Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
When the temperature heats up, swap out your body wash and body moisturizer for lighter formulations. During the summer, the skin on your arms and legs is exposed more often to the sun and environmental pollutants, causing sunburn, brown spots, dryness, and irritation. So treat that skin with extra care.
When the weather’s hot, you also tend to shower more often, which dries skin. This makes humectants such as aloe and natural glycerin that draw moisture into the skin important. Moisturizing body washes may also contain hydrating fruit and nut oils such as argan, jojoba, almond, and mango seed, as well as vitamins, such as vitamin E.
Look for body washes that contain moisturizing ingredients rather than harsh foaming agents, like sodium lauryl sulfate, or preservatives, like parabens. Your body wash should not contain polysorbates, phenoxyethanol, mineral oil, triclosan, TEA/DEA, synthetic fragrances, or colors.
To seal in the moisture, slather on a body lotion or body oil when your skin is still damp. Powerful fruit and vegetable oils such as coconut, avocado, jojoba, and rosehip seed can improve the health of your skin, not just its appearance. They actually feed your skin nutrients.
When shopping for a body moisturizer in summer, look for water-, aloe-, or oil-based lotions or light oils that rapidly and thoroughly absorb into the skin’s dermal layers, leaving no greasiness. If you have oily skin, it might seem counterproductive, but jojoba and other oils balance skin’s oil production to calm oily areas and moisturize dry ones. Very dry and mature skin types may need denser shea butter lotions.
Check the lotion’s label to avoid cheap preservatives, irritating chemicals, and worthless fillers such as sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, and PEG compounds. The scent should come from essential oils.
1. Boost your body’s good bacteria with Tom’s of Maine Prebiotic Moisturizing Body Wash. Killing all bacteria may do more harm than good. Inulin, a prebiotic, helps the growth of beneficial bacteria, which in turn helps skin retain its moisture and maintain a healthy barrier. Glycerin and sunflower seed oil moisturize while cleansing agents from corn and coconut or palm kernel oil gently wash skin. Essential oils and other natural fragrances provide an indulgent scent. Choose from Gentle Lavender, Blood Orange, Soft Rose, and Fresh Apple Scent.
2. Balance and center yourself while you bathe with Pacifica Cannabis Flower Body Wash (no longer available). An aromatherapeutic blend of sandalwood, orange, jasmine, and lavender will calm and brighten your mood, while aloe, hemp seed oil, chamomile, white tea, arnica, and glycerin moisturize and heal irritated or sensitive skin. It’s 100 percent vegan and formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or mineral oil.
3. Get a full-body glow with Desert Essence Jojoba & Sunflower Body Oil Spray. This silky and light after-shower finishing spray absorbs quickly to seal in moisture. It helps smooth, soften, and protect skin with a blend of jojoba, sunflower, and apricot oils, plus an extra dose of hydration from sweet almond and coconut oils and shea butter. Try Jojoba & Sweet Almond Body Oil Spray if your skin is dry; or Jojoba, Coconut & Chamomile Body Oil Spray for sensitive skin.
4. Moisturize thirsty skin with Derma E Vitamin E Fragrance-Free Therapeutic Shea Body Lotion. Vitamin E softens and restores dry, rough, flaky skin. Cranberry seed, olive, and jojoba oils deliver additional antioxidant and nourishing benefits. Shea butter, glycerin, and aloe provide rich moisture. This lotion is ideal for extra-dry hands from frequent washing.
5. Pamper your skin with Andalou Naturals Soothing 1000 Roses Body Lotion. Rosehip and argan oils blend with rich shea and cocoa butter to nourish, smooth and soften dry skin. Rosewater soothes the senses and the skin. Alpine rose and other plant stem cells—an antioxidant 8-berry complex—and hydrating aloe help protect skin’s moisture barrier for an all-over body treatment.