Here's Why I Moisturize My Entire Body

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Do you guys remember a few years ago when the Twittersphere was divided over people who washed their legs in the shower vs. those who didn’t? I’d like to pose a question that is perhaps a little less controversial: Do you moisturize your entire body after you shower?

For most of my adult life I didn’t, much to my college roommate’s dismay. We shared a room for years and I still remember her meticulously rubbing Aveeno lotion all over her body as she smugly told me that she always moisturizes from tip-to-toe every single time she bathes. I will concede that her skin was extremely soft.

This same roommate also dropped some wisdom on me one night after we came back to our dorms from a night of partying. With bleary eyes and Vodka breath, she told me, “No matter how tired I am, I wash my face and my feet before I get into bed.” (Said roommate is now my best friend and a mom to a newborn so I’m making a note to ask her if this still holds.)

Back to the whole moisturizing thing. Despite being a beauty editor with plenty of moisturizer at my disposal, I rarely used it, and even then, I’d only apply it to certain areas like my heels or my ankles and elbows. You know, the hinges of your body where the dryness actually shows.

This all changed in 2020, along with so much else—the least of which was my newfound dedication to moisturizing my body. With uncertainty all around me, I suddenly found myself savoring the feeling of massaging my limbs with lotion, while quietly showering each part of my body in thanks. I’d lay it on thick, too. Both the moisturizer and the self-praise.

“Thank you, arms, for helping me type all day,” I’d say, before moving onto my legs and thanking them for being so strong and sturdy. This, by the way, was revolutionary for someone who grew up wishing for longer, leaner legs instead of the shorter, stockier set she was given.

In my 30s, I have finally accepted that not only will my thighs always touch, but they’ll rub as well. But these legs have carried me through so many challenges and adventures. They allow me to dance for hours every week and explore new cities when I travel.

A few years ago, when I was recovering from a grueling surgery, they helped me get out of bed and take slow laps around the hospital floor. My upper body, where I was operated on, felt like it was collapsing in on itself, but my legs remained resilient. As I was getting ready to be discharged, my doctor told me that my daily walks helped me recover faster.

Today, my moisturizing time is also a time for me to slow down and actively show love to my gloriously imperfect body. Some days the words of affirmation come slowly and feel less convincing, but I say them nonetheless because even if I don’t always feel great about the way I look, I am grateful for all that I am still able to do.

Maybe you can try a little self-affirming moisturizing ritual, too? All you need to do is put on some lotion, but don’t rush through the motions. Take a few extra seconds to massage it into each part of your body and say a kind word or two to yourself while you do it. I can’t promise it’ll make you feel more confident (though I’m willing to bet it’ll help). At the very least, your skin will definitely feel softer than it ever has before.

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...