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If you, like many of us, subject your skin to long, hot showers, over-drying soaps, excessive hand washing or sanitizing, or exposure to cold air or high winds (hello, winter), then it's guaranteed you're going to have some moisture loss. Enter hydrating body lotion. But moisture loss isn’t the only issue that body skincare needs to address. There are also things like exposure to harmful UV rays, excessive sweating, ingredient sensitivities, and more. And men may have a range of different considerations when it comes to finding the perfect body lotion.
When choosing a lotion, it's important to think about your own body’s needs (whether it’s year-round, seasonal, or one-off instances), and then stock up on your favorite to save your skin throughout all the seasons. You'll want to ensure the fragrance is one you enjoy, and that the lotion contains moisturizing oils. As a bonus, some have nourishing vitamins and antioxidants, too. Luckily, there are a ton of outstanding unisex body lotions that cover any and all bases. Available in a range of price points, there's something for every skin type and concern.
Read on for the best body lotions for men.
Best Overall: Kiehl's Creme de Corps
A buttery richness is what gives this classic body cream the top prize. It’s restorative for dry winter skin and smoothing for any textural inconsistencies (we’re looking at you, cracked heels). The key ingredients here are squalane, cocoa butter, aloe, plus oils of almond and avocado. All together, they give skin a supple, smooth recharge.
Best Budget: Art of Sport Daily Skin Lotion
This lotion is a really excellent product behind a budget price tag. This brand is fast becoming “the Nike of Skincare” in that it appeals broadly to athletes and people with active lifestyles. This high-performance shea- and aloe-rich body moisturizer are the perfect follow-up to an intense workout and hot shower—it keeps your skin feeling smooth and sleek.
Best Drugstore: Dove Cream Oil Shea Butter Body Lotion
This shea-butter formula will resuscitate even the driest, roughest, most cracked skin and delivers excess moisture with a lightweight, breathable application. It’s especially effective on dry hands and for healing hangnails.
Best for Dry Skin: SheaMoisture Coconut Oil Body Lotion
When you meet a coconut oil convert, you'll get an earful about how effective the wonder ingredient is for skin, hair, and cooking. So it’s no surprise that SheaMoisture used 100 percent coconut oil for this all-over lotion. Combined with murumuru butter, this rich treatment gives a nutritious, ultra-moisturizing boost to the driest, roughest skin.
Best for Sensitive Skin: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
From cleansers to hydration, CeraVe rounds all the bases for people with sensitive skin. This body lotion is no exception, utilizing hyaluronic acid (known for its ability to absorb and retain 1,000 times its weight in moisture) as well as skin-smoothing niacinamide and firming ceramides. It lacks any fragrance—super important for sensitive skin—and it keeps the skin’s barrier functions strong. (That is, it keeps the pollutants out and the moisture in.)
Best Scent: Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Balm
Aesop’s body balm is rich in the oils of coconut, macadamia, sweet almond, and bergamot, along with a hearty dose of shea and cocoa butter. But its exceptional hydrating and revitalizing powers aren’t its only calling cards. This one also delivers a refreshing, almost therapeutic essence of geranium and citrus rind. Lather it on everywhere (except the face) and hide it from your roommates or significant other, because you’re not going to want to share. They’ll benefit simply by being in your soothingly scented orbit.
Best with SPF: Supergoop! Body Butter SPF 40
A Byrdie summertime favorite, Supergoop’s SPF 40 body butter is foremost an antioxidant-rich, invisible, nourishing lotion, featuring argan oil, meadowfoam seed, and sea buckthorn extract. However, it’s that addition of SPF that makes it even more exceptional, meaning you can swap out the dense, questionable sunscreen in favor of this much lighter, equally defensive shield. It carries a light scent of eucalyptus, vanilla, and clove, and is equally useful on the ski slopes in winter as it on the beach.
Best Nourishing: Nécessaire The Body Lotion
This pH-balancing body lotion is chock full of skin-saving vitamins, like niacinamide to smooth texture, and Vitamins A, C, and E to brighten, firm, and hydrate. It calls on fatty acids Omegas 6 and 9 to keep moisture barrier functions in top form, and a trio of oils (meadowfoam, cacay, and marula) to leave skin feeling soft, supple, and restored.
Best Body Oil: Jao Brand Goe Oil
This unique body oil from Jao starts with a more jelly-like texture before warming and dissolving into the skin. It’s a hybrid of 28 different oils, extracted from flowers, fruits, and plants, and is one of the more luxuriating things you can lather on after a long day, hot shower, or bath, and in order to wake up with smoother, softer, glowing skin.
Best Powder Lotion: Anthony No Sweat Body Defense Tapioca Cream to Powder Lotion
Some lotions have a particular function, like this one from Anthony, which turns into a powdery film on contact. Lather it onto your nether regions or feet, and it will absorb moisture as it accumulates, thus preventing things like swamp crotch, jock itch, thigh chafe, soggy feet, and more. (It’s a lifesaver for athletes and those who are prone to sweating). The lotion relies on a talc-free formula that deploys tapioca starch and aloe vera for the dual task of nourishing skin and protecting its natural moisture levels.
Best Luxury: Diptyque Fresh Body Lotion
Diptyque's body lotion relies on a calming blend of sweet almond oil and macadamia nut oil. These ingredients allow it to soothe, balance, and hydrate skin on impact, while the inclusion of orange blossom water delivers a positively fresh, uplifting aroma. High end? Sure. Worth every penny? Absolutely.
Body lotions are far more varied than you may think. We like the SheaMoisture Coconut Oil Body Lotion and the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion for dry, cracked, sensitive skin (especially at the height of winter), while the SPF 40-packed Supergoop Body Butter is great for added sun protection. And our all-around favorite (for any time of year) is the rich and hydrating Kiehl’s Crème de Corps.
What to Look For in a Body Lotion For Men
Lotion ingredients can sometimes read like food ingredient lists these days, with oils like avocado, olive, and pumpkin seed showing up more and more. That's because they have excellent benefits for your skin, so you may be well-suited with a moisturizer that contains one or more. Dermatologist Marie Hayag, MD, founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics, told us that avocado oil is a good choice for skin because "it both softens the skin and traps humectants and emollients onto skin."
Vitamins and Antioxidants
We know: Just when you thought you were busy eating enough of these nutrients, now you've got to put them on your skin too? Well... yes, and your skin will thank you if you do. Vitamins are lauded for their contributions to skincare, such as the ability of vitamins C and E to fight free radicals.
Appealing Fragrance (or None at All)
For those who get headaches from synthetic fragrances, finding a fragrance-free lotion is imperative. Lotion goes all over your body, so the smell can linger for a good long while. And for people who do enjoy fragranced products, it's also important that the one you're putting all over your body is a choice you can live with all day long.
Is it normal for men to use body lotion?
Men's skin can get dry, but men often don't use lotion. That could be because it's thought to be a "woman's" product, or because many men prefer a lower maintenance body care routine. Just because men often don't use lotion doesn't mean it wouldn't help their skin feel more hydrated, though.
When should men use body lotion?
All people should use body lotion at the same time, regardless of gender. Ideally, this occurs after you bathe, whether you've taken a shower or a bath. You'll want to dry yourself off first, then apply moisturizer. It's ok to moisturize while your skin is still a bit damp. Allow the lotion to dry completely before using any additional products.
What happens if you don't put lotion on your body?
Skin gets dry, and lotion moisturizes it. So if you have dry skin and you opt to just not do that, your skin may continue to get drier. Your skin can get flaky if the dryness becomes excessive. This is especially the case in the winter when temperatures are cold and humidity is low.