Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm and Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous. While we love so many of them, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our series Cult Classics, in which we introduce you to the products you really, truly should know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but trust us: They've got staying power.
With everything I put my body through in the summer (waxing, shaving, sweating, swimming, self-tanner), by September, it tends to have had enough. Every year, I'm faced with bumps on my bikini line, bumps on my upper back, bumps on my chest — you get the not-so-pretty picture. But this year, I did something different, and, man, did it make all the difference. After becoming obsessed with Kate Somerville Exfolikate — a chemical and physical exfoliator for the face — I decided to give the body treatment a whirl. At first I thought it was just going to be the same formula in a bigger tube. But that's not exactly the case. While the two share some core ingredients like papaya and pumpkin enzymes, lactic acid, rosewood, cinnamon, aloe vera, honey, and vitamin E, the body treatment has the added benefit of salicylic acid, microbeads, caffeine, bergamot, and lavender to really target bumps, stimulate microcirculation, and leave the body feeling smooth and moisturized. The biggest difference, though, is the way it looks and feels. The dense, orange-colored scrub has gentle exfoliators but doesn't feel like one of those wimpy body scrubs that's not doing anything. As you rub, it sloughs dry skin while creating a warming sensation that is just about the most amazing thing ever — and something I can't wait to experience going into fall and winter. A little bit goes a long way, which helps justify the steep price tag. (My tube lasted three full months.) To get the most use out of it, it's important to turn off the shower or step out of the stream for a few moments to really let the fruit, glycolic, and lactic acids eat up those dead skin cells. Then, as you rinse, the bergamot and lavender oils leave the skin feeling smooth and silky, so you don't have to go in with loads of lotion to counteract all the scrubbing you just did. I've been using it regularly for three months and haven't spotted a single bump or dry patch. (In fact, I just ran out of my tube last week and, in the absence of three applications, noticed a tiny bump appear on my chest. Ah!) If you're looking for a scrub to reset your summer sins and keep you smooth and hydrated into fall, this is it. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Body Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, $65, available at Sephora.