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Here's Why You Should Layer Body Oil On Top Of Your Lotion

Hannah Frye
Author:
September 16, 2022
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

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Even if you don't have über-dry skin, you may have experienced the following scenario: You try out a new body lotion and love how it feels. Your skin feels smooth and hydrated at first, but a few hours later, you're back to an ashy, flaky, or overall dehydrated texture. 

This may be due to a little something derms call transepidermal water loss1 (TEWL for short). Here's one way to prevent that situation and get the most out of your body moisturizer. 

Why you should layer body oil on top of your lotion. 

A quick debrief: There are three main kinds of moisturizers. The first is humectants, which include hyaluronic acid and glycerin, for example. These moisturizers pull water into the surface of the skin (hence, why you should apply your body lotion to damp skin, so the humectants have an easier time drawing in hydration). Then you have emollients that help soften the skin and make it feel more comfortable by filling in cracks. A few examples include ceramides, shea butter, and certain oils. 

The last one, however, is what we're focusing on today—occlusives. These seal in moisture and act as a water retention barrier (aka, they help prevent TEWL). Traditional occlusives include thick ointments (like petrolatum-based topicals), but botanical oils serve a similar function. 

To sum up: If you layer an occlusive oil over your body lotion, it will help further lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated for longer. Think of it like slugging for your body. 

Now, plenty of body lotions do include occlusives in the formula to put in the work; just look for a product with a blend of oils that will lock in moisture just the same. Our pick? The mbg postbiotic body lotion. This formula includes a few different plant oils and occlusives, including coconut oil, moringa seed oil, squalene, and oat oil

The takeaway. 

Applying body lotion just for it to wear off a few hours later isn't fun (plus, you won't get enough bang for your buck!). If you want your lotion to stay all day long, try layering an occlusive body oil on top. Or, if you'd rather stick to one step, opt for a body lotion that already contains a blend of occlusive ingredients. 

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