If Your Body Lotion Doesn’t Contain Acids, You’re Missing Out

Exfoliating Body Lotions

We’re selective about the formulas we use on our hair, skin, and nails. The Spotlyte 7TM highlights recently-released and/or noteworthy products you can add to your makeup bag, one day at a time. Let’s go shopping.

Raise your hand if you use chemical exfoliants on a regular basis. Now, keep it raised if you use acids on your entire body. Admittedly, it’s unrealistic to maintain a body care routine that’s as extensive as our face care routine (though it is possible; read about one writer’s experience here). It is easy, however, to gently exfoliate dry, dull limbs with the help of an acid-spiked body lotion (i.e. one containing AHA and/or BHA). 

Chemical exfoliants work by loosening dead skin cells — cells that might otherwise leave skin looking dull. Furthermore, as we age, our cell turnover slows, making it even more important to exfoliate. Below, 7 formulas that fit the aforementioned qualifications, from ultra-rich creams to light-as-air lotions. Lest we forget: in addition to sloughing dry, flaky skin, they’ll impart moisture, too. Consider it a win-win for your body’s skin. 

The delectably-scented Arcona® Pumpkin Body Lotion 10% ($35) is the perfect choice to slather on in fall, as it contains real pumpkin in two forms: pumpkin seed oil hydrates and leaves skin luminous; pumpkin enzyme work to gently exfoliate. A healthy dose of glycolic acid aids the latter in increasing cell turnover. 

Fans of shea butter will love the emollient texture of SLMD® Glycolic Acid Body Lotion ($35), which relies on the vitamin E-rich ingredient to impart skin suppleness. The lotion also contains glycolic acid, which leaves skin noticeably smoother after a single use.

We’d be remiss not to mention drugstore classic brand, AmLactin®. The latest formula, dubbed the Rapid Relief Lotion ($24), balances the namesake AHA with three ceramides, which work to protect and repair the delicate skin barrier. As you might recall, the barrier is essential for healthy-looking skin.

Don’t be fooled by the name: The consistency of Ren® AHA Smart RenewalTM Body Serum ($45) is more akin to a lotion than a serum. 10 percent AHA (specifically lactic acid) functions as the exfoliator, while xylitol helps the skin maintain its moisture levels.

If you’re looking for a richly-textured lotion, consider the SkinFix® Resurface +TM AHA Renewing Cream ($45). The formula has a zesty aroma, thanks to an infusion of lime extract. In addition to providing scent, the blend also lends exfoliating AHA properties. Willow bark extract works in tandem to slough away dead skin.

For skin that’s excessively winterworn, consider Eucerin® Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion ($10). The ultra-rich formula provides instant relief, thanks in part to water-loving glycerin. The formula is also fragrance and dye free, so the risk of further irritating parched skin is markedly low. 

Usually, salicylic acid is uttered in the same breath as spot treatments and acne cleanser. Paula’s Choice® Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA ($28) is neither of those, yet it does rely on BHA to treat body blemishes. The formula is lightweight, fragrance-free, and noncomedogenic.