If buttery-soft skin is what you’re after, a good body lotion will do the trick.
Whether it’s in your arsenal for your post-shower pampering routine (which we highly recommend), an essential after a long day in the sun or the display piece that simply doesn’t leave your nightstand, some of the best body lotions are unmatched.
As one of the best products for dry skin, a quality body lotion will provide soothing relief for itchy, patchy and dull skin.
Luckily, we consulted three dermatologists to pull the best body lotions for dry skin, including recommended formulas for eczema and sensitive skin.
“It’s imperative that moisturizers like lotions are applied to the face and body daily,” Lian Mack, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, told the New York Post. “Using lotions helps to hydrate the skin by locking in moisture and protecting the skin barrier.”
Not to mention, when the skin is dry and dehydrated, it’s more likely to develop inflammatory conditions like eczema, she noted.
We tested the lion’s share of body lotions in the past three years to assemble our collection of the best ones we recommend. In addition, you’ll find an in-depth FAQ section detailing more about body lotions (and what to know).
Click to find the top body lotions our experts recommend, categorized by type:
best body lotion tested
Herbivore Cloud Milk Coconut + Maca Firming Body Cream
- Extremely indulgent to the fingertips and even more so on the body
- Suitable for sensitive and dry skin alike
- Partially firming and fast-absorbing
- Some may not like how emollient it is, though that’s due to preference
- Price point may not be reachable for some
The Herbivore Cloud Milk Coconut + Maca Firming Body Cream is an answered prayer to my dry and sensitive skin alike. Though a bit of a splurge at $40, it’s wholly worth it because of its deep and penetrative hydration; I always feel like I’m blanketing my skin in a nurturing salve.
As for ingredients, it contains coconut to hydrate with fatty acids, amino acids, electrolytes and vitamins. Maca helps smooth the look of cellulite and to firm the skin, while vegan squalane helps lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier.
I love how quickly it absorbs into my skin, too. I have deeply sensitive skin and this body cream-body butter is simply extraordinary. It’s my most-used body lotion — and one I’ve told everyone about.
Best Drugstore Body Lotion
Mario Badescu Coconut Body Butter
- Affordable price point
- Subtly nurtures the skin without an overpowering coconut scent
- Offers a natural glow to the skin
- May leave a subtly greasy residue if excess is used
The Mario Badescu Coconut Body Butter is less than $20 and the budget-friendly option I recommend to everyone who wants “the shower experience” without overspending more than they’d like to. It’s so lightweight, I find myself slathering it onto my arms, legs (and practically all over my body) to lock in moisture.
And — drumroll please — it leaves a natural glow to your skin without being shiny. Thanks to its inclusion of hyaluronic acid, I always know I’m benefiting my skin with this one product. “[Hyaluronic acid] can bind 1,000 times its weight in water, making it an ideal moisturizer,” Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a dual board-certified dermatologist and founder of NYC’s Mudgil Dermatology PC, once told me.
Best Body Lotion Worth the Splurge
La Mer The Body Creme
- Excellent value (because of its large size), despite the $300 price
- Lusciously rich and hydrating
- Good for dry and sensitive skin alike
- Price point may not be reachable for some
OK, I’m not *really* endorsing anyone to spend $300 on a body lotion but, if you have the urge, you have to pick up the La Mer The Body Creme. Hint hint: it makes an extraordinary luxury gift for anyone you know who loves a self-care moment.
If I had to pinpoint a body cream that’s surely worth the money, it’s the lavish La Mer formula. You’ll never feel more like royalty than you would with its ample nourishment, silky smooth texture and lovely (yet subtle) scent.
Uniquely, it includes miracle broth.This is the sourced from “the pristine waters off of Vancouver Island” that’s one of the “fastest-growing plants in the world, with exceptional self-regenerating powers,” per the product’s description.
It comes in a larger-than-life tub, which makes it a wonderful value for your money — despite its high ticket price. Its rich, moisturizing and is one of the best for hydration, hands down.
Best Body Lotion with Retinol
Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Body Lotion
- Affordable price point
- Well-balanced formula that helps your skin in both the short- and long-term
- Contains cocoa butter to help remedy dry skin
- Not as deeply hydrating as some others tested, so not recommended for chronically dry skin
If you’ve been researching anti-aging remedies, you’ve likely heard of retinol (otherwise dubbed the superstar anti-aging ingredient). But, it’s not only advantageous for the skin on your face. If you’re looking to dial down the aging on your legs, arms and elsewhere, looking for a retinol-infused lotion is a good idea.
Thankfully, the Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Body Lotion exists, making the notion of caring for your future skin a bit more accessible at less than $20. This stuff works; I love the tube packaging, love how the formula feels (and absorbs) and always feel like I’m taking my skin in the right direction for the long haul.
While it’s not as deeply hydrating as some others tested, it’s not a concrete dealbreaker for me. It does contain nourishing cocoa butter, and moisture-replenishing squalane so it doesn’t lack the hydration but it doesn’t offer that emollient feel of, say, a richer moisturizer. However, it’s an all-around epic formula that delivers great benefits to my skin whenever I opt for it.
Best Body Lotion for Dry Skin
OSEA Malibu Undaria Collagen Body Lotion
- Lightweight and silky formulation that clings to your skin
- Pump applicator makes it simple to apply
- Price point may be unreachable for some
- Doesn’t absorb as quickly, but absorbs effectively
If I could write a love letter to OSEA Malibu for how the Undaria Collagen Body Lotion is essentially a miracle-worker for my dry skin, I would. The brand, holistically, is keen on formulas geared toward dry skin as it is, so I wasn’t at all surprised its pump-and-go lotion would be one of my favorites.
Specifically, its hydrating yet lightweight and contains a wealth of good-for-you ingredients, including vegan collagen and hyaluronic acid. As for scent, it contains grapefruit, lime and cypress with mango and mandarin notes — all of which are still safe on my sensitive skin. However, the brand has a fragrance-free version of the formula.
It helps keeps my dryness and roughness on the DL — which I love. Overall, its moisturizing properties are incredible, making it my top pick for dry skin.
Best Smelling Body Lotion
eos Shea Butter 24H Moisture Vanilla Cashmere Body Lotion
- Affordable price point
- Smells like a dream
- Non-irritating and suitable for dry skin, thanks to including shea butter
- Scent is more overpowering than most other body lotions tested, but not a dealbreaker
Whenever someone asks me, What’s the best smelling body lotion?, I always recommend the eos Shea Butter 24H Moisture Vanilla Cashmere Body Lotion. It smells like a dream (it’s so delicious, you’ll want to eat it) and — the best part? — it’s equally as hydrating as it is safe for sensitive skin.
For less than $10, this body lotion is the real deal. More than 6,000 shoppers on Amazon alone feel the same, and it includes natural shea to help hydrate and restore the skin to a more nourished state.
There’s no sticky residue or heaviness and — while the scent is more overpowering than some other lotions tested — it’s not at all irritating. It’s the ideal Sunday self-care night ritual that you’ll want to end up using every night, TBH.
Best Body Lotion for Sensitive Skin
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
- Incredibly moisturizing and jam-packed with ceramides
- Affordable and widely adored by shoppers (and myself)
- Noncomedogenic, so it doesn’t clog pores
- Doesn’t offer a “luxury” experience, though that can lend itself to its fragrance-free formulation for sensitive skin
I have to give it to CeraVe for always whipping up incredibly efficacious and dermatologist-backed products that are a breath of fresh air to those who don’t want to risk using a product that would irritate them. After trying the breadth of the brand’s products when reviewing skincare, I can attest the Moisturizing Cream is, by far, one of the brand’s signature hero products.
And, rightfully so. It landed on the Amazon’s No. 1 best-sellers list with a whopping 120,000 extraordinary reviews — and counting. More, it’s always the option that helps soothe my sensitive skin if I’m experiencing a post-shaving mishap (the classic “if you know, you know” situation) and one that’s a true lotion-emollient hybrid for less than $20.
Though it doesn’t offer that “luxury self care” experience, its fragrance-free make allows it to be a top choice for those with sensitive skin — myself included. Overall, it’s a surefire staple in my cabinet (and I’d freak out if I ever ran out).
Best Dermatologist-Recommended Body Lotions
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
“I love that this product is fragrance-free and contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides and humectants for locking moisture into the skin,” Dr. Mack said. “It’s also an extremely affordable option for most of my patients, retailing at about $18.”
Not only is CeraVe one of the top dermatologist-recommended brands, but it’s also one we swear by, especially for its Foaming Facial Cleanser.
Augustinus Bader The Body Cream with TFC8
For a soothing splurge, there’s no other than Augustinus Bader.
“This formulation contains Shea butter, Vitamins A and E and Brazilian candela oils,” Dr. Mack said. “The shea butter hydrates and protects the skin barrier reducing wrinkling of the skin.”
“Vitamin A repairs the skin by driving collagen, while Vitamin E protects the skin against free radicals,” Dr. Mack said. “The Brazilian candela oil helps to firm the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and creepiness.”
Sarna Sensitive Anti-Itch Lotion
“This is an oldie, but a goodie,” Dr. Mack suggests. “For people suffering from itchiness, Sarna helps to alleviate the sensation of itch with its active ingredient pramoxine hydrochloride.”
Plus, this formulation is free from steroids, parabens and fragrances.
Nécessaire The Body Lotion with Niacinamide
Simply put, Dr. Mack classifies Nécessaire as a “great body care brand” that “truly identifies with self-care.” Namely, this body lotion is “a multi-vitamin moisturizer for the skin,” she adds.
“Formulated with ingredients rich in Niacinamide (a favorite of mine), Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Omega 6 and 9, it’s a great option for those trying to strengthen, moisturize and nourish their skin,” Dr. Mack said.
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Fragile Skin Therapy
“This formulation contains retinol, hyaluronic acid and peptides to help renew and rebuild the skin,” Dr. Mack said. “The retinol helps to improve collagen production, ultimately improving the appearance and elasticity of the skin.”
Not to mention, Perricone MD recommends applying this lotion to shins and other fragile areas, too, and is well-known for giving the appearance of stronger skin on your arms.
AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
“AmLactin Daily Lotion has ingredients in it that improve the function of aquaporin channels in the skin, making the skin barrier healthier along the way,” Dr. Mariwalla explains. “Not only will this smooth skin but it makes the appearance look less crepy and more firm.”
According to Dr. Mark, AmLactin is at the top of the totem pole for “exfoliation” and “hydration.” Specifically, this formula is superb for containing lactic acid, a humectant, which is ideal for locking in moisture on dry, rough skin.
Revision Skincare Bodifirm
“One of the key ingredients is caffeine, a well-known antioxidant which protects the skin from free radicals,” Dr. Mack shared. “Moreover, the formulation contains a patent-pending iFirm technology which is a proprietary blend of peptides, antioxidants, botanical extracts that promote collagen and elastin production.”
Though “firming” can be misleading in the beauty industry, this lotion is a powerful blend of ingredients that’ll help you feel tighter than many day-to-day lotions on the market.
Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray
“The amazing action of this emollient meets the ease of application of a spray,” Dr. Mariwalla said. “It’s wonderful for kids and adults on the run — especially for the legs and back.” And, if you’re looking for a spray, this formula is formulated without harsh chemicals.
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
“As far as your no-nonsense moisturizer for skin goes, this one is my favorite with a combination of soothing oat and glycerin to hydrate and nourish,” Dr. Mariwalla shared.
Plus, it’s one we resort to at the drugstore for a baseline lotion that’ll help reverse the effects of rough, patchy skin.
Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion
“Similar to Cerave’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Eucerin’s Advanced Repair Lotion is enriched with ceramides and protects the skin barrier,” Dr. Mack explained. “It locks in moisture and provides 48 hours of moisture for the skin.”
Skinfix Resurface+ AHA Renewing Body Cream
As Dr. Mariwalla’s “go-to body lotion,” she loves that it has a citrus scent due to its ingredient of Lime Pearl extract.
“It’s thick and does wonders for rough bumpy skin,” she adds. “In my book, this is the perfect 2-in-1 for hydration and scent.”
Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion (Pack of 2)
As “a favorite among dermatologists for patients with sensitive skin and allergies,” according to Dr. Mariwalla, its appeal is, surprisingly, its “zero-frills approach” that actually works.
“Vanicream is one of my favorite products to recommend to my sensitive skin type patients,” Dr. Mack said. “The formulation is free of dyes, fragrance (including masking fragrance), lanolin, parabens and formaldehyde.”
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Fragrance-Free Hydrating Body Gel Cream
“The main ingredient in this product is hyaluronic acid which acts as a powerful humectant pulling water to the skin,” Dr. Mack said. “This product has more of gel-like consistency and works well for individuals who dislike applying moisturizers daily because of the feeling of the product on their skin.”
Dr. Mariwalla also recommends this lotion, specifically for sensitive skin. “It has the right mix of moisturizing ingredients without making people break out,” she said. “I love this over retinol or for nightly use.”
Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream
“Eucerin’s Eczema Relief Cream for eczema-prone skin is excellent at reducing flare-ups, thanks to its ingredients of colloidal oatmeal skin protectant, which treats redness and swelling.”
Plus, the addition of ceramides helps to repair the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture while calming the skin.
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream
According to Dr. Mark, Aveeno’s Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream is a top choice from eczematic skin. Containing oatmeal — a much-recommended ingredient for this skin condition — it’s an exceptionally formulated and affordable buy.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Lotion
“This product helps to repair the skin barrier, not only by locking in moisture but also by rebalancing the skin’s microbiome,” Dr. Mack said. “It’s one of my faves.”
Not only is it a favorite by one dermatologist, but it’s “the best for eczema” by another. “This formulation has its origins from an actual balneotherapy clinic in France where patients are treated for their skin disorders,” Dr. Mariwalla explained. “It has specific calming thermal water properties along with aqua posae filiformis, which helps to reset the microbiome of your skin towards a healthier milieu.”
Plus, it contains water, shea butter, glycerin, niacinamide and prebiotics, too, making it a medley of skin hydrants and soothers.
An FAQ on Body Lotions
Ahead, find the intel on body lotions from board-certified dermatologists — what to look for, why they’re beneficial to use and more.
What’s the difference between a body lotion and a body serum?
“Body serums tend to contain lighter, water-based (almost gel-like) vehicles with smaller, active molecules that can easily penetrate the skin,” Dr. Mack adds. “Lotions, on the other hand, are designed to hydrate the skin and contain larger molecules that sit on top of the skin and don’t easily penetrate.”
Should body lotion only be used in the winter?
“It’s important to keep skin hydrated all year long though in winter, because of the decrease in humidity, skin tends to get dry more quickly,” Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a double board-certified dermatologist, told the Post.
Plus, Dr. Mack recommends creams during the winter and lotions during the summer, as the former are thicker than lotions.
When and how should body lotions be applied?
Kenneth Mark, MD, a cosmetic dermatology expert, advises “applying any moisturizer immediately after the shower while the skin is still somewhat moist” is ideal.
“Upon exiting the shower, pat yourself dry with a towel and then moisturize,” Dr. Lian Mack, MD adds. “This will lock in the moisture from the shower and more effectively hydrate the skin.”
What are the best ingredients for my skin type?
Ahead, Dr. Mark explains the top ingredients to look for — for a variety of skin types.
Best ingredients for dry skin: “Ammonium lactate (lactic acid) is a humectant meaning it actually increases the moisture content of the skin,” Dr. Mark said. “An alpha hydroxy acid is also an exfoliator meaning it will smooth the rough texture of the skin.”
Best ingredients for mature skin: Retinoic acid, peptides and antioxidants including vitamins C and E, as well as astaxanthin, hyaluronic acid and green tea, per Dr. Mark.
Best ingredients for firming: “Firming’ is typically used to imply ‘collagen forming,”” Dr. Mark explained. “A lotion in and of itself does not do that so it would require the right ingredients.”
Best ingredients for sensitive skin: Zinc and aloe, according to Dr. Mark.
Best ingredients for eczema: “Oatmeal is extremely soothing for eczematous skin,” Dr. Mark said. “Hydrocortisone is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe is another fantastic ingredient for inflamed and irritated skin.”
Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.