12 Exfoliating Body Lotions That Make Your Skin Smoother and More Radiant—Fast

I love a good facial exfoliant as much as the next person, as it really helps keep my pores clean and my skin feeling smoother. I won't lie to you, though: I've started to need a little decongesting elsewhere on my body and it seems like it might be time to invest in a solid exfoliating body lotion. I've had my qualms about body lotions that contain AHAs or BHAs in the past because I thought they would increase my risk of being sunburned. After all, I'll definitely be the first to admit that I don't wear body sunscreen every single day (it's too much of a hassle). That's why I decided to call in a dermatologist on this one and get the scoop.

Corey Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the Paula's Choice Science Advisory Board, was able to set me straight. "Theoretically, hydroxy acids can increase the risk of sunburn, but the concentration of the active ingredients in body lotion is so low that the actual risk of increased sensitivity to ultraviolet light is also quite low," he says. If you're struggling with body acne, dark spots, or just dry, bump texture on your skin, an exfoliating body lotion can actually really help if used consistently. It shouldn't, however, be the only thing you use if you have serious and persistent blemishes. "While an exfoliating lotion will certainly not hurt acne or dark spots, the first priority should be clearing the acne which will prevent the dark spots from developing in the first place," says Hartman. "And because a body lotion is necessary to moisturize the skin of the body anyway, investing in one with an alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid adds an extra layer of therapy with no extra steps." 

If your routine could use an upgrade and you want smoother, clearer skin, keep scrolling below for the best exfoliating body lotions to add to your regimen.

1. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion

Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion contains a powerful yet gentle AHA blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acid. The formula resurfaces dull skin and highly moisturizes with skin-nourishing marula and shea butter.

2. PCA Skin Body Therapy

Luxury therapy for your body comes in this sleek little bottle. The formula has lactic acid in it to help reduce hyperpigmentation and minimize fine lines. It also has omega-rich jojoba esters to provide you with baby-soft skin on a daily basis and barley extract to help tighten.

3. Paula's Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

Paula's Choice is always a brand I love for its stellar formulas at a killer price. This retinol-infused body treatment will leave your skin looking glowing and youthful. It's super lightweight and contains vitamin C and E in addition to retinol to boost your skin's overall radiance.

4. Versed Firm Ground Retinol Body Lotion

Using this body lotion from Versed will result in clearer, smoother, and brighter skin. With nourishing cocoa butter, retinol, and squalane, it works both day and night to gently renew the skin and lock in extra moisture. The brand does recommend wearing sunscreen when using this body lotion as a precaution since retinol can increase your sensitivity to the sun.

5. IS Clinical Body Complex

Listen, IS Clinical products might be on the pricey side, but they're 100% worth it. The brand's body complex is packed with vitamins, botanical extracts, and antioxidants that promote the skin's natural exfoliation process and cellular regeneration process.



6. Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion

Ameliorate's Transforming Lotion is great for those who have dry or bumpy skin they'd like to give a little relief. It exfoliates, resurfaces, and conditions with lactic acid, glycerine, and sodium lactate.

7. Skinfix Resurface+ AHA Renewing Body Cream

Skinfix is known for its amazing Barrier+ cream for dry skin, but the brand's Renewing Body Cream is also worthy of a spot on your vanity. Willow Bark Extract gently unclogs pores while bisabolol (derived from chamomile) soothes dry or irritated skin.

8. Ren Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum

Although this is technically labeled as a serum, this product definitely has the consistency of a lotion. With lactic acid, probiotics, and xylitol to boost hydration, you'll have the perfect cocktail for glowing skin all day, every day.



9. Soft Services Carea Cream

This option from Soft Services is great for those with combination skin. The formula both mildly exfoliates and deeply moisturizes with urea, squalane, and colloidal oatmeal. It helps to create a protective barrier around the skin and prevents moisture loss.

10. CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin

Developed by dermatologists, CeraVe's SA Lotion lightly exfoliates, protects the skin barrier, and promotes smoother and even skin. It contains the perfect balance of salicylic acid, lactic acid, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide.

11. Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream

This daily lotion is the companion to Glossier's equally popular Body Hero Oil Wash. It's rich in antioxidants and tamarind fruit which has vitamins like magnesium, potassium, and AHAs that exfoliate for smoother skin.

12. NeoStrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Lotion

NeoStrata's formulas never disappoint—they're always highly effective and incredibly rejuvenating. The brand's Smoothing Lotion renews the skin with glycolic acid and gives it a youthful glow with mango seed butter and vitamin E.