When I was a young girl, a woman with beautiful skin told me that if I would begin moisturizing at my present age, my skin would remain subtle and smooth for years to come. “Don’t wait until the wrinkles begin or your skin begins to stretch and itch from dryness,” she said. “Then it’s too late. Start now.”

Thus began my love affair with moisturizing. Ironically, years later when I shared with my Filipino neighbor that I was expecting a child, she shared with me a little secret she’d brought to America from her mother and her mother’s mother. “Keep baby oil on your stomach and hips,” she advised, “and you won’t have stretch marks.” I did and I don’t. Not a one.

Then, as a woman in my early 30s, I sat in a beauty salon next to an exquisite older woman. As her beautician styled her hair, she said, “It’s remarkable to me that you are the age you are. Your skin doesn’t even have the texture of a woman in her 80s.” I looked over from my chair. The hairdresser was correct. Her skin was lovely. “What’s your secret?” I asked.

“As soon as I’m out of the bath or shower,” she said, “I pat dry—never rub—and then I immediately apply moisturizer. The wetness of my skin will soak in the lotion, thus allowing it to work more effectively.”

That night, immediately following my shower and a patting dry of my skin, I began to apply moisturizer to moist skin. I’ve been repeating this ever since.

Editor’s Side Note: Author Susan Wales states, “My favorite body moisturizer is Lady Primrose, Nectar.  The lotion, the bath oil and especially the powder!  It's in a silver shaker and I powder our bed, which is divine when you slide under the sheets. They package all their products in beautiful silver and crystal packaging.  And it's not that expensive.  The bath oil is $17.50 and lasts a long time and the lotion is about $34 in the fancy container but the refills are less.  It can be purchased at upscale drug stores, department stores and small shops.  It's got the most wonderful fragrance. The company was founded by one of the Hunt women in Texas.  She used a century old recipe for the products.  It's luxurious.”

The Body Beautiful/Physical

It’s not uncommon to hear women say they use moisturizer on their face and sometimes on their neck, but often they stop there. It is just as common to hear men say they don’t use any moisturizer at all. Everyone thinks to use hand lotion, but how many stop to apply foot lotion? Body lotion for your legs, arms and torso is just as important as applying it to that part of your body that could launch a thousand ships.

When our foremothers wanted to moisturize their skin they used a variety of homemade lotions. Today, we are (I suppose) blessed in that we can drive to the nearest drug store or shopping mall and walk out with any number of moisturizing lotions. Scented or unscented. Light or heavy. With tiny little moisture beads or without. You name it, these stores have it. If you’ve visited stores like Bath & Body Works you know that not only do lotions come in a number of scents, you can match them with candles and soaps, too!

Before you run in and just grab up the first moisturizer than smells good, it’s important that you know your skin type. If your skin tends to break out, you’ll want to stick to an oil-free moisturizer. Whether oily or dry, however, look for a product with an SPF of at least 15 and ingredients such as petrolatum (seals in your skin’s natural moisture) and alpha-hydroxy acid (which helps reduce the wrinkle process).