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Using Moisturizer the Right Way

If your relationship with moisturizer is the slap-it-on-in-the-morning kind, it's time for a new approach! Lotions can work wonders on everything from skin to hair—if you know how to use them, and which ones to use! Here, 10 easy ways to use moisturizer to its best effect:
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1. Don't stop at just one. Certainly you don't need six bottles of lotion in your cabinet, but two or three—one for face, one for eyes, one for body—are perfectly reasonable.

2. Pick the right product based on your skin. On hearty areas, such as the back, arms, and legs, a thicker cream with oil in it is usually the best choice. For more delicate places, like your face and decollete, a lighter, oil-free moisturizer is best.

3. Use special eye cream. The eye area is fragile, and benefits from gentle, treatment-oriented ingredients (such as vitamin K and green tea), which are often not found in body lotions. What's more, many lotions made for the body are too heavy for the eye area, and can cause makeup to run and tiny cysts to form.

4. Apply when damp. Your skin will drink in moisturizer best if it's applied while your skin is still damp. That goes for face and body!

5. Avoid heavy fragrances on your face. Fragrance ingredients can be highly allergenic, meaning they're likely to cause irritation. Best to skip fragranced face products, and save the scent for your body.

6. Try a treatment body lotion. Drugstores are filled with bump-minimizing, shave-minimizing, and itch-relieving moisturizers. Pick one depending on your skin's condition.

7. Swear by SPFYour face needs sunscreen all year. The easiest way to get your daily dose? By applying a facial lotion containing SPF 15 or above.

8. Break the moisturizer rules. No one said it's just for your skin! When you're in a pinch, plain old moisturizer works wonders as a hair defrizzer and shine-enhancer.

9. Use lotion as fragrance. Instead of spritzing on a bunch of perfume, experiment with the lotion version of your favorite fragrance. It gives a more subtle effect and lasts longer.

10. Don't overlook old standbys. Dermatologists love lotions from Lac-Hydrin, Cetaphil, and Lubriderm for a reason: They work. What's more, they're generally inexpensive.

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