A wide range of environmental and lifestyle factors can dry out your skin, including windy and dry climates, harsh soaps, overly hot water, ageing, consuming too much salt and not drinking enough water.
Some of these we can do something about, by, for example, drinking more water. But other factors we cannot control.
The best time to apply body lotion is straight after a shower.
Towel pat yourself dry a little, but let your skin remain lightly damp. After showering, your skin is already hydrated, and the body lotion you apply will hold that in.
Otherwise, the water on your body will evaporate quite quickly and have the opposite effect, leaving your skin feeling dry and potentially itchy or uncomfortable.
If you are outside a lot and therefore exposed to the climate (or to your workplace or a shopping centre’s intense air conditioning), then applying lotion beforehand can help reduce the dryness your skin might experience.
It is also helpful to apply lotion after shaving, as shaving tends to remove surface skin cells in a similar way that exfoliating does. Lotions can also have a soothing effect.
Finally, you can apply body lotion before bed, because moisture is pulled out of our skin as we sleep.
To apply, put some in your hand and rub your hands together to warm it up, then use both your hands and gentle circular motions to massage the lotion into your skin.
Use more or less lotion depending on your needs. You can use a bit extra on areas of dry or thicker skin, such as knees and elbows.