Fewer things feel more indulgent than luxury body lotions, especially come winter, but when it comes to getting (and staying) smooth all over, there are some real skincare heroes to be found at your local pharmacy or grocery store, or online, too. Here are some of the very best for the next time you find yourself out of your favourite super luxe grown up body lotion and need a quick fix, or if you just don’t feel like spending a year’s worth of cupcake money (am I the only one who does cost-benefit analyses based on sugary treats?) on keeping your skin well moisturized.
WHEN YOU’RE UNCOMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN
And not because you have low self-esteem– Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is your best bet. Sure, it’s super greasy, but when your skin feels like it's dry and scaly enough to turn into a new handbag, greasy’s just what you need. Scoop some of the hard, waxy stuff out and rub it all over your still damp skin after the shower, and your skin will instantly go from dull and parched to soft and glowing. Just wait a few minutes before putting your clothes on.
BEST ALL-ROUND FORMULA
Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Body Moisturiser is a classic, and for good reason; it’s hydrating enough to heal some pretty stubborn patches of roughness (think elbows and feet and even, according to some claims, dermatitis), but light enough that you don’t have to worry about feeling greasy after. It’s subtly fragranced, too, and works great for sensitive skin thanks to the oatmeal, which is a ridiculously effective sensitive skin soother.
THE TIME SAVER
If you’ve ever wished you could shave a few minutes of your morning routine, Nivea’s In-Shower Body Milk Skin Conditioner is for you. You’ve still got to stand around in the shower a bit awkwardly as you wait for this stuff to sink in (two minutes, according to instructions) but once you rinse it off, your skin will feel softer and smoother without any slickness or need for post-shower moisturizing, so – win?
FOR YEAR ROUND MOISTURE
If you want something that’s moisturizing, but not so moisturizing that you feel like you’re sliding around in your clothes, try Dove’s Indulgent Nourishment Body Lotion. It smells great – that’s probably the shea butter – and a little goes a long way, which means a bottle of this stuff lasts for ages. This is best for when you're looking for something to keep your hydration at optimum levels, and not for serious skin rescue; still, for frills-free moisturising, it gets the job done.
THE DISAPPEARING ACT
Gather round, folks! Live and in action, it’s the Great Nivea Nourishing Lotion Body Milk! Watch as the ultra-light formula spreads like milk over your skin, disappearing upon contact! Marvel at is ability to magically provide you with hours worth of moisture! Take a trip down memory lane with its signature Nivea fragrance! I'm not sure how Nivea managed to manufacture a formula that's so deeply moisturising while still being this light, but they have, and it is glorious.
THE DRY OIL
Parched skin is one of the biggest causes of stretch marks – I once read that Kerry Washington managed not to get a single stretch mark during her pregnancy by drinking a gallon of water a day, a tip I plan on following if I ever decide to reproduce – which explains why you’re more prone to them during the winter, when your skin is at its driest. In addition to claiming to lighten stretch marks, Bio Oil is also a great way to prevent them. The little bottle might not work for all over body hydration (it's a bit greasy, and there's not much to go around), so this one is best applied on the bits where you’re most prone to stretch marks or where your skin feels the driest and tightest.
TO SMELL LIKE DESSERT
Vaseline’s Total Moisture Cocoa Glow is rich and hydrating and, best of all, smells like chocolate – milk chocolate, to be specific. If you’ve ever wanted to smother yourself in chocolate (what?) you’ve got yourself a winner. There's plenty of cocoa butter to go around but unlike when using the actual, raw stuff, there's no oiliness, so you can go from showered to moisturised to dressed in five minutes flat.