The vast majority of skincare products is formulated for the face—whether in the cleanser, exfoliant, serum, toner, mask, or moisturizer category—but true skincare junkies know that the skin on the body requires care too. In fact, it's kind of crazy to think about how much time and money we spend caring for such a small and specific portion of our skin, especially when neglecting the rest of it. We have no judgment, though, because we're guilty too. With so many new formulas and frustrating skin concerns, it's easy to forget about caring for all our skin, not just some of it. What's more is that this attention imbalance is commonplace. At least that's what we concluded after doing some research (aka conducting an informal poll of friends, family, and co-workers).
To remedy this situation and inspire you to create a more holistic skincare routine, we're here to share the 15 best body lotions for every skin type and concern, based on our own opinion, that of expert dermatologists, and finally, the rest of the internet. So go forth and moisturize your way to clearer, smoother, and more glowing skin.
This Kiehl's body lotion is a classic. It's one of the most recognizable products from the brand because so many people swear by it for moisturizing their skin even in the dead of winter. It's all thanks to sesame oil, beta-carotene, and cocoa butter. The three star ingredients work together to moisturize, soothe, and soften the skin.
French brand L'Occitane is known for its creamy and luxurious moisturizers. This body lotion is no different. It contains 15% shea butter to keep skin hydrated and soft, and yet it somehow doesn't feel waxy (we don't understand how that's possible either). "I have used this for many years, and I think it's the best. I have tried other lotions just to see how great they really are. I always come back to this lotion. It's not greasy and it lasts a long time on my skin, which used to be dry, but not after this product. It doesn't have much of a scent, but that's okay because if I want to wear perfume, I can," a Sephora customer writes.
Grown Alchemist's body lotion is an editor favorite, thanks to its oil-infused formula and naturally sourced botanicals. Listen to this ingredient list: shea butter, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, almond extract, aloe vera, wheat germ extract, and vitamin C. That's just a portion of the good-for-skin ingredients found inside. We're obsessed.
Vichy's smoothing lotion targets uneven and bumpy skin with pure caffeine. The brand promises a significant improvement in the appearance and texture of skin in four weeks (they even claim it works on cellulite). The only negative is that the rich hydrating cream doesn't absorb into the skin as easily as other formulas. If you can get past that, though, the result might be well worth it.
This body lotion contains some powerful ingredients—including retinol, ceramides, and antioxidants. They work together to firm, tighten, plump, and hydrate the skin. It's one of the most popular body lotions on Dermstore, with reviews like this: "If this lotion is ever discontinued, I really don't know what I would do. I knocked off a star due to the high cost, but I always pick this up when Dermstore is either doing one of its numerous 20% or 25% off sales. It has made a dramatic difference to the texture of the skin on my arms, making it look like smooth, young, even-toned skin, not dry, red, and dull 53-year-old skin. I am using it on my legs now for my numerous razor bump scars and also am seeing better quality of the skin there."
Yes, the price of this body lotion is exorbitant, but this is Perricone MD we're talking about—a brand that's responsible for some of our most effective skincare products. It uses an ingredient delivery system that took five years of research and four patents to create. It works on stretch marks, cellulite, uneven skin, and general signs of aging. Take it from one Sephora customer who writes, "love this product—I saw skin improvement in texture right away—I am now on my fourth bottle." Enough said.
StriVectin's body lotion is infused with caffeine and peptides to improve the skin's firmness and elasticity. Over time, it strengthens the skin's barrier to retain more moisture and look firmer. Take it from one Ulta customer, who wrote, "I wouldn't use this on a daily basis given the price point, but I do use this on nights where I go out and show my legs because you see the tightening effects almost immediately."
This body lotion starts out as a cream and melts into an oil on application. It hydrates by attracting, binding, and retaining water to the skin. The brand promises that its proprietary peptide complex will firm the look of skin with continued use. Sephora customers have given it various glowing reviews, like this one: "This is the most amazing body lotion I have ever used. It has a wonderful scent as well. The very first time you use it, you will notice a big difference in the look and feel of your skin. With regular use, the skin starts looking better, firmer and more nourished. I can't say enough how much this helps my aging skin and keeps it looking younger in spite of its true age."
This Nivea lotion is infused with Q10 and promises smoother, firmer skin in two weeks with continued use. It's also unscented and dye- and aluminum-free. "I've lost a lot of weight, and this lotion is helping tighten the skin on my abdomen," one reviewer writes.
As far as brightening lotions go, Aveeno is the drugstore go-to. This one, from the brand's Positively Radiant collection, contains a soy complex that improves tone, texture, dullness, blotchiness, and brown spots to reveal brighter- and younger-looking skin. Hey, if it's good enough for Jennifer Aniston, then it's good enough for us.
Cane + Austin is a Byrdie-favorite brand thanks to its full range of exfoliating products formulated with glycolic acid—the star skincare ingredient that so many dermatologists swear by. That means it exfoliates at the same time as it moisturizes the skin. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive. "Love this! It's one of the few products I've tried that has shown immediate results. Was struggling with dry winter skin and some bumpy spots on my legs. Skin was noticeably smoother on the first application, and problem spots were gone after just a few days. It absorbs quickly, isn't greasy, and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft. While pricier than I'd like for a lotion, it's worth it for me."
VI Derm offers another exfoliating lotion with 15% glycolic acid and azelaic acid to exfoliate and moisturize the epidermis (while also providing brightening effects). If dull skin is your skin issue, reach for this. "I have used a lot of body lotions saying they do everything under the sun. I was skeptical and wondered if this lotion would be like the others. It is absolutely one of the best lotions I have ever used and it does what it says. It leaves the skin smooth and soft. I highly recommend Vi Derm Exfoliating Lotion. It's great."
Most tanning lotions simply tan the skin and don't actually hydrate that well. This St. Tropez pick is the exception to the rule. In our experience, it builds a noticeable tan after only a few days, without staining the palms or wafting out that strange faux-tan fragrance. Plus, it helps keep our skin's moisture barrier intact.
Now that you know about the best body lotions, read up on the best body oils that money can buy.