Skin Health

The Three-Minute Moisturizing Window

After a shower, how long do you have to effectively moisturize your skin? According to the Mayo Clinic, three minutes.

In a broadcast program for the Mayo News Network, Dr. Dawn Davis, a dermatologist with Mayo, explained why. “The skin has been hydrated and moisturized maximally after the bath or shower. And so we like to call this the magic three-minute window where you have time to help seal in what water content by applying a [moisturizer] to your skin.”

In the broadcast, Davis explain that different kinds of moisturizers – lotions, creams and ointments – have different effects. “Lotions tend to be more water soluble and have the most moisturizer content of all three types.

According to the broadcast, creams have water as well but may also include some oil. Creams and lotions, Mayo says, soak into the skin. Ointment, on the other hand, stays on top of your skin, Davis says, “like a greenhouse lid or a barrier between your skin and the environment. And what it does is it simply allows your body to catch up with its own humidification method.”

Each method is efficient at delivering moisture to your skin, so it’s your call which kind you choose. But just be sure, Mayo says, to use your moisturizer during that three-minute window.

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