Baby, it’s cold outside! And while there are many joys to wintry weather, my skin doesn’t relish the season the same way my spirit does. But I’ll admit, there is a silver lining. I take the plummeting temps as an opportunity to spend even more time on my skin and body care routines. Summer’s skinimalism is out and in its place is winter skin that needs some serious nourishing. As a proactive step, I’m loading up on the best body butters for the ultimate skin-smoothing routine.

A wintertime skincare routine is essential. It doesn’t just keep flaky skin at bay, but it helps nourish your body’s microbiome and prevent premature aging. Crepey, cracked skin is one thing, but fundamentally dehydrated skin is another. Thankfully, you can rehab parched skin with a little TLC—or a lot of body butter.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

What is body butter?

Body butter is the ultimate balm for dry skin. Full of vitamins A and E and omega-3 fatty acids, body butter helps rejuvenate skin elasticity to fight premature aging. All these nourishing vitamins and fatty acids keep your skin cell membranes healthy to lock in moisture and create a protective barrier around the layers of your skin.

But is a body butter suitable for everyone? The thick, occlusive formulas of body butters deeply feed your skin—but can they clog your pores? Some people shy away from body butters for fear of too much of a good thing. To get to the bottom of it, I spoke to an expert who happens to be the founder of my personal favorite body butter brands. Naa-Sakle Akuete, CEO & Founder of Eu’Genia Shea, a family-founded brand dedicated to empowering women through the sale of raw shea butter.

Read on for all you need to know before diving into the wide and moisturizing world of body butters. From the best ingredients to who body butters are for, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. Plus, scroll to the end to find the right body butter for you.

Naa-Sakle Akuete
  • Instagram

Founder of Eu’Genia Shea

Image by Michelle Nash

The Difference Between a Body Butter and a Body Cream

Body lotions, butters, and creams, oh my! But how do you tell the difference—and how do you pick which one to use?

“Body butter has a concentrated balm-like consistency that deeply moisturizes and is used mainly on target areas of concern,” says Akuete. “A cream has a lotion-like consistency and can be more readily spread onto the skin.”

The Best Ingredient to Look For

According to Akuete, “You want ingredients that are non-comedogenic (like shea butter), and within shea butter, you’ll want unrefined (the refining process strips the shea of its natural color, scent, and often vitamins).”

Other nourishing ingredients to look for include:

  • Jojoba Butter
  • Cupuaçu Butter
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Honey
  • Phytosterols (a type of plant-based oil)
Image by Belathée Photography

Ingredients to Avoid

“Look out for ingredients that can clog your pores and ingredients that may have negative impacts on your system,” says Akuete. Ingredients to stay away from include:

  • Fragrance + Parfum
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)

Who should use a body butter?

If you’re new to this area of body care, don’t be intimidated! Instead, relish the transformation your skin will likely undergo when you incorporate a lush blend of natural butters and oils into your skin care habits. Whether you’re starting from zero or seeking a better butter for your skin, there’s always room for one in your routine.

“Body butter can be used by everyone,” says Akuete. “Especially those with intense skin concerns like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Even people with oily skin and acne can benefit from using body butter, so long as the products don’t clog pores.”

Image by Belathée Photography

When should you use body butter in your routine?

Body butters lock in moisture, so they’re best used directly after a shower—or a long soak in the bath. You can also use it on any especially dry areas whenever they need some love. Think elbows, hands, knees, and heels.

“I use Eu’Genia body butters when I’ve gotten out of the shower or washed my hands,” says Akuete. “The Eu’Genia balms came in especially handy when I was pregnant with my daughter—my belly is completely stretch mark free!”

The Best Body Butters for Smoother, Softer Skin

Craving the soft, hydrated skin these heavy-hitting products guarantee? Look no further.

Every product is curated with care by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Eu’Genia Shea Butter

The least intimidating way to use a body butter is this pure shea butter formula. “If you’re nervous about trying [a body butter] for the first time,” says Akuete, “I’d recommend the Eu’Genia Dermatological Formula, which is great for people with sensitive skin.”


Weleda Skin Food Body Butter

You probably have—or are currently coveting—the cult-favorite Weleda Skin Food hand lotion. Take your skincare a step further with some full-body moisturization to help nourish your skin.


54 Thrones Ugandan Vanilla + Ethiopian Honey Beauty Butter

This luxe body butter uses ingredients sourced in Africa to give your skin the ultimate glow. This vanilla and honey scented version smells as delicious as it sounds.


OSEA Malibu Undaria Algae Body Butter

Draw moisture from the sea with this algae-based body butter made of clean, Malibu-inspired ingredients.


Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Smoothing Body Butter

I grew up on Vaseline cocoa butter so I consider this thicker and more intense version a must-have body product.


Bliss Naked Body Butter

Bliss offers high-quality products at an affordable price. The perfect example? This unscented body butter that offers premium hydration.


Ingredients Wellness Shea Butter Stick

This organic raw Shea Butter and Beeswax formula is a convenient and nourishing balm for the skin. The innovative packaging makes it ideal for on-the-go hydration like after washing hands or for use on chapped lips and drier areas of your body.


Paula’s Choice Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter

Paula’s Choice puts out hit after hit and this body butter is no exception. Superstar ingredients include shea butter, avena sativa kernel extract, avocado oil, squalane, and jojoba butter.


Buttah Skin Whipped Body Butter

Made with virgin organic unrefined shea butter from Africa, this whipped butter goes on smooth and light without sacrificing nourishment.


Farmacy Honey Butter Body

Honey is a powerful ingredient for your skin, adding its own anti-inflammatory properties to the antioxidant- and vitamin-rich properties of most body butters. This formula combines the benefits of both to create a skin-smoothing concoction.


Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

Made of pure, whipped argan oil, this body butter is a luxe and lightweight option for anyone intimidated by thicker body butters.


MUTHA Body Butter

This celeb-loved body butter is worth the hype. Its creamy texture and nourishing ingredient list feed the skin with hydrating and anti-aging properties.


Kopari Beauty Ultra Restore Body Butter

Fortified with hyaluronic acid, this Kopari Beauty favorite intensely hydrates the skin from within.


Moroccan Oil Body Butter Moisturizer

You probably know Moroccan Oil for their hair products, but turn your attention to this body butter. Its key ingredients, argan oil and hyaluronic acid, give you a moisturized glow from head to toe.


True Botanicals Pure Radiance Body Butter

True Botanicals maximizes the benefits of natural ingredients for your skin. This botanical butter is rich with plant-based nutrients that deliver smoother, healthier skin.


Kiehls Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter

Shea Butter and Jojoba Butter combine with soy milk and honey for this lush but light whipped butter that goes on smooth and absorbs fast for instant replenishing.


Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Body Cream

Who can resist a classic? Thanks to TikTok, this forever-favorite is having a renaissance. Enjoy its signature scent combined with the moisturizing powers of cupuaçu butter, açaí oil, and coconut oil.


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