is a perennial herb grown in Asia that contains active compounds that serve as antioxidants.
In addition, it has a rich source of amino acids. It’s both hydrating and quite effective at calming the skin during flare-ups, such as after a chemical peel, an IPL treatment, or between retinol applications.
Oat extract and oat oil have long been used to treat minor skin conditions and balance the skin’s microbiome. It’s used in a number of skincare items, from body washes to face creams.
Ingredients to Avoid with Sensitive Skin
Now that we know natural ingredients that can soothe, calm, and hydrate sensitive skin, let’s consider what ingredients do the opposite. Here are the biggest culprits that anger and irritate sensitive skin, so you’ll know what ingredients to avoid when formulating a product or regimen.
Fragrances can cause irritation, allergies, and dryness. When purchasing skincare products, always choose fragrance-free or products labeled hypoallergenic.
Synthetic colors are often used in skincare and beauty products to enhance their appearance, but they can be harmful to sensitive skin.
Synthetic colors can cause irritation, redness, and even allergic reactions. It’s best to avoid products that contain synthetic colors, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Alcohol is a common ingredient in many skincare and beauty products, but it can be harsh on sensitive skin. Alcohol can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry, irritated, and more susceptible to damage. It’s best to avoid products that contain high amounts of alcohol or opt for products that use natural alternatives.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS):
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient in many skincare and beauty products, especially those that foam. It’s used as a foaming agent, but it can be harsh on sensitive skin.
SLS can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. It’s best to avoid products that contain SLS or opt for products that use natural alternatives.
Choosing the right body lotion and using it correctly can help you achieve healthy, smooth skin. Always remember to consider your skin type, look for beneficial ingredients, and avoid harsh ones. Incorporate these tips into your skincare routine to get the best results.