this thing's incredible

If You Find Skin Food Too Heavy, Might I Suggest Skin Food Light?

I’ve started thinking of it as Diet Skin Food. Photo: Courtesy of Weleda

You may have noticed (or possibly used) Skin Food well before 2019. The lime-green tubes have been a staple in makeup artists’ kits for years, long before Into the Gloss called it a La Mer dupe or Sweetbitter author Stephanie Danler wrote about hoarding it, and long before it made just about every best-of beauty list.

I was a bit surprised by how Skin Food exploded last year, because while it smells sublime, like citrus and wildflowers and maybe a whiff of palo santo, this is an extremely heavy cream. I’ve used it for years on dry skin, and I can say that if you were to use it on your face, as Danler recommends, it absolutely will illuminate your cheekbones because it’s frankly kind of greasy. During the winter months, my skin, especially on my elbows, welcomes the weight of Skin Food. During the warmer months, though, no can do. So I considered it a tiny beauty miracle — a direct answer to my unvoiced request — that Weleda, maker of Skin Food, recently released a lighter formula.

It began a few years ago, when Weleda’s CEO traveled around to health-food stores — Erewhon in California, Pharmaca in Colorado — and got the directive to “make more Skin Food” from just about every store owner he met. Diet Skin Food, as I’ve taken to calling it in my head, retains the best qualities of the original (the smell, and the virtuous feeling that comes with slathering your pores with restorative, puréed plants), but goes on more like a typical lotion than a thick goo. Both products have calendula, pansy, and chamomile (which get biodynamically harvested, just like your New Age wine) but, crucially, the light cream doesn’t contain the oil and beeswax base of the original. Thus: Skin Food Light is still nourishing enough to quench dry skin, still delicious-smelling in that lightly medicinal way, but free of the sticky residue regular Skin Food can leave behind. I’ve taken to using Light in the morning, when I need a less melty base to last me through the day, and Skin Food Heavy at night, like a botanical version of cold cream. I feel like a freshly watered plant, all the time.

Other Skin Food products I love


Weleda actually released Skin Food Light as part of a whole new family of Skin Food goods, which includes this tub of body butter. Because of the weight of regular Skin Food, I approached the butter with some trepidation— body lotion that sticks makes it near impossible to get dressed in a hurry. But this formulation goes on nice and easy, and reminds me more of Skin Trip, my lotion mainstay, than actual butter.


The tiniest member of the Skin Food family is the lip butter, and like its parent product, it smells better than most expensive candles. Also like Skin Food, it’s a deeply hydrating balm that’s jellylike but spreads on thinner than Aquaphor. I prefer lip balm with a tint during the day, but now keep this stuff on my nightstand, to cap off my nighttime Skin Food hydrating routine.

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If You Find Skin Food Too Heavy, How About Skin Food Light?