W SELECTS

Nécessaire’s Body Serum Is an Ultra-Hydrating Alternative to Lotion

This lightweight, unscented gel is the perfect way to moisturize on hot summer days.


When it comes to selecting a body moisturizer, I have two main criteria: First, and most important, it can’t leave me feeling sticky or greasy. I cringe just thinking about the feeling of pulling on a pair of pants and having them cling to my lotion-y legs. Especially when it’s hot out. Second, no scent. I’m big on keeping it neutral most days—and when I do wear perfume, I’d rather it shine on its own, uninterrupted.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that it’s surprisingly difficult to find products that tick both of these boxes. Eucerin’s skin calming cream does the trick, but it contains mineral oil and parabens that I’d rather not get into the habit of slathering all over my limbs. A light, all-natural body oil can be a nice occasional treat, but it still feels a bit too decadent for everyday use—and more like it’s adding a layer of sheen than actually hydrating my skin.

So when I heard the clean beauty brand Nécessaire had launched an unscented body serum, I jumped at the chance to try it. I already like to opt for applying only serum instead of heavier creams to my face when it’s warm out, why not do the same for my body? Maybe this would be my non-sticky hydration white whale.

Called simply “The Body Serum” and packaged in an elegant cylinder with a pump top, it contains glycerin, niacinamide, aloe leaf juice, and five molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that effectively delivers moisture to the skin; an acid with a heavier molecular weight sits closer to the skin’s surface, while lighter ones can penetrate deeper. So, the dermatological thinking goes, a formula that contains various molecular weights of the compound can hydrate the different levels of your epidermis more effectively.

The formula is best described as a “serum-y gel.” It’s more translucent than your typical cream, and it feels light and pillowy in the palm of your hand. Applied to either wet or dry skin, it absorbs instantly—with not even an iota of residue or aroma left behind—and adds a noticeable dose of moisture. My skin feels soft and silky, and it even looks a little bit glow-y. It is, and I don’t say this lightly, the perfect summer body lotion.

No more wriggling my sticky self into jeans or waiting around in my underwear for half an hour so I won’t worry about ruining my silk skirt with remnants of my body oil. Just a product doing what it’s supposed to do.