Is giving your skin the TLC it needs truly easier said than done? Our experts say no. It may be tempting to gravitate toward the body lotions you see the most frequently taking up real estate on the shelves of your neighborhood drugstore and beauty supplier, but let's get real: The health of your skin, though sometimes due to seasonal changes, largely depends on the way you treat it. For people with naturally dry skin, identifying the products that can keep your skin hydrated and healthy can be a game changer. But no matter your skin type, it's important to find the body lotions that will make a difference. Ready to learn more about what to look for in your products straight from the experts? Keep scrolling.
According to Marmur Medical dermatologist Rachel Westbay, incorporating a good body cream into your routine encourages the skin to retain its moisture and stay hydrated for a healthy skin barrier and appearance. "Your skin is an incredibly impressive organ that needs support to optimally function, just like any other," Westbay begins. "It is our protective barrier and is also a sensory organ, temperature regulator, and so much more. Adding a quality body cream to your skincare routine is one of the best (and easiest) ways to keep your skin healthy."
While many high-quality lotions contain topical antioxidants that work to repair the damage caused by free radicals and environmental toxins, other body lotions incorporate gentle chemical exfoliants to stimulate collagen synthesis. Wondering if you have dry skin? Westbay wants you to look out for these commonly associated symptoms: the feeling of tightness, skin that's rough to the touch and appears rough, inflammation, itchiness, dryness, and flakiness. If you've noticed retaining moisture as a common theme so far, that's no coincidence, as loss of moisture is one of the major players in dry skin.
Luckily, there are a number of key ingredients that can replenish hydration, including petrolatum (a thick and occlusive emollient that helps prevent 99% of transepidermal water loss), natural and synthetic humectants (ingredients that help the skin retain its moisture), and others such as ceramides, squalane, B vitamins, and colloidal oatmeal. If you're looking for lotions that contain these game-changing ingredients, check out Westbay's favorites below.
Westbay's Top Picks
"In addition to glycerin, this replenishing cream is rich omega-6 fatty acids to nourish, soothe, and calm dry, itchy skin. A postbiotic complex helps rebalance the skin’s microbiome while supporting its natural defense system." — Westbay
"Urea is the star ingredient in this extremely moisturizing lotion that produces long-lasting hydration for 24 hours. As a humectant and keratolytic, the 10% urea in this lotion helps the skin barrier hold on to moisture for sustained symptom relief and repair, while also smoothing out dry, rough, and flaky skin for improved appearance and associated itch. It also contains lactic acid, a known humectant in low concentrations, as well as other hydrating ingredients, like glycerin and dimethicone." — Westbay
Like Westbay, celebrity aesthetician Ian Michael Crumm highlights the effects of dry skin and how to lock in the moisture it needs. "Dry skin can lead to micro tears in the skin from a depleted skin barrier, which opens up small channels where external elements can enter in," he explains. "It’s always a good idea to hydrate the skin with body lotion after showering to keep hydration in the skin and potential viruses out." When it comes to identifying body lotions that will work for your skin, specific benefits may vary, but you can generally expect skin that's not just softer but better prepared to fight environmental hazards.
If after showering you're left with tight or itchy skin, Crumm recommends that you start incorporating an ultra-moisturizing body lotion into your bodycare routine. "Hot showers, artificial heat, and cold weather all contribute to dehydrating skin, further compounding dryness if someone naturally produces less sebum or oil on their skin," says Crumm. With so many options out there, it's best to avoid heavily fragranced products (they may cause irritation) or retinol when not used in moderation.
To help combat dry skin, he encourages his patients to use products with ingredients like glycerin, avocado oil, hyaluronic acid, and squalane to keep the skin healthy and moisturized. On the hunt for more ultra-moisturizing lotions? Keep scrolling to see which ones Crumm swears by.
Crumm's Top Picks
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Give your dry skin that hydration and comfort it deserves with this body cream crafted from restorative ingredients, including prebiotic thermal water, glycerin, shea butter, and niacinamide to preserve the skin barrier.
This cult-favorite body lotion from Nécessaire is a non-irritating, fragrance-free multivitamin moisturizer with three luxe oils to replenish your skin's moisture, tone, texture, and firmness. If you like this, try The Body Cream for a concentrated repair treatment.
Used in tandem with the brand's aforementioned Nourishing Hyaluronic Body Lotion, this body butter relieves dryness and provides long-lasting comfort with an all-natural mix of desert-date oil, grape-seed oil, and organic shea butter.
It's no secret that we're fans of this brand at Who What Wear. Its BeamCream body moisturizer is ultra rich and fast absorbing with powerful ingredients including AHAs, rich butters, oil, and caffeine that will melt into the skin.
Peter Thomas Roth's ultra-hydrating body cream has been trending for a while (and with good reason). It uses 5% hyaluronic acid complex, shea butter, and Pentavitin for long-lasting hydration and to reduce the appearance of fine lines, dry patches, and roughness.
This best-selling body lotion by Kiehl's is a rich, non-greasy, fast-absorbing lotion that, with an effective blend of cocoa butter and shea butter, leaves the skin smooth, soft, and beyond moisturized.