By Bridget Johnson

The uncomfortable feeling of dry, tight or chapped skin makes you reach for a bottle of body lotion. By starting each day or ending each evening with a full-body treatment, you can provide your skin with moisturize that can last for hours. Target specific skin woes by treating dry patches and sensitive areas while ensuring that your skin receives a comprehensive drink of moisture.

Close-up of a young woman applying moisturizer on her shoulder
credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images
Take it section-by-section when you moisturize your body.

Step 1

Pick a formula suited to your skin type and the degree of moisturizing you're trying to achieve. Lightweight, greaseless lotions absorb quickly yet may not moisturize intensely. Thick body creams may take longer to rub into the skin, but provide deeper moisture -- especially on areas such as elbows, knees and heels.

Step 2

Moisturize well after showering. Reach for a bottle of hand lotion throughout the day for touch-ups in dry weather, but start from a moisture-friendly foundation by applying lotion on your body just after you've stepped out of the shower and toweled off. Slightly damp skin absorbs lotion more readily.

Step 3

Start with a coin-sized dollop of lotion in your palm and evenly distribute it on one part of your body, starting from the bottom up. Repeat as you work by section, hitting legs, torso and arms. Don't forget to rub lotion into your feet and hands, and pay special attention to particularly dry areas. Don't saturate your body in lotion, but start with small dollops and increase the amount as needed.

Step 4

Change products as needed as you moisturize. For example, apply a special heel balm to take care of cracked, dry skin, or use body butter on your knees and elbows. Layer more targeted, intense products on top of the general core layer of lotion you use on your entire body.

Step 5

Switch to a different moisturizer when you get to your face. The ingredients in body lotion aren't geared toward the specific concerns of facial skin, including breakouts, wrinkles, sensitive skin around the eyes and sun damage. Both men and women can find facial moisturizers to address these needs, including formulas that have added SPF protection to shield your face from harmful rays.