Body lotion is a must-have to moisturize dry limbs and to keep your skin smooth, soft and flake-free. Unlike body creams and butters, it sinks in fast, with no greasy residue, so you can get dressed right away. No wonder most of us use it in our daily post-shower routines (which happens to be the best time to apply it, to lock in hydration).
But with so many lotions out there, does it really matter which one you go for?
Yes. Since body lotion covers a large surface area, you’re absorbing a lot more of it than your facial skincare. That’s why it’s so important to check what’s in the formula. There’s no point investing in the latest luxe product if it’s loaded with harmful or irritating ingredients.
From The Skincare Edit Archives
Fortunately, you don’t need to choose between a pampering experience and a lotion that’s good for your skin. Keep reading for my top body lotion picks for every preference and price point, and why I chose each one.
The Body Lotion Edit
Best for dry skin
Best for sensitive skin
Best clean beauty
What to Look for in a Body Lotion
Here’s what I scan for when reading body lotion labels:
- Has humectants: Ingredients like aloe and hyaluronic acid help to attract water molecules and hydrate your skin from within.
- Has occlusives: Natural oils and butters, such as coconut oil and shea butter, will seal in the moisture from the humectants so it doesn’t evaporate.
- Low in PUFAs: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) rapidly oxidize (go rancid) in the presence of light, heat and oxygen, producing a cascade of aging free radicals. Research has shown that applying PUFAs topically may change your body’s fatty acid composition, which could impact your health. I recommend avoiding lotions that contain PUFA-based oils in the first five ingredients.
- Low in mineral oil: While mineral oil is highly effective at trapping moisture, with prolonged use it may accumulate in fat tissue, and cannot be metabolized.
- Low in squalane: Despite having a much lighter texture than mineral oil, squalane is chemically similar and therefore has the same ability to collect in the body. (For that reason, I think it’s best used in small quantities on the face instead.)
- Low in silicones: As synthetic film-formers, silicones can interfere with the skin’s cellular renewal processes, leading to drier skin over time. They can also trap acne-causing debris, so be careful with them on breakout-prone areas like the chest and back.
- Low in fragrance: Overly fragrant body lotions (whether natural or synthetic) may be irritating if you have sensitive skin.
- Has a preservative system: Any product that contains water, such as body lotion, requires a preservative to inhibit bacterial growth.
The Best Body Lotions of 2022
Nécessaire The Body Lotion
- What it does: Nécessaire The Body Lotion is a multivitamin and peptide moisturizer for all over the body. It treats dry and crepey skin, and repairs the skin barrier.
- Key ingredients: Capric triglycerides, glycerin, shea butter, jojoba oil, niacinamide, fatty alcohol, peptides, green tea extract, vitamin E.
- Scent: Fragrance-free.
- Editor’s notes: This lotion ticks off all the boxes. Just like a multivitamin, it provides a daily dose of actives that are rich in vitamins B, C and E. Niacinamide (B3) is the main one, working to strengthen your skin and improve texture and tone. It’s nourishing but non-greasy, absorbs beautifully, and looks chic on your countertop (even though it’s affordably priced). Plus, it won’t clash with your perfume since it has no scent.
iS Clinical Body Complex
- What it does: iS Clinical Body Complex is an intensive body lotion with both short- and long-term benefits. Not only does it immediately hydrate and gently exfoliate, it also forms a protective barrier that helps to repair and rejuvenate aging and compromised skin.
- Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, aloe, glycerin, bilberry extract, willow bark extract, stearic acid, sugarcane extract, vitamin E, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), lactic acid, green tea extract.
- Scent: Fragrance-free.
- Editor’s notes: This creamy lotion—from one of the most beloved professional skincare lines—contains the same vitamins, antioxidants and botanical extracts that are found in the brand’s highly effective face serums. So it’s more than just a moisturizer; it also protects, soothes and promotes cellular regeneration. It’s non-greasy and safe to use on acne-prone areas as well as sensitive skin.
Alaffia EveryDay Coconut Body Lotion
- What it does: Alaffia EveryDay Coconut Body Lotion is a daily body lotion for normal to dry skin. It hydrates, protects the skin and helps retain moisture.
- Key ingredients: Coffee berry extract, coconut oil, emulsifying wax, shea butter, coconut water, stearic acid, coconut extract.
- Scent: Coffee berry, coconut, lime.
- Editor’s notes: This budget-friendly option combines the brand’s signature fair-trade shea butter with virgin coconut oil and antioxidant-rich coffee berries. You might think that it would feel heavy or greasy, but that’s not the case—it is surprisingly light and fast-absorbing, with long-lasting results. Best of all, it’s made with only a handful of natural ingredients.
Summer Fridays Summer Silk Nourishing Body Lotion
- What it does: Summer Fridays Summer Silk Nourishing Body Lotion is a deeply moisturizing body lotion that quickly melts in, leaving a powdery-smooth finish. It delivers all-day hydration and strengthens the skin barrier.
- Key ingredients: Capric triglycerides, glycerin, propanediol, fatty alcohol, shea butter, cocoa butter, squalane, hyaluronic acid, ceramides.
- Scent: Coconut, vanilla, almond.
- Editor’s notes: With this product, you’re getting all the benefits of a rich body cream, but in a lighter, silky-soft lotion that doesn’t feel heavy or sticky. That’s because it combines skin-softening oils and butters with water-attracting humectants and barrier-healing ceramides. It dries down fast, emitting a subtly beachy scent.
Megababe Soothing & Hydrating Repair Care 24-Hour Sensitive Skin Lotion
- What it does: Megababe Soothing & Hydrating Repair Care 24-Hour Sensitive Skin Lotion is a gentle, lightweight body moisturizer that delivers long-lasting hydration without any greasy residue. It is especially suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
- Key ingredients: Capric triglycerides, fatty alcohol, glycerin, colloidal oatmeal, propanediol, aloe, ceramides, hyaluronic acid.
- Scent: Fragrance-free.
- Editor’s notes: If your skin could use a little TLC, consider this sensitive skin-friendly formula. Not only is it free of irritating fragrance, it’s also enriched with soothing colloidal oatmeal and aloe, and barrier-repairing ceramides. Don’t be fooled by its thin consistency—it promises to keep your skin moisturized for a full 24 hours.
Frank Body Smoothing AHA Body Lotion
- What it does: Frank Body Smoothing AHA Body Lotion is a body lotion infused with chemical exfoliants. It removes dead skin and helps to clear body breakouts while it hydrates.
- Key ingredients: Capric triglycerides, lactic acid, glycerin, fatty alcohol, macadamia oil, emu bush extract, quandong, kakadu plum, mango seed butter, glycolic acid.
- Scent: Citrus.
- Editor’s notes: If scrubs aren’t your thing, but you still want to exfoliate dry, scaly skin on your body, this lotion is just the ticket. In addition to its hydrating ingredients, it contains a 5% concentration of lactic and glycolic acids. Not only will they remove surface dead skin cells, they’ll also help the other ingredients to penetrate for even better results. Apply this at nighttime only, since AHAs make you more sun-sensitive, and follow with a good sunscreen during the day.
Augustinus Bader The Body Lotion
- What it does: Augustinus Bader The Body Lotion is a fast-absorbing, moisture-locking body lotion that keeps skin hydrated, soft, supple and glowing. It strengthens the skin barrier, protects from environmental aggressors and supports cellular renewal.
- Key ingredients: Capric triglycerides, glycerin, provitamin B5 (panthenol), fatty alcohol, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, cholesterol, ceramides, amino acids.
- Scent: Fragrance-free.
- Editor’s notes: This lotion not only has a similar texture to The Cream (the brand’s cult-favourite face moisturizer), it also treats your body to the same TFC8 anti-aging complex that stimulates skin renewal. So, it could be a remedy for concerns like crepey skin, scarring, hyperpigmentation, redness, stretch marks and cellulite. Meanwhile, an array of vitamins, polysaccharides and emollients weightlessly condition your skin and prevent water loss.
First Aid Beauty Sculpting Body Lotion
- What it does: First Aid Beauty Sculpting Body Lotion is a hydrating and firming body lotion. It tones and targets skin texture for a firmer, smoother and more lifted look.
- Key ingredients: Glycerin, capric triglycerides, fatty alcohol, caffeine, ceramides, provitamin B5 (panthenol), squalane, hydrolyzed wheat protein, colloidal oatmeal, allantoin.
- Scent: Fragrance-free.
- Editor’s notes: Although the firming results are only temporary, this lotion can give you a boost of body confidence. Caffeine is a well-known ingredient for reducing puffiness, while peptides (hydrolyzed wheat protein) tone and increase skin elasticity. Meanwhile, you’re getting soothing, long-lasting moisture from the colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, emollients and humectants (all of which are safe for sensitive skin).
Alchimie Forever Soothing Body Lotion
- What it does: Alchimie Forever Soothing Body Lotion is a calming and moisturizing body lotion. In addition to hydrating, it quells the feeling of irritation and sensitivity while protecting from free radicals.
- Key ingredients: Glycerin, provitamin B5 (panthenol), fatty alcohol, lavender extract, green tea extract, menthol.
- Scent: Lavender, rosemary.
- Editor’s notes: This nourishing but non-greasy moisturizer is ideal for daily use as well as after laser treatments, hair removal, sunburn and windburn. Thanks to the menthol, it produces a slight cooling sensation on the skin, which feels ultra-soothing in combination with the mild herbal scent. It’s also packed with botanicals for added anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant benefits.
Odacité Perfect Nutrients Body Lotion
- What it does: Odacité Perfect Nutrients Body Lotion is a rich, natural body lotion for all skin types, including sensitized skin. It hydrates and nourishes, leaving skin soft and velvety.
- Key ingredients: Aloe, coconut oil, lavender extract, calendula, white tea, willow bark, emulsifying wax, stearic acid, glycerin, jojoba oil, olive oil, vitamin E.
- Scent: Aloe, lavender.
- Editor’s notes: As part of the brand’s Fresh Collection, this lotion is made fresh upon order for optimal efficacy and purity. (If you buy it in-store, it’s kept in a fridge.) Rather than feeling thick, it has a fluid texture that spreads easily and sinks in without leaving any surface residue. The ingredients couldn’t be cleaner (and give it a comforting herbal scent), and the pump packaging makes it convenient to dispense.
Pirette Hydrating Body Lotion
- What it does: Pirette Hydrating Body Lotion is a lightweight body lotion infused with the brand’s flagship scent. It moisturizes, softens and refreshes the skin without feeling greasy or sticky.
- Key ingredients: Coconut oil, stearic acid, glycerin, macadamia oil, shea butter, capric triglycerides, vitamin E, fatty alcohol, hyaluronic acid, aloe.
- Scent: Coconut, surf wax, sunscreen.
- Editor’s notes: If you like your lotion to double as fragrance, look no further than this beach-scented body moisturizer. It restores lost hydration with a mix of all-natural oils, butters, fatty acids and humectants. At the same time, it evokes the feeling of a summer vacation with its non-toxic, phthlate-free scent.
Caudalie Vinotherapist Hyaluronic Nourishing Body Lotion
- What it does: Caudalie Vinotherapist Hyaluronic Nourishing Body Lotion is a hydrating, non-greasy body lotion for normal to dry skin. It nourishes and replenishes the skin barrier, keeping skin hydrated throughout the day.
- Key ingredients: Coco-caprylate caprate, glycerin, grape water, shea butter, grape juice, grape seed extract, fatty alcohol, hyaluronic acid.
- Scent: Orange blossom.
- Editor’s notes: This lotion has a featherlight texture that feels refreshing on the skin and absorbs instantly. It was recently reformulated, and now features a shorter, more stable and 98% natural ingredients list. Besides the usual hydrators, it also has antioxidants from grape polyphenols to counteract free radical damage.
Versed Firm Ground Retinol Body Lotion
- What it does: Versed Firm Ground Retinol Body Lotion is a lightweight, non-greasy body lotion. Besides repairing dryness, it helps firm the skin, smooth texture, heal body acne and brighten hyperpigmentation.
- Key ingredients: Jojoba esters, fatty alcohols, cocoa seed butter, retinol, squalane, vitamin E.
- Scent: Fragrance-free.
- Editor’s notes: Retinol is the gold standard for anti-aging, and this body lotion is spiked with 0.1%—enough to give you modest benefits without causing irritation or dryness. It has a rich but non-greasy texture, and is ideal for treating crepey areas like the décolletage, loss of firmness (such as around the knees) or rough patches on the elbows.
Abhati Suisse Kanva Body Lotion
- What it does: Abhati Suisse Kanva Body Lotion is an all-natural organic body lotion. It deeply moisturizes, repairs and protects the skin.
- Key ingredients: Capric triglycerides, glycerin, shea butter, fatty alcohol, coconut oil, moringa seed oil, vitamin E.
- Scent: Lychee, freesia, sandalwood.
- Editor’s notes: This Swiss-made lotion has a soft, creamy texture and is comprised of natural emollients, Ayurvedic botanical extracts and subtly fragrant essential oils. It leaves your skin feeling supple, with a slight sheen, and wrapped in a unique scent that could easily replace the need for perfume.
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