When should you apply your body lotion?

Love & Toast Honey Nectar Body Lotion
I used to apply my body lotion just before bed time but since learning that moisturizer should be applied to damp skin in my earlier entry on tips to optimize your facial moisturizer, I’ve changed my routine and have been applying it straight after my bath.  Does it matter?

It does, according to an article from my favorite online skin care resource Smart Skincare.com, which indicated that “half of your skin care success is in how you apply the products.”

According to the article, skin is a dynamic system whose condition and properties depend on temperature, hydration, environment and other factors. Therefore, the skin’s ability to absorb topically chemicals can vary greatly.  We should therefore be aware of how to ensure optimal penetration of active ingredients and these include:

1. Cleanse your skin before applying skin care products
Hence, the best time to apply skin care products is after you are fresh out of a warm shower or bath because not only is your skin clean but it is also thoroughly moist and should better absorb whatever you apply to it.

2.  Apply most products when the skin is moist
This is because ingredients can penetrate better when they are dissolved. Once your cream has dried up, its rate of penetration decreases dramatically.  However, when it comes to our face, you might want to know that Dr Dennis Gross of “Your Future Face” suggested that prescription topicals should be applied to clean and dry skin to enhance their penetration as well as decrease any chances of irritation.

3. Warm skin absorbs ingredients better
Before applying a product, make sure your skin isn’t cold. Apply a warm towel if needed.  This sounds good but realistically, I won’t make the additional effort.

4. Gentle exfoliation enhance penetration
Exfoliation can enhance the absorption of skin care ingredients because if the uppermost layer of the skin, called stratum corneum which is composed mostly of dry, dead cells becomes too thick, active ingredients of a skin care product have trouble penetrating deeply enough to have an effect. 

You can read more from the article at Smart Skincare.com.  Actually, the information apply to our facial skin care routine but I like to think that this applies to the skin on our body as well.

So do you apply body lotion or body cream? If so, when do you apply them?


  1. parisb says:

    I apply it when I remember and when I’m feeling dry but I can’t seem to bring myself to apply it right after I shower. Most of the time, I’m doing up my face at the time and by the time I’m done, the body would have dried! Still, its a good tip to bear in mind for dry skin

    parisb: That’s true. Too much things to take care of after shower and priority is always given to our face! But I try my best…hee…

  2. MisSmall says:

    whenever I remember and can be bother, I apply body lotion right after shower. It helps to “lock” the moisture in. And also to replenish the moisture your skin lost in the process of drying up.

    Personally I prefer lotion to cream because of the runny texture. I’m too lazy to slowly rub the cream in. ?

    MisSmall: I know what you mean about the lotion. I much prefer that too but I tried to run in a cream once a week for more nourishment…

  3. akiki says:

    i had been applying my baby oil after shower since i was in secondary school(forget when but probably on my 16/17).
    don’t really remember why i did that, but this habit keeps on for about 5/6 years.
    after applying it in the bathroom,i will do my face in bedroom.
    my skin has always been complimented for being so smooth by friends.perhaps, this is the reason.

    akiki: I know of someone who loves to cleanse her face with baby oil and her skin is rather smooth too…

  4. cowsandlemonade says:

    That is a good point, I think with our feet and the face, it’s best to apply right after a shower/bath. I use shea butter for my feet and sweet almond oil for my face, both after showering. I wonder though what is a good product to put on the hair after showering to lock in moisture, that is the hard part for me, the frizzy little hairs that stick out like a halo from the rest of the hair LOL!

    cowsandlemonade: Frizzy hair is someting I haven’t experienced. How about using olive oil?

  5. flym says:

    I agree absolutely that it’s best to apply body moisturizers right after shower when skin is moist. I use body oil and it certainly makes a difference compared to applying it at bedtime. Before the lotion or oil is properly absorbed, some of it would have been rubbed off in sleep.

    flym: Now that you mentioned it, that’s true. I used to sleep straight after applying the cream on so inevitably, they’re be on my bedsheet!

  6. Gaby says:

    I always put on my lotion after my shower. I thought this was common sense.

    Gaby: Not for me before. I used to rub it on before bedtime.

  7. james says:

    Dont use body lotions more often, try to follow healthy diet and cleanse your face twice in a day with cold water.

  8. hec says:

    I think the best time to put on lotion is in the morning before starting your day. At night you’d be clogging your pores with the lotion before going to bed, sheets all oiled up.

  9. Sesame says:

    Good point. I think for night time, you need to choose those that are easily absorbed. The higher body temperature also helps.

  10. Nigeria says:

    Do you dry off some, I’ old and always wondered?

  11. Annabell says:

    Can I use body lotion like it’s cream

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