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Best Body Lotions

Whether labeled body lotion, body cream, body butter, balm, or body oil, in order to earn our top rating these moisturizers must have most, if not all, of the following key features:

  • Gentle formulas, preferably fragrance-free
  • Treat skin to beneficial ingredients proven to alleviate dryness
  • Make skin smoother, softer, healthier, and younger-looking
  • Not be packaged in a jar
  • Not contain needless irritants or fragrant oils

Body moisturizers go by many names, but the most common that we see on products and that consumers use to describe this category is "body lotions". As you peruse this list, keep in mind that "body lotion" is the general category description that includes body creams, butters, balm, and oils. All such products are meant to improve signs of dry, tight skin. Those we rate BEST do so with an exemplary formula that includes not only a good mix of emollient (skin softening and smoothing) ingredients but also ingredients research has shown improve skin’s vital barrier function, which is key to getting skin from the neck down to look and act healthier and younger.

Speaking of younger, body lotions regardless of price or size, must contain an impressive mix of anti-aging ingredients in order to earn the coveted BEST rating. These formulas must not only smooth and soften, but also treat skin to antioxidants (for example, green tea) and cell-communicating ingredients such as retinol, peptides, and niacinamide. These ingredients are important to overall skin health, and there’s not much reason to consider body lotions that omit them, even if, in some cases, you have to pay a bit more to get these state of the art ingredients.

Last, we look for body lotion, creams, etc. that are either minimally fragranced or, ideally, fragrance-free. We acknowledge that many people love super-fragrant body lotions (what's sold at stores like Bath & Body Works and in most spas are prime examples) but the research is clear: What pleases your nose isn't making your skin happy. Surprisingly, fragrance in body lotions can be a major cause of irritation, which can lead to itchy, even more uncomfortable skin, not to mention redness, allergic reactions, and, depending on the source of irritating ingredients, a hastening of signs of aging (irritation results in pro-aging inflammation).

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