Chances are high that you used your body lotion on your face this morning.
We know. It’s usually easier and faster to use the same lotion on your face and body. I mean, between having to press out lotion from two different tubes/ bottles and having to do so from the same bottle, which is faster?
But the point is not speed or ease. The point is: can you put body lotion on your face?
In this article, we’ll be discussing the disadvantages of using body lotion on your face, the better alternative to body lotion you should use for your face and how you can conveniently avoid using your body lotion as face lotion.
Can You Put Body Lotion On Your Face?
You can, but we’ll give you 3 reasons why you shouldn’t.
The Nature of the Facial Skin
The facial skin is thin, making it the ficklest and most sensitive part of the skin. That’s why it’s also not advisable to use sponge or the same towel you use on your body on your face as micro-organisms which cannot penetrate the thick skin of other parts of the body can easily penetrate the thin facial skin.
Body lotions are thick and don’t absorb well into your facial skin. This often clogs the pores of the facial skin causing milia and acne.
It Causes Skin Irritation and Challenges
Remember, body lotions moisturize the skin. To keep moisture sealed in the skin, body lotions usually have chemicals called film formers, but these chemicals are heavy for the face and do not react nicely with the facial skin. This causes irritation on the facial skin.
The fragrance content of body lotion which irritates the facial skin is also a good reason to avoid using body lotion on the face.
It Causes the Facial Skin To Age Faster
Research shows that using body lotion on the face causes it to age poorly.
The face is often exposed to the sun’s UV rays which damages the skin by depleting the skin’s natural oil, and most body lotions are not formulated to protect the face from UV rays.
The face (and scalp) has the highest concentration of sebaceous glands because it’s the most exposed part of your body. (The sebaceous glands secrete sebum which protects the skin and hair from moisture loss.) Constant exposure to sunshine without protection, using face moisturizers, reduces the efficiency of the sebaceous glands leading to wrinkles on the face.
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What Is Body Lotion Used For?
Knowing what body lotion is used for will help us answer the question, “is it okay to put body lotion on your face?”
Most of us are familiar with the concept of body lotions as moisturizers, but beyond moisturizing the skin, what else do body lotions do?
Body lotions protect the skin. They are often medicinal, serving the function of rejuvenating the skin and treating certain dermatological challenges such as dry skin, sun burn, psoriasis, rashes, acne, etc.
Body lotions are also perfumed to help the body smell nice. (Tilts head over the shoulders, inhales and smiles. In addition to choosing a nice smelling cologne, you want to choose a nice smelling body lotion.
Body Lotion vs Body Cream
Body lotion and body cream are usually used inter-changeably, for valid reasons. Both are moisturizers and are made of oil and water, but body creams contain more oil than body lotion which gives it a thicker consistency.
On the other hand, some body lotions contain up to 70% water. That’s why people with oily skin are advised to choose body lotions over body creams since the former contain less oil.
You may think that because body lotions have higher water content than body creams, it will be ok to use it on your face. I used to think same too. In fact, I used to choose body lotions over body creams primarily because of this. But using both body lotions and body creams on your face could be harmful, and you’re about to find out why.
The difference between face and body lotions also has to do with oil content. There’s less oil in face lotions because the face already has enough oil-secreting glands. As a result, face lotions are lighter than body lotions.
What Should You Use on Your Face Instead of Body Lotion?
Use face lotions. Yes, there are lotions specially formulated for the face. They contain specialized active ingredients designed to cater for the delicate nature of the facial skin.
According to cosmetic chemist, Ginger King, face moisturizers are typically focused more on pores, dark spots, wrinkles, oiliness and fine lines. Exactly what your face needs.
That’s not all.
Most face lotions have properties which protect the face from UV-rays. You’ll notice that people who use good face lotion have smooth and healthy facial skin.
Speaking of good face lotions,
How Do You Choose A Good Face Lotion?
As a gentleman, you should be extra-concerned about using a good face lotion because it also helps you avoid dry skin after shaving.
You want to be intentional about choosing a face moisturizer with at least SPF 30. (SPF stands for sun protection factor. It measures the level of UVB protection a sun protection product will give you.)
Go for face moisturizers with anti-oxidants, such as green tea, pomegranate, etc. They are suitable for any skin type and help the face look fresh and healthy. If your face is acne-prone, you’ll need a non-comedogenic facial moisturizer that won’t clog pores. Dermatologists suggest that you use thick moisturizing ointment containing petrolatum or simply use petroleum jelly, if you have eczema.
Generally, you should avoid colourings, perfumes and too many acids while choosing a face moisturizer.
How To Avoid Using Body Lotion On Your Face
It’s easy to forget and apply body lotion on the face, especially if you moisturize your face last with what is left on your palm after applying cream over your body. I make this mistake almost all the time. But there’s an easy way to avoid making this mistake.
It’s quite simple.
Apply your face lotion first, before applying your body cream or body lotion.
While body lotion could be bad for the face, face lotion isn’t bad for the body. To help me remember that I should use my face lotion first, I place my face lotion atop my body lotion while arranging my moisturizers.
Conclusively, using body lotion on your face isn’t the worse skin care mistake you can make, but this doesn’t alter the fact that it’s wrong. We’ve seen how this practice causes acne, milia, exposes your face to sun burn, and causes your face to age faster.
It’s never too late to correct this mistake. I’ve found out that the most effective way of correcting this mistake is by getting a face moisturizer, because it’s easy to fall back to the ‘temptation’ of using a body lotion on your face when there’s nothing to moisturize your face with.
You’ll see how revitalized and rejuvenated your face will look when you start using face lotion on your face instead of body lotion.