Skin is the largest organ of the body and yet surprisingly, it is also often one of the most neglected parts of the body. In the midst of our personal care regimens how do we ensure that the needs of our largest organ are being met? For starters we can practice proper application of lotions, creams and body oils.
When it comes to the parts of the body where we regularly apply lotion, there are three major lotion types to consider, including hand, body and face lotion. Often the temptation is to apply one of these lotion types over all areas of the body. After all, skin is skin right? Actually, there are reasons why this isn’t at all an effective method for moisturizing the entire body. Sure you’ve heard of lotion for dry skin, lotion of itchy skin, burn creams and more but there’s more to the story. There are important differences between the skin found on different areas of the body. Factors like skin sensitivity and skin thickness help to determine how the lotion is formulated and these formulas help us match lotion types to different areas of the body.
The skin on the face is generally more sensitive than skin on the hand and body. Because of its sensitivity, this skin requires more protection against sun and aging. The facial skin is also more porous than other areas so use of body oil and oily creams or lotions may block pores and cause breakouts. Facial lotions are typically lighter than body lotions because of this. Many of these lotions also contain added SPF to help protect this sensitive skin from damaging sun rays.
Unlike the sensitive skin of the face, hands are generally composed of thicker, less porous skin layers. Not only is the skin thicker in this area, hands tend to take on a considerable amount of abuse throughout the day. We use them frequently and sanitize and wash them several times a day, stripping them of their natural moisture. Hand lotions are formulated in a thicker consistency than face lotions with more water and ingredients to help oil back into the skin to prevent drying, chapping and soften hands.
Body lotion is primarily design for use after bathing or showering. Because much of the skins moisture is stripped away with use of soap and extended periods under water, body lotions absorb quickly and are designed to keep moisture in. They are thicker than face lotions but thinner than most face creams.
When searching for lotion for dry skin, consider those formulated for advanced therapy or those containing oil or aloe. You’ll want to be careful using body oil on porous areas as warned above but body oil can be helpful in moisturizing especially dry areas like feet, knees and elbows. For medical-related use, look to healing creams, burn creams, hydrocortisone creams and anti-fungal creams as essential add-ins for your first aid kits.