A wide range of environmental and lifestyle factors can dry out your skin, including windy and dry climates, harsh soaps, overly hot water, ageing, consuming too much salt and not drinking enough water.
Some of these we can do something about, by, for example, drinking more water. But other factors we cannot control.
How to apply body lotion
The best time to apply body lotion is straight after a shower.
Towel pat yourself dry a little, but let your skin remain lightly damp. After showering, your skin is already hydrated, and the body lotion you apply will hold that in.
Otherwise, the water on your body will evaporate quite quickly and have the opposite effect, leaving your skin feeling dry and potentially itchy or uncomfortable.
If you are outside a lot and therefore exposed to the climate (or to your workplace or a shopping centre’s intense air conditioning), then applying lotion beforehand can help reduce the dryness your skin might experience.
It is also helpful to apply lotion after shaving, as shaving tends to remove surface skin cells in a similar way that exfoliating does. Lotions can also have a soothing effect.
Finally, you can apply body lotion before bed, because moisture is pulled out of our skin as we sleep.
To apply, put some in your hand and rub your hands together to warm it up, then use both your hands and gentle circular motions to massage the lotion into your skin.
Use more or less lotion depending on your needs. You can use a bit extra on areas of dry or thicker skin, such as knees and elbows.
Body lotion hydrates your skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth.
It also helps to prevent your skin drying out in the future. The lotion works by providing a kind of coating that stops water leaving your skin.
Body lotions are suitable for everyone and easy to apply. They do not penetrate the skin though, and are different to body creams.
Body creams tend to be thicker, have a higher oil to water ratio, and work more as emollients rather than hydrating. Emollients soften and sooth.
Body butters on the other hand are the thickest type of moisturisers, and contain very little or no water.
They lock moisture into the skin well, and are best when you have severely dry skin or rough patches, or as an overnight treatment.
You can use straight cocoa butter, or you can use it in a lotion.
Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids, so it is great for nourishing the skin.
Cocoa butter is rich in phytochemicals, which may improve skin and hence help with hydration.
Skin Food is a special kind of lotion which is ideal for very dry skin, tight or cracked skin, or any other areas needing extra care.
Packed with plant extracts and essential oils such as sunflower seed oil, pansy, chamomile, rosemary, and calendula, Skin Food has a delicate fragrance and will leave you feeling moisturised, sooth, and calm.
A little goes a long way with Weleda Skin Food, so apply a sparing amount to the particular area, then carefully rub it in until it is absorbed.
You can also use it on hard working and dry hands by applying it, putting on gloves, and leaving on overnight.