We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
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 a 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 harmful additives hiding in the ingredient lists, but you can usually count on these hydrating solids to have straightforward 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.
Read on for the best lotion sticks you can find online.
Best Overall: Beekman 1802 Stick of Butter Pure Goat Milk Solid Moisturizer
Doubles as a hair wax
Hard to apply
Who else recommends it? Today also picked the 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.
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, shea butter, mango seed butter, goat milk | Skin Type: Sensitive | Size: 1 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
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
Great for stretch marks
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.
Active Ingredients: Cocoa butter | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Drugstore: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick with Vitamin E
Doubles as a lip balm
Not as long-lasting as other options
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.
Active Ingredients: Cocoa butter, vitamin E | Skin Type: Dry, acne-prone | Size: 0.5 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Scent: Pretty Frank Natural Lotion Bar Vanilla Lavender
Hard to apply
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.
Active Ingredients: Shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax | Skin Type: All | Size: 1 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Eczema: Eczema Honey Gentle Face & Body Lotion Stick
Easy to apply
Leaves a residue behind
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.
Active Ingredients: Honey, colloidal oatmeal, mango butter, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil, chamomile essential oil, lavender essential oil | Skin Type: All | Size: 2.2 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Not all lotion sticks are created equally, so it’s important to search for ingredients that target your concerns. “When healing the skin, ingredients such as ceramides, beta-glucans, and peptides are great." Says esthetician Essence Moore. "They help to repair damage and strengthen the skin.”
Best SPF: Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
No white cast
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.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene | Skin Type: Dry, combination | Size: 0.7 oz. | SPF: 50 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
What Our Testers Say
“Supergoop’s Glow Stick doubles as a sunscreen and highlighter to leave your skin bright and dewy. If you're looking for a lightweight, multitasking SPF that’s perfect for everyday wear, this is for you.” — Melony Forcier, Product Tester
Best for Face: RODIN Olio Lusso Face Oil Stick - Jasmine & Neroli
Doubles as a highlighter
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.
Active Ingredients: 11 natural oils, vitamin E, vitamin C, lavender | Skin Type: Dry, balanced, oily | Size: 0.38 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Face, Runner-Up: Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Balm
Provides antioxidant protection
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.
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, rosehip oil, calendula, noni | Skin Type: All | Size: 0.35 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Under Makeup: Milk Makeup Hydrating Oil Stick
Not for those with citrus oil sensitivity
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 help 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.
Active Ingredients: Apricot, avocado, calendula, jojoba, orange peel | Skin Type: Balanced, oily, combination, dry | Size: 1 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Natural: kosmatology Goody-Goody Grapefruit Lotion Bar
Provides aromatherapy benefits
Made in the US
Leaves a residue behind
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 provide aromatherapy. 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.
Active Ingredients: Shea butter, olive oil | Skin Type: Balanced, dry | Size: 2.65 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Coconut Oil: Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Coconut Oil Stick
Easy to apply
Takes a while to absorb
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.
Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, shea butter | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 1 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Chafing: Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick
Creates a friction-free barrier
Reviewers note it melts in the mail
For all of the beauties out there who have never known a thigh gap (raises hand), this anti-chafe stick is a hero. The clean 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, pomegranate seed extract, and grapeseed oil.
Active Ingredients: Aloe, pomegranate seed extract, grapeseed oil, ginger root extract, orange oil | Size: 2.12 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
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 plum and cocoa butter to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth with a dreamy scent.
Active Ingredients: Cocoa butter, plum | Skin Type: All | Size: 2.47 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
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 clean and safe. 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?
Simply apply the lotion stick 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). Since lotion 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 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 as you age.
What are the benefits of using a lotion stick?
One of the biggest appeals is that lotion sticks are travel-friendly, mess-free, and great for keeping in your purse or on your desk. 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.
How We Researched & Tested
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
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.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any body lotion sticks from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
The 9 best body lotion sticks of 2021. Today. https://www.today.com/shop/best-body-lotion-sticks-t210429
Keen MA, Hassan I. Vitamin E in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2016;7(4):311-315. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494