Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
We’ve all encountered a traditional bottle of lotion before. You give it a few pumps or squeeze it into your palms and let the moisturizing commence—but that’s not the only way to get the job done. Insert the lotion stick: a very underrated, yet super-efficient way to hydrate skin. No mess, no residue, no clouding your jewelry. Just moisturizing ingredients exactly where you want them.
The concept might seem a little foreign, but there are plenty of benefits to choosing this particular method of application. Traditional lotions can often have toxins hiding in the ingredient lists, but you can usually count on these hydrating solids to have straight forward formulas. They also make great travel companions without you ever having to worry if they'll spill in your bag or be denied by TSA. And finally, they’re ideal for treating scars and problem areas since they can be applied more accurately.
Read on for the best lotion sticks you can find online.
Best Overall: Beekman 1802 Stick of Butter Pure Goat Milk Solid Moisturizer
There’s a lot to love about this multipurpose moisturizing stick. Not only does it deliver serious hydration exactly where you want it, but also absorbs quickly with a velvety, non-greasy finish. The nutrient-rich goat milk formula is safe for sensitive skin and also doubles nicely as wax to style hair or tame eyebrows.
Hydration is key, but it’s possible that some of your skincare issues could be solved with exfoliation. Essence Moore, NYC-based esthetician and owner of Lineage Skin & Hair Studio says, “One common mistake people make when caring for the skin on their body is not exfoliating. It is very important to get rid of dead skin buildup on the body consistently. This treats common concerns like texture and blemishes.”
Best Budget: Cococare Cocoa Butter Stick
The image of this cocoa butter stick automatically takes me back to hazy childhood memories of using this fragrant classic yellow stick to heal cuts and scrapes. It was the only scar solution known in my childhood home, and with the 100% cocoa butter formula, it’s an easy go-to for stretch marks or dry spots.
Best Drugstore: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick with Vitamin E
When you’re looking for serious moisture, cocoa butter’s high-fat content takes the cake. This convenient stick also contains shea butter, and Vitamin E to improve the appearance of scars and even skin tone. It’s also the perfect size for a lip balm, so keep it handy in your tote.
Best Scent: Pretty Frank Natural Lotion Bar Vanilla Lavender
Now this one is technically a lotion bar, but it’s the same concept. The bar warms up against your skin releasing organic butter and oils to lock in moisture while you enjoy the relaxing vanilla and lavender scent.
Best for Eczema: Eczema Honey Gentle Face & Body Lotion Stick
This dermatologist-tested formula uses mango butter, coconut oil, and Vitamin E to hydrate even the driest and most sensitive skin types. The easy-to-apply stick allows you to target problem areas while the lavender and chamomile essential oil blend create a light, dreamy scent.
Best SPF: Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
Using this ultra-nourishing SPF 50 will have you wondering why all sunscreens don’t come in a stick. It glides on seamlessly and offers a subtle glow without leaving behind a greasy residue, making it ideal for your face, chest, and shoulders. Bonus: the antioxidant formula targets fine lines and supports firmness and elasticity.
Best for Face: RODIN Olio Lusso Face Oil Stick - Jasmine & Neroli
This formula has everything you love about a nutrient-rich oil blend without any of the mess. It’s formulated with 11 dense oils and natural butter that work to keep your skin looking supple and glowing. Use it as an everyday moisturizer, as a dewy highlighter, or wherever your skin needs some extra attention.
Best for Face, Runner-Up: Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Balm
If your skin has been feeling a little on the dull side, this face balm is the perfect way to bring some glow back to your complexion. It instantly infuses your skin with antioxidants and essential fatty acids to provide nourishment and restore radiance to your skin.
Best Under Makeup: Milk Makeup Hydrating Oil Stick
This hydrating oil stick is a great way to simplify your routine. It’s packed with natural oils like apricot, avocado, calendula, jojoba, and orange peel to tackle even the driest, most chapped skin. It’s also a great option for oily skin, which often needs face oil to keep skin balanced.
Best Natural: kosmatology Goody-Goody Grapefruit Lotion Bar
There’s not an ounce of parabens, petroleum, or alcohol found in this cruelty-free, organic, and vegan formula. It’s infused with grapefruit essential oil to not only provide aromatherapy benefits but also soothes irritated skin with its anti-inflammatory qualities. If grapefruit isn’t quite your thing, it also comes in four other scents (including unscented). For best results, apply it to damp skin to seal in moisture.
Best Coconut Oil: Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Coconut Oil Stick
There’s a lot to love about the hydrating effects of coconut oil, but if you’ve ever applied it to your skin then you know it’s not always a seamless experience. Its melting point is so low that it’s often dripping before you can get it to your skin, but this stick has solved that problem! Use it on-the-go anywhere your body needs moisture and enjoy the nourishing results.
Best for Chafing: Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick
For all of the beauties out there who have never known a thigh gap (raises hand), this anti-chafe stick is a hero. The non-toxic formula instantly melts into the skin creating a friction-free barrier, so you can rock your skirts and shorts without discomfort. Plus, it’s dense with nutrients like vitamin E to soothe; pomegranate seed extract to protect, and grapeseed oil to hydrate.
Best Hydrating: Formula 10.0.6 Butter Up Moisturizing Body Stick
A little goes a long way with this hydrating body stick. The formula is full of natural butter, waxes, and oils to easily glide on your skin like a creamy balm. It’s a unique blend of antioxidant-rich plum and cocoa butter to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth with a dreamy scent.
If you’re ready to try out a lotion stick, Beekman 1802 Stick of Butter Pure Goat Milk Solid Moisturizer is a great place to start. The formula is super hydrating and balances your skin’s pH. For chapped lips and quick scar fixes, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick with Vitamin E is a classic and budget-friendly option. And finally, to protect your skin from chafing and irritation, we recommend Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick to create a friction-free barrier.
What to Look For When Buying a Lotion Stick
First things first, you’ll want to make sure your products are non-toxic. And then, you’ll want to be sure that they’re full of nourishing, good-for-you ingredients. “For hydrated, healthy skin, I recommend looking for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe,” says Moore.
It can be tempting to grab the first thing you see and go, but it’s important to target your products to your unique concerns. Whether you have sensitive skin, are seeking extra hydration, or you're looking for something that plays nice with makeup, find a formula that’s catered to your needs.
How do you use a lotion stick?
Lotion sticks are a very easy way to moisturize, especially when on-the-go. You simply apply them to your skin and let your body heat melt the formula from a solid to a cream or oil. Some formulas might require you to rub in the solution with your hands in order for it to completely absorb, and since these sticks generally have minimal to zero water content, it can help to apply on damp skin for best results.
Do I really need to use lotion?
The answer is a resounding yes! The skin on your face seems to get all of the attention, but a quality lotion or body oil (depending on your preference) is the key to healthy skin. Even if your skin isn’t problematic, many formulas have healing and antioxidant properties that can help to improve your skin’s elasticity for the long haul. Long story short, if you want soft skin that ages gracefully, make body lotion a part of your consistent routine.
What are the benefits of using a lotion stick?
There are several benefits to using lotion sticks over a traditional lotion. One of the biggest appeals is that they’re travel friendly, mess-free, and are great for keeping in your purse or on your desk. Their solid form also means you can throw them in your carry on when flying. When it comes to formula, lotion sticks tend to be free from petroleum and not diluted with water, meaning that you’re only paying for a concentrated form of impactful ingredients.
Why Trust Us?
Byrdie contributor Kindra Moné has been creating fashion and beauty content since 2013. Whether contributing to some of the top women’s lifestyle magazines or working in-house with global brands, Kindra has collaborated with some of the most knowledgeable beauty professionals in the industry. When she isn’t writing or trying out Instagram recipes, she’s giving wellness tips and sharing fashion news on The StylingSOUL Podcast.
How We Test Body Lotion Sticks
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain products; you can read more about our product review methodology here.