Keeping the skin on your body soft and smooth can be a challenge all year-round, but if dry skin is something you regularly battle with, it’s likely to be worse in winter.
Even those who generally do little other than using the occasional body scrub or lotion every once and a while, often find dry, scaly patches after several months of cooler weather.
With your body shrouded in winter layers and not wanting to linger long in a cold bathroom after showering it’s not surprising around now we might need to reach for a product that will nourish and smooth the skin on our limbs.
Extra attention is likely to be needed in areas like elbows, knees, and ankles where skin cell turnover can be sluggish and dry skin hardens.
Skincare products designed specifically to tackle dry skin generally work in three ways:
* They replace natural moisture with ingredients known as humectants. These can include ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin.
* They replace skin lipids, or the natural fats and oils that are part of the outer layer of skin. These can include the likes of squalane, cocoa butter, jojoba oil and colloidal oatmeal.
* They reduce water loss thanks to occlusive materials (oily ingredients that create a physical barrier on the skin). These can include shea butter, petroleum and beeswax. This is why many targeted products for dry skin are richer, or thicker in feel.
These products help reinforce the skin barrier, making it stronger, more supple and less vulnerable, not to mention smooth and health-looking.
If sensitivity is also an issue, seeking out a fragrance free option is often helpful.
Other ingredients like ceramides and pre and probiotics can also be useful for increasing hydration and balancing skin.
Here are some of the best body lotions for dry or very dry skin:
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+ Body Balm
When dermatologists recommend a brand, you know it might not be the most glamourous option but it’s likely to actually work well! La Roche-Posay is L’Oreal’s dedicated dermo-cosmetic line, created to treat skin with science-backed efficacy. We love this lotion for its ability to be used by the entire family and have seen its great results on sensitive skin first-hand.
Avene Trixera Nutrition Nutri-fluid Lotion
Avene is another brand with extensive expertise in treating skin – including sensitive and eczema-prone skin – gently and effectively. Each product contains thermal spring water sourced from a specific spring in France, famed for unique composition that is effective at relieving skin conditions, alongside other carefully selected ingredients. This is non-oily and non-sticky, feels lighter than other options and absorbs beautifully.
American brand CeraVe also comes with a dermatologist-recommended pedigree. The fragrance-free line is built around simple, nourishing skincare loaded with three different types of ceramides, a unique form of lipid found naturally in between the skin cells of the stratum corneum, or barrier. It was created when dermatologists noticed that many skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema and acne-prone skin all had one thing in common – a deficiency in skin ceramides and in turn, a compromised skin barrier. This thick and velvety cream is perfect for very dry skin that other moisturisers don’t seem to have much effect on. We like to use on ankles and feet before bed, popping cotton socks over the top for a simple, deeply hydrating treatment.
With an advanced ingredient line up more akin to facial skincare, this is the luxury option of the group. That said, you’re getting respected key ingredients including niacinamide to strengthen the skin barrier, hydrolyzed yeast extract that’s said to increase the skin’s own production of hyaluronic acid, oat for antioxidants and allantoin to soothe irritated, dry skin.
Clarins Eau Extraordinaire Revitalizing Silky Body Cream
If you’re looking for a more sensorial experience, Clarins has combined its skin expertise with the uplifting mood-boosting scent of its floral and fruity Eau Extraordinaire fragrance. The soft, dreamy cream sinks in quickly and is the perfect after-shower addition to give your skin and your mind and quick pick-me-up.