Body lotion moisturizes the skin on the body and soothes dryness, roughness or flakiness. There are many different types of body lotion ranging from basic formulations derived on decades-old recipes to extremely specialized body lotions that may not even be available without a prescription. However, all types of body lotions have the same purpose: to moisturize and treat the skin of the body keeping it healthy, supple, and glowing.
Active ingredients of body lotions
The primary purpose of body lotion is to moisturize the skin, and most lotions accomplish this with emollient ingredients. These may range from naturally-processed oils pressed from vegetables and seeds, or be chemical formulations synthetically created in a lab. Most body lotions will have more than one emollient ingredient in order to enhance performance and result in longer-lasting results.
Basic body lotions
Most body lotions have emollient properties accomplished through the addition of ingredients such as dimethicone, a silicone derivative, glycerin, petroleum derivatives and aloe vera. These body lotions will also include distilled water, and may have fragrance and/or color added as well. Oils may be added to enhance moisturizing properties, and additives such as xanthan gum, sucrose stearate and stearic acid may be used to maintain the body lotion’s consistency over time.
Natural body lotions
Several brands on the market today boast of all-natural ingredients, supposedly safer for the body than chemical derivatives. These lotions may derive their ingredients from organic sources, and include such items as natural oils, vegetable glycerin, aloe vera, cocoa butter and plant extracts. Most lotions also have a component of water to give the formula a creamy texture and provide immediate moisture, as well as an emulsifying agent to keep all the various ingredients well-blended. Essential oils provide fragrance and homeopathic benefits, while various extracts are used for their skin benefits and natural fragrance as well.
Special purpose body lotions
While most body lotions will moisturize the skin, some types of body lotions also have other special properties. One popular type of body lotion is the anti-cellulite lotions made by several manufacturers. These products claim to tighten the skin and reduce the dimply look of cellulite. Hand creams and foot creams often have special ingredients to soothe the extra-dry skin that is often found on these body parts, and may also help nails look healthier.
Scar therapy body lotions claim to reduce the appearance of scars over time, using various ingredients to soften the look of scars and help blend them into surrounding skin. Shave minimizing body lotion is another popular choice, with an active ingredient that slows hair growth over time and can reduce the frequency of shaving or hair removal that is needed for a smooth, sleek feel.
Other special body lotions include shimmer lotions, skin firming body lotions, body lotions designed to fade stretch marks and extra-strength body lotions for extremely dry skin. Aromatherapy body lotions have specially blended fragrance ingredients that can have an invigorating, relaxing, stress-relieving, calming or uplifting effect, and some body lotions will also contain pigment to even out skin tone.
The possibilities are endless, but all body lotion will have at least one primary goal in common: to moisturize the skin, and to create a healthier, smoother appearance by soothing away dry spots and roughness.