The good news: It's the middle of July, which means you've survived approximately half of the summer season. Between wicking gallons of sweat off of your body and trying your best to embrace the jort, you are basically an Olympian. Rejoice! It's almost over. Which brings me to the bad news: It's almost over. And guys, August is the hottest, humid-est month of all. Now is the time to audit your summer product outfit and reup for the next few months. The dog days have yet to come; let's sweat it out together.
Let's start the conversation with body lotion. What you need is something effective, but light enough to not feel like extra. It's also got to be something that'll layer well into fall—in that pivotal body lotion window between After Sun and Body Butter. A featherweight heavyweight, if you will. The landscape is vast, so I added an awards system to weed out the winners:
Best In Price
Mountain Ocean Coconut Skin Trip. But you already knew that, didn't you? It's the choice moisturizer of pro-surfers and beauty editors alike for its light texture and delicious scent—which is pleasant, but not overpowering, in case you get sick of coconut come September. But the real selling point is the price tag. $7, nearly everywhere. Less expensive than Cetaphil, ya'll.
Best In Texture
Vichy Ideal Body Lait-Sérum. The genius of this product exists in its half-serum (or half-sérum, en français) texture. On the outside, it looks like a standard body lotion with a lot of promises to make. ("Ideal Body"—OK) But the product itself liquifies into am emollient oil, which your body just drinks up. It even imparts a hint of sparkle, for added je ne sais quoi.
Aromatica Damask Rose Soothing Gel. Much less a "body lotion" than it is a "translucent body jelly." Consider this a slightly thicker rosewater, which like the Lait-Sérum, turns completely wet on contact. Not recommended for dry skin, as it's definitely the lightest on the list. But absolutely recommended for rose lovers and anybody who's tried to convert a face mist for their body.
Best In Moisture
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait. Another French expat. Although here, what you see is what you get: one very good, lipid-rich body cream. If your skin is very dry, this is the one to get.
Dr. Jart Ceramidin Body Lotion. If you like Ceramidin Liquid, you'll love the Body Lotion, which is just as reliable of a product. Like the Lipikar, it also employs moisturizing lipids; unlike the Lipikar, its texture is more gel than cream. Just a matter of preference, really.
Best In Scent
Korres White Tea Bergamot Freesia Body Milk. Hands down, white tea/bergamot/freesia is the best fragrance of Korres' very excellent lineup of body milks—a veritable bacchanal of fresh scent. More of a cream than a milk, but it sinks in instantly. Is this what Greek gods smell like?
Ellis Pseudonym Body Milk. Pseudonym is a definitely a transitional scent. It's fig, which can skew summer or autumn depending on the nose. But ugh, so good. The bottle is rather delicate, which suits it better for a curated bathroom shelf than a tiny shower nook. The better to display for bathroom guests.
Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower After Sun Balm. The most incredible-smelling body gel I have ever come across. Five stars, 10/10, rainbow 100 emoji. Wear it like moisturizing body perfume and delight every person you encounter. It is verrry money, yes. But it costs less than the Carnal Flower EDP, so you're probably saving something...?
Photographed by Tom Newton.
Self-tanner is the body lotion of summertime. (Maybe.) Here are our favorites as of now.