Special dry skin advice sought.
September 28, 2012 9:11 AM   Subscribe

People with dry skin: How do you apply lotion to just the backs of your hands? Special applicator suggestions go to the front of the line!

When I apply hand lotion the normal way, the palms of my hands get just as much lotion as the backs. It's really only the backs that need it though, the lotion on the palms and finger tips really doesn't help anything, and it smudges my iPhone screen. (I know, can you believe this guy?) So what other techniques are out there to apply lotion to just the backs?
posted by Rad_Boy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Just use lotion with a pump. Pump some on the backs of your hands and rub them like a Praying Mantis/back to back.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:12 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

i squeeze some lotion onto the back of one hand, and then rub the backs of my hands together until it's rubbed in. No fancy methods required, I just don't involve the fronts of my hands in the process.
posted by brainmouse at 9:13 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]

Seconding brainmouse. I keep a little tube in my pocket, squeeze a bit onto the back of my hand (I, personally, put a tiny dab on each knuckle since that's where I have issues) and rub the backs/knuckles together until the lotion is thoroughly rubbed in. I have also considered carrying a handkerchief to wipe off any excess, but decided it was too much trouble.
posted by Urban Winter at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2012

Apply the lotion to a tissue, use the tissue to rub it all over the backs of your hands. Toss the tissue when you're done. This works for Preparation H, too, btw.
posted by jquinby at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Score some "latex" gloves, alternate hands?
posted by mr. digits at 9:17 AM on September 28, 2012

If, for whatever reason, the above method doesn't appeal to you, you can use the lotion on your palms to lotion the rest of you.

Every time I lotion myself, I rub it in on my hands, then I use my palms to lotion my arms, elbows, tummy, hips, shoulders--whatever is available and feeling unmoist. The palms of my hands get rubbed clean, the backs of my hands still have a good coating of lotion, and as a bonus, my other bits are ensoftenating themselves, too.

This problem is also less of a problem with Aveeno. I don't know what kind of lotion you use, but in my experience, anything other than Aveeno feels WAY too watery/oily/greasy for too long. Aveeno sinks in quickly and doesn't leave residue all over the place.
posted by phunniemee at 9:17 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I use the Nivea creme that comes in the round, blue tin. It's a lot thicker than most moisterizers, so you need less of it, and since it is thicker, it is easier to dab on the backs of your hands and rub it in with just your fingers, because you don't need buckets of it to moisturize.
posted by colfax at 9:20 AM on September 28, 2012

I thought the back-on-back method was obvious, unless there's more to this that I'm not aware of. Regardless of what kind of container is being used.

I do the same thing with hands and forearms when reapplying sunscreen, which can be a pain to get off palms.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:56 AM on September 28, 2012

I was taught to use the back-on-back method too, though I don't actually use the backs of my hands to rub the lotion in.

Basically I was told that to have soft hands all around, pumping or squeezing lotion favors having most of the product in the palm of your hands before it gets distributed to the backs. So to get around that you squeeze the lotion onto the back of a hand first then dot that blob of lotion with the back of your other hand THEN you rub in with your fingers/palms as usual, so it's the back of your hands that start off with the most product worked into it first before moving on to the palms then anywhere else.
posted by kkokkodalk at 10:07 AM on September 28, 2012

it puts the lotion on the back of its hands, or it gets the hose again ;-)

I wipe off excess lotion on my palms onto my face and neck, which can always use some more softness ;-)
posted by jannw at 10:12 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I also apply lotion by squeezing/pumping it on to the back of one hand, and rubbing it in with the back of the other hand.

This method is also useful for some bad-tasting bug spray where you may be eating with your hands shortly after applying.
posted by jb at 10:53 AM on September 28, 2012

Nthing the back-to-back method. I have really moist palms and I hate adding to that feeling, so I always squish lotion out onto the back of one hand and then rub the backs together. I showed a friend how to do it a few days ago and she was amazed.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2012

I once had a fancy manicure where they used a brush (it looked like a standard foundation brush to me) to brush moisturizer onto *just* the backs of my hands and cuticles. Bonus: it was very relaxing, like a tingly massage
posted by miss_scarlett at 11:08 AM on September 28, 2012

For what it's worth, all lotion works better when you wash/soak your hands beforehand (the epidermis cells are saturated, and the lotion can lock it in as opposed to trying to saturate it).
posted by MeiraV at 11:54 AM on September 28, 2012

Squeeze lotion onto back of hand, rub in with tip (pad? The bit with your fingerprint on) of my middle finger.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2012

The back to back method works for me, but if I've applied sunscreen all over I've got it on my palms. So then I just wash the palms of my hands only, keeping the backs out of the stream of water. The other thing you can do is wipe as much lotion from your palms onto your wrists, neck, whatever, and then press a tissue or paper towel between your fingers for a minute or so to absorb the remainder.

You can also get a lotion stick, which is like a big lip balm for your skin. It's easier to apply without getting any on your palms. I get eczema on the backs of my hands from dish washing, and shea butter has been really effective at healing it almost overnight.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:24 PM on September 28, 2012

Yeah, back-of-the-hand to back-of-the-hand.

If it's very important that your fingers not get any of whatever it is at all (say, if you're about to go eat with your hand and have no way of effectively washing your hands for whatever reason,) Q-Tips are great for applying lotion/cream/gel/whatever. No more swallowing vitamins that (oops) taste like cortisone cream! Whee!
posted by SMPA at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2012

Dispense a small amount of lotion directly onto the back of one hand. Rub it against the back of the other hand. Is there a reason that doesn't work? Are you using a really runny lotion that gets everywhere? On the backs of my hands, I use the original Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream. It's a very thick glycerin cream; a pea-sized drop is plenty, and it doesn't go anywhere that you don't intentionally smudge it.
posted by Orinda at 4:10 PM on September 28, 2012

Like you, I can't stand lotion on my palms/fingertips, but get dry hands in the winter.

So, simple solution? I just use my hands like normal to thoroughly apply moisturizer...

...Then I wipe my palms/fingertips off on a damp towel. Simple as that.

FWIW, I also avoid "oily" moisturizers unless I start outright bleeding from the dryness. I stick with plain ol' aloe for as long as possible, then usually switch to Aveno Baby sometime around March.

Hope that helps!
posted by pla at 7:21 PM on September 28, 2012

Best answer: Thanks for the many responses.
What I came up with after much thought and experimenting is to use a soft 1" paintbrush (!) to apply the lotion to the backs of my hands. Since I'm a guy it seemed pretty appropriate and it works great and I already had a brush (unused) lying around.
posted by Rad_Boy at 4:24 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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