I Always Had Dry Winter Skin — Until I Tried This All-Natural Lotion
Even as a beauty editor, there are a few skin care sins I just can't help but continue to commit. Among the list of travesties? Occasionally sleeping in makeup, picking at zits, and skipping body lotion after the shower. The first two, I have no excuses. I know it's wrong, and yet here I am: A fully functioning adult still succumbing to bouts of face-washing laziness and overactive fingers.
But for the latter I do have an excuse. Allow me to elaborate.
Putting on cold lotion after a toasty, steamy shower is deeply unpleasant. And this is especially true in the winter. The minute I turn off the water, it's a mad dash to dry off and get into warm clothing. Stopping to shiver on frigid bathroom tiles in what feels like arctic air so I can apply a cold body lotion? Hard pass! It's incredibly shortsighted, yes, but I'd rather suffer through parched skin than deal with that moment of chill, however brief it might be.
I'll do a lot in the name of beauty—including getting facial injections of my own plasma—but cold body lotion is a step too far.
Uh, just warm it up in your hands, you're likely thinking right now. And sure, that's an option, but that takes too long, and you have to do it with each and every pump before you put it on your body. And, as we've already established, I'm being particularly unreasonable and shortsighted here! This is all to say I personally find the entire experience incredibly sensorially unappealing—and I'd rather not do it.
However, since I'm a beauty editor, I know how bad this habit is. After your shower, you need to seal in moisture with a cream or lotion, or else the water on skin will evaporate—making you likely even drier than before the shower. This is especially true in the winter when the air is less humid or (if you're like me!) taking hotter showers, which is drying itself. And no matter how hard I tried to force myself into a body routine post-shower, I just couldn't stick to it consistently. This left me a dry, flaky mess every winter.
The answer came in the form of a stone. Kate McLeod's Daily Stone is a solid moisturizer that melts on contact with skin. Melts is a word used a lot in beauty writing—I use it often in my writing, in fact ("this foundation melts into skin," etc.). And usually, it's just noting some exaggerated sensation of blending or soaking. But in the case of this stone, I mean it literally: It starts off as a solid and melts into a liquid.
Its base is made of cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, fractionated coconut oil (it's made near mindbodygreen's offices in Brooklyn, in fact). They have a few stone options, but I use the Daily option. The scent is made with neroli, rose, and frankincense essential oils. I have an affinity for neroli: It smells like warm terra-cotta bricks and fresh oranges.
I fell in love with the texture at first use (which, full disclosure, was months ago, but even then, I knew the real test would be when the weather changed). And this little stone has been like a new start for my skin. It's a joy to use. The velvet texture slides all over arms, legs, and the rest effortlessly, leaving a light trail of oil that disappears rather quickly. But you don't have to deal with the slash and spill of normal oil bottles—or bottles at all. And the stone itself keeps its shape—so you can apply a decent amount of pressure when you're massaging it in. The best sensation is how quickly and gently the stone warms to your touch. It's like holding a cup of coffee—comforting, and it brings you into the moment. According to McLeod, comfort and a moment of pause is entirely the point. It should feel like a moment to reconnect with your body rather than a chore.
If you'd like to try out the stone, read on below—plus a few other suggestions that have an innovative enough texture to revamp your post-shower routine.
Kate McLeod Daily Stone
My personal favorite is the Daily Stone, seen here and described above, but they have a few other options depending on your need. Try the Naked Stone, which is fragrance-free for those sensitive to essential oils; the Mama Stone is made from food-grade products so you can use it on babies or as a nipple cream. Or the Sleep Stone, which comes with soothing lavender.
Daily Stone, Kate McLeod ($45)
Nécessaire The Body Serum
This brand has become a clean beauty and body favorite since its launch (it's also beloved for its chic, gender-neutral, sustainable packaging). Known primarily for washes, Nécessaire just launched this fancy body serum. Its hero ingredients are hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, and ceramides. And the texture is like an airy gel—perfect for those who loathe any sort of thickness.
The Body Serum, Nécessaire ($45)
Osmia Naked Body Mousse
This whipped butter body cream is delicate to the touch and yet is thick for those who crave a more substantial texture. If you have really dry skin, this will be your best friend: Just take a small spoonful and spread it all over—it soaks in pretty easily. It's fragrance-free, which is great for those of us with easily irritated skin.
Naked Body Mousse, Osmia ($42)
Brandless Virgin Coconut Oil
You don't need to spend a lot for your body moisturizer: Many natural fans swear by organic virgin coconut oil's abilities to ease dry skin. For a more sensorial experience, add a few drops of essential oil, as coconut oil makes a great carrier base.
Virgin Coconut Oil, Brandless ($8)
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.