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Why Body Butters Are Boss In Winter

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    Ashlee Piper, the lady behind the eco-conscious blog The Little Foxes, is a staunch supporter of cruelty-free living. But even if you're not ready to adopt a vegan lifestyle, Ashlee's on hand for everything from spotting animal products in your shampoo to the best natural mascaras on the market.
    So, there’s a lot of chatter about body butters, but do you actually know why they can be your skin’s savior once the holiday lights go up? Allow me to drop a little knowledge and share some of my favorite natural (read: no chemical crap), cruelty-free, and vegan butters that will keep your skin salved and supple all winter long.

    Why You’re Dry
    While everyone has differing skin types and genetics, winter dryness can be attributed to a few key culprits:
    -Indoor heating creates a jarringly dry environ for sensitive skin.
    -Blustery winter winds and chills can dry out and even burn skin.
    -The inclination to thaw out in hot baths and showers exacerbates the dryness and further parches skin.
    -Not drinking enough water — because winter temps don’t exactly have you begging for a big slurp of cold water.

    When Lotion Doesn’t Cut It
    Don’t get me wrong — lotion is AWESOME. Traditionally a mix of oils and water, lotion is great for maintaining healthy hydration (pending your skin is already in a happy place, like in the summer and spring) without shrouding you in a cloak of greasiness because lotion formulas tend to absorb more quickly due to high water content. So yeah, hooray for lotions! But, when it’s 7 degrees outside, the wind is whipping you around on your commute, and you spend all day in a stuffy office with forced-air heat, you’re going to need something more…intensive. Enter, body butter.

    Aside from the totally delicious name, body butters are traditionally a water-free blend of humectant-rich oils and natural butters or balms (think: shea, coconut, avocado, non-GMO soy wax, etc). In order to moisturize skin effectively, a product must have humectants, which create a barrier against water loss and can actually assist in attracting additional hydration to the lipid barrier. Body butters are a thicker, richer way to hydrate and protect from moisture loss. Due to the absence of water, butters are less likely to evaporate or require preservatives.

    How Best to Use Body Butter
    My favorite way to banish winter dryness is to scrub dry skin using a sugar-and oil-based exfoliant, focusing extra attention on all of those scaly and oft exposed bits (I’m lookin’ at you, elbows and hands). Rinse the exfoliant away, emerge from the shower, pat your hot bod dry, and apply a body oil (I like avocado oil) to damp skin. Once oil has soaked in, layer on the body butter. Don’t expect immediate absorption, either. While body butters might make pulling on your skinny jeans a challenge of Olympic proportions, the barrier they provide against windburn and winter dryness is priceless.

    Ahead, some of my absolute favorite body butters that I’ve been putting to the test year-after-year.

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