How to Moisturise the Body: Dermatologist Advice
Body moisturisers play a key role in any skincare routine for healthy-looking skin. They help to hydrate your skin, seal in moisture, and may even help maintain your skin’s protective barrier. Moisturising your body is just as important as applying face moisturiser, but unfortunately, many people make the avoidable mistake of skipping this skincare step altogether. That’s why we’ve teamed up with board-certified dermatologists to share five essential body moisturising tips below—including when to moisturise, how often to moisturise, and how to choose the best body moisturiser for your skin’s needs.
As the experts of the skincare world, board-certified dermatologists are trained to understand your skin better than anyone else. They can help identify skin issues, treat various skin concerns, and provide advice on skincare routines and products—including body moisturisers for all types of skin. In this guide, we’re sharing some of the best practices for body moisturising that dermatologists often recommend to their patients. Ahead, learn how to choose the right body moisturiser for your skin’s needs and support smooth, soft, and hydrated skin that looks and feels its best.
Body Moisturising Tips
1. Use a Ceramide Moisturiser
”Ceramides, which are essential lipids found naturally in skin, play a crucial role in [maintaining] a healthy skin barrier,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jenny Liu. “When ceramide levels are reduced, it can lead to dry and irritated skin.” According to Dr. Liu, using hydrating moisturisers containing ceramides “can help to hydrate dry and irritated skin by replenishing ceramide levels in our skin barrier.” Learn more about ceramide’s important role in maintaining your protective skin barrier in our ceramides skincare guide.
2. Choose the right cream texture for your skin type and concerns
Moisturisers are not a one-size-fits-all skincare product. They come in many different forms—such as creams and lotions, — that can vary greatly in their textures, ingredients and intended uses. In order to find the right type of moisturiser for your skin, you’ll need to consider your current routine, environment, and skincare goals.
Next, you’ll also want to look for moisturisers that are formulated with active ingredients that can help target your main skin concerns. If you’re concerned about rough and bumpy skin, for example, you could choose a moisturiser option like CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream for Dry, Rough & Bumpy Skin. With salicylic acid and lactic acid, this non-greasy cream formula helps soften very dry, rough skin by gently exfoliating dead skin cells and smoothing the skin’s texture.
Next, to help you choose the right texture for your skin’s needs, here are some of the key differences between lotions and creams
- Lotions: Lotions have a slightly creamy texture but contain more water than creams. They are generally described as lightweight and easy for your skin to absorb. Since body lotions are formulated with more water content than creams, they can be an effective moisturiser option for many types of skin.
- Creams:These moisturisers usually have a richer consistency than lotion formulas. Because they often feature a higher oil content, creams tend to have a thicker texture that is well-suited for dry skin types, mature skin and seasonal dryness during the winter.
3. Daily Moisturising
All skincare products require consistency in order to reap their full benefits—including moisturiser. “It’s huge to make moisturise a routine, just like brushing your teeth—morning and night,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Daniel Sugai. Moisturising your body twice per day can help keep your skin properly hydrated and nourished and help prevent dryness. Daily moisturising is just as important when you’re on-the-go or traveling, according to Dr. Sugai. He recommends bringing your preferred moisturiser with you when you travel, “so you can stick with something you’re used to, to respect the skin barrier.”
4. Moisturise on clean, damp skin
To help prevent water loss, dermatologists often recommend applying moisturiser to clean, slightly damp skin immediately after bathing. “Moisturising after showering? It’s all about locking in that moisture,” says Dr. Daniel Sugai. When your skin is slightly damp, it can help moisturisers work more effectively at hydrating your skin and sealing in moisture. To get the most out of your moisturising regimen, you’ll also want to avoid bathing habits that can potentially dry out or irritate your skin. “Make sure that showers are not long and hot,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam, “because that can actually strip the skin of moisture.”
5. Moisturise your face and body
As Dr. Adeline Kikam puts it: “You take care of your face, but what about the skin all over your body?” In other words, your moisturising routine should provide just as much TLC and nourishment to the skin below your neck as it does the skin above it. “Moisturising all over keeps skin looking healthy—even the less visible bits,” says Dr. Kikam. Remember to pay careful attention to the areas of your body that may be more prone to dryness, like your hands, feet, knees, and elbows.