Lightweight Body Moisturizers

Nars Body Glow
Fresh Rice Dry Oil
Kiehl's Creme de Corps Light-Weight Body Lotion
Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion

Let’s be real, with the thermometer maintaining historical highs here in NYC, we’re all a bit shellacked in sweat. It's not cute. The sun dehydrates your skin, while the heat makes it nearly impossible for your moisturizers to soak in properly. And when those rays beat down, the last thing you want is a thick moisturizer acting as an extra layer between you and cool-breeze freedom. So right now lightweight body creams are your saving grace(s). Some options:

Oils are ideal in this situation, given that they're light, breathable, and super-hydrating. And you've got an array of options—with scent, shimmer, tint, etc.—suited to your whim. But we’re partial to two that, aside from their many nice qualities, were designed with nozzles large enough to actually dispense the product, a problem that surprisingly plagues many other oils. First up is Nars Body Glow. (Yes, we've written about its wonders before.) In addition to curing parched skin without leaving it greasy, this bronze beauty adds a bit of a “genuine” tan, for those more sun-averse. Users beware: until it settles into your skin, the tint tends to transfer to any material around it, so wait at least five minutes before coming into contact with anything precious. If the tanning oil/mojito scent isn’t in line with your olfactory preferences, you might check out our other favorite: Fresh’s Rice Dry Oil. One of the problems we tend to have with oil is its residue (you know, the one that stains clothes and leads to hours of being so slippery it’s impossible to cross your legs.) But that’s where this “dry” part really comes into play. The rice-based oil imparts a glossy finish without leaving you with that pesky over-lubricated feel. For best results: apply both oils after the shower on your lightly towel-dried body.

If you’re not sold on oil, fear not: there are plenty of summer-friendly fixes by way of lotions and creamsKiehl’s Creme de Corps may be a standard of vanities everywhere, but the aptly titled Creme de Corps Light-Weight Body Lotion is fit for the heat, especially because it boasts SPF 30 sunscreen. Amazing—you’re not only curing dryness but also preventing UVA and UVB ray damage. The thin, easily spreadable, and quickly-absorbing lotion might conjure fantasies of the tropics with its coconut-Banana-Boat scent, but a fragrant lotion is not for all. We know this. Which is when we turn to Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion, a paraben-free and virtually scentless alternative. The “drugstore” brand keeps us feeling chic (anything French=gold, more or less), and our wallets padded with its gentle price and generous 'serving size.' And while both lotions work well post-shower, they are equally as employable on a bare (and slightly dirty?) body, a one-up from those covetable oils.

Yes, dear readers, there’s a summer hydrator for even the choosiest among us, so there are no excuses for parched skin. Drink up.

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Jennifer Monforton

    Wow, these all sound lovely! I love a luxurious body moisturizer, but my skin isn't super dry, so light-weight products are my preference. Loving the sound of that Fresh oil especially! xo

  • Peyton Simms

    AH I am SO glad you posted these!


  • Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    The oil sounds good. I don't like heavy creams!

  • Sophie

    I HIGHLY recommend Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer. Please, ITG, you need to try this. I never used to use lotion because I hate the feeling it leaves behind but this stuff absorbs right away and I don't even need to wash my hands after. AND it smells like delicious summery coconut that I WILL be using year-round.


      ITA it's been one of my favorites for years... absorbs really quickly with a nice subtle scent.

  • Kiki

    Hey--- the shop in London will ship to you, if you call them!

    • Michelle

      Oh wow I didn't know this, amazing thank you!

  • Madeline

    I loove Creme de Corps, I can't wait to try this lightweight one next time I want a bit of a body lotion splurge. On the cheap end though, Lubriderm's daily lotion with SPF is great too, can't get enough ever since I moved to SoCal.

  • Parisian To Be

    Lovely post! This summer, I've been slathering in the Trader Joes Coconut Body Butter. It's fab!
    xo Lillian +

  • Bells

    Two amazing oils to add to this list: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse and Caudalie Huile Divine. Both are dry oils that have amazing scents and leave skin feeling smooth!

  • Louise Nickel

    I really want to try the Nars one now! =] xx.

  • Sixtybrainsperminute

    Love Aesop rind concentrate body balm. Super light and the citrus smell is a real pick me up!

  • Sixtybrainsperminute

    It's true - the version I buy doesn't have it. See - that's where I get mine. They list the French version ingredients.

  • Nina

    I wish Fresh was available/could ship to Scandinavia! I will have to go to London to stock up when I finish my Sugar tinted lip balm, it's that good, ha ha. Their products are just so awesome and beautiful.

  • NazNYC

    I really like just coconut oil for a lightweight moisturizer and I love love love

    Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil. Smells amazing.


Fresh Rice Dry Oil
NARS Body Glow
Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion