Choosing a Body Lotion: Winter or Summer?

Mar 26, 2001

The Bottom Line Choosing a body lotion varies from season to season with changes in temperatures. Shea butter and sunscreen are nice all year long.

With my rather dry skin, I can't go a single day without applying moisturizer all over my body, regardless of the time of year.

But I do find that I prefer different formulations as the seasons change. In the cold, dry winter, I like a heavier lotion with shea butter or some other intensive moisturizing ingredient. When it's summer, I can get away with something lighter that contains sunscreen. Lotions I use in warmer weather usually cost less money, too.

Keri and Nivea Leave Me Rashy, Lubriderm Doesn't

For the summer months, I've found that Lubriderm Lotion with sunscreen is a great all-purpose moisturizer that's extremely inexpensive, less than $6 for 16 oz. in a pump dispenser. I can even wear it to bed without getting sticky sheets.

On my skin, Keri and Nivea leave me so oily that I develop a fine red rash. These two brands are relatively inexpensive, but I've had the same reaction from pricier brands. Lubriderm, however, has good coverage for summer without being sticky or heavy. It's somewhat questionable how much real sun protection it provides, and I wouldn't count on it to replace a good sunblock. But if you're just outside and wearing typical summer clothing, it's probably good for that.

Which Part of The Body Are You Covering?

Like most women, I need a heavier lotion on my feet and sometimes on my elbows than I do on my arms, legs and torso. The same heavier lotion, including those that use shea butter as a main ingredient, are great for both feet and elbows, but maybe too heavy for the rest of you.

Cost Per Square Inch

When I use my regular body lotion, I'll spend up to $15 per bottle for a lavish product like L'Occitane Body Milk when it's winter. In the summer, Lubriderm for $6 will do very well. I'll spend more money for higher concentrations of moisturizers for my feet and elbows.

If you like to experiment with beauty and bath products as much as I do, then the lotion department is a good place to get that out of your system for a price that won't break the bank. I like to try all different kinds of products, especially if they're under $5.00 a tube or bottle.

I've discovered that St. Ives Collagen Moisturizer is a great bargain for body coverage, and for less than $4 for an 8 oz. tube. In many ways, lotions for the body are alike, and all of them will provide some degree of protection. Few of the products I've found at discount stores are so watery that I'd never consider buying them again, so have a ball and buy a new one every time you need some more.

And my final word of advice: Don't try to use the same lotion on your body as you do on your face, or vice versa. Some lotion companies will invent different formulations for you to use on your nose, hands, fingers, under your eyes and every other body part you can think of.

But you should have three lotions for certain: One good one for your face, a decent one for your torso, and a heavy duty formula for those scaly areas.

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