There was this time when I was hanging out with a childhood friend a few years ago, and she made this random comment about knees.
She said something like, “you know, the way our knees look now, when we are standing.” We were still in our early 40s, and I had not really thought to inspect my knees yet. So I bent over and sadly enough, there it was. A crepey knee. Two of them, in fact.
It was the first of many changes heralding oncoming middle age. As more time passes, so go the other body parts. Crepey, saggy, freckled, jiggly… just like my own set of Snow White dwarves (with the last three of the seven named dry, dry and you got it, dry). This has all led me to explore new realms of the beauty market, one of them being the category of anti-aging body lotions.
Up until a few years ago, I had no idea that anti-aging body lotions were a thing. Oh to be young and blissfully ignorant again. But since we cannot rewind time, I thought maybe you would like to see a rundown of things I’ve tried in case you are disappointed by your own knees.
Products are listed starting with the most expensive product, based on price per ounce.
Chantecaille Retinol Body Treatment
$102 for 6.8 oz
Retinol is the main active ingredient in this luxury lotion. It has a light floral scent and it absorbs very quickly. It’s very effective in smoothing out dry or patchy skin texture. However, it’s not very moisturizing, and its watery consistency makes it difficult to control how little you might want to use at a time. This is not a small factor for such an expensive tube, as you may pour out more than you want each time. I might treat myself once a year or so to a tube, but it isn’t something I could put on repeat-purchase.
fresh Black Tea Antioxidant Body Cream
$68 for 6.7 oz
I love this so much, I would buy this routinely even though it is expensive. It is richly emollient yet easy to absorb, and the black tea scent is unique and pleasing without being overwhelming. The fragrance and high moisturizing level are a great combination, and on top of that, it noticeably restores elasticity and smoothness to your skin. The main ingredients of black tea and other plant extracts are non-irritating (unlike retinol or acids), so I think most people could use it without any problems. I alternate using this with an inexpensive drugstore body lotion, just to stretch the bottle as long as possible.
Necessaire Body Serum
$45 for 5.1 oz
I am a sucker for branding, and I love Necessaire’s packaging. The bottle is so sleek and cool, and makes my bathroom feel very aspirational. I even have to put my toothpaste tube in a drawer so it doesn’t feel bad about itself. But ultimately the active ingredients of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B do not noticeably smooth my dry patches, and its serum formulation (a lightweight gel) requires another layer of a different lotion for actual moisturizing. I do like that it is relatively scent free, but I won’t be repurchasing this one.
Arcona Pumpkin Body Lotion 10%
$35 for 4.05 oz
The active ingredients in this product are pumpkin extract and glycolic acid, and it’s a very effective treatment lotion for rough, dry patches. It is quite a thin liquid, but more controllable in its pump format (vs a tube, like the Chantecaille Retinol Lotion). If you have very dry skin, you would likely need an additional thicker cream on top of this lotion. Also, the pumpkin scent is very forward, maybe slightly aggressive. If you are pining for the Thanksgiving feels, this is your product.
Lancer The Method: Body Nourish
$75 for 12 oz
Although the fresh Black Tea Antioxidant Body Cream is an absolute pleasure to use, this Lancer body cream is the one I buy the most. The $75 price tag is high, but you get quite a bit of product and one jar will last for months and months. Very little is needed when applying, and it has a thick velvety consistency that melts easily into your skin and provides long lasting moisture. The active ingredient is also glycolic acid, and you definitely see the changes in skin texture after a few uses. However, this cream is not appropriate for anyone with very sensitive skin, and also should be avoided if your skin has any scratches or small cuts, as it will sting like a mf. The scent isn’t very pleasing, maybe a bit medicinal, but it’s not a deal breaker. This is a fantastically potent solution for those with very dry skin, at a reasonable price per ounce.
Ren AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum
$42 for 6.8 oz
This body serum from Ren has lactic acid as its main ingredient, with a fluid-like consistency rather than a gel or lotion. It absorbs very quickly and produces noticeable change, but does not provide any significant moisture. The citrus scent is strong, and I think whether or not you would enjoy or repurchase this product would hinge heavily upon this one factor. If you are not a fan of strong scents, but lactic acid is your preferred active ingredient, then something like Amlactin might be an equally effective and more reasonably priced product.
Do you have any follow up questions or comments? Or do you have your own favorite product recommendations to share? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to hear from you. 🖤
(All products tested were purchased and paid for by FUTURE LYNN. Links embedded will direct to the manufacturer’s sites, but you can also shop these products from retailers like Nordstrom or Sephora).
main photo credit: Denise Iwamoto, @denisetakespics