My Favorite Lotions and Creams for Soft Skin

Mar 16, 2020

Hey, have you washed your hand 1,000x since last week?  Me too!  And it shows.  Here are my favorite lotions and potions to cure dry skin all over the body, because I want to emerge from quarantine glowing like a diamond in the sky.

Hand Lotion // Rules about hand lotion — it cannot be greasy, it must come in a small package, it can’t be heavily scented.  Enter L’Occitane Hand Cream in Shea Butter.  No grease, no scent, in a simple, purse-sized aluminum tube.

Cuticle and Nail Care // If lotion isn’t keeping your nails and cuticles in good shape, this TenOverTen Celery Oil will help strengthen nails and soften cuticles.

Body Lotion // Every Anniversary Sale, I buy the giant bottle of Kiehl’s Creme de Corps.  However… I am getting older.  My skin is aging.  And a friend sent me this Paula’s Choice Skin Smoothing Body Treatment with Retinol.  And hello, smoother, less crepey arms and legs for summer.

Foot Lotion // Sandal season is coming; yes, you need foot lotion.  O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet is my fave.  For best results, remove dead skin with the Amope electric foot file.

Face Moisturizer // A facialist turned me on to Epionce’s Lytic TX lotion, and I’ve never looked back.  It’s moisturizing but not heavy, and doesn’t cause breakouts.

Neck Cream // Remember above when I said I was getting older?  Nora Ephron warned me about my neck.  So I bought this Body Merry Age Defense Neck Cream, and this double-chin reducing lifting and contouring mask, because why not?

Lip Balm // I had to throw away every jar of Lip Medex I have.  Why?  You apply it with your fingers, so it’s a coronavirus no-no.  And my lips are suffering — from Burt’s Bees to Weleda — I’ve tried like five new kinds and they’re not helping.  So if you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments.

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Beauty, Skincare

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  1. Steph S. says:

    For lip balm, I can’t recommend the one from Farmacy more – it’s called Honey Butter Beeswax lip balm. It’s a stick, and it normally runs about $10.

  2. Kathryn W. says:

    Aquaphor lip balm with SPF and Jack Black are my standby lip balms. Beware of sensitivities, but nipple balms (e.g., lansinoh) make for a great overnight lip balm.

    • Melanie says:

      I second the Jack Black! It’s the best!

    • April says:

      I concur with Aquafor – my lips are terribly dried and cracked (pregnancy side effect) and it is the only thing that works. Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm is a distant second.

      • Kara says:

        Aquaphor forever. It was the only thing that got me through the extreme dryness that comes with Accutane and a decade later it’s still the mainstay in my purse.

        Also, I want to feel more ridiculous spending $30 on a lip mask, but after a sample, I can’t quit the Tatcha Kissu lip mask.

        • CAITIE says:

          Agree with all the people recommending Aquaphore. Is it glamorous? No. Does it work. Yes. It’s the only thing that got me through accutane.
          Also — it works great for dry cuticles! Just put a little bit on at night and wake up with much nicer-looking hands. I’m a climber and chalk is very drying and bad for your cuticles at the best of times so I’m always looking for ways to make my hands look less ragged.

    • LA says:

      Co-sign on the lanolin-based nipple creams. I had a tube leftover after I was done breastfeeding and use it on my lips at night. A little goes a long way!

    • Paige says:

      Another vote for Jack Black! Has a decent SPF, is moisturizing and the price is not too high to keep multiple back ups of your favorite scent. My overnight balm of choice is the Lanolips lanolin balm in stick form. I wake up and scrub away the softened dead skin from my lips, and they are ready for lipstick!

  3. Emily says:

    I’ve had relatively good luck with Burts Bees Ultra Conditioning.

  4. Rebecca says:

    if you still have any of the lip balm, you could use q-tips to grab some each time. My favorite option in the tube though is jack black intensive therapy in the shea butter and vitamin E “scent”.. it keeps me good through Chicago winters. I will have to try that cuticle oil you mentioned, because mine are hurting.

  5. Nicole says:

    I like the Bioderma Atoderm Lèvres Restorative Lip Balm, comes in a squeezy tube, goes directly from package to lips, isn’t heavy but does penetrate.

  6. JJJJ says:

    L’Occitane hand cream is my go to, and I am using it more…Good stuff.

  7. Claire says:

    for lips, Fresh Sugar lip balm (comes in sheer and tons of colors) has gotten me through Chicago winters.I get mine at Sephora

    • Lucy says:

      I swear by this one. It’s the very very best. However, for an “I need this NOW” drugstore brand, Nivea lip care is also very good.

    • Nadine says:

      Yes! I love this stuff. It’s out of my budget, but it’s amazing.

    • CLSDC says:

      Yes – THIS. The Sugar brand lipbalm is great. Pricey, but it does last forever. I don’t reapply half as much as I do with other cheaper stick lip balms. Besides that, Vasaline lip therapy (in a little pot container) is still the best, but in the days of Coronavirus, I am using the stick more often, or only applying the Vaseline (kept in my bathroom) after thoroughly washing my hands. I guess you could use a q-tip to be more hygenic.

  8. Kelly says:

    Highly recommend the Meow Meow Tweet lip balm. It comes in a plastic-free stick and it doesn’t mess around. Stay well!

  9. Trista says:

    Aveda Lip Saver is my go to.

  10. A says:

    We went through the same handwashing protocols (i.e., ALL THE TIME) when my mother went through chemo – enter cracked and bleeding hands for me. My saviors, in order of potency (strongest to normal):

    Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (the winner – scented but I find it pleasant, I think it’s mainly eucalyptus)
    Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream
    Aveeno Skin Relief Overnight Cream (the body one, not the hand-specific one)

    Don’t forget to use rubber gloves for dishwashing – dish soap is so harsh!

  11. kk says:

    I started buying creme de corps every nordstrom anniversary sale a few years ago- thanks for that hot tip!
    This year, I also bought their body wash- the bottle is the same size and I love the orange scent. I travel a lot so I’m not using it every single day, but if I keep using it at this pace, I should run out in july- just enough time to order another bottle. It’s hydrating and works into a rich lather- love it!

    • kk says:

      Oh my point in commenting was- all the hydrating and moisturizing creas work best if you’re also exfoliating off the dead skin. I like using a good scrub and AHA (love the Ren body serum) before putting on any of these creams.

  12. Rachael says:

    O’Keefes makes an amazing lip balm – Lip Repair Unscented. I have eczema on my lips and this is one of the only balms that doesn’t cause irritation and actually moisturizes. At night I use Doctor Rogers Restore Healing balm. It has 3 ingredients and works wonders!

  13. Care says:

    A thin layer of the Laniege lip sleeping mask works wonders for me, night or day, but unfortunately it is a pot situation.

    • CLSDC says:

      I just got this in a sample pack – Haven’t tried it yet, but may have to tonight before bed (after thoroughly washing hands or applying with q-tip). It smells amazing too…

  14. Emily says:

    Omg that double chin mask is hilarious. Please tell us more about it. Is it working for you?

  15. Susan says:

    As a lifelong sufferer of eczema, I have never found the holy grail moisturizer/soap until I switched to all natural goats milk soap and moisturizer. I’m a big fan of Bend Soap Company, they’ve saved my skin—and my eczema-ravaged children as well!

  16. Alex says:

    I’m 9 months pregnant and have been LOVING unscented Alba Very Emollient body lotion ( for the last several months – it is thick but not greasy and soaks in quickly. I apply right after the shower and it keeps my skin feeling good all day. It is good on hands too, but not as restorative as some other more intense hand creams.

  17. beagle_Has_Landed says:

    Nivea works for me. I like the vanilla flavor.

  18. Anna says:

    My boyfriend is obsessed with the CO BIgelow mentha lip balm (as in orders multi-packs), and I have to say it’s pretty awesome. I don’t notice as much of a dependency as with other mint lip balms, stays on for a while, and is super soothing and moisturizing.

  19. Jess says:

    Lip balm – I love Portland Bee Balm. I think Rosauers is carrying it, you can buy it online from Amazon or from the company themselves, or email me your address and I’ll drop a tube off tomorrow after work because I buy it by the case and I have about 20 tubes at home. ☺️ I prefer the unscented, but the mint is pretty good (not as sharp as Burt’s).

  20. V says:

    My spouse, who has applied lip balm at least once an hour for 2+ decades (it is definitely some kind of a tic) has tried every non-tinted balm out there and swears by Blistex Ultra Rich Hydration Dual Layer

  21. Pam says:

    Lip Balm. My go to is fresh brand ! Feels better instantly

  22. Yu says:

    La Roche Posay Cicaplast Lip Repair Balm, in the squeeze tube, not the regular lipstick swizzle tube.

  23. Sarah says:

    Doesn’t a body lotion with retinol mean sun sensitivity? I know that retinol products for face come with sunscreen warnings. I trust Paula’s Choice enough to look out for that but just be careful!

    • Belle says:

      I use the retinol at night and my regular lotion in the morning. But if you want to use it as a primary you will definitely need SPF.

  24. Keilexandra says:

    My favorite lip balm is Carmex Pomegranate. It’s a regular stick lip balm, not a squeeze tube like some of Carmex’s other lip products. For some reason I can only find it on ebay these days, but that’s a pro-not-con in our new normal, right?

    • strin012 says:

      I second Carmex in a stick (not the squeeze tube), but I prefer the unflavored. I have tubes everywhere – bathroom, purse, desk, etc. I usually find it at Target or Walmart.

  25. Nancy says:

    Thoughts about Kiehls vs Cerave? Is Kiehls worth the extra cost?

  26. ann says:

    Aquaphor! My dermatologist recommended this years ago, and I’ve never used anything else. I prefer the bigger 1.75 oz. tube, because it lasts forever. It’s not as as ergonomic for applying directly to lips as regular lip balm products, but it works fine if you don’t share it.

  27. Emily says:

    Question about the double chin product – does it cause or exacerbate acne? My cystic acne is all along my jaw line 🙁

    • Belle says:

      Haven’t noticed that. Also, if you’re looking to help those, try the pimple patches when you feel one coming up. They don’t always get it, but when they do, which is about 66% of the time, it’s huge.

  28. Meredith says:

    When I took Accutane, my dermatologist recommended CortiBalm lip balm, and it is wonderful. Highly, highly recommend!

  29. TracE says:

    I use laneige sleeping mask day or night. It comes with a little silicone spatula. Come to think of it I should probably stock up on little spatulas for all my jarred creams and stuff.

  30. Nellie says:

    How do you like those neck creams? I have used this serum and thought it did a good job but it’s so pricey

    • Belle says:

      I like it. It took a while for my skin to adjust to having product on my neck. I had a little bit of acne for a week or two and then it went away.

  31. RHIANNA says:

    My favorite night balm from Bath and Body. Its amazing. I have tubes laying around everywhere.

  32. Janet says:

    Is there a secret to using cuticle oil without having oil transferred to everything I touch? Maybe some brands absorb faster than others???

    • Belle says:

      You’ve really gotta rub it in. But if I’m in a hurry, hairdryer on low and cold for just a few seconds.

  33. KKK says:

    I have super sensitive dry skin, including my lips. Dr. Bronner’s Naked Organic Lip Balm is aaaahhmaaayyzing. And less than $3 a tube!

  34. Amy says:

    I like the Fresh lip balms but cannot handle the price for an everyday item. I have always been disappointed with Burt’s Bees and I have tried several, so thanks for this as a discussion topic! Going to check out a few of these.

    Right now I’m using Joan’s a Keeper balm, and I’ve tried Hurraw! which is out of Whitefish. You might like the Hurraw ones, they are growing on me but were not an immediate love.

  35. Rhonda says:

    Hurraw Lip Balm!
    Support a small company out of Whitefish, MT. I read about their black cherry lip balm winning the Allure Best of Beauty award years ago, and was curious so I tried it. It’s THAT good, gives just a bit of tint to your lips, and it’s cheap for a . I’ve tried a few of the other flavors too, their Vata (almond cardamom rose) is especially lovely. I want to try a few of her new colored balms, but don’t like things in pots, they have to come in a stick for me.

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