Keeping your skin adequately moisturized throughout the winter can be challenging, to say the least. Because dry skin is triggered by a lack of humidity, frigid temperatures, and high winds, this season presents its obvious skincare-related challenges.
In fact, your skin loses more than 25% of its ability to retain moisture in the winter, writes Jessica Wu, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. In other words, dry skin can quickly give way to painful, cracked patches and even eczema-related symptoms if left untreated.
True to form, dermatologists have a few general tips. First and foremost, keep scalding-hot showers to a minimum, don't over-wash your hands, and avoid harsh skincare ingredients like sulfates, certain alcohols, and benzoyl peroxide.
Most importantly, invest in a tried-and-true body lotion and apply it liberally after your daily shower or bath. Pick your potion below—from $5 to $275.
Drugstore Heroes: $5 to $15
This lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer from Aveeno is a drugstore favorite. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal and rich emollients, this budget buy relieves dry, itchy skin within 24 hours. This $9 body lotion has amassed a casual 18,000+ four- and five-star reviews across Google.
This $11 drugstore buy contains both ceramides and humectants—two soothing dermatologist-approved ingredients that help restore the skin's protective barrier. This gentle, fragrance-free formulation offers lightweight, oil-free, and long-lasting hydration for all skin types.
If your dry skin has surpassed uncomfortable and is rapidly approaching painful, consider Eucerin's Advanced Repair Lotion for very dry skin. Formulated with shea butter, glycerin, and ceramide-3, this rich lotion locks in essential moisture for 48 hours.
Cetaphil is another tried-and-true drugstore brand that's earned dermatologists' coveted seal of approval. Its Daily Advance Lotion in particular is formulated with enriching shea butter to soothe particularly dry, sensitive skin for a full 24 hours.
Vaseline has been a friend to dry, sensitive skin since its 1870 inception. The brand's prescription-grade Rescue line is formulated with glycerin, a powerful humectant that essentially attracts moisture to itself. If you're struggling with painful, cracked dry patches, this product is for you.
Cult Favorites: $20 to $40
This budget-friendly body lotion is beloved by beauty editors, dermatologists, and online reviewers alike. Formulated with vitamins A, B, C, and E, omega-6, omega-9, and three luxurious oils, Nécessaire's body lotion will soothe dry patches while improving the overall look and feel of your skin.
Nothing says "cult favorite" like a Glossier buy. Formulated with antioxidant-rich cactus flower, prickly pear, and yucca extracts plus tiny, light-reflecting particles to lend a subtle glow to the skin, the brand's Body Hero moisturizer bills itself as a "skincare-grade body lotion."
Behold the body lotion counterpart of the cult-favorite French pharmacy essential, Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré. Beloved by models, makeup artists, and beauty editors alike, Embryolisse products are incredibly gentle yet moisturizing. Lait-Crème Fluide in particular is formulated with hydrating aloe vera and shea butter.
Philosophy's Amazing Grace firming body lotion is an award-winning moisturizer for dry, aging skin, explains the brand's website. Enriched with shea butter and natural oils like olive and macadamia, this body lotion has amassed an impressive collection of five-star reviews across Ulta, Sephora, Amazon, and more (7500+ and counting).
Formulated with thermal spring water, ceramides, and omega-6, Avène's XeraCalm A.D. body and face lotion is formulated specifically for dry, eczema-prone skin. This dermatologist-approved, paraben- and fragrance-free buy is gentle enough for infants and children.
Elevated Essentials: $50 to $100
Bursting with antioxidant-rich oils like sea buckthorn, rose hip, and camellia, Charlotte Tilbury's three-in-one balm functions as a cleanser, mask, and body balm. In addition to moisturizing the skin, the multi-miracle glow balm stimulates circulation, regenerates skin cells, and fights signs of aging.
If you're looking for something a bit more luxurious, Byredo's body lotions fit the bill. Infused with the brand's signature scents like Mojave Ghost, Gypsy Water, and Sundazed, its body creams are basically an extension of your favorite perfumes. Enriched with vitamin E, this paraben- and sulfate-free elixir will keep your skin smooth and hydrated.
Tatcha products are known to be gentle, effective, and perfectly indulgent, and the brand's Soothing Indigo Body Butter is no exception. Infused with colloidal oatmeal, Japanese indigo, and silk and algae extracts, this product was specifically formulated to soften and soothe dry skin.
Known for her world-class molecular spa treatments and powerful, results-driven products, Dr. Barbara Sturm's eponymous skincare line packs a powerful punch. Her anti-aging body cream in particular is enriched with skin-tightening Indian almond leaf, hydrating shea butter, and rejuvenating purslane extract.
Aesop is a standby for effective, aesthetically pleasing products that toe the line between luxurious and practical. Infused with hydrating macadamia nut and sandalwood oils, this sumptuous balm was formulated specifically for dry, parched skin.
Little Luxuries: $150 and Up
May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon is a favorite among the beauty editor set. Infused with intoxicating blue tansy, shea butter, and cocoa butter, this balm concentrate melts into a nourishing oil when warmed and can soothe "even the most delicate and troubled skin conditions," reads its website.
One of the most decadent body treatments on the market, La Mer's sea-inspired body crème visibly softens, smoothes, and renews the skin. Infused with the brand's signature Miracle Broth (which includes hand-harvested sea kelp and a formulation of sea-derived minerals), this indulgent lotion creates lasting firmness and tone.
The name of this luxurious body cream from La Prairie says it all. Inspired by the idea that "every inch of your skin deserves the same indulgence as your face," Skin Caviar diminishes age spots, promotes elasticity, and delivers a powerful dose of hydration.
This luxurious cream is enriched with antioxidant-rich peach flower and white horehound extracts, plus the brand's PrimalHyal Ultrafiller and 3D Hydration Booster. The resulting formulation protects the skin against oxidative and environmental damage—skin is left dewy, healthy, and plumped.
Beloved by celebrities like Kate Bosworth, Alexa Chung, and Kim Kardashian West, Augustinus Bader's body lotion release was a newsworthy event in and of itself. Formulated with the brand’s proprietary Complex Factor Trigger plus soothing ingredients like Brazilian candeia oil, Professor Bader's body cream is worth every penny. Read our full review for the details.