1. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, 2. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion For Dry Skin, 3. Avène XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cream, 4. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion, 5. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, 6. Eucerin Advanced Repair Dry Skin Lotion, 7. Neutrogena Moisturizing Sheer Body Oil-Lotion, 8. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, 9. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Cream. According to dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, our skin may be begging for some much-needed moisture between the cold air outside and the heaters on high inside. Rough, scaly patches are common as temperatures drop and can be difficult to remove if you don't take precautions to avoid them in the first place. "You want to avoid what we call 'alligator skin,'" says New York City dermatologist Dr. Sapna Palep, founder of Spring Street Dermatology. "Once it starts cracking like that, that's when eczema and rashes appear, and just using moisturizer isn't going to cut it, so you've got to take all the preventive measures." Below, here are the top 10 of the best body lotions for all types of dry skin, from the sensitive to the irritated and inflamed.
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion For Dry Skin
- Avène XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cream
- Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration
- Eucerin Advanced Repair Dry Skin Lotion
- Neutrogena Moisturizing Sheer Body Oil-Lotion
- Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream
- La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Cream
- Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skin, Soothing Lotion With Colloidal Oatmeal
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
We begin with this highly rated, fragrance-free cream because it is recommended by nearly every dermatologist we spoke with as an effective, all-around hydrating treatment for dry skin. Jaliman describes it as a dependable staple for dermatologists.
According to dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein, the formula contains both ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Dr. Melissa K. Levin, the founder of Entière Dermatology in New York, describes hyaluronic acid as “an incredibly effective humectant.” According to Levin, the thick texture of the CeraVe cream feels cool to the touch and immediately soothes irritated skin upon application. Hirsch also likes the moisturizer’s “soothing, creamy texture.” “What’s not to love?” says Palep.
Marchbein recommends applying a liberal amount (which appears reasonable at $14 a bottle) within 60 seconds of stepping out of the shower because your pores will be slightly open, allowing your skin to easily absorb the cream’s moisture. Dr. Hope Mitchell, founder of Mitchell Dermatology in Perrysburg, Ohio, recommends CeraVe’s lightweight moisturizing lotion, which has similar ingredients but isn’t quite as thick, for a lightweight option when your skin doesn’t need quite as much TLC, say, in the summer.
Price: $16 (discount)
Uses: Moisturize and soothe the skin
Ingredients: Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, Non-comedogenic, fragrance-free
Video: CeraVe Skincare
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion For Dry Skin
Aveeno prioritizes naturally sourced ingredients, particularly oat extract. Dr. Michele Green, a cosmetic dermatologist, recommends this unscented lotion and points out the oats in the ingredient list. “Oats have been known to reduce skin inflammation as well as stimulate collagen production,” she says, adding that these oats bind the skin, creating a makeshift shield against irritants and locking in natural moisture. The Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains a prebiotic oat compound that is known to soothe the skin and restore the moisture barrier, making it ideal for anyone experiencing tightness, dryness, or itching. Glycerin, a humectant that attracts moisture to the skin, is also present.
This one is simple: take a few pumps and massage it all over your body, working it in until fully absorbed. I like to apply lotion to damp skin for a more dewy appearance (and this approach can actually help with deeper hydration overall, too). If you have extremely (extremely) dry skin, you could even use it on your face in a pinch.
Uses: Moisturize and soothe the skin
Ingredients: Prebiotic Oat
Avène XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cream
Four dermatologists recommend using this exceptionally rich cream to prevent cracking and splitting on extremely dry skin (and to treat those conditions once they occur). According to cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss, the fragrance-free formula contains vitamin E and ceramides, making it “extremely hydrating.” Dr. Annie Chiu, an L.A.-based dermatologist, is also a “big fan” of Avène’s cream due to its density, telling us that “severely dry skin typically calls for a thicker cream, balm, or ointment rather than a lotion because they can trap in moisture better.” Despite its richness, Hirsch claims that this cream is wearable without being too greasy, which is often an issue with creams designed for extremely dry skin. MacGregor also recommends the Avène cream for extremely dry skin, noting that “lotions marketed for rough and bumpy skin, because they have peeling agents (lactic or glycolic alpha hydroxy acids), and these are not good.”
Uses: Moisturize and soothe the skin
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion has long been a beauty favorite. It’s all around you. You can’t get away from it, and it’s easy to see why when you try it for the first time. The luxurious formula provides a luxurious application experience, and regular use results in long-lasting smoothness and softness, even during the harsh winter months.
Creams and cremes are two different things. It lives up to its promises of being rich, heavy, and buttery. Even when it’s full, you almost have to fight it out of the bottle. The luxurious formula softens dry skin with cocoa butter and helps improve barrier health while softening with squalane. It not only moisturizes, but it also fortifies the skin, allowing it to retain moisture for a longer period of time. Look no further if you’re looking for something thick and moisturizing.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is not the cheapest body lotion on the market at $30 for 8.4 oz., but as one of the New York-based brand’s most lauded products, you’re definitely paying for a staple. However, if you’re just looking for a rich body cream, you don’t have to buy this one in particular.
Uses: Moisturize, fortify, soothe and soften the skin
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Squalane
Video: Kiehl’s Since 1851
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration
According to Hirsch, this is a “wonderfully rich moisturizer,” making it a dependable candidate for those with dry skin. She also claims that the oats in the formula provide “simultaneous soothing.” This formula contains colloidal oatmeal, a skin protectant that aids in the relief of eczema and itchy, irritated skin. Allantoin, a comfrey plant-derived ingredient that also protects the skin, and shea butter, which contains a variety of skin-loving nutrients and vitamins, are two other key skin-soothing ingredients. FAB Antioxidant Booster: Licorice Root, Feverfew, and White Tea extracts help protect against environmental aggressors. In terms of texture, the moisturizer isn’t thin, but it’s also not ultra-thick. It has a more lotion-like texture than anything else and is easy to spread. A little does, indeed, go a long way.
When it comes to price, it’s a middle-of-the-road moisturizer at $36. If this isn’t your thing, or if it’s too expensive, there are other rich formulas that work just as well.
Ingredients: Colloidal Oatmeal, Allantoin, Shea Butter, FAB Antioxidant Booster
Video: First Aid Beauty®
Eucerin Advanced Repair Dry Skin Lotion
If the thought of a thick cream on your super-dry skin bothers you, Palep recommends Eucerin Advanced Repair Dry Skin Lotion, which is thinner than many other formulas for extreme dryness but promises to lock in moisture for up to 48 hours. (She’s not the only dermatologist who likes it; others have previously told us that it’s a great hydrator for dry skin.) “I’ve seen it wipe out alligator skin, which is difficult to do,” says Palep. MacGregor agrees, but cautions that because this formula contains lactic acid (along with ceramides and hyaluronic acid), it should be used to prevent the formation of extremely dry skin rather than to treat cracks or splits that have already formed. “It has mild peeling agents to smooth rough follicles,” she says, explaining why it’s better for prevention. Hirsch also warns that this lotion isn’t suitable for people who have “existing fissures” on their skin because it can sting. She does, however, mention lactic acid as a “often overlooked but fantastic” ingredient for dry skin because it can act as a gentle exfoliant as well as a humectant.
Price: $9 (discount)
Ingredients: Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid
Neutrogena Moisturizing Sheer Body Oil-Lotion
If you dislike creamier lotions, dermatologist Dr. Mary Lupo of the Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology recommends the following: Avoid those containing oil or shea butter in favor of those containing more glycerin. You should also avoid petrolatum (petroleum jelly), which makes lotions feel greasy, according to Jaliman. Her favorite Neutrogena lotion is lightweight and easily absorbed, according to her. This body moisturizer’s part lotion, part sesame oil formula silkens skin while hydrating and is fast-absorbing with a whisper-light feel, leaving skin moisturized without the heavy feeling of other lotions. This sesame oil body lotion glides on easily and deeply hydrates the skin, leaving it soft, silky, and smooth. According to Jaliman, the sesame oil in it is super-hydrating (and also works with the glycerin in the formula) and helps this lotion absorb instantly. It is also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores, making it suitable for all skin types. This body moisturizer is suitable for daily use; apply it to your skin after bathing and throughout the day for radiant, healthier-looking skin.
Uses: Moisturize, soothe and silken the skin
Ingredients: Sesame Oil
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream
Price: $13 (discount)
Ingredients: Petroleum and Glycerin
Video: Beauty Cosmetics
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Cream
Mitchell also recommends La Roche Posay, which, like Vanicream, is “accepted by the National Eczema Association,” making it ideal for people with sensitive skin. Despite its gentle nature, this lotion is powerful enough to “reduce dry, rough skin and provide daily relief.” She highlights the “unique prebiotic action on the skin microbiome,” which restores and preserves the skin’s barrier while providing longer-lasting results. Hirsch prefers this nearly identical cream from La Roche-Lipikar Posay’s line, which he describes as a “super-solid product” with glycerin, shea butter, and niacinamide, which helps to repair (and strengthen) the skin barrier.
In its simplicity, the fragrance-free formula is ideal. It’s gentle enough to use on sensitive or eczema-prone skin (it even has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance). It’s also effective enough to get rid of a stubborn dry flaky patch on my hand (the result of my engagement ring rubbing against my pinky 24/7) because it’s loaded with some tried-and-true moisturizers — shea butter, glycerin. It’s intended for use on the face and the body, and it helps to reduce redness (the formula has niacinamide, which helps take down flushing). And, despite having two seemingly contradictory words in its name — “balm” and “cream” — this moisturizer feels (and looks) exactly like a rich cream when applied.
Uses: Moisturize, soothe and strengthen the skin
Ingredients: Glycerin, Shea Butter and Niacinamide
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skin, Soothing Lotion With Colloidal Oatmeal
Eczema, according to Chiu, is a condition “characterized by irritated, chronically itchy skin,” and it can be notoriously finicky and difficult to treat. She (along with many of our experts) advises eczema patients to consult with their dermatologist before using any prescription products. In the absence of a prescription, Chiu, Idriss, and Levin (who claims to have eczema herself) all recommend using Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skin, Soothing Lotion With Colloidal Oatmeal on eczema-related dry skin. “It’s fragrance-free, enriched with ceramides and oatmeal — oatmeal is known to be really helpful for people with eczema because it helps calm inflammation — and it’s extremely long-lasting,” Idriss explains. This lotion also contains glycerin, which Levin describes as “not only a powerhouse ingredient because it really knows how to pull in water, but it’s not greasy.” That latter detail, Levin adds, may be especially appealing to eczema sufferers like herself because they “are so used to using greasy stuff that they actually tolerate and enjoy this one.” Furthermore, Aveeno made this lotion a little liquidy, allowing it to blend quickly and smoothly into the skin without the constant kneading required by some thicker lotions.
Uses: Moisturizing, Soothing, Softening, Deep Hydration
Ingredients: Colloidal Oatmeal, Ceramide, Glycerin