Top Picks – Body Hydration Products

December 13, 2020

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with dry skin on my body. Not all over, and not all the time, but enough that a gold tube of steroid cream was a semi-regular fixture in my bathroom growing up. For the most part, I’m a bit sensitive and dry, but my legs are my real problem area. I’ve seen Dermatologists and had a variety of diagnoses depending on whether my skin is mid-flare-up or going through a calmer patch, but the general consensus varies somewhere between really dry skin, allergic dermatitis or mild Ichthyosis.

Whatever the cause, the treatment for all of those is the same; to keep my problem areas extremely well hydrated. Which basically necessitates that I moisturise my body every single day. Over the last few years, I’ve found a secret that works for me, and that is that’s it’s all about variety. It doesn’t matter how perfect a product works for my skin at first, if I use nothing but that for a week my itchy, dry skin starts coming back. So for me, I need to have a few great products on rotation. I’m not sure on the science behind this, but it really does feel like my skin builds a tolerance for what I’m using and starts misbehaving again (I’ve been told by a Dermatologist that that is impossible and that skin doesn’t work that way, but I know my skin and my body and I’m saying that’s what it feels like to me). So here are the lotions and potions that are currently in rotation in my bathroom.

Body hydration products

Lighter Layers:

Vaseline Invigorating Glow Skin Serum:
Although this is called a skin serum, truly, it’s a light lotion. It is thin, absorbs quickly and is very hydrating, making it the perfect pick for Summer when thick creams can feel uncomfortable. It also contains Niacinamide and a faint refreshing scent and it’s the hydration boosting product that I have been reaching for the most lately.

La Roche Posay Thermal Spray:
Okay, so this is essentially spendy water in a can. But! It’s special water from the springs of La Roche Posay in France, where the water has been scientifically proven to contain soothing and healing properties. Before you roll your eyes, this company has been around since 1975, and since way back in 1905 the natural springs have been a must-attend destination for thousands of people with skin conditions each and every year. I like to mist my skin pre-moisturiser or even add a spritz to some of my thicker creams to thin them out in the warmer months.

The Chemistry Brand Hyaluronic Concentrate:
This product literally absorbs in seconds, It’s the thinnest hydration product I have found. It has the consistency you’d expect of a facial hydrating serum, but it comes in a huge pump bottle and with an affordable price tag. This makes a great booster (one pump of this mixed with a few pumps of any regular body cream) but my preferred way of using this superstar is to layer this first, wait 30 seconds and then apply something heavier to seal it in.

Vaseline Skin Serums bottles

Something Thicker:

La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+:
See above about the all the soothing and healing benefits of LRP, but add in Glycerin, Niacinamide, Shea Butter and a prebiotic action to help balance the skin’s microbiome. This fragrance-free, hydration powerhouse is perfect for Dermatitis sufferers and those who need to put some healthy balance back into their skin.

Avene XeraCalm A.D:
Another fragrance-free French pharmacy brand aimed at very dry/Eczema prone skin. This is a seriously thick cream, it goes on white and really needs to be rubbed in. Perfect for Winter nights when your skin needs a slathering, or when you can walk around in a bathrobe for a while it soaks in.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Comfort Balm:
This is a super simple, nothing flash option but it’s something I like to have on the shelf nonetheless. Although this is called a Balm, it’s a thick, non-greasy, cream that leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised and absorbs really well.

Kenkay Extra Relief Moisturising Cream:
This is a new discovery for me, I’ve only been using it for a month or two but so far I really rate it. Another product aimed at Dermatitis and dry skin sufferers, this is quite a thick formula and it works wonders on my skin mid-flare up. It has no fragrance or parabens if that’s a sticking point for you, but it does contain Aloe Vera and Sunflower Oil which add to its skin barrier restoring and hydration boosting abilities.

Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion:
This is a bit different, this is a Lactic Acid infused cream that helps to increase hydration while it exfoliates. I use this on my arms where I have Keratosis Pilaris (that bumpy, dotty skin often found on the outsides of your arms, but it can occur elsewhere too) and this definitely makes a huge difference to my KP. It leaves my arms smoother to the touch but also look so much clearer. You do have to use it daily though for it to have an effect, and preferable twice a day at first to get it started. This lotion works super well when paired with an acid like Alpha-H Liquid Gold or the Nip and Fab Pads, see below…

Body Skincare - Acids

Acids:

With all these moisturisers keeping my skin hydrated I like an exfoliation session every couple of weeks on my arms (KP zone, more regularly in the warmer months) and my legs (dry skin area). My hydrating products always feel like they penetrate so much better after an exfoliation, and my skin feels smoother and looks brighter too. Something physical like a body scrub works for most people but my skin is a bit too sensitive for something so abrasive so I reach for acid and do a chemical exfoliation like I would for my face.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold:
A classic AHA option, the Glycolic helps to lift dead skin cells off, paving the way for the hydrating products to work their magic after.

Nip and Fab Glycolic Pads:
These work great on the outsides of my arms, they are a mix of Glycolic for resurfacing but also Hyaluronic Acid for hydration and Blue Daisy for calming and soothing. If you don’t suffer from Keratosis Pilaris then this is probably unnecessary for you, but if, like mine, your arms look like chicken skin, pairing this with the Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion above, can work wonders!

This is a lot of product, I’m very aware, but when your body is as temperamental as mine, having a wardrobe of products to rotate between is essential. If your skin isn’t quite so high maintenance then having one or two products, maybe one lighter layer and one with a thicker consistency would probably suit perfectly.

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