Body-Product Cocktailing For Every Annoying Skin Concern

According to a few mixologists we know, the best cocktails are greater than the sum of their parts. And since cocktails make everything a lot more fun, we decided to apply the same concept to how we use our skin-care products.

Like the ingredients in a great mixed drink, the products ahead stand on their own, but pack a far more potent punch when combined. Applied in the right order, the proper medley of moisturizers, creams, and gels can enhance and augment one another — helping eradicate, or at least lessen, a variety of persistent skin issues.

You might have tried product cocktailing on your face in the past, but this time we're talking about the skin below the neck. We'll avoid a body-shot joke here and instead introduce the experts who helped us craft these unique recipes.

We asked two top dermatologists — Jody Levine, MD, and Jessica Weiser, MD — to play bartender to some common beauty woes. They result? Several product cocktails that just might help you buckle down on bacne or put a stop to dry, scaly legs.

Keep on reading for 10 pressing skin concerns and the best fix-it cocktail for each — none of which require an Uber ride home.
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The Concern: Scaly, dry legs
The Cocktail: Razor + Glycolic Acid + Ceramide Moisturizer

Prep your dry, winter-whipped stems for shorts season with this triple threat: “First, use a moisturizing razor like Venus & Olay’s to buff away dead skin cells,” says Dr. Levine. Follow up your smooth shave by chemically exfoliating with glycolic acid (Lancer’s texture-improving treatment boasts 10%). End with a nourishing moisturizer that helps prevent the loss of water through your skin thanks to ceramides — a type of lipid found in cell membranes.

Shopping List: Gillette Venus & Olay Razor, $10.99, available at Target; Lancer The Method: Body Nourish, $65, available at Lancer Skincare; First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, $30, available at Sephora.
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The Concern: Bacne (or any other body breakout)
The Cocktail: Benzoyl Peroxide Wash + Salicylic Acid Spray

Whether sweaty workouts or hormones are to blame for the clogged pores and pesky breakouts on your back, both are annoying — and highly inconvenient during the warmer season. To combat bacne, lather up with an antimicrobial benzoyl peroxide body wash to kill bacteria. Then, apply a salicylic acid toner like Murad’s 360-degree treatment spray, which targets hard-to-reach areas. “Salicylic acid sloughs off dead skin cells that contribute to acne and helps with dry sebaceous secretions,” says Dr. Levine.

Shopping List: Humane Acne Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10%, $21.95, available at Amazon; Murad Clarifying Body Spray, $40, available at Murad.
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The Concern: Cellulite
The Cocktail: Hyaluronic Acid + Self-Tanner or Body Makeup

Few of us are immune to cellulite, so if you can’t fully embrace the dimply skin on your thighs, you might wish to minimize its appearance with Dr. Levine’s clever combo. “First, apply a humectant with hyaluronic acid, which brings moisture into the skin to plump it up,” she says. “Finish with a spray tan or self-tanner to disguise the cellulite.” We suggest Bliss’ body spray, which packs the double whammy of a buildable tint and collagen-promoting ingredients. Pro tip: If you aren't into self-tanner or you have a deep skin tone, simply swap in body makeup that either matches your complexion or is one shade darker (if you want to fake a summer glow). We like Sally Hansen's Leg Makeup and MAC's Face and Body Makeup, which is often used backstage during Fashion Week.

Shopping List: Nip + Fab Hyaluronic Body Gel, $13, available at Asos; Bliss Hide & Glow Sleek, $38, available at Ulta Beauty.
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The Concern: Darker pigmentation on knees and elbows
The Cocktail: Urea Cream + Retexturing Gel

A quick Google search yields numerous at-home remedies for "dark knees and elbows," like applying baking soda or lemon juice. But according to Dr. Weiser, “darkened knees are usually due to friction that causes thickening of the skin’s surface, so targeting pigmentation isn’t as effective. The most important factor is avoiding kneeling, rubbing, scratching, or any other form of friction on the knees.” If you insist on trying a topical treatment, however, use a cream made with urea, an ingredient that dissolves excess dead skin cells, and a retexturing treatment that exfoliates surface cells. “This allows skin to soften and resume normal consistency and texture,” says Dr. Weiser.

Shopping List: DERMAdoctor KP Duty® Lotion, $38, available at Sephora; SkinCeuticals Body Retexturing Treatment, $60, available at SkinCeuticals.
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The Concern: Spider veins
The Cocktail: Body Moisturizer + Self-Tanner or Body Makeup

If your feelings toward spider veins land somewhere between not quite wanting to zap them and not feeling ready to flaunt them, Dr. Levine’s easy camouflaging trick may come in handy: “Mask any spider veins with a self-tanner. Then use a moisturizer to optimize the skin and give the area a nice shine, so varicosities are not as obvious.” James Read’s double-duty self-tanner is infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, while Fig + Yarrow’s emollient blend of oils will lend your gams just the right amount of sheen. Again, if you don't love the look of self-tanner simply opt for body makeup. (Suggestions on slide three.)

Shopping List: James Read Gradual Day Tan, $45, available at Sephora; Fig + Yarrow Bath + Body Oil, $48, available at Fig + Yarrow.
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The Concern: Eczema
The Cocktail: Ceramide Cream + Calendula + Hyaluronic Acid

Though you should always consult with your own dermatologist for a condition like eczema, Dr. Weiser generally recommends a trio of products to treat the itchy, inflamed patches of skin: “You need a ceramide-rich moisturizing cream that replaces the ceramide proteins depleted from your skin’s barrier. That’ll help restore and repair skin. You also need a calendula cream or ointment to reduce redness, inflammation, and irritation, as well as hyaluronic acid — a large molecule that pulls and maintains water at the skin surface to help hydrate and repair the barrier.” Then, just layer 'em on!

Shopping List: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, $11.69, available at Target; Jurlique Calendula Cream, $37, available at Jurlique; Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum, $69, available at Pestle & Mortar.
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The Concern: Psoriasis
The Cocktail: Cortisone Cream + Salicylic Acid + Coal Tar

Once they're approved by your derm, you can take on those itchy, flaky, sore patches with Dr. Weiser's mix of medicated products. “Use an anti-inflammatory agent, such as topical cortisone cream, to help reduce redness by calming the immune reaction,” she says. “Be cautious about not overusing cortisone creams, as they can thin the skin and cause fragility in the treated area.” Also in your skin-care regimen? Salicylic acid to remove excess dead skin cells and soften white scales, as well as a coal tar-based product (a topical treatment often used to treat the condition) that should help regulate skin turnover and calm actively inflamed lesions.

Shopping List: Topix Derma Topix Aloe Cort Cream, $19.50, available at DermStore; TriDerma Psoriasis Control Face, Scalp, and Body Lotion, $6.89, available at Target; Elta MD Elta Tar, $43.20, available at DermStore.
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The Concern: Cracked heels and elbows
The Cocktail: Urea Cream + Glycolic Acid + Body Oil

Before your excessively dry heels and elbows start to harden, crack, and scar, treat them with a potent mix of products. “Try a urea-based cream to break down excess keratin or dead skin cells,” says Dr. Weiser. “Then use a glycolic-acid cleanser or cream for exfoliation, followed by natural oils such as almond, grape-seed, and avocado — which will penetrate more deeply for better hydration.” Beautycounter’s nourishing body oil, a blend of pure essential oils, instantly absorbs into the thicker skin of heels and elbows.

Shopping List: Excipial Intensive Healing Cream, $17.29, available at Soap; Cane + Austin Body Retexture Pad, $70, available at SpaceNK; Beautycounter Lustro Body Oil, $73, available at Beautycounter.
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The Concern: Scars
The Cocktail: Silicone Cream + Sunscreen + Hydroquinone

Though results would vary depending on the severity of your scars, it's possible to fade certain marks at home over time. The first thing you’ll need in your arsenal is a cream made with silicone — the best ingredient for scars since it’s semipermeable, allowing oxygen to penetrate and heal the area. Dr. Levine also suggests a lightening agent with hydroquinone, a skin-bleaching ingredient. “Apply both twice a day,” she says. During the day, you’ll also want excellent sun protection, like Coola’s deeply moisturizing sunscreen with SPF 30, to prevent the pigmentation of scar tissue.

Shopping List: Honeydew Pure Scar Cream, $18.77, available at Amazon; Coola Body SPF 30 Unscented Moisturizer, $32, available at Coola; Skin Beauty Solutions Skin Whitening Hydroquinone Treatment, $36.99, available at Amazon.
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The Concern: Stretch marks
The Cocktail: Retinol + Moisturizer + Bronzer

To help fade stretch marks without the help of laser treatments, Dr. Levine recommends a three-pronged attack. “Twice a day, you should treat the affected area with a retinol and a moisturizer to plump up the skin,” she says. (Retinol products like Chantecaille’s can enhance collagen production and help even out pigmentation over time.) Hitting the beach or pool? Conceal the marks with a believable-looking bronzer, such as Benefit’s matte formula, which lasts for up to 12 hours.

Shopping List: Chantecaille Retinol Body Treatment, $96, available at Nordstrom; StriVectin SD Advanced™ Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks, $79, available at StriVectin; Benefit Hoola Zero Tanline Body Bronzer, $30, available at Benefit.
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