How Long Should You Wait To Apply Moisturizer


How long should you wait to apply moisturizer?

You can put on body lotion anytime — after a shower, before bed, or for no reason at all. It’s up to you! The only exception is if you have just shaved your legs; it’s best to wait until your skin has cooled down and the pores have closed back up.

I use body lotion all the time, even when my skin doesn’t feel dry. I love the feeling of smooth skin and it makes me feel pampered. What’s your favorite type of body lotion?

How long should you wait to apply moisturizer?

If you are using a prescription topical retinoid or an over-the-counter retinol, the answer is immediately. Retinoids/retinols can be applied onto skin immediately after cleansing. This is because these types of products are water soluble and need to be applied onto bare skin for maximum efficacy.

However, if you are using a non-retinol based moisturizer, the answer is that it depends on what kind of serum or treatment product you are using. If you are using BHAs (salicylic acid) or AHAs (glycolic acid), then this type of product should not be applied immediately after cleansing. The reason is that BHAs and AHAs can be irritating to bare skin and should be used on top of a moisturizing base such as a cream or lotion.

You can also use your serum in conjunction with your retinoid/retinol. For example, if you have an active spot and want to use a BHA spot treatment, you can apply the BHA spot treatment first and then follow this up with your retinoid/retinol.

The best time to apply moisturizer is when your skin is still damp from washing or bathing. This will help seal in moisture and keep your skin hydrated longer.

If you have extremely dry skin, you should apply lotion immediately after a shower, then again before bed.

“It’s important to not wait too long to moisturize after showering because you want to lock in that moisture,” says Dr. Janet Prystowsky, board certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “If you wait too long, the water evaporates off the surface of your skin and causes the skin to become dry.”

Now that the weather is starting to cool down, my skin is starting to feel the effects. I’m using body lotion every time after I get out of the shower, but I can’t help but wonder if it would be better for my skin if I were to wait a few minutes before applying the lotion. Would my skin still absorb the same amount? Would it result in softer skin?

I decided to consult with a professional on when exactly we should apply moisturizer and why. As it turns out, there’s a bit more to this than you might think.

“The timing of moisturizer application depends on whether you are using water-based or oil-based moisturizers,” dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali tells Bustle over email. “Water-based moisturizers are great for daily use and can be applied immediately after stepping out of the shower or washing your face.”

Oil-based moisturizers, however, should be applied before stepping into the shower since it will help lock in moisture. “If you wait too long, your skin may dry out and lose some of its ability to absorb deeply,” says Bhanusali.

So what if you’re someone who likes to keep both kinds of moisturizer around? Well,

What time of the day should you apply moisturizer?

The answer is: anytime!

But I mean, it’s not like your skin cares whether you put it on at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m.—the only thing that really matters is that you’re consistent and applying moisturizer on the regular so your skin can reap all the benefits. That said, there are a few times of day when it makes sense to lather up—and one specific time when you definitely don’t want to put moisturizer on your face.

When To Moisturize: Before You Get Dressed

Before you put any clothes on in the morning, apply moisturizer—especially if you have dry skin, says New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist . “If you don’t apply it before dressing, your clothes will stick to your skin,” she explains. (And yes, this includes bras.) If you have oily skin and tend to break out easily, Jaliman advises skipping the body lotion altogether since extra moisture in that area can cause pimples in some people.

When To Moisturize: Before You Get In The Shower

Moisturizer is the first line of defense against dry skin. But if you’re applying it at the wrong time, you may as well be using water instead. Here, we reveal the best time to apply body lotion, according to dermatologists.

“Moisturizers hydrate the skin by reducing evaporation of water from the outer layer of the skin,” explains Sejal Shah, M.D., a dermatologist based in New York City. “They usually contain ingredients that are occlusive (seal in moisture), humectants (draw in water), or both.”

What makes moisturizing so helpful is how it works to maintain your skin’s barrier function, which protects your skin from environmental irritants and inflammation, she says. Without a healthy barrier function, your skin can become more sensitive and prone to damage from things like UV light exposure, pollution, and bacteria. And this might result in unwanted side effects like irritation and hyperpigmentation.”

The first rule of moisturizer club is you do not talk about moisturizer club. The second rule of moisturizer club is you DO NOT talk about moisturizer club. Third rule of moisturizer club: someone yells stop, goes limp, taps out, the lotion is over. Fourth rule: only two products to a shower. Fifth rule: one at a time, fellas. Sixth rule: no towel-snapping allowed. Seventh rule: lotion will go on as long as it has to. And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first night at lotion club, you HAVE to lotion.


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