Finding the right emollient that works for you or your child can be a lengthy process. An important part of this journey is making sure that you apply the emollient correctly, this includes the way that you apply it (technique), the amount that you apply (quantity) and how often you apply it (frequency).

Incorrect technique can make someone think that their emollient isn’t working and in some cases can make their skin more irritated and the condition worse. This may stop them using the emollient, when in fact, had it been applied correctly, it may actually have worked.

The AproDerm® Range of emollients can be used throughout the day, as pre-bathing emollients and after bathing. In addition AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream and AproDerm® Emollient Cream are also effective soap substitutes.

How to Apply AproDerm® Emollients

  • Wash your hands before applying your emollient to reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Break and remove the tamper evident seal on the emollient. With emollients that come in pumps, turn the nozzle clockwise into the open position and press it down several times to pump the emollient onto your hand. (Note that the first time that you use AproDerm® you may need to press the nozzle up to 10 times before the emollient comes out – this is normal). With emollients that come in tubs, you should use a clean spoon to remove the amount of emollient that you require and put it onto a clean container. Placing your hands in any emollients that come in tubs can cause contamination of the emollient. Discard any unused emollient and do not put it back in the tub.

  • When using any emollient for the first time you should test an area of skin (patch test) with a small amount of AproDerm® and leave for 48 hours – if there is no reaction or irritation then apply all over your skin.

  • Apply your AproDerm® emollient regularly, liberally and frequently to keep your skin soft and moisturised. The best way to apply your emollient is by using gentle strokes and following the direction of hair growth. Do not rub as this generates heat which can cause irritation and itching and may block the hair follicles, which can lead to folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles).

  • For maximum effectiveness leave a thin layer of AproDerm® on the skin to soak in (the skin should glisten) – this can take about 10 minutes.

  • How often you apply your AproDerm® emollient will depend on how dry your skin is.

  • AproDerm® emollients can be used before bathing (known as pre-bathing) to protect the skin from the drying effects of bathing.

  • Soap can be harsh on your skin so when bathing or washing use an effective soap substitute instead, such as AproDerm® Colloidal Oat Cream or AproDerm® Emollient Cream. So, you can protect, clean and moisturise your skin at the same time.

  • Apply your AproDerm® emollient after bathing as well, to skin that is almost dry, as this will help trap in moisture and hydrate the skin further.

  • If you have eczema or psoriasis continual use of your AproDerm® emollient is recommended to reduce the risk of flare-ups, even after your skin has improved.

  • You can safely use AproDerm® emollients during pregnancy or breastfeeding as they are unlikely to have any ill effects when used as directed, however if you are unsure feel free to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • AproDerm® emollients are for external use only, if you accidentally swallow some see a doctor immediately, taking the pack with you.

How Much AproDerm® Emollient Should I Apply?

To keep your skin hydrated and protected apply your AproDerm® emollient regularly, liberally and frequently. The exact amount of emollient that you use per day will depend on the size of the area that needs moisturising and how dry your skin is. Generally, the drier your skin the more often the emollient has to be applied and the greasier the emollient should be. As an indication Table 1 shows how much emollient an adult or child aged 12 years or over would typically use per month if they applied AproDerm® twice a day to the areas of the body shown. For children under 12 years the amounts would be approximately half.

Area of Body AproDerm® Emollient
(grams per month*)
No. of 500g tubs/pumps
(per month*)
Face 60g-120g 1
Trunk 1600g 4
Both Hands 100g-200g 1
Both Arms or Legs 400g-800g 2
Scalp 200g-400g 1
Groin and Genitalia 60g-100g 1

Table 1: Typical monthly quantities for an adult or child aged 12 years and over, based on twice daily application1.
*With pump dispensers each time you press the nozzle down fully approx. 4 grams of emollient is released.

Always apply your emollient regularly, liberally and frequently. Emollients cannot be overused, in fact, they tend to be underused which may lead to the misconception that they aren’t working when it’s actually because they are not being used often enough. There are certain times when the skin is likely to become irritated, such as when swimming or in cold weather, applying your AproDerm® emollient before exposure may help. For more information on using emollients please visit our Tips and Advice section.

1British National Formulary. (2018). 75th ed. Royal Pharmaceutical Society Press, Chap. 13

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