Given a choice between applying lotion every day for the rest of my life and swimming with a school of great white sharks, I kid you not: I would choose Jaws. There’s something about the grooming task that feels so tedious after I’ve already co-washed my hair, shaved, and completed another million little shower rituals. So what if I told you that there was an easier way to apply moisturizer? One that made for soft skin on a speedy timeframe?
Dermatologists feel very strongly that certain products—including hyaluronic acid—are best applied to your body before you’ve toweled off every last droplet of water. “The best time to moisturize your skin is when it is damp,” says board-certified dermatologists Joshua Zeichner, MD. “Applying the moisturizer helps lock in hydration from the bath or shower.” (A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that participants following this regimen had significantly more hydrated skin after just three days than those who applied it to dry skin.) Then, you can just gently pat your body dry with a towel.
Jen Kramer, a paramedical esthetician and founder of Corrective Skincare LA, previously told Well+Good that wet skin is a lot like a wet sponge—its super-absorbent. “You’re trapping the moisture on your skin and getting it to sink in rather than letting it evaporate,” she said. “If you wait until it’s dry, you’ve missed your chance to lock it in.” More moisture equals more softness—which is really the goal for those of us who want our skin to feel as luxe as the overpriced blankets at Pottery Barn.
The cherry on top is that damp skin makes for a slippery surface to lather in your products. Read: The two or so minutes it would normally take you to moisturize suddenly (magically!) become about 30 seconds. Halle-freakin’-lujah.
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