Our skin is the largest organ of our body, with a total area of close to 2 square metres. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin and it provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.
As our bodies age, that skin tone can become wrinkled and saggy so if you want your body to hold on to that youthful smoothness as long as possible, it’s important to nourish your skin with some moisture. But with so many different types of body moisturiser available on the market – gels, creams, milks, lotions and butters – it’s easy to be confused about what’s best to use. Each one has it’s own unique composition and benefits, so here’s the low down that will help you find the best body moisturiser:
Body gels - best for combination and oily skin
Gels are generally the only body moisturisers you’ll find that offer completely oil-free hydration for your skin. If you suffer from body acne, a light and super-fast absorbing body gel is ideal for you, particularly in the hotter months.
Gels can be formulated using a water base or an alcohol base. If you have sensitive skin, then stick to a water-based gel but if you’re more concerned about acne or breakouts on your body then try an alcohol-based gel.
Body lotions - best for normal to slightly dry skin
Lotions tend to have a high water percentage and are in fact a mixture of oil and water. They are usually light-weight and non greasy, and are easily absorbed into the skin.
This product is commonly sold in a bottle and has a liquid consistency, so it’s ideal to use in the summer when you want a moisturiser that will absorb quickly and not leave a greasy residue on your skin.
Body creams - best for dry to very dry skin
Just like lotions, body creams are a blend of oil and water but the oil percentage is higher, giving it a thicker consistency. Because it’s heavier and richer than a lotion it is usually sold in a jar.
A cream provides a barrier that helps keep the skin ultra-hydrated, so is recommended for night-time use, especially in the winter months, which are particularly harsh on the skin.
Body milk - best for normal skin
Body milk is very similar to a body lotion, but tends to be more liquid and flowing than a lotion, which holds its shape when pumped onto your hand. Because it’s a lighter product, it absorbs more quickly into the skin so is ideal if you need a body moisturiser that you can quickly rub on and then get dressed straight away.
Body butter - best for wrinkled, sagging skin
A body butter is the thickest of all the different types of body moisturiser. It typically has a stronger scent and lasts longer than a gel, lotion, cream or milk. The product is usually manufactured using a combination of carrier oils and essential butters and does not contain any water.
The carrier oils are the substances that are used to hold and deliver the essential ingredients into the skin. The butters are the essential fats and minerals that are extracted from natural ingredients such as palm, shea and cocoa.
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