Photo courtesy of Michael Blank/The Licensing Project
Winter Body Glow:
Our 5-Step Routine for Velvety Skin
Winter is coming—which means it’s time to stay home if at all possible, invest in a pair of seriously plush sweatpants, and pamper yourself with some of the most skin-nurturing treatments on earth. Your body, just like your face, needs extra moisture to compensate for the impact of colder temperatures, drier air, and unrelenting indoor heat on skin, so we’re loading up on nourishing oils, rich natural butters, and calming botanical extracts with an eye toward coddling skin with moisture, as well as reviving ourselves as we move through the day. From the mother of all pampering body butters to foot-cream heaven, these are the skin-boosting essentials we’re obsessing over to get us through the next few months.
Exfoliate In and Out of the Shower
Exfoliating regularly not only leaves skin instantly softer, smoother, and glowier—but sweeping away dead skin and oil also allows any skin care you apply afterward to sink in and moisturize more effectively. One of the best ways to exfoliate and simultaneously invigorate your mind and body is dry brushing: Use short, swift strokes going up your legs and arms (in the direction of your heart) while applying firm pressure. We love doing it first thing in the morning, before getting in the shower, to ride the surge of energy it ignites throughout the day. You can read more on how to dry brush here.
Just as glow-boosting and dead-skin-obliterating, showering with a nourishing scrub like the one below also feels amazing. Swirled with different types of detoxifying salts and a super moisturizing blend of oils, it leaves skin velvety-soft, smelling faintly of rosemary and grapefruit, and so supple that we rarely need to moisturize afterward. Note: It’s definitely possible to overdo it with exfoliating, so choose either dry brushing or lathering up with the body scrub in a single morning.
Cleanse with Oils and Butters
Conventional body washes use skin-stripping detergents to cleanse; a great clean formula, like this one from Bathing Culture, uses saponified coconut and sunflower oils, along with shea butter and aloe. It smells like a misty grove of redwoods, the rainbow glass bottle is refillable and makes us happy every time we glance at it in the bathroom, and the gorgeous lather is addictive. (It also makes the sunniest, most optimistic holiday gift.)
Moisturize Deeply with
High-Performance Skin Care
One of our favorite ways to moisturize is right out of the shower. Massaging yourself with the velvety GOOPGENES body butter all but stops time: The blend of intensely nourishing botanicals—including caviar lime, jojoba, and mulberry leaf—delivers results similar to those of a high-tech face cream; in a clinical study, 93 percent of subjects agreed their skin felt significantly more elastic, nourished, replenished, supple, and smooth, with a noticeably healthier sheen.*
If you love body oil, this one combines rose hip and red ginseng oils to nourish and plump skin; it smells earthy and enlivening and turns moisturizing into one of the day’s most palpable pleasures.
Get a Little Obsessed
with Your Hands
Even before we were washing our hands a zillion times a day, it was easy to dry them out: The skin there is thinner than in other parts of the body and has fewer oils glands, plus our hands are constantly exposed to sun, wind, and pollution, making it easy for them to look prematurely lined and weathered. Make a point of moisturizing a few times a day keeps your hands looking (and feeling) soft, plumped, and smooth. Everything about this hand and body lotion from Sangre de Fruta delights. The replenishing mix of sea buckthorn and calendula leaves hands and body instantly supple, the giant pump makes using it throughout the day a breeze (not to mention glamorous), and the supply lasts for ages.
Massage Your Feet Nightly
Massaging your feet with a plush cream feels grounding and slows down the day’s frantic pace, and doing it every night for a few minutes also transforms rough spots and calluses into silky smoothness. This cream from Lavido is sumptuously rich, it melts in like magic, and the tea tree oil blended into the shea and jojoba base is designed to fight odor.
*Based on an eight-week third-party consumer-perception and clinical study conducted on thirty-three women ages thirty-five to sixty-five