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Best Body Lotions

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 176 Models Considered
  • 25 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 193 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best body lotions

    Last Updated November 2018

    Cold weather, exposure to UV rays, harsh soaps, and bathing can easily upset your skin’s natural balance, leaving it feeling dry, tight, and itchy. A daily application of body lotion is a great way to give your skin the care it needs.

    Thanks to the speedy absorption rate and lightweight consistency of body lotion, you can use this easy beauty product year round to keep your skin supple and healthy. However, not all body lotions are created equally, and with an endless supply of options on today's market, choosing the right one can be tough.

    At BestReviews, we scoured the market and rounded up five of the best body lotions around. Read our guide below to learn more about body lotions, and don't forget to check out our product list above when you're done.

    Air conditioning and indoor heating can rob skin of moisture. If your office or home temperature is regulated, keeping a body lotion on hand is a good idea.

    Why bother with body lotion?

    Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it has important work to do: it protects our nerves, muscles, ligaments, bones, and other vital organs. It's the body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances, and it acts as an outlet for toxins and impurities. On top of all this, skin regulates body temperature, assists in vitamin D production, and allows us to experience sensation.

    Given the fact that our skin faces constant exposure to the elements and environmental pollutants, it's not surprising that it can easily become dry or damaged. The use of body lotion is a convenient everyday solution to help nourish and revitalize your hardworking skin.

    A good body lotion does the following.

    • Replenishes moisture: Not only is dry, flaky skin uncomfortable, it can also lead to deeper damage and accelerated aging. Applying body lotion every day helps keep skin hydrated and healthy.

    • Smooths and nourishes trouble spots: Elbows, knees, and heels sometimes need a bit of extra care, even if the rest of your skin isn’t particularly dry. Regular use of a nourishing body lotion can hydrate and smooth rough areas.

    • Feels lightweight: Since lotions have a higher water-to-oil ratio, they tend to have a thinner consistency that's easy to spread and doesn't leave skin feeling greasy. Most body lotions absorb quickly and work well even in warmer climates.

    • Offers sensory indulgence: Applying lotion is the perfect opportunity for a bit of self-pampering. Using a circular motion to rub in your lotion of choice can relax and soothe tired muscles and stimulate blood circulation. Lotions that are lightly scented with essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or ylang-ylang can even double as calming aromatherapy.
       

    With everything our skin goes through to keep our bodies healthy and intact, moisturization is a fundamental element of daily personal care.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Looking to treat a sunburn? Unfragranced body lotion with aloe and chamomile can soothe and nourish sunburned skin.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    For firmer skin, choose a body lotion with ingredients like coenzyme Q10, retinol, niacinamide, hydroxy acids, peptides, and antioxidants.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Body lotions formulated with SPF should be reapplied throughout the day, just as a regular sunscreen should.

    Basic body lotion ingredients

    Learning to identify common moisturizing ingredients and understanding how they work can make finding the right lotion that much easier. Before we delve deeper into the best body lotions for specific skin types, let's take a look at some of the ingredients you’ll find on any given label to get a firm grasp of what they can do for you.

    Humectants

    The purpose of humectants is to draw water to the outermost layer of the skin. Water is often drawn up from the second layer for hydration purposes, but in exceptionally humid climates, it may be drawn from air as well. Popular humectants include the following.

    • Glycerin

    • Propylene glycol

    • Sorbitol

    • Urea

    • Hexylene and butylene glycol

    • Sodium PCA

    • Hyaluronic acid

    • Alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid, among others)

    • Honey
       

    Occlusive agents

    Occlusive agents seal the skin to lock in moisture for lasting hydration. These often leave behind a greasy film which acts as a physical barrier against moisture loss. As most lotions are formulated to have a lightweight texture, occlusives may not be a major feature on some labels. Occlusives can take the form of the following.

    • Petrolatum (petroleum jelly)

    • Mineral oil (paraffin)

    • Silicone derivatives (cyclomethicone, dimethicone)

    • Beeswax

    • Botanical waxes (palm kernel oil, soybean, candelilla, carnauba)

    • Lanolin
       

    Emollients

    These can instantly improve the look and feel of dry, flaking skin. Emollients typically consist of lipids and oils and can perform the same function as occlusives when liberally applied. Most body lotions contain common emollients like the following.

    • Cocoa butter

    • Ceramides

    • Triglycerides

    • Fatty acids, often derived from coconut, palm, and grape seed oils (linoleic, linolenic, lauric, stearic, and oleic acids)

    • Shea butter

    • Cholesterol
       

    It's important to remember that many emollients and occlusive agents perform a twofold function and can be used interchangeably. The exclusion of one or the other doesn't necessarily impair efficacy.

    Prolonged exposure to UV rays is a leading cause of skin damage and premature aging. Body lotions are quickly absorbed, making them a great pre-sunscreen moisturizer.

    Additional beneficial body lotion ingredients

    Although a balanced combination of the above-mentioned ingredients can effectively restore moisture, many body lotions are further enhanced to actively improve the overall condition of the skin. For noticeable long-term results, scan the label for the following ingredients.

    Antioxidants

    Antioxidants nourish aging skin by tackling the free radicals that cause lipid oxidation and skin cell deterioration. They also boost the skin’s ability to regenerate and stimulate collagen production. Here are some commonly used antioxidants.

    • Vitamin A (beta-carotene)

    • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

    • Vitamin E (tocopherols)

    • Green tea

    • Selenium (glutathione)

    • Soy extract

    • Licorice root

    • Grape seed extract
       

    Ingredients that “communicate” with your cells

    Aging, sun damage, acne, and hormonal changes can cause lasting damage to skin cells. When this happens, cell regeneration mirrors the damage, and irregular, rough, or mutated skin cells are formed. Cell-communicating ingredients help repair damage by delivering the message that it's time for skin cells to behave normally and generate more youthful, healthy skin cells.

    Popular cell-communicating ingredients include the following.

    • Retinol

    • Niacinamide (vitamin B3)

    • Lecithin

    • Linoleic acid

    • Carnitine

    • Triphosphate

    • Peptides
       

    Anti-irritants

    Our skin certainly knows how to take a beating. Thankfully, anti-irritants can reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. Helpful anti-irritant ingredients include the following.

    • Aloe

    • Allantoin

    • Green tea

    • Licorice root

    • Calendula

    • Chamomile

    EXPERT TIP

    If you have severely dry or cracked skin, opt for a thicker cream or ointment instead of a light lotion.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    A hefty price tag isn't always the best indicator of quality. Scan the label for effective ingredients before purchasing a body lotion.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    When applying body lotion after a bath or shower, leaving your skin slightly damp will allow for better hydration.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Choosing the best body lotion for your skin type

    Faced with rows upon rows of body lotions in both your supermarket’s skin care aisle and online, it can be tempting to grab whichever is currently on sale. But by doing so, you could end up shortchanging your skin. Understanding your skin type and what it needs to thrive is an important factor when selecting a body lotion.

    Normal skin

    Even if you happen to be dermatologically blessed with well-balanced skin, you'll still need to take the proper steps to ensure that it retains vitality. Luckily, this skin type fares well with just about any lightly hydrating body lotion. If you’re fortunate enough to have normal skin, a lightweight blend of humectants, emollients, and soothing scents (if desired) should be more than adequate.

    Dry skin

    For many, tightness, itching, and flaking herald the coming of winter, but numerous other factors may be to blame. Since moisture loss is a leading cause of dry skin, occlusives tend to be the most helpful. If your skin is particularly parched, thicker formulations with ingredients like petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oils, or silicone derivatives generally work best.

    Oily skin

    Avoiding moisturizers and body lotions altogether for fear that they'll only create further problems won't do your skin any favors. While it's true that those with oily skin need to be vigilant when it comes to keeping sebum production under control, completely depriving the skin of moisture may actually have the opposite effect. Many are driven to counteract oily skin with products containing soaps and alcohol, which strip the skin of natural oils and water. If moisture isn't replenished, your body can interpret this as a green light to start producing even more sebum.

    To keep skin balanced and healthy, opt for a lightweight, oil-free body lotion. Humectants like propylene glycol and hyaluronic acid are favorable. Alpha-hydroxy acids are a definite thumbs up and will not only draw water to the skin’s surface, but also help to clear pores by breaking down dead skin cells.

    Sensitive skin

    For those with sensitive skin, finding the right body lotion often entails some rather uncomfortable trial and error. Itching, burning, and inflammation can be the unfortunate consequences of using the wrong type of lotion. Arming yourself with knowledge so that you're able to quickly recognize known irritants is essential. Fragrances, acids, and dyes should be avoided at all costs. Depending on the condition of your skin, you may require either lightweight hydration or more intense protection. In both cases, soothing ingredients like aloe, calendula, and chamomile can be beneficial.

    Don't settle on a body lotion that doesn't gel with your skin just because it contains “valued” ingredients. Everyone’s skin is unique, and you may need to experiment with a few different body lotions before you find the right one.

    Body lotion prices

    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of body lotions on today's market, all with unique ingredient combinations.

    While brand and packaging may have some effect on the price of a body lotion, the overall cost is more frequently determined by the quality and characteristics of the various ingredients.

    • Basic body lotions

    Basic body lotions comprised of the usual blend of humectants, occlusives, and emollients with few to zero additional ingredients can cost as little as $5 to $15 for a 10-ounce bottle. Provided your skin doesn't need special care and you're not overly concerned about high-end ingredients, one of these could work just fine to maintain hydration.

    • High-end body lotions

    Luxury or specialized body lotions often contain premium ingredients and are carefully formulated to target specific skin conditions. These lotions typically boast an element of unadulterated indulgence through a combination of silky consistencies and irresistible scents. Premium body lotions tend to be priced between $15 to $40 for around eight ounces.

    In addition to using body lotion, drinking enough water will help keep your skin quenched.

    FAQ

    Q. Can I use body lotion on my face?

    A. The skin on your face is more delicate that the skin on your body, and using a regular body lotion may cause it to break out. However, most experts agree that a lightweight, unscented body lotion is unlikely to do any harm if applied to the face.

    Q. How often should I use body lotion?

    A. Environmental and personal lifestyle factors all play a role in how often you really need to apply a body lotion. However, since skin never takes a break, it's best to apply body lotion at least once a day.

    Q. When is the best time to apply body lotion?

    A. While you could very well use body lotion anytime you feel your skin is in need of a little extra hydration, applying a layer following a shower or a bath is crucial, as this will help your skin hold on to water. Also, pores will be open and ready to receive healing nutrients at that time.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Kailey
      Kailey
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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