Body lotion benefits your legs, knees, arms, butt, and torso in much the same way that a daily moisturizer benefits the skin on your face. According to dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, an associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine, “It keeps skin smooth and supple, and maintains a healthy skin barrier.” Much like the serums, creams, and moisturizers you use on your face, body lotions come in a wide variety of formulations meant to target specific issues like dryness, loss of elasticity, acne, eczema, and keratosis pilaris. With that in mind, we asked eight dermatologists for their body-lotion recommendations for a variety of skin types. In each case, Waldorf notes, it’s ideal to apply body lotion when wet — i.e., when you’re hanging out in your towel post-shower — to better seal in the moisture.
Best overall body lotion
To combat even the most extreme cases of dry skin, like eczema, experts tell us you should seek out formulations rich in ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
Melanie Palm — the medical director at Art of Skin MD — explains that ceramides (or, cholesterol-derived fat) help seal the skin barrier to keep in moisture, while hyaluronic acid is known to carry 1,000 times its weight in water, so your skin stays extra hydrated. Six out of our eight experts pointed us to this CeraVe lotion, which contains both. It’s fragrance-free so it’s well-suited for sensitive skin types, and it doesn’t feel sticky or heavy on skin. As cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green sums it up: “CeraVe is the best overall body lotion. It is safe for all skin types and packed with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and humectants to keep the most sensitive skin hydrated.”
Best (less expensive) overall body lotion
Boca Raton dermatologist Jeffrey Fromowitz says this Eucerin dry-skin lotion is another highly effective choice. It’s not only moisturizing (with added ceramides), but also gently exfoliates with some alpha hydroxy acids. Green also recommended Eucerin as a high-quality drug-store lotion with excellent ingredients. The difference between Eucerin and CeraVe is mainly that CeraVe has moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid while Eucerin uses urea to lock in moisture. And as for the price difference, it’s pretty slight (about $5), but enough to add up to sizable savings if you’re using it consistently over time.
Best body lotion for eczema
Eczema is a common skin condition that results in swelling, redness, dry, itchy skin, and rashes. Though there are several types of eczema, they are all generally exacerbated by scratching, harsh soaps, stress, and other irritants. According to NYC dermatologist Dendy Engelman, “When the skin’s natural barrier is compromised and/or when it doesn’t produce enough ceramides to lock in moisture, skin can become hypersensitive and easily inflamed.” For those suffering with eczema, a specifically formulated lotion will help target itchiness and scaly patches. Waldorf recommends this oat-enhanced Dove body lotion catered to eczema sufferers. The colloidal oatmeal in it reduces itch, while glycerin draws and seals in moisture for calming, immediate relief.