SPRING IS TWO DAYS AWAY. Is your body braced for exposure? Arms and elbows, legs and knees, heels and soles – the places you’ve covered up all winter – are probably not as buttery soft and smooth as you’d like.
It’s about anticipation. Which is why this is the perfect transitional time to get buffed with body butters. Regular butter makes everything better in the kitchen, right? Well, now it does in the bathroom, too.
The latest and greatest are ultra-rich and super-soothing but not greasy or sticky. Think of them as an intensive step up from your everyday lotion. They’re great for really rough spots, including hands, derrieres and ankles.
You can exfoliate skin first for optimal absorption, but you don’t have to. These butters – aka creams, oils, and even milks — melt right in and deliver supple, deeply hydrated results. And many linger post-washing, which is pretty amazing. After testing several on the backs of my hands, I washed up with Martha Stewart liquid soap and dried off. I could still feel and smell the butters on my skin. This is when it’s good to be clingy.
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Natural Body Cream Nourishing Coconut Milk and Rejuvenating Papaya Mango ($13.99 each) Can’t wait for summer? Either of these will virtually send you straight to a seaside bar in Cuba. Meanwhile, pineapple, papaya, hibiscus, mango and vanilla fruit extracts; and coconut, macadamia seed oils and shea butter will get your skin beach-ready.
Earth Therapeutics Triple Butter Body Butter (from $2.99) Organic, nourishing, and packed with cocoa, mango and shea butters. Great bang for the buck.
Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Moisturizing Body Cream ($14.95) Ideal for green gals who want lightness in their hydrators. Sea buckthorn is considered a super-fruit for its antioxidant properties and essential fatty acids; this cream is full of its seeds’ oil and pulp. Shea butter and orange and lemon essential oils round out the vegan mix.
Sonia Kashuk Red Promisia Body Butter ($10.99) This floral-but-not-too scent was one of our top picks last year, and the body butter is beautiful as well. Thick with shea butter, aloe leaf juice and sweet almond protein; and fragrant with sandal, jasmine and vanilla – this is a winner in every way.
Tree Hut Shea Body Butter, Almond & Honey ($5.88) Smells good enough to eat and feels expensive. With pure shea butter, almond and safflower seed oils and honey.
VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Hand + Body Smoother ($25) Called a lotion, but this one’s very creamy goodness is derived from coconut-derived fatty acids, virgin coconut oil and antioxidants.
Oils, pumps, sprays
Kiss My Face Air Kiss 2 in 1 Light Moisturizing Lotion ($9.99) Backs are always a problem to reach. Not anymore, with this 360-degree continuous nozzle whose mist foams like a mousse on contact and sinks right in. As emollient as our other products, this chemical-free one’s full of sunflower seed and lavender flower oils, shea butter and Vitamin E.
KORA Organics by Miranda Kerr Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil Certified Organic ($64) A small bottle packs a mega-hydrating punch to damp skin. Use it alone or with Miranda’s Enriched Body Lotion ($54) after, say, shaving your legs. Prepare to be touched, thanks to pomegranate and rosehip oils; and noni fruit, lavender, green tea and hibiscus extracts.
Jack Black Epic Moisture Extra Rich Body Hydrator ($32) The name says it all. If you, like me, are partial to pumps, this is what you want. Fragranced with a crisp, gender-neutral scent, this vegan wonder attacks dry skin with a massively moisturizing arsenal: olive fruit, coffee seed, jojoba seed, avocado, argan kernel and sunflower seed oils; ginger root, olive leaf, and green tea extracts; and shea butter, to name but a few. Did I mention it’s not greasy? It’s not greasy.
Paul & Joe Smoothing Body Oil ($32) Squirt a few fragrant drops of this light, golden liquid directly on to skin or into your usual body lotion to enrich its butteriness. Rich in lavender, meadow foam, orange, organic jojoba and rosehip oils to help keep all skins baby soft.
Whish Body Butter, Blue Agave ($24). Marine-y fresh, this one also firms with seaweed extract and moisturizes with raspberry butter. Not too thin, not too thick. Really lovely.
These evoke the purity and zen-sibility of a pampered day at a world-class spa.
Bioelements Vitalization Rich Intensity Body Creme ($56) You’re on a massage table. Under and over you are clean, white, 1,000-thread count sheets made of Egyptian cotton. That’s what this “creme” smells and feels like. That’s due to its crème de la crème botanical ingredients: apricot kernel, black currant seed, sunflower seed, grape seed and clove leaf oils; shea butter; and something called red rooibos tea, a firming antioxidant. At any rate, it’s heaven. [AnythingPopup id=”4″]
Bliss Vanilla + Bergamot and Lemon + Sage Body Butter Maximum Moisture Cream ($29 each) Originally created for professional massages, this paraben-free amber-lemon-myrrh-musk-coconut oil-shea butter-algae extract blend has enough glide to cover wide swaths in fell, fragrant swoops. Au revoir, scaly skin. You won’t be able to choose between either flavor, so just buy both. Or you can always try tucking ʼem into your purse from sinkside at any W Hotel.
Bliss High Intensity 24-‘heaven’ Healing Body Balm ($35) Divine. This fat jar should last well through Labor Day – of 2016. The richest of the rich, this is sheer deliverance from the extreme desert of parched, irritated, itchy, flaky, uncomfortable, chapped, cracked skin parts. With exfoliating lactic acid and soothing, protective colloidal oatmeal, this super-saturating formula is said to be clinically proven to moisturize for 24 hours. A little dab’ll do ya.
Clairvoyant Beauty Nourishing Shea Butter Cream ($40) Touching this feels like skating on cold lavender butter that thaws on fingertips’ contact. Ideal for nails, cuticles, elbows – any small, dry places crying out for attention. With lavender essential oil, aloe juice and avocado butter. Oh, and the jar’s label features inspiring Helen Keller quotes, like “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” Helen might reconsider if she tried this stuff.
Daisy Buchanan worthy
Clé de Peau Beauté Body Cream ($150) Butter, cream, what’s the difference? It’s all dairy. This crazy-luxurious formula looks and feels like whipped cake frosting that you will not want to share. Apricot and marjoram extracts repair dryness; Bulgarian rose water and ginger extract promote firmness and elasticity; and camellia oil and hydrolyzed silk impart a velvety texture that makes skin look radiant sans residue. Put it this way: if natural pearls had a natural perfume, they’d smell just like this.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Souffle Body Cream ($300) The Great Gatsby would’ve had a happier ending had Jay been able to give this to Daisy earlier on. It’s hard to even talk about this product. It’s beyond imagination, like being naked and draped in satin or silk gazar. Light, yet completely luxurious. Firming caviar extracts – really – are combined with exfoliating willow bark extract, algae extract and caffeine (to keep the firming going), and a bunch of other top-secret fancy ingredients that nourish, illuminate and turn your skin into satin. Or silk gazar. You get the idea.
Restørsea Retexturizing Body Butter ($120) Dry arms and legs especially getting on your nerves? They’ll be instantly silken with this decadent, lightly scented formula. It contains a “Vibransea” complex that includes “Aquabeautine XL,” a natural enzyme released during Norwegian baby salmon hatching – seriously – that hydrates and strengthens skin while digesting dead skin cells; Vitamin C to reduce age spots and brighten; and brown algae to moisturize, increase elasticity and reduce inflammation. It also has oat and honeysuckle extracts to calm, smooth and preserve healthy skin. And hey, if it’s good enough for Gwyneth, it’s good enough for us.