Hundreds of products come across our desks every month, but not all of them deliver on their claims or live up to the hype. (Not everything that goes viral on TikTok is a miracle worker.) This is our exclusive curation of the best-in-class body-care products receiving rave reviews from our team and hitting shelves right now.
The fall is an incredibly busy time for many of us with kids’ activities, work ramping up to close out the year strong, and social engagements filling up the calendar. Stress is high and me time, at least for me, is low. This vegan bath soak allows for a chance to relax, reset your mind and give your body a chance to melt into the tub for some much-needed rejuvenation.
It’s not only infused with stress-reducing magnesium and muscle-soothing arnica, but also antioxidant-rich amla superberries and nourishing coconut and avocado oils. The tropical-like, natural scent is so nice, and not in an energizing citrus way, so it works well as a bedtime soak too (and a nice change from traditional lavender go-tos). Put your feet up, light a candle, and enjoy!
The Seaweed Co. Melt-In Water Lotion ($15 each, launching October 24)
An ocean-inspired, naturally derived brand that has mastered the art of skin care infused with hand-harvested, sustainable seaweed (think algae, kelp, sea moss and spirulina), The Seaweed Co. has nailed it with this new launch.
If you prefer a lightweight, gel-cream texture that melts right into your skin with no residue whatsoever and instant hydrating benefits, look no further. The key ingredient, organic, sustainably harvested Atlantic seaweed, infuses skin with more than 65 vitamins and minerals, and that’s just one ingredient! Others include elasticity-boosting sea grape, barrier-nourishing beta glucan, hydrating coconut extract and moisturizing jojoba.
It comes in three new scents: citrusy Sea Salt Bergamot, herbal Mediterranean Blue Tansy and refreshing Coconut Water. Plus, if you’ve used the brand before, you may not recognize the new packaging, but this is the new look!
Everything UMA founder Shrankhla Holecek creates is so beautiful and intentional (part of the Ayurvedic way), including this new citrus-scented balm. Mandarin and orange help improve the appearance of unevenness and hyperpigmentation on the skin for a more radiant look, and antioxidant-rich neroli fights to keep blemishes at bay.
The texture is rich, buttery and luxurious, but doesn’t feel too heavy; the scent is refreshing but also relaxing. Holecek describes it as “an aroma that feels like forest-bathing and basking in the freshness and glory of nature. Of blue skies where the sun keeps rising. A harbinger of new romances and endless possibilities that will make your heart beat like a drum, and ground you at the same time. A celebration of the joys of living simply and sweetly.” Warm a small amount in your hands and then massage it in, and remember to let it dry for a few minutes before getting dressed.
Straight from Australia comes this popular self-tanner brand and its new body lotion that delivers gradual color for a faux glow any time of the year. For me, the best part is the nourishing blend of ingredients—hyaluronic acid, camellia oil, argan oil and hemp seed oil—that kick the standard gradual tanner up a notch, so you get high-quality moisturizing benefits, too.
Another feature that I know others would argue is their favorite part: the scent. It doesn’t have the nasty self-tanner smell, but rather a fruity one (think pomegranate and passionfruit). That, mixed with the brand’s reduced scent technology, hides any sign of “fake tanner smell.” You can apply it every day, or as often as necessary depending on the color intensity you want, and you can also use to prolong the results of the brand’s other self-tanners for a longer-lasting tan.
Olive & June Quick Dry Polish ($7.50 each)
So here’s the story with most of the quick-dry nail polishes I’ve tried: Yes, they dry very quickly (some in mere seconds), but they also chip very quickly. This one, however, dried in about a minute and lasted four days for me—and I wash my hands a lot. According to the brand, it’s the longest-lasting quick-dry polish on the market and stays on nails 45-percent longer than similar products.
It’s also boasts the brand’s 15-free, shiny, vegan formula, and comes in 19 new shades, plus a topcoat. My personal favorite is Pointe, a creamy light pink, but there’s a shade for everyone. Enchanted, a rich purple with a hint of shimmer, is a great option for fall. This is one of those products that should be in everyone’s cabinet for those times when you need to look put together for a Zoom meeting, a selfie, or whatever else!
Boy Smells Hand Lotion ($44 each)
I’ve been a big fan of Boy Smells for years—the Kacey Musgraves collab will always be one of my favorites—so when I found out they were launching Hand Lotion (and Hand Wash), it gave me that giddy feeling inside. Housed inside beautiful, recyclable glass vessels, the new vegan Hand Lotions are made with natural fragrances and good-for-your-skin ingredients like sodium hyaluronate and omega fatty acids to keep your hands hydrated while you wash.
Of course the three scents are inspired by the brand’s best-selling candles: Petalia is a warm, rosy fragrance; Cannabish has a fruity-green and patchouli vibe going on; and Fantôme is warm, spicy and broody with amber, gardenia and black pepper.
Let’s start with a little biology for this one: According to OSEA, the vagus nerve is the tenth and longest cranial nerve reaching from the brain to the gut, which is the main component of the autonomic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It oversees our mood and bodily functions, and it also relays information from our vital organs to our brain.
This soothing bath oil is the brand’s latest addition to its best-selling Vagus Nerve collection, which helps activate the body’s relaxation response to relieve stress. It contains all of the necessary essential oils—chamomile, juniper berry, lavender, lemon tea tree and Moroccan rosemary—for your mind, as well as several moisturizing oils to treat your skin to some relaxation and nourishment as well. Once you’re in the tub, remember to breathe deeply and really soak it all in—self care is important!
The second body product and first body lotion from SAINT JANE, this formula is very near and dear to founder Casey Georgeson’s heart, as she worked on it for more than two years to make sure it delivered on its claims, and it does. The silky, hydrating feel comes from a blend of land and sea flowers: sea flora, algae, chamomile, jasmine, hibiscus and hyaluronic acid. The name suits this lightweight cream perfectly, as it feels silky on your skin as you massage it in, but it also leaves your skin feeling like silk.
It’s the ultimate in luxury when it comes to body care and a real treat for dry and dehydrated skin as we head into cooler seasons—I love the soft floral scent, too. The algae also provides a little bit of a firming benefit if you use this consistently as well, and I recommend applying it on slightly damp skin just out of the shower to really help it penetrate.
Soft Services Theraplush Overnight Repair Treatment ($58, refill pods are $36)
The brand’s first targeted treatment for hands—it’s been in development for nearly two years and it’s chicer than ever—this fragrance-free cream is the closest thing I’ve gotten to a salon paraffin treatment at home, that doesn’t involve wearing gloves (though you can wear gloves over top if you want to). Apply it at night and let the retinol- and colloidal oatmeal–infused formula work its magic to repair frayed cuticles and moisturize dry, tired hands.
The cream is rich, but not greasy-rich, and also contains lactic acid for gentle exfoliation, and allantoin for soothing. And, to keep the pure retinol stable, a gorgeous, refillable, airless pump vessel was used—I’ve never seen anything like it, especially for hand cream—that was inspired by carved jade ritual objects and holds enough cream for six weeks of use. And because the brand really thought of everything, the lid even contains a dipped surface to house your rings if you want to keep the treatment bedside and apply right before you snooze.
Free + True Body Worker ($48)
For me, transitioning my body-care routine from summer to fall involves adding a layer of body serum under my body lotion, butter or cream. It’s that extra oomph I need when all the moisture is sucked out of the air and my skin pays the price. This hydrating body serum helps to undo some of the damage done during the summer months (think UV exposure that leads to uneven skin tone), while shielding it from future damage and quenching dryness.
Key ingredients include acetyl zingerone, a supercharged antioxidant derived from ginger that helps fight free-radical damage, and cold-pressed oils such as pumpkin seed and avocado. It’s incredibly rich and nourishing, but doesn’t leave behind a sticky or greasy residue. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t get dressed right away: Give it a few minutes to soak in and do its thing.