The best body lotion in 2021

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The basics of taking care of the skin on your face are simple — washing and moisturizing with SPF — but the skin beneath your neckline also deserves some TLC. Adding body lotion to your overall skin care rotation can help keep all of you smooth, nourished and glowing. 

If you’re daunted by the insane number of body lotion bottles on store shelves and online, these body lotion recommendations from dermatologists can help — it’s safe to say they know this category well. This is even more important when you’re trying to decide between moisturizing body lotion, body butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, lotion with hyaluronic acid, lotion with essential oils and more. 

No matter your skin type, whether you have dry skin, normal skin, sensitive skin, aging skin, stretch marks or eczema, you’re sure to find the best body lotion for you among these picks.

La Roche-Posay

Treating eczema is really all about restoring a damaged skin barrier, Dr. Tyler Hollmig, director of dermatological surgery at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, tells CNET. 

“Greasier ointments are typically best for night-time use, with lighter creams easier to wear during the day. Fewer additives like fragrances and certain preservatives is best since eczema-prone skin is often sensitive and becomes irritated and inflamed easily,” Dr. Hollmig says. 

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+, recommended by Dr. Sharyn Laughlin, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of The Sunscreen Company, meets all of those standards.

“I love the thick, creamy consistency of this one,” Dr. Laughlin says. “I use it every day and my kids and grandkids use it as well. It’s nice for replenishing the skin barrier and providing protection for dry, broken and sensitive skin.”

Neutrogena

While having oily skin isn’t necessarily a bad thing — Dr. Hollmig says his patients who have oily skin often look years younger than their actual age — it can be frustrating. The key to choosing a good body lotion, he says, is to use lightweight and non-comedogenic ingredients. 

“Products that are water-based are typically better than alcohol-based, and fewer ingredients better than more,” he specifies.

Dr. Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC recommends Neutrogena Hydro Boost for oily skin. “It’s oil-free, non-comedogenic and very lightweight so it will not clog pores. It has glycerin and hyaluronic acid to provide excellent hydration, and I love how the gel formulation applies smoothly without ever feeling heavy.”

Aveeno

Fragrance-free lotion is often a better choice than scented lotion, for people with and without sensitive skin, because certain fragrances and perfumes can irritate even the toughest of skin. Common reactions to fragrance components include itchiness, redness and bumps. 

Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, Miami-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta skin care recommends Aveeno Daily Moisturizing body lotion because “it’s very soothing with its oatmeal base and fragrance-free to keep skin healthy.” 

ISDIN

It should go without saying that SPF is the most important skin care product. Only, finding a sunscreen you’re actually willing to slather on your whole body every day is a feat. 

Dr. Keira Barr, founder and chief wellness officer of Resilient Health Institute, recommends Eryfotona Actinica by ISDN. You can use this product on your face, but also your neck, chest, shoulders and any other body parts that peek out of your clothes. 

Eryfotona Actinica is a 100% mineral-based sunscreen with broad-spectrum UV coverage, plus DNA repair enzymes and antioxidants to repair damaged skin. “Unlike many other zinc-based sunscreens, it’s a lightweight formulation that absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a white or greasy residue,” Dr. Barr says. 

Dr. Barr also always has EltaMD Elements SPF44 ($35) in her skin care rotation. “It’s a tinted mineral-based sunscreen that overs great coverage and provides a perfect base for makeup,” she says.

If the ISDIN and EltaMD sunscreens are out of your budget, there are plenty of other sunscreens you can wear daily. As Dr. Hollmig puts it, budget sunscreens may not feel the best, but they still get the job done. Neutrogena’s Sheer Zinc daily sunscreen is a great budget choice for a full-body daily sunscreen, at $16 for 5 fluid ounces. 

Skinfix

If you live in a dry climate or have naturally dry skin or itchy skin, finding an adequate body moisturizer can be tough. Dr. Hollmig recommends using ointment-like lotions that are relatively thick and contain ceramides, a type of waxy fat molecule. 

“The goal is to create a hydrophobic seal that holds water within the skin,” Dr. Hollmig says. “Greasy ointments are no fun to rub in to the skin, but some manufacturers, like Aquaphor, are now putting them in spray bottles, which makes application much easier.”

Dr. Adam Mamelak, an Austin, Texas-based dermatologist, recommends Skinfix Barrier+ Lipid-Boost Body Cream, which has “carefully selected clean, cruelty-free and vegan ingredients that restore lipids and [the] skin barrier.”

Some notable ingredients in this body lotion for dry skin are shea butter, an intensive moisturizer; aloe vera, for hydration; colloidal oatmeal, a soothing agent; and ceramides and botanical cholesterol, lipid molecules that protect your skin barrier.

CeraVe

“Rough skin often benefits from a combined approach of moisturization and exfoliation,” Dr. Hollmig says. “Products containing ammonium lactate or urea are well-suited for hydrated and smoothing rough skin.”  

Dr. Adam Mamelak, an Austin, Texas-based dermatologist, recommends CeraVe SA Lotion because it contains salicylic acid to help exfoliate and smooth rough skin. It’s also “hypoallergenic and fragrance-free to avoid irritation and contains ceramides to help restore the skin barrier,” Dr. Mamelak says. 

For extra smoothness, Dr. Hollmig offers a tip: Use these types of moisturizers “under occlusion” to help the ingredients penetrate further into your skin. To use a body lotion under occlusion means to rub the lotion into your skin and then keep the moisture in by wearing compression socks, leggings, or another tight garment. 

“For my patients with dry and scaly legs, I recommend using one of these products at night while wearing socks, [and] patients are amazed when they wake up to smooth and moist skin,” Dr. Hollmig says.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.



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