How to Put Lotion on Your Own Back: 6 Simple Methods - Public Goods

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How to Put Lotion on Your Own Back: 6 Simple Methods

There are a few challenges humans have faced since the dawn of time.

man putting lotion on his back

We’ve worked hard to master eating a balanced diet, staving off infection, fighting for world peace — and figuring out how to put lotion on our backs.

In most cases, our arms are not quite long enough to properly lather our backs with moisturizing cream or suntan lotion.

Fortunately, human ingenuity leaves no problem unaddressed. Here are some of our top tips and tricks on how to put lotion on your back.

Why Should You Apply Lotion to Your Back?

Lotion is often advertised for your face, hands and feet, as these parts of your body are the most likely to dry out. You don’t normally expose your back to the elements, so it may get neglected when planning out your skin care routine.

But that doesn’t mean your back doesn’t need to be moisturized or protected. Skin is your body’s first line of defense against dirt and bacteria. All skin needs moisturizer to stay healthy and nourished, no matter what part of your body it’s protecting.

Your back is also affected by the season. In the winter, you may suffer from itchiness and dry skin caused by scratchy wool sweaters and moisture-sapping undershirts.

Moreover, if you’re planning to spend an entire day basking in the sun, it’s doubly important to apply SPF sun lotion to this hard-to-reach area. In the summer, you’re likely to get at least one painful sunburn during beach season. On the other hand, if you want to get an even tan across your body, you’ll also need to make sure that tanning lotion is evenly spread on your entire back area.

No matter the reason or season, it’s helpful to know how to put lotion on your own back when a helping hand is not available.

How to Apply Lotion to Your Back: 6 Different Methods

When it comes to applying body lotion to your own back, we’re making sure you have options. All bodies are different.

You shouldn’t have to feel like you need a degree in acrobatics to apply moisturizer. Here are six different ways to get the job done.

Use a Back Lotion Applicator

applicator pad with lotion on it

If you don’t mind spending a few bucks, you can purchase a lotion applicator device. Typically, a lotion applicator is a tool that is made up of a sponge head attached to a wooden or plastic handle with a non-slip grip. It usually resembles a long dish brush or back massager. There are tons of lotion applicators available, including the Aquasentials Easy Lotion Applicator, Ableware Roll Easy Lotion Applicator and SunBuddy.

The proper procedure for using a lotion applicator depends on the product, but in most cases, the process works like this:

  1. Squeeze the lotion onto the sponge or foam rubber applicator head.
  2. Lift the lotion applicator above your shoulder.
  3. Rub the head of the applicator across your back, spreading the lotion evenly.
  4. Wash off the leftover cream from the applicator to clean it.

Apply Lotion Using Your Forearms

a line of lotion on a man's forearm

This is a great technique for those of us with some shoulder mobility. It’s simple and requires no special tools or super long arms.

  1. Apply a thin line of lotion to the top of your forearms, from your elbow to your knuckles.
  2. Place your hands on your hips, then move them backward so they are behind you, with the top of your hands on your lower back.
  3. Bend your elbows so your hands move up your back.
  4. Begin applying pressure as you gently rub the lotion on the tops of your forearms around your back.

If using both arms at once seems like a stretch, try using one at a time.

Putting Lotion on Your Back with a Spatula

public goods lotion bottle next to a black spatula with a drop of lotion on it

OK, so you may want to get a designated plastic spatula to use just for this purpose. Your meals won’t taste as great with lotion residue mixed in.

  1. Squirt a quarter-sized dollop of lotion onto your spatula.
  2. Reach overhead, as if you’re about to scratch your neck, and place the head of the spatula on the center of your back.
  3. Starting from the middle of your back, brush the lotion up and out in all directions until you reach the points you can get with your hands.
  4. Next, apply a little more to the spatula and reach your arm backwards, as if you’re unhooking a bra.
  5. Starting from the middle of your spine, brush the lotion down and out, covering your mid and lower back.
  6. Using your hands, you can extend the reach to the outer portion of your back and shoulders.

Using Saran Wrap

piece of saran wrap on a table

If you’re in a pinch and need to moisturize your back, another easy and accessible option is to use plastic wrap. That’s right! The same product you use to wrap up your leftovers can also be used to moisturize your skin.

  1. Cut out a long piece of saran wrap using the cutter in the box or scissors. The longer the piece of plastic, the better.
  2. Squeeze out the lotion across the center of the plastic wrap. Don’t overdo it!
  3. Place the plastic wrap down on a table and turn your back to it.
  4. Reach behind your back and grab the plastic wrap from each end.
  5. Place the moisturizer-coated wrap on the lower end of your back and swipe it up to distribute the lotion across the entire area.

Putting Lotion on Your Back with a Paint Roller

public goods lotion bottle next to a paint roller with a line of lotion on it

For those who are dedicated to their moisturizer routine but don’t have access to an applicator device, a small investment in a paint roller may be an appropriate option. Using a paint roller will get the job done quickly and efficiently.

  1. Apply a thin strip of lotion across the length of your paint roller.
  2. Starting with your lower back, roll the paint roller across the width of your lower back.
  3. Work your way up your back, side to side, until you can’t reach anymore.
  4. If you need to apply another strip of lotion, do so.
  5. Reach your arm up and over your head and roll the paint roller up and down your shoulder blades and spine.
  6. Switch arms to ensure an even coat.

Applying Lotion with a Tube Sock or Wide Belt

a pair of white tube socks

If you have an old but clean tube sock or a belt you don’t use anymore, you can repurpose it as your own DIY applicator device.

  1. Apply a strip of lotion down the length of your new lotion application device.
  2. Use a wide grip with both hands and hold it overhead.
  3. Move it down toward your shoulders behind your head, like a weightlifter holding a barbell during a back squat.
  4. At this point, you can regrip the application device so one hand is still up by your shoulder while the other is gripping the device down near your hip.
  5. Move the lotion applicator device across your back so the lotion is spread evenly.
  6. Switch grips to get the other side.
  7. Feel free to bend and arch your back to your comfort level to ensure full coverage and a nice stretch.

Selecting the Best Body Lotion for Your Back

Aside from finding the optimal method, another important consideration is finding the best moisturizer for your back.

We recommend a gentle all-purpose moisturizer that is quickly absorbed by the skin. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than putting a cotton shirt on a gooey back. Public Goods’ all-purpose lotion goes on light and absorbs into the skin quickly so you can get on with your day in comfort.

Best of all, we offer lotion refills. This option means you don’t have to stress about using too much lotion (as your back is a pretty big part of your body), and you can help reduce ocean waste caused by plastic bottles.

Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.

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