It’s Skindalous! — Ideal Body Moisturizers to Ease the Spring-to-Summer Transition
Mother Nature has been one cantankerous, indecisive, tempestuous entity this year, teasing us with glimpses of summer-like weather only to pull us back into the gloominess of chilly days replete with gray skies and unpredictable rain showers. Sure, we’ve ll heard that “it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind,” but we’d all appreciate it if Mother Nature would show some decisiveness here! Not only is the yo-yo climate leaving most of us confused about how to dress appropriately and whether or not to finally store our jackets, but it’s causing our skin to be equally disoriented. Do we choose a thicker body butter or opt for a more lightweight lotion? How much moisture does our skin need around this time of year?
To help you navigate this transitional time, we’ve amassed some top-notch moisturizers that work year-long — whether it’s hot and sticky, rainy and cool, or harrowingly frigid. Bring it on, Mother Nature!
Bella Lucce Rainforest Restoraton Açai Antioxidant Body Creme, $29. Available at BellaLucce.com
As soon as you twist off the lid of this luxurious body cream, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to an Amazon rainforest thanks to the product’s buttery, slightly nutty, yet sweet aroma, a result of the cupuaçu seed butter, macadamia seed oil, açai berry oil, hibiscus extract, and passion fruit oil in the formula. Whereas many body butters can feel too rich for use in hotter, more humid months, this body cream has a surprisingly light consistency akin to margarine so that it almost seems to melt onto your skin. In fact, you’ll barely need to rub it in since the skin seems to soak the cream up in a matter of instants. Best of all, your skin will feel markedly smoother and more comfortable — when I applied this cream before bed, I woke up to find that any dry patches ha been eradicated and the red bumps along my forearms (a mild case of keratosis pilaris) were both less visible and less noticeable to the touch.
As previously mentioned, the key ingredients in eco-friendly skin care brand Bella Lucce’s Rainforest Restoration Açai Antioxidant Body Creme include: macadamia nut oil, which is comprised mainly of essential fatty acids (over 70%) that moisturize and soften the skin (among them oleic acid, which both moisturizes skin and helps it to retain moisture by fortifying its natural barrier, and palmitoleic acid, which helps in anti-aging regimens); passion fruit oil, which is rich in vitamins A and C, both of which are vital to clear, radiant skin; açai berries, treasure troves of antioxidants that prevent premature skin aging; organic hibiscus extract, which inhibits elastin degradation, brightens and protects skin due to its vitamin C content, and functions as an antimicrobial; and babassu oil extracted from Brazilian palm trees, a source of lauric and myristic acid that helps the skin create a protective coating that prevents moisture loss.
Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter, $18. Available at PacificaPerfume.com
There’s a succulence to the scent of Pacifica’s Blood Orange Body Butter — the combination of blood orange, Italian mandarin orange, and juicy but tart raspberry makes for a scent that’s zesty but not overly acidic, somehow incorporating a hint of sweetness into a citrus-y cocktail. But this paraben-free, vegan-friendly body butter has more than a seductive fragrance to lure consumers. The stellar moisturizer is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving it smooth and soft thanks to a mixture of natural botanicals like: aloe vera juice, a natural anti-inflammatory that accelerates the healing of wounds and topical inflammations; safflower seed oil, a skin conditioner packed with linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that fortifies the skin’s immune system and promotes cellular activity, leading to younger, more radiant-looking skin; rose hip oil, which boasts a high concentration of vitamin C, a natural skin brightener, and an even higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids that work to prevent visible aging signs from arising, accelerate the healing of wounds and scars, and soothe inflammations; mango butter, a moisturizing substance rich in essential fatty acids; shea butter, the beauty industry’s go-to ingredient for moisturizing skin; almond seed oil, a non-greasy skin conditioner and emollient that contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E, which together work to boost cellular rejuvenation, protect the skin from free radicals, and restore the optimal moisture balance to the skin; cucumber extract, an anti-inflammatory; lavender extract, an anti-septic and anti-fungal agent that helps to soother any inflammations, wounds, or abscesses; and white tea extract, which protects the skin from oxidative stress and safeguards the skin’s immune system.
Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Skin Revitalising Body Lotion, $22, and Avocado, Olive & Basil Skin Nourishing Body Butter, $34. Available at Crabtree-Evelyn.com
Avocado and olive oil are at the heart of this skin care collection from Crabtree & Evelyn, which aims to tackle ultra dry skin and to leave it softer than that adorable Downy bear. Not only are olive branches symbolic of peace treaties and new alliances, but the oil extracted from their fruits has been dubbed “liquid gold” thanks to its lubricative abilities, its rich antioxidant content (which protect the skin from the environmental scavengers that lead to wrinkles, sun spots, and other aging signs), and the linoleic acid in its constitution, which helps skin retain moisture. When olive oil is paired with avocado oil, a substance known to penetrate the skin at a higher rate than many of its botanical counterparts and which moisturizes and softens the skin, the result is a one-two punch that culminates in a triumphant dermal dryness knockout. Free of parabens, phtalates, sulfates, mineral oils, and propylene glycol, this entire range is suitable for all women — even those with highly sensitive skin. Both the Skin Revitalising Body Lotion and Skin Nourishing Body Butter (ideal for those with parched skin) feature an herbal fragrance that punctuates the basil, sage, and olive in the formula, referencing a Mediterranean kitchen with this fresh mix of spices.
Seaweed Bath Co. Wildly Natural Body Creams, $12.98 each. Available at SeaweedBathCo.com
Each time you press down on the Wildly Natural Body Cream ‘s pump dispenser, a silly string-like stream of lotion will appear on your palm in a curling miniature mound. The vermicelli-like lotion has a light-as-air texture, making it ideal for hotter months when applying moisturizer can feel like an extraneous chore. Made using all-natural ingredients, Seaweed Bath Co.’s Wildly Natural Body Creams feature Hawaiian kukui oil, which is rife with oleic and linoleic acids; argan oil, an easily absorbed emollient an skin conditioner rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids; shea and cocoa butter, both excellent moisturizers and softeners; soothing aloe extract; and rejuvenating seaweed extract. The Body Creams are available in four varieties: Eucalyptus & Peppermint, Citrus Scent, Lavender Scent, and Unscented. I’m personally smitten with the Citrus Scent since it reminds me of blood oranges and ruby red grapefruits.
Shea Moisture Organic Olive & Green Tea Body Butter, $9.99. Available at Target stores.
Since it’s a body butter as opposed to a lotion, the Shea Moisture Organic Olive & Green Tea Body Butter features a thicker consistency so that you’ll likely have to rub the product on your skin a bit more vigorously in order to properly blend it into skin. Still, the body butter doesn’t feel so thick as to be confining and stifling, nor does it leave behind any greasy residue. What it does leave behind is a radiant, glistening finish that makes skin appear more youthful and healthy.
The antioxidants in the olive oil used to formulate the body butter work to create a protective barrier on the skin, sealing in moisture while neutralizing free radicals, thereby offering both skin conditioning and anti-aging benefits. Green tea extract, meanwhile, soothes any redness or inflammations (including peeling skin, eczema, and minor wounds). The last key ingredient in the formula, avocado extract, softens and replenishes thanks to its concentration of vitamins A, D, and E; the presence of sterolin, a plant-derived complex that contributes to the synthesis of dextrose and fortifies the skin’s immune system; and this creamy fruit’s essential fatty acids content, which help to promote proper cellular function. Together, these natural ingredients smooth, hydrate, and calm skin while also impairing our skin cells’ ability to regenerate and to produce the nutrients necessary to maintain skin elasticity.
Personally, I love applying this body butter at bedtime since, when I wake up in the morning, my skin feels shockingly soft (it even alleviates the little”chicken skin” bumps on my arms). Plus the smell manages to feel both earthy and refreshing, with no single note outperforming its teammates (so you need not worry about smelling like guacamole or some olive-heavy Mediterranean dish).
During the summer, when your feet are exposed almost 24-7, try applying this body butter to your heels to keep them from looking ashy or cracked.
St. Ives Naturally Smooth Body Lotion, $5.29 at Drugstore.com. Also available at mass food and drug retailers nationwide.
The key to radiant skin: a combination of optimal hydration and consistent cellular activity ranging from collagen and elastin production to regeneration. The St. Ives Naturally Smooth Body Lotion focuses on not only hydrating skin but improving its texture and overall appearance via a unique Alpha Hydroxy Acid-rich formula, with the AHAs in question being citric acids. This AHA complex works mainly as an exfoliant, allowing dead skin cells to slough off and revealing new and radiant skin, but it also helps to stimulate collagen and elastin production and to repair photo-damaged cells.
This inexpensive moisturizer features a very subtle citrus scent that makes the application process more pleasant but which has a fleeting lifespan so that, once the lotion is completely absorbed, the scent will not linger on and compete (or clash) with your choice of perfume. Initially, the lotion feel a bit balmy, slightly sticky a la petroleum jelly, but any greasiness quickly dissipates as the skin absorbs the product. Once it does, you’ll rapidly notice your skin feels smoother thanks to Curel’s proprietary ceramide complex works to mimic the skin’s natural protective barrier, thereby maximizing moisture retention. The eucalyptus in the formula, meanwhile, provides a pleasant cooling sensation as you massage the lotion onto your skin.
Repechage Sea Spa Hand Cream, $19.50 for 2 oz. Available at Repechage.com
Whenever I apply this luxurious lotion to my hands and my 8-year-old son is looming nearby, he beams before saying, “Mommy, I want to smell like the beach too!” That’s the magic of this ultra fluid moisturizer, which softens and hydrates hands while keeping visible aging signs at bay. The hand cream features a shea butter base rich in vitamins A, E, and F, which together help to protect the skin from environmental aggressors and to stimulate the cellular regeneration necessary to enjoy supple, resilient, radiant skin. A combination of EcoCert-approved seaweeds and sea plants, meanwhile, protects the skin from oxidative stress (due to their concentration of vitamins C and E), locks in moisture (thanks to their alginic acid content), and increases cellular proliferation (thanks to their beta carotene and amino acid content). Soothing botanicals like lavender oil (a known anti-septic and anti-fungal), eucalyptus oil (valued for its circulation-boosting and antiseptic properties, along with its uplifting aromatherapy benefits), and chamomile extract (a gentle anti-inflammatory) round out the list of power-packed ingredients in this hand cream’s formula.
Nuance by Salma Hayek Dark Cacao & Coffee Firming Body Cream, $14.99. Available at CVS stores.
If you’re as heavily caffeinated as I am, you’ll relish the Coaching-like scent of this body cream, part of Salma Hayek’s Nuance beauty line, available exclusively at CVS. It may smell like sheer decadence, but this taupe-colored cream actually helps problem appears appear more toned thanks to the coffee seed extract in the formula. Cocoa butter, safflower seed oil, rice brain oil, and cornflower extract hydrate and soften the skin, while improving the overall texture and tone. When you apply the lotion onto your forearms, hips, thighs, or stomach, you’ll likely feel a bit of a tightening sensation, along with a tingling, cooling effect. Once a couple of minutes pass, the tightening, prickly sensation will fade away but your skin will feel softer and your tone will seem a bit more even (thanks to a boost in circulation). The firming effects, meanwhile, are temporary (don’t expect to go down a dress size!), but you’ll relish every second in which you feel all the more trim and slim.