How do you apply lotion/medications to your back?
April 6, 2012 9:16 PM   Subscribe

How do you apply lotion/medications to your back?

I feel silly asking this, but I'm having difficulty finding a good way to apply skin treatments to my back. I live alone so I can't get somebody to help apply it. I'm currently using a salicylic acid peel with success on my face and would like to be able to use it on my back but don't know how to apply it without making a mess or missing places. Using a cloth would likely result in too much product soaking into the cloth to be financially viable.

Do you have any bright ideas? What is your skin care regimen on harder to reach areas?
posted by gilsonal to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Get a roll of wax paper and cut a three foot length.

Pour the medication on the center of the wax paper. Wrap the paper, with the side that has the medication against your skin, around your torso and pull the ends back and forth, like you were drying your back after taking a shower.

Wax won't let the medication absorb into the paper.
posted by dfriedman at 9:19 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

also, exfoliation tips would be lovely
posted by gilsonal at 9:20 PM on April 6, 2012

There are products designed for this: search "back lotion applicator" and you'll see zillions. The ones with little roller-ball heads are, I think, better than the ones with sponge heads.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:23 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can actually reach my back with my hands...did you already try!?
There are things like this and that. You could try a diy version of it with stuff you have already at home I would think.
posted by travelwithcats at 9:28 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The lotion applicators would be great for the lotion half but the liquid I use for the peel is very thin, more like a thin oil than a lotion. I currently apply it to my face with a cotton ball. I think if I used the lotion applicator much would get wasted in the process.
posted by gilsonal at 9:36 PM on April 6, 2012

Aesthetic clinics, beauty salons and dermatologists offer peels for the back.
posted by travelwithcats at 9:45 PM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used an old makeup brush in a similar situation. It worked pretty well.
posted by embrangled at 9:45 PM on April 6, 2012

Can you tie a cotton ball to a back scratcher or long stick?
posted by rhapsodie at 9:56 PM on April 6, 2012 [6 favorites]

For exfoliation (of your back or anyplace else, except probably facial skin), use a Salux Japanese washcloth. They're a few bucks either online or at an Asian market and they are awesome. You can easily grab either end in opposite hands and buff your back.

Be careful with mechanical (as opposed to chemical) exfoliation on broken/pimply skin, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:28 PM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Asian-washcloth-style thingy for exfoliation. Wooden spoon for moisturizer (smear on back of spoon, rub on back). I had a "back facial" before my wedding and it was great - my back didn't itch for a month. I should really do those more often.
posted by matildaben at 10:45 PM on April 6, 2012

Silicone-tipped tongs + cotton ball. I haven't actually tried it, just brain-storming with you here.
posted by vignettist at 11:34 PM on April 6, 2012

In re. exfoliation: a nice natural bristle back brush (nothing special about that one, just trying to grab an example), and, along with the other suggestions for getting the product on there, you can try using a spray bottle -- possibly not suitable if product is crazy-expensive, but there's very little waste in my experience.
posted by kmennie at 4:39 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here to also recommend Salux. I use it on my face, too! I buy them in buld on ebay for $3 each and give them to everyone I know because they're that great. I recently started putting Neutrogena's acne wash onto the cloth and then using that on my back - it has worked like a dream.
posted by arnicae at 8:04 AM on April 7, 2012

I use a back brush. If you use a back brush, what doesn't get deposited today will come off tomorrow or the next day... so it's not quite as wasteful as it might seem.

It may also help to pre-wet it, so the bristles don't adsorb as much (adsorb = liquids or gases occupying tiny holes, as opposed to absorb = being sucked inside the structure itself).
posted by IAmBroom at 10:04 AM on April 7, 2012

When I had to apply lotion a few years ago, I found that a rubber spatula with an extra long handle worked surprisingly well. The lotion wasn't absorbed by the rubber at all, and the large rubber element did a great job of spreading the lotion.
posted by maudlin at 11:44 AM on April 7, 2012

How about using one of these toilet paper things, so it can hold a round cotton pad? You can douse the pad as you normally do.
posted by barnone at 1:46 PM on April 7, 2012

For bacne (back acne) these salicylic sprays are awesome. The glytone one does burn the nostrils a bit - take a breath, spray back, run out of bathroom. It dissipates really quickly and doesn't smell at all on your skin. Just ordered the Murad one so can't comment on the smell.
posted by barnone at 1:51 PM on April 7, 2012

My wife uses the Salux type cloths and swears by them.
posted by arcticseal at 6:05 AM on April 8, 2012

By the way, the main reason I suggested not using the Salux cloth on your face or on pimply skin is that scrubbing and likely rupturing pimples may cause scarring, or make it more likely.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:39 PM on April 9, 2012

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