Having a good body lotion in your body care routine is essential to maintaining supple, even skin. I have to admit, I am not always the best at applying body lotion. I am all about a skincare routine from the neck up. However, somehow I neglect the rest of my body—that is, until now.
Aging (which I welcome), for me, has meant sensitive, breakout-prone skin. I now struggle with breakouts on my shoulders, flaky skin on my feet and elbows, and just the overall feeling that my skin could benefit from applying lotion day and night. Finding a body lotion that adds moisture, evens the skin tone, and doesn't clog the pores is a lot harder to pin down than you'd think. For this reason, I stick to physical exfoliation and the occasional use of body butter. (Don't judge me—I know it's time for me to do better.)
As I started thinking about how to make a small change to my body care routine, I considered one of the drugstore classics I discovered on my beauty journey in my 20s: AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion. The dermatologist-approved, fragrance- and paraben-free moisturizer with 12% lactic acid is beloved for gently exfoliating and softening dry skin.
I decided to give this drugstore classic another try. Keep reading to find out how my skin reacted to this renowned, derm-approved moisturizer.
AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
STAR RATING: 4.9 / 5
BEST FOR: Dry skin
KEY INGREDIENTS: 12% lactic acid
BYRDIE CLEAN?: No, includes mineral oil.
ABOUT THE BRAND: AmLactin is a body care brand that was founded in 1919 that comes with dermatologists' stamps of approval.
About My Skin: Sensitive and prone to scarring and body breakouts
As I mentioned, my skin is sensitive and breakout-prone. This is especially true for me when I'm working out consistently or when my period is set to appear. (Thanks, but no thanks, hormones.) Breakouts on my brown skin mean hyperpigmentation and a prolonged process of getting rid of the scars, which can take up to a year (or sometimes longer).
Since my sensitive skin is prone to irritation-induced breakouts, I have to be careful about what I use on my skin to prevent more scarring. For this reason, I tend to stick to body butters that are made with natural ingredients like shea butter, mango butter, and coconut oil. These oil-based ingredients can be a bit heavy, even though the natural ingredients are often used for helping with discoloration on dark skin tones.
Ingredients: Exfoliating and moisturizing
- Glycerin: Glycerin is a humectant that draws water to the skin, specifically the top layer. Since this is the fourth ingredient on their list, it's safe to say that this soothing, hydrating ingredient will give the skin the ultimate hydration it deserves.
- Lactic Acid: If you're struggling with hyperpigmentation, dry skin, or both, lactic acid, an AHA, is a go-to treatment for discoloration. Along with improving skin tone, lactic acid can also improve skin texture.
The Feel: Lightweight but silky
The feel of this lotion is like a piece of silk that leaves your skin shimmering. The moment you rub this into your skin, it instantly hydrates and gives it a healthy, non-greasy glow. In my early 20s, I gave AmLactin a try when I felt small bumps on the back of my arms, but the chemical-like smell made me give up on the body lotion altogether. The scent has changed a lot since then—in fact, it's now sold as a fragrance-free formula.
The Results: Hydrated, more even skin
I used this day and night. I am happy to report my skin looked healthier from the moment of application. I didn't need to follow up with any products to lock in or add any additional moisture. I applied this before bed, and I had no issues with transferring any product to my sheets. I had the same experience with my clothes the following morning—no sticky, greasy residue, just hydrated, glowing skin.
The Value: Budget-friendly and worth every penny
As I've gotten older, I've moved away from drugstore brands. Using AmLactin for the first time in years reminded me that there are gems in the drugstore aisle. For anyone looking for a body lotion that just plain works without the department store price tag, I highly recommend giving this a try.
Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion ($10): Eucerin is another trusted drugstore brand, and their Roughness Relief Lotion provides 48 hours of hydration, according to the brand. The fragrance and dye-free formula has glycerin, shea butter, and AHA.
CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin ($19): For those with eczema, this non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, dye-free formula is accepted by the National Eczema Association. The lightweight formula is made with salicylic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and is enriched with vitamin D.
Skinfix Resurface+ AHA Renewing Cream ($48): Derived from 94-percent natural ingredients, this cream is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of bumps on arms and thighs caused by keratosis pilaris, according to the brand. Made with AHA and willow bark extract, it promises both exfoliation and hydration.
Our Verdict: It really works
I love a good small-batch body butter, and they will always be a part of my body care routine. However, my reintroduction to this brand is a reminder that I need to revisit items on the drugstore shelves. My skin is far from perfect, but those pesky bumps on my shoulders and arms are slowly disappearing. Not to mention, my hands, feet, and elbows haven't been this soft-to-the-touch in a long time.
Osseiran S, Cruz JD, Jeong S, Wang H, Fthenakis C, Evans CL. Characterizing stratum corneum structure, barrier function, and chemical content of human skin with coherent Raman scattering imaging. Biomed Opt Express. 2018;9(12):6425-6443. doi:10.1364/BOE.9.006425
Soleymani T, Lanoue J, Rahman Z. A practical approach to chemical peels: a review of fundamentals and step-by-step algorithmic protocol for treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(8):21-28.