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  5. How To Choose The Right Body Lotion For Your Skin Type?

Is your body lotion making your skin too greasy? Choosing the right product is important to gain maximum benefits.

Body lotions play an integral part in your daily skincare routine. While the right product holds great benefits for your skin, choosing the wrong one can leave you feeling too dry or oily.

Read on to know the benefits of body lotion and what factors must be considered for the right selection.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

“Excessive dry or oily skin both are ill-suited for normal skin homeostasis. A good moisturizer helps you achieve that delicate balance which translates to good skin immunity.”

Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Is Body Lotion?

Body lotions are moisturizing products formulated with emollient, healing and hydrating ingredients to nourish and repair all skin types. These are topically applied and form an essential part of one’s daily skincare routine.

A body lotion usually wraps up the skincare routine acting as a sealant for previously applied products and helps your skin remain soft and supple.

Body lotions can differ in texture and viscosity. Those meant for normal skin usually have a light milky base. Gel or water-based ones are good for oily skin and prevent your skin from becoming greasy during the day.

In case of dry skin choosing a thick, creamy formula will help you stay moisturized for long hours. Certain lotions are also formulated to address specific issues such as skin sensitivity, premature aging, cellulite and others.

Why Should You Use Body Lotion?

Your skin is kept moisturized by 2 types of lipids, namely epidermal and sebaceous lipids. Epidermal lipids comprise of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids whereas sebum secreted by the sebaceous (oil) glands is made up of triglycerides, squalene and wax esters [1].

These lipids together play a vital role in maintaining your skin barrier that prevents transepidermal water loss and protects from microbial invasions.

However, as your skin ages, coupled with constant exposure to environmental damages, these lipids begin to deplete giving your skin a dry, unhealthy appearance. This is where a body lotion comes to the rescue.

It re-hydrates your skin, replenishing it with lost lipids and helps to rebuild the impaired epidermal barrier to prevent unwanted water loss. As a result your skin looks more plump, moisturized and exudes a youthful glow.

According to Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, “Skin is the barrier between the world and you. The chemical composition of skin also helps strengthen this barrier effect against the environmental stressors. Excessive dry or oily skin both are ill-suited for normal skin homeostasis. A good moisturizer helps you achieve that delicate balance which translates to good skin immunity.”

Benefits Of Body Lotion

1. Prevents Dry Skin

word dry written cream hands

Body lotions contain occlusives, better known as moisturizing ingredients such as caprylic triglyceride, dimethicone, shea butter, plant or seed oils, petroleum jelly and others.

These, when applied topically, form a protective barrier similar to your natural lipid barrier and keep your skin safe from external irritants.

These also prevent excess water from escaping the skin’s surface and improves your skin’s ability to withhold essential moisture. Some of these occlusives are also great emollients that help soften your skin and improve its overall texture.

Apart from occlusives, body lotions also contain humectants. These special ingredients draw moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated. Examples include hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

2. Repairs Skin Barrier

A damaged skin barrier disables your skin’s ability to retain moisture and makes it vulnerable to allergens and infections.

According to a research named Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders, a moisturizer containing urea reduced transepidermal water loss in patients with atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis.

It was also reported that urea improves barrier functions and makes the skin less prone to irritations.

3. Anti-Aging

Apart from contributing to your skin’s overall health and appearance, some body lotions also contain anti-aging ingredients such as retinoids, vitamin C and E, hyaluronic acid, peptides, essential oils, niacinamide and others.

These increase your cell turnover rate, prevent skin-aging from oxidative stress, treat inflammation and reduce the appearance of your wrinkles.

4. Treats Calluses And Rough Patches

woman applying moisturizing cream dry feet

Rough skin is common in areas that are constantly exposed to friction from harsh surfaces and rough clothes. This includes your knees, elbows, feet and hands.

Regular application of body lotion can improve your skin texture and heal rough patches. It is also useful in treating calluses, chapped lips and cracked heels.

5. Treats Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis [2] is an inflammatory skin condition caused by an immune dysfunction.

Patients with atopic dermatitis or eczema suffer from skin barrier impairment which leads to the production of inflammatory cytokines that trigger an allergic reaction.

One of the most common symptoms of eczema is itchy skin. Body lotions are often recommended by dermatologists as a combination treatment with other topical medicines to treat dermatitis.

Owing to their immense moisturizing capabilities, body lotions hydrate and soothe the skin, help repair the epidermal barrier and reduce inflammation and itch.

6. Acts As A Sealant

Just like your skincare routine, body care also has a specific order in which the products must be applied.

After cleansing, scrubbing and using a body pack, applying a body lotion helps seal in moisture and nutrients received from previously applied products.

7. Soothes Skin Sensitivity

Certain body lotions are specially made for sensitive skin. These often contain skin soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe vera, turmeric, neem, sandalwood, oatmeal, chamomile and others that reduce itch and skin irritations thus treating skin sensitivity.

8. May Aid Wound Healing

Wounds require moisture [3] while healing. Applying body lotion to minor scrapes and wounds promotes faster healing and reduces chances of scar formation. Further, the protective layer formed by the body lotion also helps keep infections at bay.

How To Use/Apply Body Lotion?

woman applying body lotion on her shoulders

To reap the most out of your body lotion, simply dabbing it onto your skin may not be enough. To know when and how to apply a body lotion, follow the below-mentioned steps:

1. Body lotions are best applied on damp skin. Hence, right after a bath gently towel dry yourself to the extent that your skin is still moist. At other times you can spray a body mist or pat a moist towel to dampen your skin before the application of your body lotion.

2. Take a coin-sized amount of the product in your palms and rub them together to mildly heat the lotion.

3. Now gently apply it onto your skin focusing more on the dry, rough areas.

4. Massage gently for about 5 minutes in circular motion for improved blood circulation and better product absorption.

5. Use twice daily in the morning and at night for soft, gorgeous looking skin.

How To Choose The Right Body Lotion For Your Skin Type?

One size does not fit all when it comes to body lotions. Choosing the right lotion according to your skin type and lifestyle is important to gain maximum benefits from your product. Here’s a brief guide to help you select the right body lotion that suits your unique persona.

A. Dry Skin

Parched skin requires lots of hydration. According to Ayurveda, those with a Vata prakriti (body constitution) are more prone to dryness. Hence, a luxuriously thick, cream-based body lotion is recommended.

This will not only moisturize your skin but also help reduce visible cracks and wrinkles by filling up gaps in the skin barrier. Body lotions that contain shea butter, coconut/ avocado/ almond oil, hyaluronic acid or glycerin are good choices.

B. Normal Skin

You have less to worry if you are blessed with normal skin. Select a body lotion according to your lifestyle.

If you spend long hours in an air-conditioned office room, go for a more hydrating formula. Whereas too much outdoor time calls for a body lotion with SPF to protect your skin from sun damage and premature aging.

C. Oily Skin

Oily skin types are best benefitted by non-comedogenic gel or water-based body lotions that are easily absorbed into the skin and do not leave behind a greasy layer.

Choose one that has ingredients like aloe vera, rose or lotus extracts, green tea extracts and tea tree oil to control acne problems.

D. Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin requires careful selection of products to avoid unwanted allergic reactions.

Look for body lotions that contain anti-inflammatory, skin calming natural ingredients such as chamomile, manjistha, vetiver, cucumber, triphala, rosemary, turmeric and sandalwood.

Apart from your skin type, weather conditions also play a role in determining the type of body lotion your skin requires. Cold weather may demand a slightly dense formula that can prevent easy dehydration while a light water-based formula will do just fine for the summers.

Some of the commercially popular body lotions give you that luxurious creamy feel due to added artificial thickeners such as carnauba wax or polyethylene glycol (PEG) which are known for causing potential side effects such as dryness, inflammation, allergic reactions or excess sebum production. Hence, it is usually safer to opt for herbal or Ayurvedic body lotions that are devoid of such harmful ingredients.

E. Ingredients To Look For In Your Body Lotion

1. Oatmeal

oatmeal flakes ears oat

A popular ingredient loved for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. Oatmeal is known to be a good remedy for sensitive, eczema-prone and itchy skin. It can also help brighten sun-tanned skin.

2. Shea Butter/ Cocoa Butter

Both shea and cocoa butter are rich in antioxidants that prevent free radical skin damage and aging. They are high in essential fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic, stearic and palmitic acid making them amazing moisturizing agents. Both these butters can also help reduce inflammation and are well suited for all skin types.

3. Tea Extracts

Both black and green tea extracts contain natural depigmenting, detoxing and antioxidant phytochemicals that can resolve a variety of common skin issues.

Tea has a high content of active antioxidants known as polyphenols (catechins, theaflavins) [4] that are known to prevent skin cancer. Apart from this tea’s astringent nature helps regulate excess oil secretions and prevents acne and other oily skin issues.

4. Ayurvedic Herbs

With a growing demand for natural therapeutic ingredients that not only heal but are also devoid of side effects, more cosmeceutical companies are giving importance to the inclusion of Ayurvedic herbs.

The ancient science of Ayurveda mainly classifies skin benefitting herbs under the following heads- vyasthapana (anti-aging), vrana ropana (wound-healing), varnya (skin-brightening), shothahara (anti-inflammatory) and kanti vardhaka (complexion enhancing ).

With a high concentration of potent phytonutrients, these medical herbs have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat skin issues. Hence, look out for the below mentioned herbs on the label before selecting your Ayurvedic body lotion.

  • Aloe vera (skin calming, depigmenting, wound healing [5], antibacterial, sun-protection)
  • Sandalwood (anti-itch, cooling, skin brightening)
  • Turmeric (anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial)
  • Neem (Pitta pacifying, antimicrobial, skin whitening, skin calming)
  • Triphala (tridosha pacifying, wound healing, anti-aging)
  • Manjistha (treats various skin diseases, skin brightening)
  • Japa (anti-aging, boosts collagen production, oil control)
  • Gotu Kola (anti-aging, moisturizing)
  • Guduchi (anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory)
  • Yashtimadhu (antioxidant, skin brightening, antimicrobial)
  • Bakuchi (anti-inflammatory, healing)
  • Kesar (skin-whitening and antimicrobial)
  • Honey (skin-calming, wound healing, antimicrobial, moisturizing)

5. Pomegranate Seed Extract

Pomegranate seed oil or extracts are added to body lotions for their anti-aging abilities. Being rich in polyphenols it also helps reduce inflammation [6], repairs sun damage and treats visible marks on the skin.

6. Essential Oils

These are magic potions in tiny bottles. Essential oils hold immense therapeutic capacity to transform your skin.

Rich in antioxidants, antimicrobials and anti-inflammatory compounds, these highly concentrated plant or floral extracts reduce wrinkles and fine lines, deal with infections and boost cell renewal. Here’s a list of the best skin rejuvenating essential oils to look for in your body lotion:

  • Lavender oil
  • Frankincense oil
  • Rose oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Classy sage oil
  • Neroli oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Chamomile oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Ylang ylang oil

7. Fruit Extracts

Fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals that nourish damaged skin. Fruits rich in vitamin C contribute to anti-aging, antioxidant and skin brightening benefits.

According to a study named Evaluation of Skin Anti-aging Potential of Citrus reticulata Blanco Peel, the peel extract of mandarin oranges showed high phenolic and flavonoid content and significantly inhibited collagenase and elastase activities (enzymes that breakdown collagen and elastin in your skin). Hence, the extract had potential to be an effective anti-wrinkle remedy.

Vitamin A containing fruits aid cell renewal while those rich in vitamin E improve skin barrier function. Thus, the following fruit extracts in your body lotion can give you healthy, glowing, younger looking skin in no time:

  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberry
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Acai Berry
  • Tomato
  • Orange
  • Grapes
  • Peach
  • Papaya

8. Ceramides

If dry skin, calluses and rough patches on the elbows and knees are your main skin issues, look for a body lotion that contains ceramides. These are naturally occurring fats found in your skin cells.

They keep your skin hydrated, plump and prevent the appearance of wrinkles. Ceramides in your body lotion can also help treat xerosis, eczema and psoriasis like conditions.

9. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is naturally synthesized by your body and is found in all places especially in the connective tissues. In skincare this super popular ingredient is added to aid water retention in your skin.

Being a humectant the presence of hyaluronic acid in your body lotion can help trap and transport water to your skin layers keeping them soft and supple.

10. Niacinamide

A type of vitamin B3, niacinamide [7], is a star ingredient that performs multiple skin benefitting functions. Body lotions containing niacinamide are specifically recommended for dry and sensitive skin.

It helps treat inflammation, repairs the skin barrier, reduces redness and irritations and keeps your skin hydrated. Niacinamide also evens out skin tone, improves skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

11. Glycerin

A popular humectant that has been used in skin care for ages. Check for glycerin in your body lotion if your skin is prone to dryness. Glycerin also benefits oily skin as it pulls in water without making your skin feel greasy.

12. Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

You may find tocopherol or vitamin E mentioned in most body lotions and moisturizers. It is an essential antioxidant vitamin that must be externally obtained through diet, supplements or skincare as your body does not naturally produce it.

Vitamin E body lotions help delay skin aging by scavenging free radicals that are produced during extensive sun exposures. Further, using a vitamin E body lotion can help fade stretch marks, scars and uneven skin tone.

13. Plant/ Seed Oils

Plant/ seed oils in your body lotion provide essential fatty acids to your skin. Unsaturated fatty acids keep your skin moisturized, prevent inflammation, treat hyperpigmentation and improve your skin texture. Some nourishing oils that can enhance your body lotion’s moisturizing properties are:

  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Argan oil
  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Carrot seed oil

Vedix Tip:

Look for milk, soy milk or coconut milk in your Ayurvedic body lotion. These light ingredients soothe and nourish all skin types without clogging your pores.

Frequently Asked Questions On Body Lotion

1. When To Apply Body Lotion?

Your skin absorbs better when it is in a damp state. Thus applying your body lotion when the skin is moist helps the product to reach deeper and work on your skin issues.

2. Do You Use Body Lotion In The Shower?

Well, in-shower body lotions are slightly different from your regular body lotion. These are made of special ingredients (humectants, oils, emollients) that get activated when it comes in contact with water. Think of it like your hair mask.

You apply after cleansing, leave it on and then wash off. However, treating your regular body lotion the same way will only dilute the product and reduce its efficacy. Regular body lotions are best applied right after you’ve showered and your skin is damp but not dripping with water.

The Last Word

  • If you’re worried about your body lotion not doing much for your skin, you’ve probably not picked the right one.
  • Each body lotion is created keeping in mind specific skin issues such as dryness, premature appearance of wrinkles, sun-tan and others.

    Nowadays most cosmeceutical companies also mention the skin type the lotion caters to.

  • Hence, before making your selection pay a visit to your Ayurvedic doctor to understand your skin type and problems.
Know Your Dosha Now

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