The beauty industry delights in creating products for which there seem to be neither a demand nor a need. Blush toppers, the lighter or more glow-y or glittery blush designed to apply over blush you already own, come to mind as a great example.
Or the industry reinvents wheels that roll perfectly fine as they are, such as lip scrubs. There is always a new confection to exfoliate the lips when the easiest and least expensive way to accomplish this is to rub a washcloth over your mouth. Really, that’s all you need.
These things are silly, and I would prefer the beauty business invest more time and effort in something I’m clamoring for and we could all use: body products with active skincare ingredients. Of course, nothing stops us from using products marketed for the face on any other part of the body (though do be prudent with irritants near the sensitive bits), but those costly little pots of skincare don’t stretch far on larger swaths of skin, like legs. Some body products like this already exist — and rumors are constantly swirling about groundbreaking serums in the works at this company or that — but finding them can be a challenge.
Sarah Chapman London recognized this void in the marketplace and parlayed her Skinesis Overnight Facial serum into the Overnight Body Treatment ($90, net-a-porter.com). It’s not quite the same product: The Overnight version contains vitamins A, C, and E to firm, brighten, and smooth but not the Facial’s Coenzyme Q 10, which has proven effective at slowing the signs of photo-aging like skin discoloration and dark spots. This omission strikes me — and the sunspots on my legs and arms — as a missed opportunity even as I appreciate the product’s other benefits.
Glycolic acid is a skincare staple for its ability to penetrate and slough off dead cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin. If you aren’t already using a glycolic product on your face, shame on you for not listening all the times I’ve suggested it. And if you are familiar with the acid’s good work, why wouldn’t you want those benefits on the body too? Exfoliating creams are often suggested to fight keratosis pilaris (the bumpy chicken skin that pops up on the backs of arms and other spots on the body), but these creams need not be only for problem areas. Strip dullness all over with Nip + Fab Body Glycolic Fix Body Cream ($9.99, ulta.com). Nip + Fab is Skipper to parent company Rodial’s Barbie: younger and less glamorous, but not without its charms. Glycolic Fix is unlikely to win you over with its grapefruit scent, but applying it before bed a couple of nights a week and waking up to refreshed skin is worth holding your nose.
Chantecaille devotees will recognize the brand’s familiar jasmine and rose fragrance in the Retinol Body Treatment ($102, Saks Fifth Avenue). Retinol is a skincare all-star used to treat acne, wrinkles, and sun damage by forcing skin cells to turn over faster. The retinol in Chantecaille’s lotion is over-the-counter strength and thus far less potent and abrasive than prescription strength; you can use it daily without over-drying or irritating the skin. Plus it’s loaded with enough cocoa butter and macadamia oil to feel luxurious to the touch.
Glossier’s Body Hero Daily Perfection Cream ($22, glossier.com) doesn’t do the hardest anti-aging work, but it does enough and is the loveliest. It has alpha hydroxy acid for exfoliation (a light enough dose for daily use), fruit extracts for brightness, light-reflecting particles (because they make everything look better), and smells of orange blossom neroli. Glossier suggests using it following their Body Hero Daily Oil Wash ($18), but I find the cream body product to be perfection on its own — like that first dusting of subtle yet warm peachy blush just below the apples of my cheeks. It needs no pre-treatment or topper.