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Bath and body products — things like lotions, soap, and shower gel — usually fall into one of two categories: uninspiring drugstore workhorses or fancy indulgences that you don’t want to use every day. But good-smelling lotions don’t have to cost a fortune or be so boring that they make you want to crawl back into the warm bed you just left.
Does your bathroom need a shake-up? These three brands, two international ones that are new to the US and one that is a rebranding of a ’90s favorite, offer some great options at completely reasonable prices.
Le Petit Marseillais
This adorable French drugstore brand, which has its origins in Provence, launched here a few months ago. You can find it at Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Amazon. It’s best known for its scented body washes, and boasts that it’s the best-seller in this category in France. Prices range from $3.99 to about $6, and the products come in “flavors” you don’t see every day, like Cotton Milk and Poppy, in gel or cream formulas. Plus, the packaging is exceptionally cheery, with bright colors and a tiny French boy wearing a floppy hat on the bottles.
This used to be a mall staple in the ’90s (it was founded in 1989), housed in sleek black and neon stores. It underwent a rebranding in 2016 and has had a resurgence since. You can buy it on its own website and at Ulta.
H20 Plus has a full range of skincare for your face, but the bath and body products are really the standouts, with innovative formulas and scents that don’t smell tacky. The solid moisturizer stick ($15), which is an easy and non-gooey way to get at rough knees and elbows, melts into a light oil texture, and the dry body oil spray ($18) is a great lightweight summer alternative to heavy lotions.
This German natural brand is 126 years old, but new to the US. It was founded by a monk (who had quite the pair of statement brows) named Sebastian Kneipp. Brand lore says that he cured himself of tuberculosis using “nature” and various hot and cold water therapies. This so-called “hydrotherapy” treatment is at the heart of the brand, which features some fantastic body products like soaks, salts, oils, and a really popular arnica line for muscle aches.
Products range in price from $4 for a packet of bath salts to $23 for massage oils. You can buy products on its site, but Kneipp also has eight stores in malls throughout the northeast corridor, from Massachusetts to DC, including King of Prussia and Garden State Plaza. More are coming, though Kneipp is staying mum on where and when.
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