Butter me up
February 28, 2013 4:44 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a rich body lotion/cream to help me transcend my winter lizard skin and smell pretty like a girl.

I am looking for something that sinks in without sticking to my clothes--so not Aquaphor, which I use at night--AND smells lovely and grown-up (food scents are OK, but not candy).

I used to use Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit body butter, but I've run out and apparently so has Lavanila.

I've got some Burt's Bees Milk and Honey, which is OK--the consistency is good but not crazy about the scent--and Aveeno Calming Lavender, which smells nice and grandma-y, but doesn't quite have the moisturizing power I need. I tried Bliss Spa's Vanilla and Bergamot, and thought it smelled terrible.

I'm OK with expensive as long as I can get it at a place like Sephora where I can return it if it doesn't work.
posted by elizeh to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (29 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
I love to make my own, since I can't ever find what I am looking for and because I'm cleaning up my cosmetics (great resources on clean cosmetics, if you're interested. Not buying or selling!).

This is my favorite DIY lotion, honey lemon body butter.
posted by xicana63 at 4:58 AM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]

My girlfriend loves Kiehl's Crème de Corps for what it's worth.
posted by jonnyploy at 5:15 AM on February 28, 2013

REN's Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream is really good. I worked on beauty counters for a few years and while I didn't work for them I could get this at a discount. My mum had really dry and flaky skin on her legs and I was always bringing her creams to try. This was the only one that worked and she loved it. Its rich but not sticky, smells likes roses (obviously) and its a range that doesn't use parabens.
posted by billiebee at 5:19 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Kiehl's Creme de Corps, for sure. Apply after a shower for best results.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:23 AM on February 28, 2013

It's probably expensive - I had a sample from Liberty's, store of items I cannot justify spending on - but I have been using an ESPA dry skin butter recently which has a really relaxing herbal smell and absorbs easily.

If you like food scents, you might like Laura Mercier's Creme Gourmande range. Again, not cheap, but much more grown-up than most candy-like vanilla scents. (We can't return things in the UK, so buying expensive body cream may be less of a gamble for you.)

Lush Dream Cream and Helping Hands are brilliant when I have eczema, so should combat dry skin well.
posted by mippy at 5:24 AM on February 28, 2013

I got some Body Shop White Musk Libertine for Christmas. I'm not usually a body butter kind of girl, but this is just lush. Ask for a tester at the shop.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 5:27 AM on February 28, 2013

My mother gave me True Blue Spa Paraffin Super Softening Hand Lotion for Valentine's day, and despite my knee-jerk oh my god, what's in this? is it GOLD? why so spendy!?, I have to admit that it's basically a magic lotion. You'll have to do something else for the girly-scented bit of your request, as this is fairly neutral, but for moisturizing sad, cracked, bleeding lizard-skin (because that was me!), it's amazing.
posted by MeghanC at 5:38 AM on February 28, 2013

Mary Kay makes two really great body lotions and you can return it if you don't like it. If you can't find someone in your area, mail me and I can help you find someone.

You can also try to make your own like others have suggested. I would try Trader Joe's coconut oil, it is natural, no scent and edible. Trader Joe's lets you return anything you want. They also have a body butter. Start with a little and then use more as needed. It may seem greasy at first, but you will find that it absorbs right into your skin.

I also suggest a salt or sugar scrub once or twice a week in the shower or bath.

Good luck!!
posted by Yellow at 5:48 AM on February 28, 2013

No girly scent here either, but Gold Bond Ultimate Healing literally took my elbows from cracked and almost bleeding to healed and smooth in about a week. It's not greasy, has a very light scent, and is inexpensive. As their ads say, it really works.
posted by Dolley at 5:48 AM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]

I love my Origins Perfect World body lotion. It's not even the thickest lotion but it's the most moisturizing I've found, and I've tried a LOT. The smell is pretty subtle but it's really nice, sort of peachy.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 5:51 AM on February 28, 2013

I got this on a whim once - I don't have quite the same dry skin issues as most, so I can't speak to that, but it's nice and thick, sinks into the skin well, and the smell is ohmigoddivine. Definitely floral, but not super-twee girly-girl floral.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:01 AM on February 28, 2013

LUSH's Sympathy for the Skin and Dream Cream are great - the latter is especially nice if your skin is irritated/itchy as well as dry. Both smell nice, too.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:39 AM on February 28, 2013

For the practical, I recommend Jergens Ultra Healing, which really seems to keep my hands from falling apart in the first place (I keep a bottle in the kitchen and a small tube at work). But it doesn't help with decadence or lovely smell.

I do recommend the "Gardeners" collection at Crabtree & Evelyn -- the hand wash (Hand Recovery) is great occasionally for scrubbing off all the dry scratchy stuff your hands develop in winter, and it has some oils so it leaves your hands feeling fantastic. The cream smells nice (light, herbal), but is very light on its own, so not really good as a replacement for other more theraputic/intensive approaches.

Honestly, I've never been able to get the best theraputic effects and the best smells in the same tube, but I've got lots of each. At the top of the spendy chart, but just absolute heaven for the nose, is the white-flower magic that is Estee Lauder's Tuberose Gardenia cream (and perfume and whatever) -- it feels luxurious too as you put it on. But, you know, not for everyday in all likelihood. But makes you feel like a million bucks, and I've yet to meet anybody who didn't think it smelled fantastic.
posted by acm at 7:28 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like Pacifica's line of body butters, specifically the Tuscan Blood Orange one, but all of their scents are pretty great, and the body butter is very hydrating. They carry some of the smaller sized ones at Sephora if you want to go try them out.

I also love SheaTerra Organics - their line of shea butters are fantastic. The bourbon vanilla is my favorite scent, but the gingered pumpkin is pretty amazing too. This stuff makes my winter lizard skin disappear into nice soft happy skin.
posted by bedhead at 7:31 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have the same requirements as you, and I love the Sea Salt body lotion from h2o+.
posted by Kololo at 7:35 AM on February 28, 2013

I would probably never have picked this out for myself, but received it as a gift from my mother-in-law, Hempz Body Butter. It immediately soothes my flaky winter skin and the fragrance is clean and light. It looks like Ulta carries it in stores and on their website.

I will definitely be buying more of this when I run out!
posted by JennyJupiter at 7:37 AM on February 28, 2013

These aren't lotions/creams, but what works for me is slathering on Neutrogena's unscented body oil right after showering, then layering red flower's wild lime silk oil, a little of which goes a long way towards making you smell all kinds of pretty.
posted by evoque at 8:02 AM on February 28, 2013

I make my own body butters out of whipped shea, coconut oil, etc. these days, but Ethically Engineered's Himalayan Black Sea Salt Whipped Body Butter is the best product I've ever used. It's fairly affordable, it lasts forever, and the Vanilla Mint Icing scent is probably my favorite thing I've ever smelled.
posted by divined by radio at 8:10 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Nivea Creme! The original kind in the blue jar. It's heavy-duty stuff and you can get a little portable tin for $1 at drugstores. People tend to either love or hate the scent, which is a light vintage-perfumey floral; I personally adore it.

I also really like Tree Hut Brazilian Nut Body Butter. It smells like chocolate pudding. Most chocolate-scented products are straight-up awful to my nose, but this is delicious.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:15 AM on February 28, 2013

I have similar dry-skin issues, and I have had good luck with Minus 417 Dead Sea body butter, ocean scent. I bought mine at a Walgreens Look Boutique.
posted by smich at 9:07 AM on February 28, 2013

divined by radio, how do you make your own body butters?
posted by Kololo at 10:09 AM on February 28, 2013

The Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter works great and won't stick to your clothes as long as you wait a minute or so for it sink in, but it smells really coconut-y. Like, I want to lick my skin afterwards because it smells delicious. I've also used the Body Shop's body butters, and they also work very well. Their cocoa body butter has the same "oh my god I smell too delicious" factor, but their rose scent smells lovely and floral and not too overpowering. Haven't tried any of their other scents, but I imagine any of their other florals would be similar and not too candy-like.
posted by yasaman at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've really been enjoying L'Occitane's Lemon Verbena body lotion. It's got a citrusy-herbal smell that I quite like but YMMV.
posted by peacheater at 10:47 AM on February 28, 2013

Cetaphil Restoraderm. It contains something called ceramides. Approved by the eczema association. Not cheap. Aquaphor is not really a cream or moisturizer per se, it's an ointment and protectant (if you have cracked skin, then it's the right thing - if cream feels uncomfortable, you have micro cracks and need to repair with Aquaphor first, then later use cream). At a bare minimum, to qualify as a moisturizer you need something that has "water" as one of the main ingredients. Apply right after shower/bath to try to lock in some of the water your skin has absorbed already.
posted by Dansaman at 3:42 PM on February 28, 2013

I personally dig Alaffia's stuff.

This is good one:

posted by roboton666 at 3:50 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was coming in here to say Pacifica. I LOVE their body butter, gorgeous scents, and I am a body-butter and lotions addict in a big way. I live in Phoenix, so dry skin comes with the territory, I can't afford to screw around with stuff that doesn't actually work.

My everyday favorite though, at a reasonable cost, is Alba Botanica's Kukui Nut Body Cream. It gets universally awesome reviews and runs about $12 at most health food stores (Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc). The scent is a sort of soft vanilla-nut, which I find cozy and slightly tropical, but you may differ... you can usually test it in the store though, and they have other scents (I just love this one best).
posted by celtalitha at 10:18 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oooh Alaffia is excellent too. Very very rich, so it depends on your preference.
posted by celtalitha at 10:18 AM on March 1, 2013

Way off the path here, but still fun....get some unscented shea butter from a health food store, some olive, coconut oil or grapeseed oil, and then some essential oils you like (you can tailor your scent!), and melt them all together in a double boiler, then blend them with a electric mixer. Let it stand for a few minutes and then slather up! It's way cheaper than brand-name stuff, and once you learn how you can do it whenever you want and experiment.

You can go online and start getting into all sorts of fancier add-ins, like silk proteins and the like to really make a lotion or a cream that will be completely to your body specs.

To make 16 oz. takes only about 20 minutes total prep time and it's a blast.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:43 PM on March 1, 2013

I really like the Honey & Calendula moisturizer from Kiss My Face.
Exceptionally thick and rich and smells divine.
posted by tillei at 12:51 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

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