The application of moisturizer (or emollient) is part of the daily routine of parents of babies and children who suffer from very dry skin. At first sight, nothing could be simpler... Yet, in practice, many questions arise about this essential step, which is not always well respected. To help parents acquire the right reflexes and apply the emollient correctly, Dr Magali Bourrel-Bouttaz, Dermatologist - Lyon Sud Hospital (France) has co-constructed a method approved by the Association française de l'eczéma (French Eczema Assocation).

1. What is the use of the emollient?

This is the essential basis to take care of dry skin. People who suffer from it have dry skin, which is actually a perforated skin. The holes make the skin permeable like a sponge, it absorbs all the air particles that will pass through it.

The only way to block the holes is to apply moisturizer (otherwise known as an emollient) every day.


2. To which area should the emollient be applied?

No way to apply the emollient only on dry areas, it is necessary to apply an emollient on the whole body and face every day.


3. How to evaluate the right amount of emollient to apply?

Follow 3-6-9 Method, a simple way to remember the right of amount of emollient needed for each age

  • 3 pumps for a baby (3 x 2ml)
  • 6 pumps for a child (6 x 2ml)
  • 9 pumps for an adult (9 x 2ml)
  • Ideally this should be repeated twice a day


4. How to apply the emollient?

The correct gestures must be adapted to the person's age. But in any case, you should avoid taking a large amount of emollient in your hands before applying... Too much cream on one side, nothing on the other: bad reflex!

Baby Illustration Saving Skin & More

For a baby, 3 pressures: apply the cream in small dabs to spread evenly over the body, then massage for a long time. Hydration becomes a moment of hugging and relaxation.

Child Illustration Saving Skin & More

For a child, 6 pressures: it is needed to transform the application of the cream into the play of the ladybug and the zebra.For small areas, the cream plays with ladybugs, drawing dots before spreading. For arms and legs, the cream makes the zebra by drawing long stripes along its entire length, before massaging and spreading it. The idea is to involve the child who must become autonomous as soon as possible.

Adult Illustration Saving Skin & More

For an adult, 9 pressures.

5. When to apply the emollient?

The right frequency is every day, ideally twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

It is up to everyone to create their own ritual to anchor habits: in the room or bathroom, on the bed or changing table, playing, singing, listening to music, reciting a nursery rhyme...

Shower Illustration Saving Skin & More

It is true that the application of emollient is often easier on slightly damp skin.

The shower itself is an important moment because the hygiene product used must be carefully chosen. It must be soap-free since it degreases the skin, which is not compatible with atopic skin. Nowadays, washing oils are the softest thing.

If the water is very hard, it is better to bathe or shower the child only every 2 days. On the other hand, the cream must be applied every day, even on days without a shower.

5min Illustration Saving Skin & More

It only takes 5 minutes to apply the emollient evenly over the entire body and face. A reflex that must become as natural as brushing your teeth...

A dermatologist is the best resource for identifying skin disorders, finding the cause of your skin issues, and developing an adapted treatment. Please consult your dermatologist, doctor or pharmacist so that they may best advise you on your personal skin regimen.