skincare diaries: the smooth operators

Staying hydrated when it's 101 degrees out.

smooth skin products

I write about skincare so much, I figured I might as well make it a recurring feature. Hence, welcome to the "official" second installment of my skincare diaries.

I'm very prone to dry skin, with the exception of my face. I have this thing about being clean, and sometimes that means I shower twice a day; I don't like crawling into bed feeling grimy. This is especially true in the summer, because, ya know, hot weather leads to more sweat. And I refuse to not shower after the gym. Ew.

However, this really doesn't improve my dry skin's case. Water can strip away your skin's natural moisture, leading to more dryness. C'est la vie, the cycle continues.

Thanks to some trial, error, sample sizes, and a few paychecks, I've finally cracked the code on keeping my skin hydrated and smooth. Here's the "best of" list. Let's talk.

The Best Body Cream

If you're looking for budget-friendly, cruelty-free, and variety, look no further than The Body Shop. I have a lot of allergies, which can affect the fragrances and products I'm able to use on my skin. The Body Shop boasts a wide range of scented (and scent-free!) lotions, body washes, et cetera. And their body butters are usually buy two, get one free. Bless.

My ultimate favorite for summer is their aloe body butter. It's unscented, super lightweight, and doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy. I don't think my skin has been this healthy since my preteen years. (You know, before habits and hormones screw everything up.) Close runner-ups would be the cocoa and shea body butters: both are mildly scented, so I'll usually apply them if I'm having a lazy day at home or if I'm going to bed. However, the aloe lotion is the real MVP; it's unscented-ness makes it perfect for days when I choose to wear perfume.


The Best Product I Didn't Know I Needed

Part of the reason for my skin's dryness — especially in summer — lies in the frequency of how often I shave my legs. My skin is pretty sensitive, so I get razor burn if I'm not careful. But my skin also develops small irritations when the hairs start to grow out again. I didn't really think this would be a solvable problem, until Fur reached out to me. Fur is a brand that specializes in all-over hair grooming. They make a body oil, a stubble cream, an ingrown concentrate... basically, products to make grow-out easier (if that's your thing), keep things smooth post-shave (if that's your thing), or maintain what's already there (if that's your thing). They were kind enough to send me the stubble cream, which has truly been a game-changer. I use it on my legs and underarms right after shaving, and then apply for a few days after to keep any irritation from emerging. I neglected to bring it with me when I was traveling, and definitely noticed a difference on my skin when I didn't use it. And while the product is subtly scented, it fades away after a few minutes. Oh, and it's made of 100% natural ingredients, too. Consider me a fan of the thing I didn't know I needed.

stubble cream


The Best SPF-Included Moisturizer

Obviously, summer is the season of lying in the sun or roaming around outside. In recent years, I've been making a conscious effort to apply sunscreen before going out. Yes, Glossier's Invisible Shield sunscreen is the bomb, I know. And I do love it. But when I'm in a rush in the morning, or I'm planning on wearing makeup, I want my SPF built-in to my foundation.

Tinted moisturizer is really where it's at for me. I get sheer coverage, sun protection, and moisturizing agents all in one product. I'm a fan of the cult-favorite one from Laura Mercier, but found that the original formula caused me to breakout. (This is a common problem, apparently, as I learned from the Sephora web reviews.) I'll probably test out the oil-free version eventually, but I decided to give Chanel's formula a shot instead. I know. Chanel. A little bit pretentious due to its household name, but the product works! No new breakouts, and a dewey, soft glow. Only tradeoff is the size of the bottle; it's Chanel, and it's great, but of course the bottle is tiny. That said, a little does go a long way with this stuff, and you can build up the coverage if you need to. But I'll probably save it for special occasions. Which brings me to...


The Best Everyday, SPF-Included Moisturizer

Back in January, I had the chance to collaborate with Trinny London. I was able to try their BFF Cream (in the light shade, as I'm quite pale). I didn't find myself using this particular product much during the colder months, but now that summer's here, I'm reaching for it more often. It adds the right about of dewiness, is breathable, and overall gives my skin a more radiant glow. It also has a pump top, which I'm a fan of. I can blend this with a lightweight foundation if I want more coverage, or apply a little extra on my cheekbones for a highlight. If you're looking for an all-in-one summer moisturizer, this is for you.

body shop butter