Miss Ruby Tuesday- How To Put Lotion On Your Back

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How to Apply Lotion to Your Own Back

Four Methods:

Dry skin is a common hassle, and your back can be the most dreaded spot to apply lotion. It’s difficult to rub lotion on your own back, but you have a few options that will make it much easier. Creative ways to apply lotion to your back include using your forearms instead of your palms, using plastic wrap like you would use a towel, and using a paint roller to extend your reach.


Utilizing Your Forearms

  1. Squeeze a line of lotion onto the tops of both forearms and the backs of your hands.Hold your arm out flat in front of you with your elbow bent. The top of your forearm should form a level surface. Apply a line of lotion from the back of your hand up your arm almost to the crease of your elbow. Squeeze lotion onto both forearms.
    • Do not rub the lotion into your arms, rather let it sit on your arm in the line you squeezed.
    • You can use as much or as little lotion as you feel is necessary to cover your back completely.
  2. Place your arms behind your back.Bend your elbows and reach both of your arms behind you, placing the lotion covered forearms against your back. Depending on how flexible you are, this may hurt a little. It might be easier to place one arm behind your back at a time.
    • If you have shoulder pain or are not very flexible, this method may not work well for you.
  3. Move your arms in a windshield wiper motion.Rub your forearms and the backs of your hands up and down your back like windshield wipers covering as much of your back as you can. You can use your left arm first to cover your left side and then place your right arm behind and use it to cover the right side of your back.
    • Repeat this process as necessary if you don’t feel like you got enough lotion on your back.

Using a Spatula

  1. Get a spatula.You can use a plastic or rubber spatula, and a wooden one will work too, but avoid a metal spatula. If you have multiple options, opt for whichever one has the longest handle.
    • You may not want to use a spatula that you frequently use to cook. If possible, buy one that you can designate for the purpose of applying lotion.
    • It’s possible to get splinters from a wooden spatula, so be careful when using one.
  2. Squeeze a liberal amount of lotion onto the spatula.Keep the spatula as flat as you can when you squirt the lotion onto it so that you don’t drop any onto the ground. You may do better to use a little less lotion and make more than one application.
  3. Gently reach the spatula behind your back.Do your best to keep the spatula flat with the lotion side up, bend your arm around to your back and place the lotion against your lower back.
  4. Spread the lotion around your back.Move the head of the spatula around in a circle covering your lower back first and moving up to your mid-back. You can then reach over your shoulder from the top and apply lotion to your upper back as well.
    • Add more lotion if you need to and repeat the process until you have covered all areas of your back.

Applying Lotion With Plastic Wrap

  1. Cut a two to three foot piece of plastic cling wrap.The exact length that you cut is up to you, but a longer piece will make the process easier. Use either a cutter that’s attached to the plastic wrap box or use a sharp pair of scissors.
    • Plastic cling wrap can be difficult to keep from tangling up and sticking to itself, so place it flat on the table before you cut it. This will help keep it from wrinkling up.
    • If you don’t have plastic wrap on hand, you could substitute a number of different plastic sheet options. If you have an old disposable tablecloth, you could cut from that. You could cut a strip from a trash bag. You could even use the wrapping from a big pack of toilet paper.
  2. Squeeze a blob of lotion into the middle of the strip.Squeeze as much lotion as you think you need onto the plastic strip. Lotion often goes farther than you think it will, so don’t overdo it. A blob that is an inch or two wide should be sufficient.
    • You can also put the lotion on the plastic wrap in a thin strip that is five or six inches long.
  3. Stand with plastic wrap behind you.If you try to pick up the plastic wrap while it is in front of you, you may up end with a mess. Turn so your back is toward the plastic wrap and you are close enough to touch it.
    • If you laid the plastic wrap out on a counter that is too high for you to reach behind you, pick the plastic wrap up in front of you and move it to a lower surface.
  4. Reach behind your back and pick up the plastic wrap.Grab each end of the plastic wrap with one hand and lift it from the surface. Place the lotion against your back starting in the lower section first.
    • You may need to turn your head and look over your shoulder so you can see where the plastic wrap is at in order to pick it up.
  5. Swipe the plastic wrap side to side on your back.Pretend that you are using a towel to dry off your back and pull the plastic wrap side to side distributing the lotion onto your back. You can use an upward zigzag motion to reach up toward the middle of your back.
    • You can reach more areas of your back by letting go of the plastic wrap with one hand and reaching over the top of your shoulder to swipe the plastic wrap in a more up and down motion getting your shoulder blade area.
    • If you are unable to move your shoulders or arma adequately, an alternative is to tape the plastic wrap to a flat vertical surface (doors work well and be cautious to choose a surface that will not be paint damaged and any over spill of lotion may be easily removed). Apply the lotion to an area of the plastic the same height as your target area. Turning away from the plastic, place your shoulder blades against it about three inches lower and the sliding your back on the lotion, stand up. Repeating this motion and moving from side to side should apply lotion to the entire target area. If necessary, apply lotion lower on the plastic and bend forward slightly to coat the small of the back.

Rolling Lotion on Your Back

  1. Buy a paint roller with roller cover.A standard 12 inch (30.5 cm) roller helps you cover the most area at once, but a smaller four inch one gives you a more precise application. Choose a ¼” nap thickness. You’ll have a few options for the handle length, and your height will determine how long of a handle you need.
    • You can buy paint supplies at home improvement stores, as well specialty paint stores or most big-box stores.
    • If you already have a paint roller that is clean, you don’t need to buy a new one.
    • An addition option is to also buy a paint tray which is used to roll paint onto the roller.
  2. Squeeze lotion onto the roller.Squeeze some lotion in a line across the entire length of the roller. You may want to put two or three lines of lotion on the roller for better coverage. If you bought a paint pan, you can squeeze some of the lotion into the pan and roll the roller in the lotion to coat it.
    • The amount of lotion that you use is up to you, and it may take a little bit of trial and error to determine the right amount.
    • If you can squeeze some lotion around the entire circumference of the roller it may help you get a more even application.
  3. Roll the lotion onto your back.With the roller in your hand, bend you arm over the top of your shoulder and begin applying the lotion. Then switch and bend your arm around your side and behind your back and roll the lotion onto your lower back and mid-back.
    • You may need to add lotion to the roller more than one time as some of it will soak into the roller.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Using this wooden spatula -- is it possible that I could get a splinter?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If it is old and splintered, then yes. But if it is new and well made, then most likely not. You could use a plastic one if preferred.
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Quick Summary

To apply lotion to your own back, squeeze a line of lotion onto the tops of both of your forearms and the backs of your hands, then reach both of your arms behind you so your forearms are against your back. If you’re not very flexible, it might be easier to do one arm at a time. Move your arms in a windshield wiper motion to cover as much of your back as possible.

Did this summary help you?
  • These same methods can be used to apply sunscreen and other creams.

Things You’ll Need

  • Lotion
  • Spatula
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paint roller

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article Info


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About This Article

How helpful is this?
Views: 147,415


Jun 29

"Great idea! You can also get sponge rollers at the craft store with a small "paint" tray."


Jun 22

"Helped loads, really works."


Jun 12

"All great ideas, depending on one's flexibility."


Apr 25

"Taping the plastic wrap to the door, and moving against it. Brilliant!"

Robin Small

Sep 10, 2019

"Thank you so much for this wonderful suggestion on applying lotion on my own back! I went to the beach last weekendwith my friend and got sunburned on my back. It is now itchy, and my late husband would normally help out. Now I can use my gentle, soft-plastic spatula to apply my wonderful, cooling, aloe Vera gel on my back! Happy, happy!"


Apr 2

"The long-handled spatula made me think of a long-handled bath brush that I now apply lotion to and rub it onto myback. Thanks for the ideas. When your back is itching so much, your brain cant think of the simplest solutions."


Dec 21, 2019

"Thank you. I was desperate to find a way to moisturize my back. The solutions seem so easy that I should havethought of them myself. You are all very clever."

Anja Brown

Feb 15

"A sock is also good if you put it on the sock, distribute evenly and slide back and forth. But the spatula sounds abit easier, thank you."

Mary Taylor

Aug 18, 2019

"Have shingles on my back and nobody wanted to put cream on them. This article helped me do that. How I wish I hadread it a month ago."
Rated this article:

Liza May

Nov 19, 2019

"Totally awesome. The saran wrap method is SO great, especially for someone with limited range of motion inshoulders. Thank you!"
Rated this article:

Debbi Ruth

Dec 5, 2019

"Putting my arms behind my back. So not an option. Can't wait to try these other tips. Thanks so much."

Dan Hunt

Nov 23, 2019

"Thanks for the tips. I work outside in the winter and don't like to bother anyone about my dry back."

Ghjn Bbjk

Jun 22, 2019

"There were good suggestions on how to help apply lotion! I will definitely be using a few! ;)"
Rated this article:

Karen Leight

Jul 18, 2019

"It opened up other possibilities!"
Rated this article:

Brenda Oates

Mar 22, 2019

"Never thought of this. Thanks!"

Sana K.

Video: The Original "I've Got My Back" Lotion Applicator 12/4/14

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Date: 16.12.2018, 07:42 / Views: 61495