Mistakes To Avoid When Applying Body Lotion

Body lotion is an extremely popular item that many of us know and love, with an estimated 17.58 million Americans reportedly using it at least 14 times in 2020 (via Statista). While this figure is likely to fluctuate, it still reflects how popular body lotion is among Americans and globally. Many of us use this in-demand product to protect our outer layer of skin and add a dash of moisture, helping to keep it in good form. You may already regularly use body lotion, or perhaps you want to try it for the first time. Whether you're a seasoned user or a first-time buyer, it's easy to make mistakes — just like with many other beauty and cosmetic products.

If you want to keep your skin in tip-top condition, you should be aware of some mistakes to avoid when applying body lotion. Making mistakes when using it is incredibly common, and it's certainly nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, some of these mistakes may even come as a surprise. Not only will learning about them help you to improve your personal skincare routine, but it will also teach you a thing or two about this beauty product.

Waiting too long before applying

One major mistake that many body lotion users make is waiting too long before applying the product. This first mistake is very easy to make and may even come as a surprise to many individuals. In fact, it may have never even crossed your mind before. While it may not seem important, there is a good reason for doing so.

Speaking to Who What Wear, dermatologist Naissan Wesley, M.D. explains why it's so important to get your timing right with body lotion: "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." If you wait considerably longer, you could jeopardize the beneficial effects of applying it within the recommended time frame.

Although it may seem like a very short time window to apply your body lotion, getting into the habit of doing so will allow your skin to reap the maximum benefits, such as added hydration. Hydration benefits your skin as it helps keep it in good condition and enables it to function at its best.

Putting body lotion on your face

Another common body lotion mistake that people make is applying it to their faces. While your face is a part of your body, it's not an appropriate candidate for body lotion use. But why? As it turns out, the answer is relatively simple. While talking to Healthline, board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Renée Moran explains why you shouldn't use it on your face: "Products made for the body are generally stronger in terms of moisturizing or exfoliating the body," meaning that body lotion may not be appropriate for your face, where your skin is more delicate. Instead, it is more appropriate for areas of thicker skin. While it certainly won't hurt to apply body lotion once or twice to your face by accident, prolonged use could trigger negative impacts on your skin. For example, you may experience redness, stinging, acne breakouts, dryness, or itching as a result (via Healthline).

You should always ensure that you are applying your body lotion to the correct areas of your body. You can use it on areas such as the elbows, neck, legs, hands, and knees (via Nivea) and any other areas of your upper body that you feel are necessary. Applying your body lotion in the correct places will help keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Likewise, you should also opt for a natural body lotion if you can, as it is gentler on your skin. There are also some great body lotions for dry skin

Not picking the correct body lotion ingredients

If you've ever gone shopping for body lotion, then you may well be aware of how easy it is to chuck any old body lotion in your cart. However, you should be more cautious when selecting a body lotion, as you want to ensure that you're selecting the right ingredients that will meet your skin's needs. Not paying attention to this is another common mistake that many people make when applying it. 

To see the best benefits, you need to take into consideration what you're putting on your skin. Dermatologist Naissan Wesley, M.D., supports this argument, explaining: "One [body lotion] 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" (via Who What Wear). So if you have dry skin, a body lotion with these ingredients may be a better choice. However, all skin types will benefit from a hydrating body lotion. 

On the other hand, other skin types may require you to do a bit more research — especially if you have sensitive skin. Your skin type will determine what ingredients you can and can not use, so it's always best to do your research and seek professional advice before slapping just any body lotion onto your body.

Not applying it often enough

Not applying body lotion often enough is another mistake you should avoid when using body lotion. This could be a habit that you may have already fallen into. While it is easy to forget, not applying it often enough won't allow you to reap the full benefits that such a product can offer. So, how often should you apply body lotion? 

To avoid this common mistake, experts recommend using body lotion on a daily basis (via Nivea). Although you shouldn't experience any extreme effects from not using it this regularly, it just means that your skin likely won't be in its prime condition. Of course, you should ensure that you apply enough and allow your skin to have a good coating. In addition, you should also take care not to over-apply your body lotion — for example, if you apply it four times a day. Applying it this much could negatively impact your skin, preventing it from being as efficient as it normally would be (via Garnier).