With drying winds and central heating, it’s not just our faces that need extra nourishment to combat the effects of winter dehydration. Our bodies also need lashings of TLC.
A deliciously rich body cream can feel wonderfully soothing, especially after a hot bath or shower. And if you choose a spa product, you are giving your skin an instant treatment, boosting its defences against winter cold as well as leaving it smelling and looking amazing. Slip on your cashmere (dahling!) knowing your skin is just as smooth and soft beneath.
The Spa Spies have gathered five of our favourite super rich body creams, each of which delivers varying degrees of winter pampering from sublime indulgence to serious skin rescue.
Comes in a large bronze coloured box with gold writing like a box of chocolates: deliciously indulgent. The tub is round with a gold lid and there’s a plastic spatula to scoop out the cream. The cream inside looks like a whirl of praline mouse, and smells richly of champagne and creamy chocolate. Yummy.
What’s in it:
Rose quartz, cashmere and black truffles, as well as diamonds, champagne and anything else luxuriously extravagant you can think of.
You can use this cream every day or on special occasions (it does feel a bit too good to wear to the shops). Scoop out a generous amount and rub it slowly into your skin.
It feels sublimely cooling and refreshing after a hot shower or bath and takes a while to sink in which makes it feel extra rich. You will notice a lovely sheen on your skin, which is great if you’re planning to expose it at a party, while the cashmere reduces any redness. My skin felt nourished and looked plump and glowing with a glimmer that must come from the rose quartz (also supposed to increase happiness). Also, the lovely scent lingered throughout the day.
It’s not cheap and despite the heft of the box, 150ml isn’t that much for a body cream. However, what a lovely way to prepare for a special occasion, or if you want to give your skin a comforting and nourishing treat on a cold winter night.
Whether going out and feeling like a million dollars or staying in for some cosy winter me-time, this is a sumptuous spa treatment in a jar.
The heavy round glass jar feels very weighty. Open the lid and smell the light, fresh fragrance. The smell reminded me of gooseberry or kiwi – tangy and sweet – the kind of smell that makes you go mmm, wow, then ahhh, spa.
What’s in It:
Ylang ylang, jasmine, soya bean oil, wild yam, mulberry, liquorice and rearberry, and seaweed algae.
The cream is rich and ever so slightly oily, which meant it spread more evenly and sank in slowly. It was cooling and soothing, like a long, delicious drink. It had an instantly smoothing and brightening effect on my skin. I compared both my arms as I applied it, and I thought the one with the cream looked so much more hydrated, plump and younger-looking.
The price reflects the fact it is a body treatment rather than day-to-day rehydrating cream, but the slight oil element helps it go a long way and keeps the skin hydrated.
ESPA products love my skin and vice versa, and this body cream is a gorgeous winter treat for dried out and tired bodies. I relished the fresh spa scent and was pleased that the hydrating effects lasted: this would be at the top of my list for spa body creams.
Spiezia packaging makes me think of the seaside with turquoise and purples painting on the side of the white box and coloured glass jars inside. Inside the box is a false lid containing a lemon and ginger tea bag and a scoop for the balm. This is a balm so somewhere between an oil and a cream: it’s creamy yellow in colour and like a giant lip salve for the body. Freshy organic essential oils erupt as soon as you unscrew the silver top.
What’s in it:
Rose and geranium scent, plus carrot, coconut, olive, jojoba and rosehip oil, beeswax and Gotu Kola to restore elasticity and repair damage.
A little goes a long way with this. It isn’t particularly oily despite its consistency, but feels wonderfully hydrating and, on my very dry patches, instantly healing. I put a small dollop on my dry areas (knees and elbows) and spread it outwards. The smell is gorgeous if you like natural and fresh organic scents rather than richer musky fragrances - I stepped out in the world in an aromatherapy cloud.
This is a 100 per cent organic balm rich in essential oils and packaged in a recycled jar. Spiezia also works closely with the Made for Life Foundation which supports people with cancer. Although it's one of the pricier products on test, you're paying for quality and peace of mind.
I would happily pay for this as it worked wonders on my eczema patches and still felt indulgent thanks to the beautiful scent.
The Natural Spa Factory Body Lotion comes in a simple white and black pump-action bottle. The white lotion is very light, perfect for oily skin or if you’re on holiday somewhere warm. The fig scent is stronger than the vanilla which gives it quite a summery vibe.
What’s in it?
The main hydrating ingredients include sweet almond oil, jojoba, vitamin E and honey - no wonder it smells so sweet! As with all Natural Spa Factory products the lotion is free from parabens, SLS and other nasties. They also don’t test products or ingredients on animals.
Natural Spa Factory suggest using the lotion after a bath or shower, massaging it all over the body in upward strokes. As it’s very light, the Fig and Vanilla Body Lotion is a great one to use if you’re rushing out of the house.
My skin was softer and suppler after use. The lotion sinks in quickly and dries naturally without leaving a sheen.
The Natural Spa Factory lotion is very good value for money for a spa product. The 250ml bottle lasts (I’ve been using it for a month and it’s still going strong) and it works well on my oily skin type.
The body lotion is great value for money and if you liked the scent it would be a clear winner. I might stash it away for summer when I can wear it under a sun dress…
The hydrating body milk comes in a blue squeezy tube with simple, clear Thalgo branding – nicely unpretentious. The cream itself is white and relatively light so rubs in easily without feeling greasy.
What’s in it?
The ingredients list is substantial at 47 entries long. There are six different oils to hydrate including sweet almond, sunflower seed and olive and true to Thalgo’s marine nature there’s sea water, marine algae and seaweed extracts, too.
Thalgo recommends applying the cream focusing on rough, dry areas. I stepped out of the shower, dried off and applied the cream - taking time to massage it into my drier elbows and arms.
My skin was instantly softer and suppler. Although the product is designated as good for dry and sensitive skin, my oily skin soaked up the hydration. There was no greasy film, my skin just looked and felt healthier. The scent of the cream is deliciously coastal – it smells of a long walk on a blustery beach.
Although it isn’t the largest bottle in our test, I think the 200ml bottle does represent good value for money. The cream is very hydrating without being thick so you only need to use a little to feel the effects.
I really like the Cold Cream Marine Body Milk. It’s simple, effective and smells beautiful. I’ve used it in the depths of a UK winter but also taken it on holiday to 40+ degrees and it’s worked just as well. I will definitely buy this when mine runs out.