There is a general belief that the face, hands and sometimes feet need some attention during the winter months. However, real skin care should include the entire body. In the dry and cold winter weather, skin tends to get rough and needs care. Body lotions come in handy and the right choice and correct application of a body lotion can make life easy for all kinds of skin. Consumer VOICE panel tests on 9 brands of body lotions available in the Indian market.
What is a body lotion?
Body lotion is a mixture of oil and water using other materials like cetearyl alcohol, fruit or flower extracts, glycerin and lots of other substances. Lotions are generally very light and quickly absorbed into the skin after they are applied.
Why body lotions are essential?
Body lotions help in the nourishment of the skin and are applied on the body for various reasons viz. for lightening the skin, avoiding winter roughness, revitalising skin, healing dry skin, protecting skin from harmful effects of tap water and synthetic soaps. Apart from these reasons lotions are also helpful in exfoliating dead cells from the skin.
How does a body lotion differ from face cream?
Face cream usually contains a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) due to its higher exposure to sun. Some face creams also claim to combat dryness, imbalances in sebum production, and acne based on ingredients. For example in younger people, face cream that contains alpha hydroxy acid, an enzyme that eats away the dull, dead layers of the skin to reveal a rejuvenated layer underneath has been recommended by dermatologists. For older people, face creams that actively fight signs of aging by reducing lines and wrinkles are desirable. Face creams are usually categorised by the type of skin they are intended to treat: dry, normal, oily, and combination. These different types of skin vary based on distribution of sebum production and all require different formulas of face cream.
Body lotion is usually a quickly absorbable formula that is intended to retain or replenish lost moisture. By helping the skin stay hydrated, it improves the look and feeling of softness in body skin, which is desirable. The formula of body lotion contains more water than oil, creating a thinner formula that is appropriate for daily, all-over use. Body lotion does not require a regimen, although many people find it convenient to apply it right after a shower or before going outdoors. Unlike face cream, body lotion comes in many scents. While facial skin is more sensitive to fragrance and other additives, body skin is naturally less prone to such irritation.
How To Apply Body Lotion
1. Start from your ankles and work your way up applying the lotion to all parts of your body until you reach right under your chin. Leave applying the lotion to your face, hands and feet until last. Instead of applying the lotion in an up and down motion, apply it in a circular motion using the palms of your hands. Apply light pressure in massaging the lotion into your skin and give your muscles a nice massage at the same time.
2. After you have the body lotion to the majority of your body, next is your face. Start at your forehead and work your way down to your chin in tiny circular motions using your pointer and middle fingers on each hand. Avoid getting any lotion in your eyes, nose or mouth. It is best to use a lotion specifically made to use on the face instead of the body lotion.
3. Next is your feet. Starting at the top of your foot, massage should go downward toward your toes. Massage your heel in a circular motion. For the underside of your foot, massage in a circular motion applying light pressure especially to the soft spots of your feet. Do each of your toes one by one. Put socks over your feet after the lotion has completely dried so that you dont lose the lotion on your feet when you walk around.
4. Use whatever lotion that is left on your hands to apply the lotion completely to your hands. Make sure you massage the lotion into the palm of your hands and do all of your fingers one at a time. The lotion should also be applied to your cuticles and your wrists.
The best time to apply lotion is right after you get out of a shower or bath because this is when your skin retains the most moisture. Instead of running the towel over you skin, press it lightly into your skin leaving a little bit of water.
Process of the test
We surveyed market across Delhi to get a feel of the current scenario of winter products. It was a little difficult to separate body lotions from moisturisers but as we wanted to find the best brands for consumers, we didnt want to leave a single stone unturned in our endeavour to identify right products. We chose 9 brands of body lotions available in the Indian market and distributed them along with a questionnaire to get adequate feedback about each brand.
The users of the test have different skin types and are of different age group also. Some users prefer to use it only after bath but most of them apply body lotion, especially on hands and feet, whenever they feel they need it. While the lions share of users use body lotion and think that it is the most essential component in winter, some other prefer to use home remedies or moisturiser rather than body lotions.
Ponds has always been a favourite among the middle-class section of the society. Its body lotion was also accepted by the users for its non-oily quality and cost effectiveness. Most users used this sample on a regular basis even before we have distributed it to them for the test. Its fragrance was liked by the users and they felt absolutely fresh after its application. Overall Ponds performed very well in the user test.
We got a mixed response for Ayur. Users did not like its packaging, though the colour combination was good. However, users appreciated it for its non-stickiness.
Users said a complete no to the fragrance of Boro Plus body lotion. Other than fragrance Boro Plus did well in the test, it was helpful in curing the skin from winter roughness.
Vaseline was considered as one of the best body lotions in the test. Vaseline has been in the market for a long time now and is always liked by consumers. Users said that it left an unmatched silky feel on the skin after application and helped the skin to recover from the winter dryness. The USP of the product is its mild fragrance along with its skin softening quality which is much appreciated by the users.
Lotus cocoa butter moisturising lotion comes with a beautiful packaging and was liked by all the users. Users said that it left a very good feeling after application and fulfilled its claim of smoothening the skin. Users liked it for its rich cocoa butter combination and found a glowing skin after its application. They said that it is helpful for massage also. Lotus moisturising lotion performed well in totality in the user test but some users were not very satisfied with its quantity. They felt that it was expensive as the contents were less.
We got a mixed response for Garnier Bodycocoon Intense Moisturising Lotion. Users found it little sticky and heavy but liked it for its fragrance.
Jovees is considered as a very good brand as far as skin care is concerned. Users liked its non-sticky and easy to absorb quality, but they complained a little about its strong fragrance.
Himalaya is considered as one of the best herbal companies in India. The simple yet beautiful packaging of Himalaya body lotion was liked by all the users. It fulfilled all the claims of nourishing and softening the skin but users did not appreciate its fragrance.
Users liked its mild fragrance and appreciated the product for its light and non-greasy quality. Users found it convenient for applying it on the skin smoothly. Overall, it did well in the test but did not fulfill its claim of 24 hour intense moisturising, which may be not possible for any lotion or moisturising cream.