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The ideal winter body lotion can hydrate the driest skin, soothe the most flaked, and mend the most cracked. It shouldn’t be a lot to ask, but, you’d be surprised.
When temperatures in New York City dropped below zero last week, we took it upon ourselves to test over a dozen options — from creams and lotions to body butters and oils. Here are the ones worth stocking up on before the next bomb cyclone comes through.
Peter Thomas Roth Mega‑Rich Body Lotion ($18): The mini versions of this lotion are at hotels all over the country. This is how I first discovered it a few years ago (thanks, Miami Hilton!), and it’s still the lotion I use most often. The consistency is really thin and even a bit watery, but it leaves the skin feeling just as nourished and moisturized as a thick cream. The lemon-y smell is barely there, too, so if you don’t like scented lotions, this is a really good bet. —Tanisha Pina, market editor
Nuxe Huile Prodieuse ($24.50): This classic French oil smells wonderful and softens beautifully; it’s my ultimate favorite oil. However, I’m sorry to report that as of last April, Nuxe pulled out of the US market (rude and sad!). But it’s worth the effort to try and find some. Pay whatever they ask of you for shipping and you won’t regret it. (It’s also at Cult Beauty.) —Cheryl Wischhover, senior beauty reporter
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($30): This Sephora favorite looks like super thick whipped cream, but it feels really dense and hydrating as soon as it hits the skin. It’s packed with a lot of good stuff like colloidal oatmeal (itch and irritation relief!), shea butter, and allantoin to calm and soothe, making it especially good for anyone who deals with dry or sensitive skin, or conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Oh, and the tub? It’s gigantic, and a little goes a long way. —Tanisha
Lubriderm Intense Skin Repair Body Lotion ($8): Right, so: This is ugly! But it really puts in work on dry skin. It’s thick and has a minimal scent, and although it can feel sticky for a minute or two, it dries really smoothly and feels cool. Plus, you can find it at all the convenient places, from Walgreens and CVS to Target and Amazon. —Tanisha
Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil ($95): This oil, like everything else Tata Harper makes, is luxury in a bottle. Obviously it’s a splurge, but if you’re into that sort of thing, look no further. It’s packed with a ton of natural active ingredients (14!) including jojoba and apricot oils, so on top of leaving your skin smooth and hydrated, it smells like a really fabulous spa you probably can’t afford to visit. It also absorbs into the skin super quickly, so it doesn’t leave behind a greasy mess. —Tanisha
S.W. Basics Raw Shea Butter ($10): Shea butter is that ideal ingredient in treating dry skin because it really seals water in to keep you hydrated. So naturally, this raw, organic, and incredibly concentrated version of the stuff is a dream. It’s not heavy, moves smoothly across your skin, and makes your skin unbelievably soft right away. Put it all over right after you get out of the shower for glossy shaving-commercial legs. —Tanisha
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Dry Oil Spray ($70): What you’re primarily paying for here is the scent, which is divine and like summer in a can — but like super sexy Tom Ford summer. I like to use this spray on slightly damp skin first and then put an unscented lotion on top in the winter for extra hydration and to lock it all in. —Cheryl
Neutrogena Body Oil ($10): When you want nothing from your body oil — aesthetics, luxurious scent, brand clout, etc. — but for it to work, this Neutrogena pick is perfect. I used this in high school and it still really holds up. It’s light, fragrance-free, lasts a really long time (like, a full day), and absorbs quickly enough that I can get dressed (or hop right back into bed) after I put it on. —Tanisha
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter ($48): Highly recommended for those of you who have graduated from Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean but still want a body butter that melts right into your skin and smells like dessert. It’s similar to the popular original Creme de Corps, but this whipped butter is formulated with winter-friendly ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil to keep your skin soft and supple and to protect against dehydration. —Tanisha
Butter Elixir Hair & Body Oil ($39): This is a great natural option if the Tata Harper version is a little too much. It contains a combination of oils — sweet almond argan oil, lavender, and chamomile — and is a great everyday oil with a pleasant but not overwhelming scent. —Cheryl