Your Guide to Choosing the Best Body Lotion

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Body Lotion

Trying to find the best body lotion sounds easy because of the many available choices in the market. But once you go out there and see the different types of lotion, you will probably need to consider some things first before buying. In this article, learn the best ways and tips on finding the best body lotion for you.

Other skin moisturizers are available in different forms other than lotion in the market such as body moisturizers, body cream, and now there are body butters that act similarly to body lotions. Some are manufactured to be multi-purpose such as cleansers and toners. For example, some women use creams to remove makeup and moisturize their facial skin. Others use anti-aging serums or moisturizers to counteract the early signs of skin aging.

Benefits of Buying the Best Lotion


Before going into the buying tips, you should know why it is important to look for the best option. Body lotions are good for your skin, especially in the long term. If you’ve ever had dry or rough skin, then you probably went ahead and put on some moisturizer or lotion to soften the skin and smooth it out. What is not always clear to most people is that this has to be done regularly to achieve good-looking, soft, and supple skin.

The human skin is the biggest organ of the body. Taking care of it involves moisturizing daily after bath especially if the weather turns cold in the winter, the more you need a moisturizer and a body lotion to keep it from chapping and drying. Our skin tends to get dry and rough when deprived of moisture, thus lotions prevent that from happening.

Another benefit of buying creams and lotions is to prevent the early onslaught of skin aging. We all know we’ll get wrinkles when we get older, but it is always great to look younger than your age. Younger skin is the key to achieve that result.

The lotion form is the easiest moisturizer to apply. They are available in big bottles and easy to dispense for whole-body applications.

Buying Tips for Best Lotion


Know your skin type


It is easier to find the perfect lotion for you if you know your skin well. If you have overly dry skin then it is best for you to buy an intensive care lotion or sometimes called ultra-healing. This is the best moisturizer for very dry skin. When used regularly, it helps treat the chapping effect of the super dry skin.

Go natural


Look for natural products. These are the lotions made with natural ingredients. They are beneficial to your skin and won’t cause skin allergies, especially if you are prone to skin irritations. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera or Vitamin E that are both beneficial you’re your skin. Avoid lotions with chemicals, alcohol, and fragrances as these can be harmful to your body.

Check the color, texture, and smell


It might go down to preference, but check the color, texture, and smell of the lotion so you will know if you are going to like the lotion to be applied to your whole body. Remember that this is supposed to be applied regularly and having an unpleasant smell might discourage you from doing so. There is also the unappealing color of lotion, but mostly though, people should go for the basic lotion which is colored white. Check the texture. If you think the lotion is too thick for your sometimes oily skin, then, maybe it’s not for you.

Buy separate small bottles of lotion if needed


Some people might just buy the lotion that first came to mind because of popular brands or recommendations from friends. These are good sources of information before buying your lotion but you should also take into account your own lifestyle. Do you have enough time to apply your lotion? If yes, choose the big bottles of lotion so you can take your time applying it while at home. If you are too busy, maybe you can buy separate bottles or tubes of lotion so you can have them anywhere you are.

Choose a specific lotion


There are lotions that are made for the whole body, but you can opt to buy a different lotion for your hands and for your feet. There are some products that target specific areas of your body. When these are your problem areas, choose a lotion that is designed for that body part. If you have very dry hands, look for an intensive lotion that can heal and moisturize your hands.

What to Know Before You Buy


Basic Ingredients


While it would be impossible for the typical consumer to understand all of the different ingredients in a moisturizer, it is still important to have a basic understanding of what is in your body lotion before you buy it. This knowledge may also help you to identify what you don’t like about your current body lotion. A good, basic moisturizer should contain ingredients that have humectant, occlusive and emollient properties, as well as some combination of lipids. Essentially, the right formulation of these ingredients will help to replenish surface hydration, as well as restore the skin's natural barriers against moisture loss and external irritants. The lotion should rub in easily and smoothly and shouldn’t feel tacky as it dries.

Humectants attract water to the uppermost layer of your skin, known as the stratum corneum. They typically draw water from the dermis below to hydrate the surface of your skin, but they can also attract water from the air in very humid conditions. Glycerin (also known as glycerol) is the most popular humectant because it is inexpensive and highly effective. Other examples of humectants that you might come across include propylene glycol (less "sticky" than glycerin), sorbitol, hexylene, and butylene glycol, urea (10%), hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA's).

Occlusive agents help to maintain hydration by preventing the evaporation of water from the surface of your skin. The most effective occlusive is petrolatum (or petroleum jelly), but other popular occlusives include lanolin, mineral oil (or paraffin), and silicone derivatives (ex. cyclomethicone, dimethicone). While lanolin is widely used, it has been shown to contribute to contact dermatitis in some instances and may not be a good choice for everyone. Other examples of occlusive agents include beeswax and botanical waxes (ex. candelilla, carnauba, palm kernel or soybean).

Emollients (mainly lipids and oils) improve the appearance of your skin by smoothing flaky skin cells and can even provide some occlusivity (sealing in moisture) when applied heavily. There are hundreds of emollients, but some common ones include all non-fragrant plant oils, cocoa butter, shea butter, ceramides, cholesterol, triglycerides, and fatty acids. Fatty acids may be listed as linoleic, stearic, oleic, linolenic, and lauric acids (can be found in coconut, palm, or grapeseed oils).

More Beneficial Ingredients


Beyond the basic ingredients listed above, a well-formulated body lotion will also contain a blend of antioxidants, cell-communicating agents, and anti-irritants. While some ingredients offer more than one benefit, it is important that your body lotion contain ingredients with these important qualities if you really want to see an improvement in the overall tone and texture of your skin.

In addition to being a great natural preservative, antioxidants help prevent premature aging by neutralizing free radicals, which oxidize lipids and break down skin cells. Antioxidants will enhance the effectiveness of your sunscreen, and they will also improve your skin's ability to heal itself and produce healthy collagen. Common antioxidants include Vitamins A (beta carotene), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Vitamin E (tocopherols), white or green tea, licorice root, selenium (glutathione), soy extract, grape seed extract, pomegranate extract, etc.

Ingredients with cell-communicating properties are beneficial to your skin because they theoretically “tell” your skin cells to look and act like normal, healthy skin cells, according to skincare expert Paula Begoun. These ingredients are especially helpful if you have hyperpigmentation or want to reduce the signs of aging (ie. wrinkles/fine lines, blotchiness, or discoloration). cell-communicating ingredients could appear on the label as a niacinamide (Vitamin B3), retinol, adenosine triphosphate, etc.

Lastly, anti-irritants or soothing/calming ingredients are also a very important component of a good body lotion that you can never have enough of, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Anti-irritants aid in the skin's healing process and protect it from damage caused by external sources such as the environment, sun, pollution, or even from other skincare products (ex. sunscreen). Common anti-irritants include aloe, allantoin, green tea, grape extract, licorice root, chamomile extract, bisabolol, burdock root, etc.

Avoid Ingredients that Irritate Skin


Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, we would still suggest avoiding body lotions with ingredients that can irritate the skin because irritation breaks down your collagen, which is the protein in the skin that keeps it smooth and young-looking. While you may love a body lotion's scent, the fragrance is the #1 cause of irritation and probably isn't the best moisturizer for daily use. One thing to keep in mind here is that products marked "unscented" aren't necessarily "fragrance-free". Lotions with dyes or color additives can also be very irritating and should be avoided when possible. Other potentially irritating preservatives that you might see in the list of ingredients include sorbic acid, citric acid, benzyl alcohol, and parabens.

Sunscreen


Since sun damage anywhere on your body will make you look significantly older than you are, it is extremely important to apply a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 every day, regardless of your skin type. While it may sound convenient to purchase a daily moisturizer with SPF in it, these lotions are not appropriate for everyone. First of all, the higher the lotion’s SPF, the more sunscreen ingredients it contains and the less room there is for other important ingredients. If you have dry, mature, or sensitive skin, you are probably better off using a good body lotion without SPF and then applying a sunscreen over it.

Know Your Skin Type


Now that you understand the different components of a body lotion, you need to consider which formulation (ie. type of lotion and ingredients) will be best for your skin type. As background, body lotions are available in creams, ointments, lotions or milks, which all provide varying degrees of hydration.
  • Dry Skin: Look for thicker, oil-based creams or ointments that contain heavier occlusive emollients such as dimethicone (silicone derivative). For severely dry, cracked skin, opt for ones with petroleum-based ingredients like mineral oil or paraffin.
  • Normal or Combination Skin: Look for a lightweight, water-based lotion that contains lighter oils such as aloe, jojoba, cetyl alcohol or silicone derivatives (ex. cyclomethicone).
  • Oily Skin: Look for a very lightweight, nonaqueous, oil-free moisturizer. Just like for your face, you should look for products labeled "noncomedogenic", meaning it won’t clog pores.
  • Sensitive Skin: Look for a lightweight moisturizer that contains soothing ingredients, such as allantoin, chamomile or aloe, and that doesn't contain potential irritants, such as acids, fragrances or dyes.
  • Mature Skin: Look for petrolatum-based moisturizers that have ingredients to fight wrinkles like antioxidants or AHAs.

Packaging


Packaging is another important thing to consider when buying body lotions because it can impact the performance of the lotion over time, especially if it has a lot of antioxidants. It is best to avoid any lotions in clear containers or jars because exposure to light and/or air will quickly deteriorate the effectiveness of the antioxidants. Additionally, jars aren't as sanitary as pump bottles or tubes because you end up spreading bacteria every time you put your fingers in the jar to extract the lotion.

Health Concerns


There have been some safety concerns related to the use of parabens and propylene glycol (in high concentrations) in body lotions, as well as in other personal care products. While some people argue that these ingredients are toxic and contribute to health issues, most experts (including the FDA) believe that any risks posed by these chemicals are negligible in such low concentrations. However, if you are still concerned about exposure to any potentially harmful chemicals, you can always look into all-natural, organic body lotions, but we still encourage you to read their ingredient lists very closely.

Conclusion


Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose the best body lotion for your skin, don’t let yourself get distracted by marketing ploys or start to think that higher-priced lotions will be more effective than drugstore brands. No matter how much money you spend, there is no miracle body lotion that will turn back the hands of time or permanently rid you of cellulite or stretch marks. That said, there are a lot of really great inexpensive and expensive body lotions that can help keep your skin well-hydrated, so it looks and acts healthier and doesn’t age prematurely.

If possible, you should always try to get samples of the body lotions you are considering before you buy them. What works well for a friend might not be ideal for you, so you just want to check out how your skin reacts to different products. Once you've found the perfect body lotion, try to apply it immediately after showering to towel-dried, exfoliated skin for the best results.

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