Because of their creamy consistency, body butters may take a few minutes longer than lotion to be fully absorbed, but the result is worth the wait -- even rough spots, like elbows and knees, stay soft throughout the day. And for cracked, scaly skin -- so common during fall and winter -- a good body butter delivers relief no regular lotion can match. For maximum impact, apply it when skin is still slightly damp from bathing, which will seal in the moisture. Take advantage of the fact that body butters linger on the skin and gently massage your arms and legs, using long strokes to work in the cream. Good body butters should be thick but not overly greasy; look for products that contain skin-nourishing herbs like lavender and calendula, vitamins C and E, aloe, and other naturally soothing ingredients.
We slathered, smeared, and smoothed our way through dozens of body butters to find our favorites. These choices use natural, healthy ingredients to provide luxurious, long-lasting moisture.
Deep Steep Rich Body Butter
Combines shea, mango, and avocado butters with soothing aloe, calendula, and chamomile.
CoseFini Naturals Body Butter
Includes shea butter, vitamins C and E, and aloe to heal and nourish dry, cracked skin.
The Organic Bath Co. Better Body Butter
Enriched with shea butter and organic white tea to revive skin and fight free radicals.
Zia Ultimate Body Butter
Made with organic herbs, shea butter, and mango butter and scented with a luxurious blend of lavender, myrrh, vetiver, and neroli essential oils.
Lather Manuka Body Butter
Hydrates skin with shea and cocoa butters as well as manuka honey, and has a light, citrusy fragrance.
Korres Guava Body Butter
Combines shea butter and glycerin to be super-rich and the best for moisturizing ultra-dry spots like elbows, knees, and heels.
Health Spa Napa Valley Silk Body Butter
A shea-butter-rich moisturizer that uses lavender and chamomile to calm the skin and senses.
Text by Donna Garlough
© 2014 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. All rights reserved.