In college, I had the reputation for having ashy skin (the whitish look dark skin takes on when it's dry). My friends thought it was hilarious that I could write my name in my leg with my fingernail. Cute, right?

My dry skin problem stems not from a health condition, the weather, or too many hot showers. If I'm being totally honest, then I have to tell you it's from pure laziness. I just don't enjoy putting on lotion. Most moisturizers leave me feeling like a big, slick mess, and since I shower at night, applying them so close to bedtime meant getting grease all over my sheets (ugh!). Plus, in my case, I've always had to apply multiple coats to see real results.

So when I was asked to try La Belle Femme Body Butter—a product to be featured in the March ESSENCE BeautyBox—I thought to myself, “Great, another product that won’t work.”

Photo: Courtesy of La Belle Femme

I could not have been more wrong. In fact, I was blown away.

The natural blend of vegan butters, organic oils, and essential oils makes this moisturizer different than any other I have tried. The Pomegranate Kiss scent combines pomegranate top notes with lemon verbena, cinnamon, and vanilla to create a transformative aroma that could replace my perfume.

But, even better than the scent is the fact that La Belle Femme actually works. Per the package directions, I applied the butter to my skin as soon as I got out of the shower. One swipe with my finger was all that was needed to quench my skin’s thirst. “We’ll see in the morning,” I smugly thought to myself. My landlord keeps the thermostat set at "Antarctica," so I just knew I’d wake up with ultra-dry skin once again.

Wrong. I woke up with my skin still feeling velvety-smooth to the touch. Unfortunately, the scent had worn off, but hey the butter did its job. As someone who never tries new beauty products—especially moisturizers—I was completely happy with the results and I think I have found my new nightly ritual. (Well, except on those days when I want to show off my leg-drawing party trick.)

But don’t just take my word for; try it for yourself. You can get the La Belle Femme Body Butter and more great products delivered straight to your door monthly, by subscribing to the ESSENCE BeautyBox. This new subscription box, curated by the editors of ESSENCE, addresses the unique challenges in finding a variety of beauty products for dark skin. The monthly box includes five new hair and beauty products, with one from an independent, Black-owned brand.