I’m very good about moisturizing my face, but I can’t say the same about the rest of my body. The act of applying lotion feels so arduous, especially in the winter when only the most intense creams get my dry skin to stay hydrated. I hate rubbing on cold gloppy moisturizer right after a hot shower, then feeling my pajamas (or, worse, jeans) uncomfortably stick to my limbs after.
But when the temperatures drop (and my apartment’s heat goes up), my skin seriously suffers, so I vowed to find a solution this year. I tried wet-skin moisturizers, hydrating bodywashes, and tons of well-reviewed lotions, but they were all too laborious, too greasy, or too ineffective. I gave up and resigned myself to a lifetime of scaly calves. Then I was sent a sample of Kate McLeod’s Body Stone — essentially a bar of lotion — that the Cut’s beauty director, Kathleen Hou, enticingly described as “a solid, smooth mound of moisturizing butter, a mixture of shea and other fragrant oils, roughly the size of a Levain Bakery cookie.” For once, I couldn’t wait to moisturize after a shower.
The Body Stone comes in a handsome reusable bamboo canister, and the slab is wrapped in linen to keep it dry and sanitary. The ingredients are clean and sustainable, full of things like cocoa butter, avocado oil, and coconut oil, plus a mix of essential oils. Before rubbing it on my skin, I warmed up the palm-size stone in my hands, and I was surprised by how quickly it softened up. It’s similar to what I would imagine smearing a nice hunk of butter all over my body might feel like. It practically melted into my skin, and it absorbed quickly, too. The whole process was calming and meditative, and I went to bed that night relaxed — and, more important, moisturized.
I immediately got one for my mom, who has the same qualms about body lotion as I do, and she loved the Body Stone so much she suggested we buy it for her mom — my nana — for her 88th birthday. When I saw my grandmother a week after she received it, she too raved about it. She told me it works just as well on her considerably dry skin as the dermatologist-recommended brands she has used for years, like AmLactin and Cetaphil. And unlike those drippy formulas, she loves the decidedly un-messy process of using the stone.
I’ve found that a full-size stone lasts three or so months, and minis — which my grandmother prefers, because they’re easier to grip — last about a month. And while my nana is partial to the Sleep Stone, infused with relaxing ingredients like lavender, I prefer the Daily Stone, the original formulation with a subtle scent of rose. Meanwhile, my mom swears by the Naked Stone, smelling of cacao and vanilla. (For the fragrance-averse, there’s also an unscented option.)
At $45, the Body Stone might be more than you’d care to spend on body lotion for yourself, though it’s a splurge that’s worth it for me. But that’s what makes it such a good gift: Not only does it look, smell, and feel nice, but the product works — three generations of lotion-averse women in my family can’t get enough of it. None of us have skipped a day since we each started using it, and I’m already thinking about who to give it to next … after I buy another for myself.
Editor’s note: You can order this three-piece sampler set now, but it won’t ship out until February.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.