A Dermatologist Ranked the 3 Worst Body-Lotion Mistakes

If there’s anything I’m very strict about when it comes to my beauty routine, it’s my body lotion. I might forget a step in my nighttime skincare routine, but I never forget to put body lotion on after I shower or in the mornings, even I don’t shower. For the most part, it’s paid off. Aside from the occasional eczema flare-up on my hands, arms, or neck, I have pretty smooth skin. 

But since I’m a curious person and like to question everything, I wanted to know if there were some things I was missing when it comes to body-lotion application. So I reached out to dermatologist Naissan O. Wesley, MD, FACMS, of Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills to get her tips and to see what role body lotions play in reducing premature aging or the signs of aging. Because you’ve always got to be on the offense when it comes to protecting your skin, right?

In general, the guideline for applying body lotion is pretty simple. “I recommend applying body lotion daily,” Wesley says. “If recently showered, the best time to apply is within three to five minutes after a bath or shower to help trap moisture in and restore the skin barrier that may have been disrupted by soap or cleansers.”

While it seems straightforward, there are some mistakes you can make with body lotion. Wesley outlined these three for me:

1. Not Applying Enough: Don’t be stingy with the stuff. Of course, you don’t need to empty the whole bottle onto your body, but be generous with how much you apply.

2. Not Applying It All Over: One example Wesley gives is putting lotion on your upper body but forgetting about your legs. Make sure you’re moisturizing every inch of your body.

3. Applying a Lotion That Isn’t Moisturizing Enough: This might depend on your skin type or needs. Overall, you’ll want to choose a product that contains the nutrients, vitamins, and ingredients that will keep your skin hydrated for a while. “I prefer to use body lotions that contain natural and fewer unnecessary ingredients,” Wesley says. “One that is creamier or has a lotion mixed with oil I find to often have longer moisturizing effects than a thinner, more watery lotion that just tends to evaporate off the skin surface. Ingredients such as shea butter, cold-pressed oils, borage seed oil, and/or fatty acids such as ceramides tend to have great barrier-protecting properties.”

Caudalie’s body lotion not only hydrates the skin, but it also prevents premature aging by promoting microcirculation. Ingredients include hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and organic grape water.

At just $15, Olay’s anti-aging body lotion is an effective drugstore option. It’s formulated with vitamins B3, B5, and E to provide 24 hours of moisture. It’s a seven-in-one formula, so it improves elasticity, soothes dryness, conditions, brightens, evens skin tone, smooths, and reduces the appearance of fine lines.

With 10% glycolic acid, this body cream exfoliates dead skin cells and improves skin texture and tone. It also contains marula, kigelia, and kalahari melon seed oils to trap moisture and renew skin.

Gold Bond’s body lotion for mature skin contains seven plumping moisturizers, three vitamins, proteins, and lipids to quench the skin and keep it hydrated for 24 hours. And even better, the lotion is quick-absorbing, not greasy, and hypoallergenic. Next up, this 89-year-old looks 25 years younger—here are 14 skincare items she uses.

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