Body butter is a skin moisturizer that typically contains cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil or another vegetable-based oil. It's thicker than lotions and is extra effective at rejuvenating dry skin, whether used all over or only on problem patches, such as elbows and knees. The best time to apply body butter is just after your daily shower to lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated all day.
Take your daily shower or bath as usual. After you've finished, pat your body dry with a clean towel. Do not rub or dry yourself completely; leave a little moisture on your skin.
Apply a dollop of body butter directly to your skin -- don't use too much or your skin could get greasy. Rub it in gently, using firm, broad strokes, until the body butter is fully absorbed.
Pay particular attention to your feet, hands, elbows and knees, regions that tend to get particularly dry or calloused. Apply a second layer of body butter on these problem areas for the best results.
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Apply body butter just before bedtime to help soften the skin on your hands and feet. Apply a layer of body butter, then cover up with cotton socks or gloves.
Body butters are particularly valuable in dry winter weather to provide a protective layer against the wind and cold.
Check the ingredient label before use. Avoid retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acid and artificial fragrances, as these can irritate your skin.
Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.