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Are you moisturizing correctly?

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Moisturize the right way

Moisturizing does your skin a world of good, but only if you do it right. Read on to make sure you’re moisturizing your skin the right way.

woman with lotion on hands

Find the right moisturizers

Moisturizing starts with your moisturizer, so make sure you have one that meets your needs. The aisles at the stores are lined with products, so choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Thankfully, you don't need a degree to choose the right moisturizer. You just need to know a few key ingredients to look for.

Best moisturizing lotion ingredients >>

If you have dry skin, look for a lotion with petroleum or silicone. They'll stay on the surface of your skin and give you moisture over a longer period of time. Those same qualities can do more damage for ladies with sensitive or oily skin, so look for ingredients like sorbitol, glycerin and alpha hydroxyl acids. These products pull moisture from the air and deep under your skin, so they're less irritating to those who are more sensitive.

Moisturize right after a shower

Believe it or not, taking a long, hot shower is one of the most damaging things you can do to your skin. If you're only going to moisturize once a day, this is when you should do it. Shorten your shower and use lukewarm -- not hot -- water. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a towel, and apply moisturizer immediately while your skin is still damp.

10 Skin commandments >>

Moisturize before bed

Apply a thick moisturizer at night, and you'll notice a difference in the morning. Make sure to touch up areas like your feet, knees and elbows. It's hard to keep these busy parts moisturized throughout the day, so take advantage of this time when you're not active.

Keep moisturizer with you

You never know when dry skin is going to hit throughout the day, so keep a small bottle with you to battle dryness whenever it strikes. Make sure to moisturize your hands every time you wash them.

More than just your face

Most ladies use a facial moisturizer once or twice a day, but they often neglect some of the areas they should be moisturizing with that product. Don't forget about your neck and chest (right down to your cleavage) when you moisturize your face.

The moisturizing guide for your face and body >>

Exfoliate

Dead skin builds up on your skin and makes you look flaky, scaly and ashen. Not only does it make you look less than stellar, but a thick layer of dead skin cells will block your moisturizers from doing their job. Exfoliate once a week to remove the layers of dead skin, leaving you looking healthy and vibrant and allowing your moisturizer full access.

Quick Tip

To keep your hands soft, skip the soap as often as possible and opt for sanitizer. The alcohols are drying, but not as bad as most soaps.

More skin tips from SheKnows

Skin care tips: What to do every morning and night
Cheap health and skin care tips

Tips to get rid of dry skin

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