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One Fine Mist — Enjoy On-the-Go Moisturization with the St. Ives Fresh Hydration Continuous Spray Lotion

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When you move at one speed — go! go! go! — it’s tempting to skip certain steps in our morning routines in order to save a bit of time and maybe even score a few extra minutes of shut-eye. But, just like you can’t go without brushing your teeth for at least two solid minutes without it resulting in cavities, gum disease, terrible breath, and other not-s0-fun consequences, you can’t dispense with hydrating your body without paying a price — mainly itchy, uncomfortable, scaly, ashy, or dull-looking skin. Still, there’s no need to rely on an ultra thick body butter that needs to be rubbed in vigorously for a seemingly endless stretch of time in order to be absorbed by the skin. So how can you streamline your daily shower-and-moisturize routine so that you properly hydrate your skin but do so as efficiently and quickly as possible? Well, one time-saving tool can be the new St. Ives Fresh Hydration Continuous Spray Lotion ($7.99 at mass food and drug retailers; visit CVS.com), a fast-absorbing, spray-on lotion formulated with 100% natural moisturizers.

Released on the heels of Vaseline’s Spray & Go Moisturizer, an aerosol body lotion, St. Ives released its Fresh Hydration Continuous Spray Lotion, which also relies on compressed air to dispense a hydrating mist (side note: the use of compressed air rather than drying alcohol-based propellants is what makes these formulas so lightweight and effective). Now, I hated the Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer because I found that it emitted this utterly unpleasant scent upon being spritzed (not unlike that cough-inducing smell associated with old-school hairspray) and because I thought it had this tacky, sticky texture that made me feel like taking yet another shower. Still, I knew they were onto something with the “continuous spray” technique they were marketing. And luckily, St. Ives toyed with this same concept and came up with a truly winning product.

Available in three varieties — Naturally Indulgent Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract, Naturally Energizing Citrus & Vitamin C, and Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter — the St. Ives Fresh Hydration Lotion contains shea butter, which is rich in vitamins A and E and in fatty acids (mainly oleic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid) that moisturize and soothe the skin while also helping other nutrients penetrate the skin barrier; along with glycerin, a popular humectant. Each formula has a specific scent and is meant to address specific concerns. The  St. Ives Naturally Indulgent Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract Fresh Hydration Continuous Spray Lotion, for instance, also incorporates coconut extract, which conditions and hydrates the skin while also strengthening its natural barrier and preventing moisture loss. The coconut extract in the formula also gives the lotion a sweet, milky, creamy scent that, when paired with the slightly floral orchid extract note, reminds one of tropical beaches. The St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Fresh Hydration Continuous Spray Lotion, meanwhile, caters to those with sensitive, temperamental skin that needs some extra tender loving care by incorporating oat extract, which has long-heralded anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant properties. Last but not least, the zesty, slightly tangy, juicy-smelling St. Ives Naturally Energizing Citrus & Vitamin C Fresh Hydration Lotion is formulated with natural grapefruit extract, which is rich in vitamin C, which helps to boost collagen production, brightens skin tone and helps to eliminate discolorations, and protects the skin from UV rays.

To use any of the St. Ives Fresh Hydration lotions, you simply need to hold the can four to six inches from the skin and press down on the  grooved button along the top, thereby prompting a light mist to be dispensed by the atomizer. You can then spray a straight line down your arms, spray it all along your chest, stomach and hips in an S-shaped formation, and work your way down your legs. Now, ideally, you want to retain the same level of pressure on the cap as you move from one area of your body to the next so that you do, in fact, create a continuous stream. If you lift your finger from the cap or alternate the amount of pressure, then it might lead to some sputtering or more concentrated dollops of lotion as opposed to that ultra-fine mist (not that this will in any way prove detrimental to the formula’s actual performance). Once you’ve used the lotion a few times, it’s easy to master the technique so that you do, in fact, release this light, slightly frothy lotion in the same steady stream. When the lotion is dispensed onto the skin, you then simply rub it in ever so lightly and — presto! — you’re good to go.

What makes this spray-on lotion so genius is that it’s readily absorbed by the skin so that you literally have to exert almost no effort when massaging it into your arms or legs. In other words: it’s the lazy girl’s must-have lotion! And, unlike the Vaseline Spray & Go, the St. Ives Fresh Hydration Continuous Spray Lotion leaves skin feeling soft, refreshed, and supple without any greasy or sticky residue (and virtually no drying time!).

The one drawback: because the formula is so lightweight, those with really parched skin (like myself) may need to bring in some reinforcements during the winter season, rubbing in a heavier cream or body butter at nighttime. I can picture this being my go-to lotion in the summer season, when the heat is so stifling that rich moisturizers leave me feeling sweaty and uncomfortable, but in the winter, I do need something extra.

Still, when I’m in a rush, this lotion proves to be an absolute life-saver and I can only imagine how great it will be to pack in weekend bags since it’s so convenient for on-the-go spritzes. Expect the continuous spray lotion formulas to keep amassing fans!

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