Today’s question, submitted via the FutureDerm.com Facebook page:
Hi Nicki! any tips about the best body moisturizers/lotions or products like retinol or mandelic acid to exfoliate the body? quench changed their formula,,,i had been a user for 4 years and the moment i tried the new quench, i noticed it was not the same at all.
-Kristina and Christine
Dear Kristina and Christine,
In general, the skin of the body ages more slowly than the face, simply because the body is not exposed to UV light as often.
However, that does not mean the body does not age. Factors like pregnancy, nursing, fluctuating weight, disease, and other external and internal stress can lead the skin to lose elasticity, resulting in sagging or wrinkled skin.
The great news is, the same 5 ingredients that are most-recommended for facial skin are also recommended for body skin. These are:
- Alpha hydroxy acids
- Niacinamide or nicotinic acid
The Best Body Moisturizers
You may notice some of these are repeats from an earlier post, What are the Best Age-Defying Body Lotions? This is only because my opinion has not changed on these and/or they have not been discontinued.
6. Best for Everyday Use: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion ($12.99, Amazon.com)
- Potent ingredients;
- Effective delivery systems;
- Unique formulations/new technologies worth investing in.
When it comes to an everyday body lotion, I look for:
- Hydrating/beneficial for skin type;
- Dries quickly;
- Won’t rub off on clothes much, if at all;
- Wears well under sunscreen;
Unlike the other products on this list, CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion is not a treatment for any skin ailment in particular. But it hydrates well and feels light on the skin. Plus, the fragrance does not interfere with my favorite perfume. So I’m free to just slather this on quickly in the morning and go! That’s probably not my best sales pitch, but I’m being honest. It’s simply a quality hydrating moisturizer that is fast and inexpensive to use regularly. Suitable for all skin types except the most oily.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20 and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-11, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.
5. Best Soothing: Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($16.84 for 18 oz)
Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains Avena sativa (oat) flour, which has to be one of my all-time favorite moisturizing ingredients. In a supplement to the journal Cosmetic Dermatology, it is stated that oat flour is so potent, it is amongst the few ingredients in skin care and cosmetics regulated by the U.S. FDA. Oat flour contains agents that soothe, hydrate, and fight inflammation in the skin, including protein, lipids, enzymes, saponins, prostaglandin synthetic inhibitors, vitamins, and flavonoids. Oat also binds to the skin extremely well, as it has a lower pH than human skin.
Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Aveeno, also claims that their oat extract reduces itching and inflammation similar to mild prostaglandin inhibitors (source). I know that I have sensitive skin that often breaks out from trying so many products, and each time, I turn to the Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion for a fast recovery. That’s not an advertisement, folks – that’s truth! Better yet: use this body lotion in conjunction with Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment. Oatmeal may not be tops on any fashion magazine’s “must-have” list, but it sure makes your skin look smooth, calm, and healed over time.
Ingredients in Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion: Water, Glycerin, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Oat Flour (Avena Sativa), Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride
4. Best for Brightening: NIA 24 Sun Damage Repair for Decolletage and Hands ($33.50, Amazon.com)
This lotion makes your skin worse before it makes it better. This is due to the active ingredient, niacin, which is at 2% concentration in this rich cream. It will make your skin a bit red, swollen, and sensitive for a few days after you use it, which is why it is all the more important to apply sunscreen to the sun-exposed areas afterwards.
So why do I recommend it? The cream contains a basic, microencapsulated form of vitamin B3, which they call Pro-NiacinTM. Due to the delivery system, Pro-NiacinTM “penetrates the epidermis in a slow, continuous release.” (NIA24 informational brochure) Considering the myriad of benefits associated with vitamin B3, this is amazing – benefits include a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing), and an increase skin’s elasticity.
I have used NIA 24 products in the past, and while my skin was a little more sensitive at first, after about a week I had an amazing glow. It’s definitely a strong product – but I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a dramatic change in skin brightness and texture.
3. Best Skin Softener after a Shower: Neutrogena Body Oil ($13.26, Amazon.com)
Body oils are sensational because they lock in moisture. A few drops of this oil in the bath helps to soften the water. Better yet, applying to lightly damp post-shower skin will keep you hydrated for hours. (Even better: Put 100% cotton socks and pajamas on afterwards. You will wake up with hydrated skin!)
Of course, it’s not for everyone: I would not use this if I had oily or acne-prone skin. I also would avoid Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula if I was particularly sensitive to scents, as the sesame is definitely not for everyone. So while the sesame component is somewhat hydrating, there is also the Fragrance-Free option, which seems to work just as well over time. I’m a huge fan, and I would recommend to anyone.
2. Best for Age Spots: Glytone 17.5% ($29.58 for 8.4 oz)
If you’re rocking a bathing suit this season, Glytone 17.5% is truly the best way to get dramatic results in the shortest amount of time. Equipped with a full 17.5% glycolic acid, Glytone 17.5% will significantly reduce wrinkles, brighten, and firm (skin only, not muscles – sorry!) when used over time.
Glycolic acid works by advancing desquamation and exfoliation of the top layer of the skin. As a result, glycolic acid quickens the rate of cell turnover, decreases small wrinkles and increase fibroblast proliferation of collagen. It does not specifically inhibit melanin production, but many dermatologists and aestheticians report the appearance of sunspots is improved with continual use.
Unlike other glycolic acid-based treatments out there, Glytone 17.5% is formulated such that most people do not report much irritation, despite the high level of glycolic acid. At any rate, do not leave the lotion exposed to the air for too long, as the other ingredients can evaporate, leaving glycolic acid more concentrated and hence more irritating for the skin. Furthermore, be sure to use this product in conjunction with a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least 30!
It was really close between Glytone 17.5% and Jeannette Graf Rejuvenation Body Cream. Glytone 17.5% gives results faster, but Jeannette Graf Rejuvenation Body Cream is more hydrating for the harsh winter months.
In the long run, I chose Jeannette Graf Rejuvenation Body Cream not only because of its potent hydrators (olive oil, cetyl alcohol, stearate, and triglycerides), but also because retinol is probably the most profound anti-ager on the market today. As renowned dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch, M.D. once said, “We have beautiful, profound data that shows if you use [retinoids] for 20 years, you’re going to look a lot better than someone who doesn’t.” When applied after UV exposure, retinoids also help to prevent collagen loss. Retinoids have been proven to stimulate matrix metalloproteinase genes, which are in part responsible for collagen degradation, and to increase cell turnover rates (Cosmetic Dermatology). In essence, retinoids smooth the skin, refine the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and make skin more firm over time.
While I normally do not recommend creams that contain both vitamin C and retinol, as the activity of each is optimized at a different pH, the open-top design of the jar means that vitamin C (as L-ascorbic acid) won’t be stable for very long anyway! With that said, retinol is actually not stable for more than one month after it is open and exposed to the air either (source), so be sure to use your jar of Dr. Jeannette Graf Rejuvenation Body Cream within a month after opening! Also, use it with a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least 30 during the day, as retinol can make the skin more photosensitive.
Hope this helps!
Founder and CEO Nicki Zevola started FutureDerm as a medical (M.D.) student studying to be a dermatologist. She is an award-winning scientific researcher and writer. She currently is concentrating on FutureDerm and developing FutureDerm's one-of-a-kind products. She can be found on Google+ and Twitter.View all Nicki Zevola posts.
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