Even though our body has ways to get skin looking soft and smooth (courtesy of collagen and other naturally-occurring proteins), it’s not nearly enough. Our skin gets by with a little help from its friends, the moisturizers. There are so many ways to moisturize these days, and no reason to limit yourself to one method. So the quick answer to the question posed is: all of the above and any time you can manage. However, every body wash and spray body lotion has a distinct formula that’s important to understand so you can make sure you’re getting enough of the right stuff.
And what exactly counts as “right stuff” you might wonder. Well, there are three main categories of moisturizing ingredients. Those are humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Emollients are oil droplets that fill in gaps between skin cells, softening and conditioning skin as they do. These oils and lipids are a natural part of the epidermis, or uppermost layer of the skin, and provide elasticity and softness. Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid, draw humidity into the epidermis from the environment as well as from deeper layers of the skin. Occlusives form a physical barrier that blocks transepidermal water loss (or TEWL) and seals in moisture that humectants attract. Petroleum jelly (more commonly known as Vaseline) and mineral oil are both occlusives, and the former is a particularly powerful one. Vaseline was found to prevent more than 98% of water loss from the outer layer of the skin, as compared to mineral oil or lanolin which hover around 20-30% TEWL prevention.
Now that you have some more background on what makes moisturizers work, it’s time to set the science lesson aside and put it into practice. Though it can be a hassle to spread on and wait for it to soak in before getting dressed, regular use of creams can maintain skin’s supple and soft texture. However, if you don’t always get around to that step, there are other cleansing and moisturizing products that could be the best solution for you. Products like body washes that you can use instead of soap in the shower are one way to show your body some love. And you have to wash yourself anyway, so why not add some moisture in the mix? A spray lotion or body spray that you spritz on after a bath is another way to make it super easy without getting your hands greasy.
So which is best for your body? Let’s go through some fun facts and peruse through products that keep your face and body hydrated and healthy. You’ll see which wash or spray might work best for you.
See Related: How to Get Rid of Dry, Flaky Skin Around Your Eyes
1. Season’s depletings
Apologies for the pun, but also, no promises there won’t be more. Whether your skin cracks during the cold dry winter, or gets rough from too much time trekking across the sand and soaking up sun in the summer, it’s suffering and your body is begging you for help.
During the winter months, you may enjoy long hot baths, but maybe consider dialing the heat down just a little, and adding in a body wash that works with your skin. Finding one that’s fragrance-free is important if you have sensitive skin or allergies since having a scent can mean added chemicals. Alternatively, add a few drops of coconut oil to the bath water to soften skin. That scent is fine, and may even transport you back to your last summer vacation.
When it’s hot outside you should not only drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, but your body needs that extra boost of moisture to make skin supple. While you’re at the beach you can bring along a body spray, even if it’s something you make yourself, like rosewater and jojoba oil, or a little mix with Aloe vera.
Whether it’s with a body wash or spray, or some combination lotions, you can find a path to balanced and beautiful skin all year long.
2. Fountain of Youth
Good thing we get so much more interesting with age, because we do lose a few other assets along the way. What we gain in experience and wisdom we apparently lose in collagen and elastin. Since our production of these proteins slows down, we can pick up the pace with certain products that replace them or encourage their synthesis.
In your search for a body wash or spray, scour that ingredient list for things Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Both have antioxidant properties which means they aid in protecting skin cells from free radicals – those molecules that damage skin through oxidation. In addition, Vitamin A speeds along skin cell regeneration, where the top layer of dead skin and debris are cleared away to make room for newer, healthy cells. There’s also evidence to suggest that it stimulates new blood vessels and increases collagen production in the deeper layers of our skin.
And don’t forget about non-topical approaches, like what you eat and drink. Collagen supplements, gelatin, and even Ginseng tea have been shown to have some effect on collagen production. So bon appetit, and bonjour to a body with beautiful skin.
3. Formulated for the face but brilliant as a body wash for dry skin
We might think a cleansing wash needs to leave us squeaky clean, and get rid of any and all oil on our bodies, but some natural oils are meant to stay put. In fact, there’s no reason a shower should leave you squeaky. You need the softness to stay.
You need a gentle cleanser that removes makeup and excess oils from your face, cleans off dirt and debris from your body and leaves the surface soft. Vivian Woodard’s Enriched Cleanser is one example of a wash that does just this. It doesn’t contain any heavy oils or fillers that can clog pores, but it manages to smooth and soften your body and leave your face feeling fresh.
Though the formula was first intended for the face, who says that legs, arms, and elsewhere don’t need a beauty boost? We say they do. It’s a creamy, fragrance-free wash that’s allergy tested, and since it is a Vivian Woodard product, you can count on the fact that it’s cruelty free.
4. Don’t forget you can do a DIY body wash
While you can always lather up with a bar of soap, it might not be the best option for moisturizing your skin while you wash. Bars have been known to be over drying, whereas body washes contain oils that make sure your body’s moisturized. You might also want to avoid soaps and washes that lather up a lot. Sometimes the chemicals that create that foam mean trouble for your body’s natural oils.
There are plenty of moisturizing body washes that may work for your skin, but if you’re watching your wallet, want to have control over the ingredients that go on your body, or just love a good DIY project, then you can make your own body wash at home.
Here’s one that has coconut oil, almond oil, as well as essential oils to smooth skin and smell sweet:
Coconut oil is often credited with reducing inflammation, and also keeping the body moisturized. Almond oil contains vitamins A and E as well as Omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A speeds the skin cell regeneration process along, and smooths out fine lines over time. Both vitamins A and E are antioxidants, known to inhibit some of the damage from ultraviolet (UV) light, and the nutrients abundant in fatty acids may prevent some premature aging. These are all great things when it comes to the health of your body’s largest organ, so consider these dry skin defeating sources of goodness if you’re up for dabbling in DIY body washes. And if you’d like to follow it up with the best body cream, try a formula that includes shea butter as a key moisturizer. Shea butter makes any good body butter even better. Try to say that five times!
5. Dew yourself a favor with hyaluronic acid
You may have seen images of acid burning through metal or witnessed chemical reactions in chemistry class that made you want to keep your distance, but know that not all acids are alike. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is actually produced naturally by your body and is essential for the skin. It is a humectant, which means it draws in and binds water molecules to maintain moisture in the skin, so it looks and feels hydrated and healthy.
Fortunately, dermatologists say you can apply it on the body topically to improve hydration and replace some of what’s naturally lost due to time. Spray lotion is one way to apply moisturizer after a bath or a shower, but guess what? So is a hydrating body mist! With hyaluronic acid as the key ingredient, Viviane Woodard’s Hydra Moist Total Body Mist makes moisturizing super simple and satisfying. You can spritz this all over your face, arms and legs, and even your hair. It keeps dry skin at bay, and quickly becomes an essential in your beauty arsenal. The mist even has a light cucumber scent that adds to the overall refreshing feel.
A mist can be a little less messy than lotion, and since it leaves behind zero greasy residue, it may earn you bonus points if you share a bathroom with others. Consider it a courtesy to roommates or your family members if you like, but it’s mostly a gift of a moisturizer for yourself. And you deserve it.
6. You don’t want to be the one who mist out
Here comes another hyaluronic acid heavy hitter. When something works well, why not double down? The Intensive Hydration Mist conditions and soothes dry skin while plumping up cells to achieve a full and fresh look wherever you decide to spritz it on the body. As is to be expected with a formula that contains multiple humectants, this mist increases the moisture content of the skin. It also contains phospholipids, which are an effective delivery system for the anti-aging ingredients like green tea and vitamins A, C, and E.
Use this mist, let it soak in, and then apply a moisturizing gel, or one of your favorite lotions. You can also mist on more of this marvelous moisturizer at any point throughout the day. It’s a great way to refresh makeup midday or just revive yourself if you’re dragging your feet or feeling dull. It’s basically a bottle of bliss. Plus, those antioxidants it includes are always helpful at fighting the impact of pollutants and other environmental stressors.
7. Lock in the moisture with a body balm that’s the bomb
I said what I said, and I stand by that pun (or maybe 6 feet away, just to be safe). Since body cream or butter is obviously too thick to dispense through a mister, you’ll have to save that body oil or creamy lotion for after the body wash you use in your shower or bath. As mentioned above you can go back and forth between lotions and body mists, so there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate ingredients rich in moisturizers every day.
If you haven’t found a favorite cream, lotion or balm, here’s one of the only links you’ll ever need because this balm is just beyond! The Borage + E Rejuvenating Balm by Viviane Woodard is a rich and creamy body balm that soothes dry skin and even aids in treating rosacea, stretch marks, and rashes. With Borage oil, Aloe, vitamin E and organic extracts, it tames inflammation and sets skin up to be a thing of true beauty.
And to continue on with the accolades, it just may earn the award for best body lotion in the category of moisturizing formula without unnecessary additives, which is not a real award yet, sure, but this balm would like to thank its agent and the director, and all the fans out there anyway.
For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.