Anyone who has suffered from dry skin knows the moisturizer aisle at their local drugstore pretty well. Here, I discuss the best moisturizers from drugstores (no need to buy fancy moisturizers), my favorite organic body moisturizers and I give you all my secret tips to keep your body and face moisturized.
The Best Way to Apply MoisturizerMoisturizer is the key to soft, supple skin. Apply product when skin is slightly damp. For best effect, pat skin dry instead of rubbing with your towel before applying lotions or oils.
If you choose body oils over lotions, towel off the excess oils before you slip into clothes or between sheets.
I Love Oils Even More Than Creams
It's common for French women to use oils on the face. Dewy skin is always youthful and there's nothing quite like an oil or a serum to produce that shiny, glowy skin. Right now I'm into using a wet washcloth soaked in extra virgin coconut oil. I massage my face with the washcloth in a circular motion. I love how it gets rid of the dead skin while moisturizing at the same time. France's first lady, Carla Bruni, apparently swears by Caudalie's Beauty Elixir (pictured here, about $46 online). She loves it so much she reportedly called the company's founder to rave about it.
I'm a huge fan of body oils and have a sweet spot for coconut and almond oils, but extra virgin olive oil is also excellent.
For non-fans of Rachael Ray and her cooking shows, "E-V-O-O" means extra virgin olive oil, which, it turns out, is AMAZING for super dry, dehydrated skin or skin suffering the effects of anti-aging product overuse. In Harper's Bazaar, LA cosmetic dermatologist Jessica Wu suggests slathering on a thin layer at night.
Ever since I turned 35 and started using Retin-A religiously, my previously oily skin turned dry. My skin has never looked better but there's not an ounce of oil left in it. I've been combatting this with very expensive moisturizers (currently OBSESSED with Yonka's PampleMousse), but this morning I tried EVOO. The catch is to use a non-flavored oil (I think it's time I replace my bottle because it smells slightly rancid, ha!). My face felt pretty oily at first, but I wiped off the excess with super-soft Puff's and the result is perfectly oiled skin. My sunscreen glided over it perfectly. So EVOO gets two big thumbs up from me.
The Best MoisturizersIn my article, "Should You Splurge or Save on Moisturizers and Cleansers," I explain why you don't need to spend a lot of money on a great moisturizer. Even the best dermatologists recommend basic moisturizers you can find in the average drugstore.
For a list of the best options, see my list of the Best Moisturizers for the Body.
Organic MoisturizersThe skin on my legs can drive me crazy with itchiness all year round. I find I prefer oils to lotions on for the body and there are many amazing organic options when it comes to oils.
Renowned makeup artist Pati Lubroff got me hooked on organic extra virgin coconut oil, which you can buy in health food stores or online. Simply massage the coconut oil all over the body after your shower and towel off the excess. Some women like to use the oil in the shower rinsing the excess oil off (it will get on your clothes and sheets). The oil soaks into skin, trapping moisture but the water washes away the excess leaving skin dewy and baby soft.
You can use baby oils or sesame oil on your skin, too, but coconut seems to work the best for me. Trust me, oils will get rid of dry, itchy skin and the oil isn't sticky like lotion tends to be.
Prefer lotion? Consider 100 percent shea butter, another great organic option. Gambian model Fatma Dabo swears by shea butter from West Africa. She even puts it on her hair! Buy it online.
How I Keep My Face MoisturizedWhen I turned 35, all of a sudden I went from a face as oily as your average pizza to a face as dry as the Sahara Desert.
To compensate, I switched things up and changed my cleanser to the creamy Pond's because it was so moisturizing. I also stocked up on lotions and oils. I found that exfoliating is key to great skin, as is steaming. I took to (believe it or not), using my steamer meant for clothes on my face. I just put the rod of the steamer as low as it goes, turn it on and then put my dry face a good 10 inches or so above it, with a towel over my head. Works brilliantly (just be careful not to burn yourself, I don't wanna be sued).
I read recently in Harper's Bazaar that it's common for some French women to use oils on the face. Dewy skin is always youthful and there's nothing quite like an oil or a serum to produce that shiny, glowy skin. Right now I'm into using a wet washcloth soaked in extra virgin coconut oil. I massage my face with the washcloth in a circular motion. I love how it gets rid of the dead skin while moisturizing at the same time. France's first lady, Carla Bruni, apparently swears by Caudalie's Beauty Elixir. She loves it so much she reportedly called the company's founder to rave about it.
Extra tip: I love keeping facial moisturizer and Evian spray on my desk at work. I spritz Evian Mineral Spray (buy it online), and then dab on moisturizer. The water locks in moisture and leaves my skin refreshed even in harsh office heat.
See my list of the Best Facial Moisturizers.
More Facial Moisturizer TipsYou'll know you're skin is dehydrated if it feels taut and tight. Try a moisturizing mask every week. See my list of the best store-bought face masks and homemade facial masks.
Get Rid of Cracked, Dry HeelsDon't be caught with dry, cracked heels. To keep your feet supple and soft, see How To Get Rid of Dry, Cracked Heels.
How to Keep Hands SoftAntibacterial soap in public places can be harsh on hands, so I keep hand salve in my purse (my hands-down favorite is Kiehls). To keep cuticles soft, massage in olive oil.
Loved this? Get more dry skin tips in Dry Skin? 25 of My Best Itchy Skin Fixes