We Found The 16 Best Body Lotions of 2021 (So You Don't Have To)

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We all have a body lotion in our beauty arsenal. Whether it’s a bottle you quickly picked up at the drugstore or a sleek tube that you researched for hours before adding to cart, we all use something to hydrate our skin on a daily basis. But—is it the right thing?

That depends on your preferences. A body lotion’s key benefit is to bring hydration back to your skin, but these days, more and more formulas are delivering added benefits. From improving your skin’s elasticity to reducing the look of cellulite, there’s a perfect, multitasking body lotion out there for you.

Ahead, the best body lotions that do it all—and more.

Best Overall: Nécessaire The Body Lotion


If the chic, nondescript packaging doesn’t do it for you, maybe the ingredients inside of it will. Packed with a plethora of vitamins, like A, B, C, and E, along with Omegas 6 and 9, antioxidants, niacinamide, and three luxurious oils—marula, cacay, and meadowfoam oils to be exact—this formula works hard for your skin. While it does what body lotions do best (moisturize your skin) it takes it up a notch and strengthens the skin’s barrier, improves tone and texture, and restores firmness.

Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue and Senior Editor Hallie Gould agree this not-so-average body lotion—along with the rest of Necessaire's bodycare line—are worth trying.

Best Drugstore: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Packed with skin-loving hyaluronic acid, this hydrating formula targets your skin’s driest areas and restores them. We love that it can multitask—use it on your face, body, and hands—and that the lightweight formula keeps you moisturized for up to 24 hours.

Best Splurge: Augustinus Bader The Body Lotion

Augustinus Bader The Body Lotion

After replenishing your skin with moisture, it’s important that it stays locked in. Enter: A quick-absorbing technology that keeps your skin soft and reduces the appearance of pigmentation and cellulite. Although it can be applied at any time, it feels ultra-soothing right after a day out in the sun. The best part? No fragrance whatsoever.

Best Shimmer: Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream


If I had to pick a lotion to apply right before going out, it’d be this one right here. With light-reflecting particles (read: slight shimmer), it takes glowing to another level. Plus, it leaves no residue almost immediately after it’s applied—so you can literally slather, get dressed, and head out.

Best for Aging Skin: Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion

Drunk Elephant SIli Body Lotion

Key Ingredients

Ceramides are a part of a complex family of fats or lipids called a sphingolipid. They work to restore the skin barrier and lock in moisture.

With five plant-derived ceramides and marula butter, this mighty lotion—another Xue favorite—provides your skin with an anti-aging boost. The ceramides work together to fill any spaces and create elasticity, while the marula butter moisturizes and protects. 

Best With SPF: Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion With Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 15

Wearing SPF all year round is suggested by almost, if not all, dermatologists. To make that step easier, this daily lotion adds a broad spectrum twist. SPF 15 protects your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays—just remember to reapply every two hours.

Best Scent: Byredo Body Lotion

Byredo Body Lotion

Loved for its fragrances, Byredo has taken some of their popular scents and packaged them up in a vanity-worthy lotion bottle. According to reviewers, this lotion is equal parts heavenly and long-lasting. You’ll find that the fragrance can last all day—a nice treat after a long day at work.

Runner-Up, Best Scent: Epicuren Discovery Coconut After Bath Moisturizer

Key Ingredients

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins and have a role in virtually all the biological processes that occur in our bodies, including the reparation of skin.

I like to call this the “vacation in a bottle”. Armed with a tropical scent, this lotion’s got amino acids and shea butter to bring back your skin’s bounce and keep it plump. It’s best applied right after the shower—simply massage into damp skin and you’re good to go. It's one of Xue's favorites.

Best for Dry Skin: 54 Thrones African Beauty Butter

54 Thrones Beauty Butter

Massaging on this formula is like trying on silk—the texture is rich, but doesn’t feel heavy, and almost feels like it brings life back into your skin. Infused with a blend of Ugandan and Ghanaian shea butter, you can apply this hydrating cream all over your face and body.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Alba Botanica Very Emollient Original Body Lotion

Key Ingredients

Jojoba oil is a natural oil produced from the seed of the Chinensis plant, a drought-resistant shrub native to southern Arizona, California, and Mexico. It mimics natural sebum and conditions and seals moisture in the skin without clogging pores or exacerbating acne.

Tend to have fussy skin? This natural lotion—free of parabens and phthalates—boasts ingredients like jojoba seed oil and shea butter to soften and chamomile to soothe.

Best Nourishing: Kayo Body Beautiful Creme

Kayo Body Beautiful Creme

Along with coconut oil and green tea, this smooth formula—beloved by Xue—delivers powerful antioxidant CoEnzyme Q10 that helps to replenish your skin. Apply right after taking a hot bath or shower, so the ingredients are better absorbed.

Best Firming: NIVEA Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion

Tighter, smoother skin is possible—especially with CoEnzyme Q10. Apply this lotion twice daily for two weeks for firmer skin. Reviewers report that it’s helped decrease the look of cellulite and doesn’t feel slick or greasy.

Best for Stretch Marks: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion

Give your marks some extra love and attention with this classic formula. Cocoa butter and shea butter not only soften your skin but also protects it during pregnancy. Vitamin E, a key ingredient, helps to decrease the look of marks and scars. Not just for pregnant bellies, you can apply this formula all over for smooth, supple skin.

Best In-Shower Formula: Olay Ultra Moisture In-Shower Lotion

Olay Ultra Moisture Shea Butter In-Shower Body Lotion

If you’re crunched for time, an in-shower lotion could cut down your morning routine. After cleansing your body, apply this formula onto damp skin and then quickly rinse off. Pat dry gently—and marvel at your hydrated skin.

Best Budget: Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer

Besides coming in a big bottle with a nifty pump, this convenient moisturizer is beloved for many reasons. It’s moisturizing, thanks to its vitamin-enriched formula, and the scent is pleasant and doesn’t linger.

Best Butter: Kaike Frosting Decadent Hair & Body Butter

Kaike Frosting Decadent Hair & Body Butter

For stubborn dry patches, this rich butter literally takes the Kaike (get it?). Featuring mega-moisturizers like mango butter and coconut oil, this formula penetrates your skin and delivers some serious hydration. Is your hair feeling dry as well? Lucky for you, you can also slather this onto thirsty strands.

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