The 14 Bath and Body Products a Veteran Beauty Writer Uses Almost Every Day and Night
Confession: Covering the beauty and skin-care arena for the past several decades, I’ve turned into a product fiend — a hoarder of lotions, creams, serums, and gels. And if they’re really good, I extract every last drop from their containers. The items I riff on below keep my neck, chest, haunches, arms, legs, elbows, knees, and feet not just smooth and de-scruffed, but also relatively firm and even energized. There have been so many game-changing, powerhouse skin-care advances lately — especially when it comes to hardworking AHAs, vitamin C, and humectants — that it’s frankly nuts not to benefit from them.
Let me add that I love the sensuous experience of taking a soapy shower and then plying certain specific creams and serums — I’m choosy, readers — onto my freshly laundered skin. Being a fragrance fiend, I especially go for the scented goods. “They can enhance our experience, reduce stress, and improve relaxation,” agrees the Medford, Oregon dermatologist Lauren Naversen Geraghty, who used to be a beauty writer and editor. (Of course, she also notes that those with sensitive skin are better off sticking to unscented products.)
Dr. Geraghty is one of several experts — a dermatologists, a podiatrist, a fragrance scholar — I consulted in my assessment of the absolute best lemongrass soups and cloudberry moisturizers and Japanese wash cloths for cleansing and indulging myself from the neck down. Here are the items I’ve come to relish most, in and out of the shower.
The most exhilarating of all the bath and body products I’ve ever tried isn’t a cream or gel. It’s the Goop G-Tox Ultimate Dry Brush, and it’s biodegradable, made from the leaves of the Mexican sisal palm — the same agave plant that’s given us tequila. So no wonder it packs a punch. The bristles’ texture feels slightly softer than those of a straw broom, and I’ve got to say, swooshing this brush over my limbs and haunches — I usually do it right before I get in the shower — leaves them feeling shimmering and woke. Dry brushing is “a form of exfoliation,” as New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe explains it (she’s also the author of Dirty Looks: The Secret to Beautiful Skin). “By removing several layers of dead skin cells, other products you use will penetrate deeper” thanks to the brushing, she says, “and it helps prevent ingrown hairs from forming.” Just do it in moderation, she adds. “Twice a week is plenty.”