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Whether we’re in the depths of the dry winter months or emerging into the suns out, bums out days of summer, smooth and hydrating skin is what we’re after.
But sometimes, achieving that effortless, baby-soft feel is a Herculean effort. Even with some of the best body lotions, top-rated dry skin products and even eczema treatments to help restore your skin’s barrier, it may be time to try a thicker formula.
Enter body butters, the decadent whipped hydrators stored in tubs of sweet-scented (or fragrance-free!) goodness. They’re wonderful to include in your skincare routine and make you feel like royalty stepping out of your shower.
“Body butter is typically applied to the body only and what makes it good is one that is thick, rich, many people like it lightly scented and not too sticky,” Jeanine Downie, MD, a board-certified dermatologist who’s the director of Image Dermatology with 25 years of experience, told The Post. “Body butters are not to be washed off but to be left on. Many people will only use them at night before they go to sleep.”
Plus, Downie recommends looking for the following ingredients: shea butter (the most popular), arnica, lavender, coconut oil, olive oil, essential oil, mango essence and aloe extract.
To cater to your preferred formula, we tested and reviewed 20 different body butters for up to three months — that made my legs (and arms, too) feel the most nourished they’ve felt in forever. Just as skincare is important for your face, you certainly can’t skip out on your body.
Click to jump to a specific body butter we tested:
This is not a drill. OSEA’s Undaria Algae Body Butter is everything I could have asked for in a body butter: it’s super hydrating, has a thick texture that provides next-level nourishment without being too clunky or sticky when applied and has the subtlest hint of a fresh lemon meringue smell.
This is straight-up butter and we’re #blessed this product came into existence. Not to mention, it’s one of our favorite January picks and packed with ceramides, shea butter. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
Let’s talk about refreshing. Not only does this tub remind me of an oasis and spa rolled into one, but the formula is almost jelly-like so it quickly absorbed into my skin for a healthy glow. Plus, it’s one of the body butters I tested that’s long-lasting, from hydration taking me from my evening shower to the next-day wakeup.
However, do keep in mind that this body product has a slightly masculine, breezy scent. I found it surprisingly refreshing and love how OUAI included coconut oil and squalane into this formula.
Oh Caudalie, how much I love thee. Not only are the brand’s wash-off face masks a dream and a half, but its new Vinotherapist Replenishing Vegan Body Butter was just what I needed to help reverse my cracked, dry knees and the rest of my body in general.
What drew me to this product is its claims to provide up to 24 hours of hydration for dry skin and relief for eczema-prone skin. After weeks of testing, I can attest that my legs felt buttery soft until the next day, when I reapplied the product again. Plus, it doesn’t inflame my eczema patches that creep up at times (thanks, genetics).
What’s more, it contains grape seed oil, shea butter and desert date oil for indulgent hydration that’s surely worth the $34 price tag.
As seen on Shark Tank, 54 Thrones’ African Beauty Butter isn’t just phenomenal for its gold-embossed packaging. This Black-owned beauty brand comes in five different scent offerings (I tried Ugandan Vanilla and Ethiopian Honey) and it’s clean product at Sephora.
I found it to be a dreamboat for my dry skin, many thanks to it containing two types of shea butter for deep hydration. It even made my skin glow (we love a perk) and a little bit goes a long way.
What’s more, this thick formula is effective on your hands, too, and was the best long-lasting body butter with equally as great hydration I tested.
If you love coconut, get your hands on Kopari. Seriously, we love the brand and wrote all about its bestselling products, too. What’s great about the Ultra Restore Body Butter is that it’s clean, nonabrasive and contains hyaluronic acid which is key for locking in moisture.
After showering with the brand’s Exfoliating Crush Scrub (simply the best), my skin has never felt more supple, fresh and nourished. For that clean feeling all day long, spend your dollars on Kopari for that coconuty-good nourishment.
It’s a splurge, but well worth the investment. As a big fan of the brand’s eye cream, vitamin C serum and so much more, I knew its Anti-Aging Body Cream would meet the hype.
Not only was it hydrating for my dry skin but it helped reverse that dull look that’s representative of the harsh winter months. Though it’s difficult to speak on anti-aging benefits, I appreciate that it’s formulated with shea butter and is also a clean product at Sephora.
As one of the recommended-by-dermatologists brands in our best body lotions guide, I had a feeling that Skinfix would play out well for my sensitive skin — and I was proved right.
Though the scent of this body butter is a bit too pungent for my taste, it’s a game-changer for dryness, especially if a vegan formula is your preference. Plus, it lusciously slathered onto my skin like a charm.
As another favorite brand for eye creams and vitamin C serums, Biossance sets the bar for a nourishing, emulsifying cream that is ideal for my sensitive skin. I opted for the fragrance-free option, but there’s also a citrus-scented version if preferred.
Not only is it vegan but I felt the sugarcane-derived squalane deeply penetrating into my skin, as the brand suggests in its product description. Plus, with caffeine to brighten and niacinamide to promote moisture, this formula is a dermatologist’s dream cocktail.
I’m just going to say it — Farmacy is my favorite skincare brand if I want to feel fresh, rejuvenated and smelling like a natural honeycomb. The brand’s Honey Butter Body, especially when combined with the pairing serum, was simply decadent for my dry skin.
What I love about this product, specifically, is its nongreasy feel (which is saying something, as it’s a triple-butter blend!) And, if you really want to lock in the hydration, the brand’s Honey Halo Ceramide Face Moisturizer ($45) is one of my all-time favorites.
Truth be told, I’m usually not one for any type of shave butter. After all, my skin is far too sensitive and a good ol’ bar of soap will do. However, Truly’s Coco Cloud Luxury Shave Butter changed the game for me.
I can’t even begin to tell you how slick and smooth my skin feels when using this in the shower. And, when paired with the brand’s Buns of Glowry Butt Polish and body butter described below, it’s a hydrating, fast-absorbing trio made in heaven.
I’ve been using Sol de Janeiro’s Bum Bum Cream for years and am a proponent of slathering it on all year round to mentally take a trip to the tropics. It’s so worth the price and is the best I’ve tested for not only nourishing the skin but also giving my skin a tighter-looking appearance (especially in the upper thigh region).
What’s more, its healthful ingredient blend offers coconut, acai and brazil nut oils to protect the skin and make it look more vibrant. Truth be told, I would walk down the aisle with it (on a beach, in the tropics, of course).
If you love all things banana, you’ll adore Briogeo’s Superfood Body Cream. It’s gluten-free, vegan and always gives my skin much-needed nourishment and the sweetest, subtle scent of sugar-rich bananas all the while.
If you’re skeptical on fragrance, that’s OK (I was too!). But, this scent is not overpowering at all and the formula is fast to absorb. And, if you use the brand’s ginseng shampoo (one of our favorite shampoos), you’ll be decked out in the fruitiest way.
Just as Marie Antionette said eat cake for breakfast, you can even bask in it after your shower. I’m sure she’d find Tarte’s Sugar Rush Cake Butter Whipped Body Butter just as delightful, as did I.
The fast-absorbing, frosting-scented hydrator made me excited to jump in the shower and it’s not one of those products that give you too much of a headache, either. It’s cruelty-free, has the perfect amount of whipped texture and is simply fun to use.
As the most expensive body butter I tested, I was wondering if it would be a miracle product of sorts. While I wouldn’t say that exactly, it’s one of the best body butters for hydration and a winteresque scent that’s just lovely.
I’m not big on using CBD products, personally, but I did enjoy this one. It’s a great splurge if you’re willing, especially because it’s extra-rich and decadent.
Not only is the rainbow formula enough to want to add it to your cart, but the incredibly sweet-smelling nature of Truly’s Unicorn Fruit Body Butter is beyond compare. I found this incredibly hydrating, though I did find others to contain more product; that said, this is perfect if you only plan to use a body butter every once in a while.
However, the $20 price point is one of the best of its type and its healthful ingredients — like acai, matcha and chia seeds — a power-blend that’s akin to a smoothie bowl (but for your body).
Holy whipped texture. Moroccanoil’s Body Butter 100% lives up to its name as a mousse-like, gorgeous whip and unbelievable nourishment. With a warm scent, three key ingredients — argan oil, shea butter and hyaluronic acid — never cease to deliver intense hydration every time I use it.
Not to mention, the whipped texture is simply astounding and something everyone should experience at least once.
Enter another product with an amazing whipped texture: Fenty Skin’s Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream. Not only does it smell fresh, clean and sweet (much ado to its infusion of buttery extracts and tropical oils) but I adore how it leaves my skin glowy, smooth and balanced.
Plus, it’s great that this product includes vitamin C, which is especially advantageous in the summertime months to pair with your sunscreen.
As the most affordable body butter in this edit, Flamingo’s Deep Nourishing Cream is one of my shower staples to lock in hydration after showering with the brand’s razor (which is one of my favorites, BTW).
I didn’t feel the urge to reapply the rich formula until the next day, too, so it really does lock in moisture for 24 hours. Plus, it contains shea butter and squalane to help reverse the effect of dull, dry skin and is vegan-formulated.
On par with the minimalist white packaging trend we all know and love, Goop’s GoopGenes Nourishing Repair Body Butter is truly a sweep of nourishment and perfect for everyday use. I was thrilled when I discovered how lightweight yet creamy this body butter is, which makes it one of the best to absorb after your shower.
For just $25, it’s one I recommend to my friends if they want instantaneous hydration without breaking the bank. It’s one of the best, richly formulated body butters for the price.
I am so glad I discovered Beekman 1802 and all of the incredible skincare products the brand is known for (including the Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum). As far as this body cream goes, you get much for the price and it is almost invisible when you apply.
It’s fast-absorbing, safe for sensitive skin and a silky dream to use as a post-shower pick-me-up (or hydrate-me-up)!
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