Body Lotions for Baby-Soft Skin

A skincare routine is incomplete without a body care routine. Typically, facial skincare gets all the love and attention; we stock up on serums, creams, and sunscreens. And yet: All skin is skin—and the majority of it falls below the neck. While every regime will differ a little bit, it’s safe to say that hydration should be the baseline of your routine. That’s where the best body lotions swoop in. “Sun damage, natural aging, and hormonal changes will all result in dry skin and contribute to itchy and aged appearing skin,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nava Greenfield. “Using a body product regularly can help mitigate these factors and keep skin healthy.” 

There’s an option for everyone—some are fragranced, others are not; a handful leave a shine on the skin, some dry down matte; a few are luxe splurges, while some you can scoop up at the drugstore. To find a body lotion that suits your skin, scroll ahead. I’ve spent the greater part of my days lathering up to determine the best 15 in existence. 

What to Look For

  • Ingredients 

“This is important because the ingredients tell you if the lotion is going to address the specific concerns you want targeted in your body routine,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam. From a hydration standpoint, she recommends seeking out humectants (glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea), emollients (shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil), and ceramides. Having at least one of the above is a baseline for hydration.

Then comes the fun stuff. Your formula might come with antioxidants. “Vitamin E, C, and green tea extract for example have a dual purpose in preventing free radical damage and may also brighten and moisturize skin,” says Dr. Kikam. Your body lotion might have retinol in it as well, which is ideal for anti-aging. Or, maybe there’s an acid in the mix. “These are wonderful for those with acne prone skin, body hyperpigmentation, KP, and even psoriasis.” 

Perhaps what is more important than the ingredients that are in the formula however are the ones that aren’t. “I like to see that there are no drying ingredients like alcohol or any strong fragrances that may cause reactions in the skin,” says Dr. Greenfield. 

By and large, a lotion is going to be a bit thinner and absorb into the skin faster than a rich cream. That being said, there’s still a wide range to choose from within the lotion category. “You can choose your texture based on season or weather—thicker consistencies are best for winter to help lock in moisture and lighter or thinner consistency in the summer when it’s hot,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam. Her advice: “Choose a texture that you enjoy applying and one that feels comfortable on your skin and is easy to spread.”

Scan this list, and you’ll notice that a handful of the best body lotions are actually from fragrance-first brands. So, while you can opt for a fragrance-free formula that lets your perfume shine through or keep your sensitive skin happy, you also have the option to layer on a scented body lotion that will replace your go-to scent or enhance the one you wear. 

The Best Body Lotions

Meet the Dermatologists

Dr. Nava Greenfield

Dr. Nava Greenfield is a dermatologist practicing at Schweiger Dermatology Group. Dr. Greenfield earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Queens College, City University of New York, where she graduated Cum Laude with honors in mathematics, natural sciences, chemistry and biochemistry. Dr. Greenfield attended medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University. She completed her internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital and her residency in dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Greenfield has been published in many medical journals, including The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, the Journal of Women’s Dermatology and Pediatrics. Dr. Greenfield is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Women’s Dermatologic Society and the American Medical Association.

dr. kikam
Dr. Adeline Kikam

Dr. Adeline Kikam was inspired to become a dermatologist because of the struggles she faced with her own skin while growing up coupled with inaccessibility to dermatologic care. Combined, these experiences fueled her interest in decoding the vast and information-rich field that is dermatology as well as the desire to spread this wealth of knowledge. As part of this mission, Dr. Kikam launched Brown Skin Derm™ via social media at the beginning of her dermatology residency to fill the void of evidence-based information and candid, informative conversations. She’s leveraged social media to create a trusted space for expert-led skin care knowledge as well as highlight common dermatologic conditions and issues, providing greater access to care for melanin-rich skin and creating more equity in the skin care and beauty industries. She also lends her expertise and passion to advocating for improved representation of people of color in the larger discussion on skin care, ranging from information accuracy and accessibility to medical therapy and product formulation to consumer/patient engagement. In addition to discussing medical conditions, Dr. Kikam is experienced in the rapidly evolving world of aesthetic procedures, and she provides reviews on skin care products and features fellow dermatologists and organizations who offer resources for skin of color. Today, her followers are a diverse group of individuals hailing from all corners of the world, including Asians, Latinos, Africans, African-Americans, Middle Eastern, etc. Slowly but surely, the landscape of dermatology is changing and people of color everywhere are demanding to see themselves reflected in the way skin care is discussed. She recently contributed to a newly released comprehensive dermatology atlas that features common skin conditions presented across all Fitzpatrick skin types, a resource she never had during her medical training that is now available to all health care professionals. In 2022, she is launching SkinClusive Dermatology, an in-person and teledermatology clinic with a focus on medical, cosmetic, and hair restoration treatments as well as specialization in skin of color.

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