Lotions Light Enough For Summer

In terms of skin, summer is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. Sweat brings the break outs, the sun dehydrates, humidity makes it impossible for moisturizers to sink in. Luckily, the world of things to smear on your body is vast and if you're having a particular problem, chances are, some brand has at least attempted to solve it. As we wade (yes, because it's as humid as an infinity pool out here) into the dog days, lightweight lotions are like manna from heaven—if manna was soothing, quick-drying, and dermatologist-tested. Some options:

Oils: not just for greasing your pan. They're light, breathable, and super hydrating. Not to mention all the fun scents, shimmers and tints available to you. We’re partial to two that, aside from their many nice qualities, were designed with nozzles large enough to actually dispense the product with ease and precision, 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 believable tan, for those who are melanin-challenged. Fair warning: 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 not covered in Saran Wrap. If a festive, mojito-like scent is more your jam, slather on Fresh’s Rice Dry Oil. Yes, dry. The rice-based oil imparts a glossy finish without leaving you with that pesky over-lubricated feel. Bring on the vinyl seating! For best results: apply either oil after the shower on your lightly towel-dried body.

As fond as we are of oil, it's nice to have options. Namely, some lotions and creams. Kiehl’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. Multi-tasking is a virtue, even for your medicine cabinet, and here you're eliminating scaliness while preventing UVA and UVB ray damage. Score. The coconut-Banana-Boat fragrance may conjure fantasies of the tropics (or turn you off of the product entirely). Should the latter be the case, turn to Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion, a paraben-free and virtually scentless alternative. French, well-priced, and endlessly effective, particularly if you're applying on a dry body—a utility the oils sadly lack.

There you have it, dear readers: 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
  • Haiku Jew

    Summer dry skin sucks
    lovely lotions, oils and creams
    lather then slather.

  • The Minx

    these are all so appealing! I may have to dive into the fresh rice dry oil, everything that brand produces is so great.

  • http://www.thelitteblackblog.com thelittleblackblog

    I wonder how the NARS oil compares to the Nuxe equivalent? Jergen's new body BB cream is also amazing. Lightweight and gives the skin a bit of tint and glow.

    • Dana

      I was wondering the same thing. I bought the nuxe and find it weirdly sparkly. It doesn't seem to deposit any colour at all. I was imagining I'm just too pale for it and it would look great on someone like JLo. Although I love the scent so much I'm going to use it anyway.

    • Brooks

      i agree nuxe is pretty sparkly i only use it sparingly-- nars i put all over, it smells so good and isn't sparkly just a faint shimmer and gives a little color!

  • http://theashleydavisproject.com/ Ashley

    I think I'm gonna have to pick up that Keihl's lotion. Its so hard to find a lotion with SPF. I want to protect my skin but I don't want to have lather on sunscreen every day of the year. Multitasking products are my fave!

    • bluesky557

      I don't think it has the SPF in it anymore. If you look on the link there is no mention of it in the product description, and in the reviews on the Kiehl's website, people are begging them to bring back the version with the SPF.

      • http://www.intothegloss.com ITGFerber

        Hmmmm, that's strange. We must be using an old version (who ever finishes a bottle of lotion? I certainly never do)...certainly a disappointing realization, huh?!

        • http://myredhairedladylazarus.tumblr.com/ Emma

          aveeno has lotions with spf in them

          • bluesky557

            I tried one of those a while ago and it was so sticky and greasy I never wore it again.

    • http://vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com Addison Cain

      I was at Whole Foods the other day and noticed that Kiss My Face has a new spray sunscreen that's filled with different oils for moisturizing. Here it is: https://www.kissmyface.com/natural-sun-care-sunscreen/item/308/8oz-Natural-Mineral--Spray-Lotion-SPF-30-

      could be worth checking out in place of a lotion with sunscreen?

  • Samantha

    The Avene body oil is also amazing. The scent is nearly identical to the Cold Cream lotion, but French-ier.

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    I love love love Fresh Rice Oil, the bath is excellent too.

  • bluesky557

    I don't see where the Kiehl's lotion has an SPF. What am I missing?

  • http://www.skincare-girl.com Penelope Rivas

    If you're looking for the lightest body lotion ever, you have to try the new hydration lotions from st. ives. They come in a spray form and feel super light. I wrote a blog post about it here if you want more info: http://skincare-girl.com/the-lazy-girls-solution-to-applying-moisturizer-and-sunscreen/

    Also, I really have to try that NARS oil. They packaging alone is to die for and everyone I know is raving about it!


  • Robin Sparkles

    I need to try that kiehls with SPF! I'm so fair that my left arm is being burned through the window of my car :/ gotta get on that

    • bluesky557

      Discontinued. :(

  • http://vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com Addison Cain

    Coconut oil + a few drops of lavender EO is my summer go-to.

  • ilianavillafan

    i really like the kiehls argan oil

  • http://www.abracadabragirl.com abracadabra girl

    great selection i have wanting to try the nars for ages !

  • Dana

    I wish I could buy that! I was just thinking I would buy a Nuxe fragrance if it existed ...

    • LD

      Nuxe Prodigieux. I bought some in a gift set with a full-sized regular oil and a mini of the golden oil. It is exactly as divine as I'd hoped!

  • http://www.chicreadings.com/ Helena P

    Great post!

  • Karisa Blake

    They all sound so light and refreshing! <3

  • Natalie

    it would be great if you guys would do a product review on frank coffee scrub and other popular natural scrubs. curious to know if its actually effective.

  • Katy

    You can buy the perfume off their site! I've also seen Gilt (City) deals for the Nuxe site, so keep a look out for them.


  • Nani Kim

    NUXE did finally come up with a perfume - Prodigieux le parfum that you can get on-line or from one of the newer spacious Duane Reade stores, etc. A light body lotion with SPF - ALBA from stores like Whole Foods is good.

  • BaileyL

    unfortunately Avene products in North America still have parabens . Just an FYI.


NARS Body Glow
Fresh Rice Dry Oil
Kiehl's Since 1851
Kiehl's Since 1851 'Creme de Corps' Light-Weight Body Lotion
Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion