When it comes to tightening, firming, and boosting the elasticity of your skin, it’s not just your face that deserves all the attention. Body toning products are a great way to help do exactly that. They leave your skin plumper, more lifted, and generally looking more tightened and toned, taut and visibly smoother. Granted, no miracle lotion or potion can completely erase dimples or firm up crepey skin, but topical products can help.
We conducted hours of research on the best body toners, evaluating each on key ingredients like retinol, caffeine, and peptides, as well as how effectively the formula targets specific skin concerns. We took into consideration a variety of body parts, plus skin types and issues like creping and skin aging. After considering dozens of brands, and consulting with a board-certified dermatologist, we narrowed down top-rated products to compile this list of the best in show.
Ahead, find the best body toners for taut skin from head-to-toe.
First Aid Beauty Sculpting Body Lotion
Safe for sensitive skin
This new product hasn’t been around for long but we’re already hooked. The stars of the show are a peptide and caffeine, two ingredients that New York City dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman says are some of the best to seek out in a toning product. Glycerin delivers lightweight hydration (the formula absorbs lightning-fast), and like all of the products from the brand, the formula is safe for even sensitive skin.
Price at time of publish: $34
Key Ingredients: Dermapeptide, Caffeine, Glycerin | Skin Type: Dry, Normal, Combination, Oily | Benefits: Reduces puffiness and hydrates | Size: 6 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Overall, Runner Up
Revision Skincare BodiFirm
Has brand-backed clinical studies
Easy-to-use pump dispenser
“This is one of my favorite body tightening creams because it has iFirm technology with peptides and antioxidants to stimulate collagen and elastin,” says Dr. Michele J. Farber, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Philadelphia, PA. “It also has potent hydrators such as glycerin and glucosamine to promote cell turnover for smoother skin,” she adds. FYI, it’s specially made for use on the arms, legs, abs, and butt, and you’ll see the best results if you use it twice daily.
Price at time of publish: $270
Key Ingredients: IFirm technology, caffeine, glucosamine | Size: 3.8 ounces | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Firms, tightens, lifts | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer
Comes in two shades
Doesn’t have an unpleasant scent
Not recommended if you don't want a tan
True story: A faux tan is one of the easiest ways to quickly help camouflage any blemishes or lumps and bumps. That’s why we appreciate that this pick is not only a great moisturizer, with actives such as collagen and elastin that help to tighten and firm, but also delivers a gradual dose of natural, sun-kissed color that slowly develops after every use.
Price at time of publish: $12
Key Ingredients: Collagen, elastin, polymers | Size: 7.5 ounces | Skin Type: Normal | Benefits: Helps reduces cellulite in seven days and boosts moisturization | Cruelty-Free: Yes
StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Moisturizer
Makes the skin thicker and reduces cellulite
Can’t use during pregnancy or breast-feeding
“This moisturizer is on the more expensive side, but it is loaded with great ingredients,” says Jaliman of one of her recommendations. “Some of these ingredients include olive oil, lactic acid, shea butter, aloe, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and resveratrol,” she says. And, of course, there’s the namesake ingredient, another one of the best ones to look for in a body toner: “Retinol makes the skin thicker and cellulite less noticeable, and firms the skin in general,” she explains. FYI, this is a face formula, but it can be used on the body, too.
Price at time of publish: $119
Key Ingredients: Retinol, Shea Butter, Glycerin | Size: 1.1 ounces | Skin Type: Aging | Benefits: Minimizes fine wrinkles and deeply nourishes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
SheaMoisture Virgin Coconut Oil Ground Coffee Scrub
Clean and cruelty-free
Helps with dimpling and creating suppleness
Not as effective as leave-on products
You can’t necessarily exfoliate your way to firmer, more toned skin—but it is a great way to help smooth the surface and make it look better, this formula in particular. “The ground coffee not only exfoliates, [but] it also contains caffeine which helps with dimpling and improves the suppleness of the skin,” says Jaliman. “It also has coconut oil, which is extremely hydrating.”
Key Ingredients: Coffee Seed Powder, Coconut Oil | Size: 12 ounces | Skin Type: Dry | Benefits: Helps with dimpling | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Stomach
Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil
Affordable and good value
Great multi-tasking product
Boosts skin elasticity
Bio-Oil's skincare oil is somewhat of a classic, a good pick that not only helps hydrate but also helps to reduce the look of scars, too. But it’s perhaps most beloved for helping to minimize the appearance of stretch marks; credit vitamin A, which helps promote new collagen production and boosts skin elasticity, plus hydrating vitamin E, and various plant-based oils. FYI, there’s also a new, totally natural variant of the same beloved formula now available.
Price at time of publish: $36
Key Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Retinyl Palmitate | Size: 4.2 ounces | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Smooths uneven skin tones and is anti-inflammatory | Cruelty-Free: No
Best for Thighs
Comfort Zone Body Strategist Attack Serum
Targeted tip dispenses adequate
Can’t use during pregnancy
Caffeine, carnitine, and pink pepper extract in this formula claim to help firm up skin and smooth out dimples on your thighs and derriere. (Though it can be used anywhere on the body.) The targeted tip makes it easy to dispense the best amount. It also absorbs faster than any firming lotion we’ve ever tried. The light, refreshing scent is the icing on the cake.
Price at time of publish: $61
Key Ingredients: Shea Butter, Caffeine, Carnitine, Pink Pepper Extract | Size: 5 ounces | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Gives a remodeled look to cellulite | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Neck
Techno Neck Perfecting Cream
Relies on unique ingredients and technology
Silky texture that absorbs quickly
Theoretically, you could use any of your face creams to also help keep the skin on your neck firm and tight, but, if you’re looking for a dedicated neck cream, consider this one. “It’s a fabulous option for both the neck and décolleté as it helps support nitric oxide availability,” says Farber, who is a fan. (Nitric oxide is a molecule naturally produced by the body, which has been shown to impact signs of aging.) “It also has peptides to stimulate collagen, and ingredients that help support the skin barrier, such as essential fatty acids and squalane.”
Price at time of publish: $145
Key Ingredients: Patented NOw complex, Peptides, Squalane | Size: 1.7 ounces | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Improves appearance of crepiness, laxity, and texture; hydrates| Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Clean Formula
MUTHA Body Contour Serum
Clean and cruelty-free
Effective, 97% natural ingredients
Combats water retention
Creates a tingly/warming sensation
Team Byrdie loves pretty much anything and everything this brand has to offer, this toning serum included. It touts ingredients that help hydrate and exfoliate the surface of the skin, as well as proprietary M-Tight technology, a combo of ingredients that activate micro-circulation to help combat water retention and generally make skin appear firmer and smoother. Still, there are no questionable ingredients in that combo, just things such as caffeine, cinnamon bark extract, and baobab seed oil; the entire formula is made with 97% ingredients derived from natural origin. FYI, it’s best used once daily, in the morning.
Price at time of publish: $95
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, coffee seed extract, baobab seed oil, ceramides | Size: 3.4 ounces | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Activates micro-circulation in body to help combat water retention and give firmer, smoother appearance | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Nivea Skin Firming & Toning Gel Cream
Not clean or cruelty-free
This gel-cream has been around for quite a while—and for good reason. It contains ingredients such as Q10 and L-carnitine. (We’ve been using it on our lower half for years.) The gel texture absorbs super quickly and feels so lovely that you’ll want to slather this on with reckless abandon. To that point, the very wallet-friendly price tag doesn’t hurt.
Price at time of publish: $15
Key Ingredients: L-carnitine, Q10 | Size: 6.7 ounces | Skin Type: Normal | Benefits: Improves the skin’s firmness in as little as 2 weeks with regular use | Cruelty-Free: No
Best for Crepey Texture
StriVectin Crepe Control Tightening Body Cream
Has brand-backed studies
Should be used with the brand’s accompanying scrub for best results
This is another one of Farber’s favorites; she lauds it for containing potent antioxidants, such as turmeric, to help improve skin tone and texture. Fatty acids in the formula (from a jojoba seed extract) further help to firm skin and keep the skin barrier healthy. Consider using it on areas such as the underarms and around the knees, spots prone to developing a crepey texture.
Price at time of publish: $59
Key Ingredients: Jojoba seed extract, Turmeric root extract, Peptides | Size: 6.7 ounces | Skin Type: Crepey | Benefits: Improves crepiness and elasticity, hydrates| Cruelty-Free: Yes
Body toners aren’t a magic cure-all, but if you choose the right ones, they can help improve the look and firmness of your skin. The First Aid Beauty Sculpting Body Lotion earns the top spot in our books, touting several dermatologist-recommended ingredients, such as caffeine and peptides, all in a formula that’s gentle enough even for super sensitive skin. On a budget? Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer, a drugstore staple, offers a subtle hint of gradually developing color to help camouflage any blemishes, while the lotion works to firm and hydrate skin.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Debra Jaliman is a New York City board-certified dermatologist. She’s an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai and the author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist.
Dr. Michele J. Farber, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Philadelphia, PA. Her areas of expertise include skin cancer, as well as general, cosmetic, and procedural dermatology.
What to Look for in a Body Toner
According to Jaliman, this is one of the best ingredients to look for in a body toner. “It helps to tighten the skin, by pulling water out of it and making it appear less dimpled,” she says.
The proven anti-ager can do the same things for the skin on your body as for the skin on your face. Namely, it can help thicken and firm the skin over time, Jaliman says. However, make sure not to overdo this ingredient. It's well-known for a slew of side effects, namely causing irritation.
“These help tighten skin by triggering the production of collagen, the protein that provides the foundation for the thickness of skin,” explains Jaliman.
What do body toners do?
“Sometimes referred to as cellulite and/or skin tightening products, they help keep the appearance of your skin looking smooth and firm and help with the elasticity of the skin,” says Jaliman.
How do you use body toners?
Jaliman suggests massaging them into any areas you want to target, using circular movements. Top tip: If you apply post-showering, you’ll also get the added benefit of helping to lock in hydration.
Are body toners safe for sensitive skin?
“They usually are, but it depends on the ingredients in any particular formulation,” says Jaliman. Her advice? Test it on a small area to make sure you don’t react to it before rubbing it all over.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She is all about treating the skin on her body the same way she treats the skin on the face (and also is always trying to get rid of her cellulite), so she rotates through a variety of body toners regularly. In her current line-up: The First Aid Beauty, Comfort Zone, and Mutha products that are featured on this list.
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 enough body toners from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
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