- It’s typical to prioritize facial moisturizers, but body creams are just as important.
- A good body moisturizer will replenish, soothe, and protect your skin without being too sticky.
- The Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is our favorite – a rich cream that will instantly give you soft skin.
Many of us neglect our skin from the neck down but moisturizing our limbs is equally as important – especially when you get out of the shower. As your skin dries, the water evaporates off the top layer, which can sap moisture from your epidermis. Smoothing on moisturizer keeps your skin feeling soft and hydrated instead of tight and itchy. This is doubly true for folks with skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis. Proper hydration can help you avoid painful flare-ups, making a body moisturizer a must-have in your beauty arsenal.
There are all sorts of body moisturizers out there – from balms to creams to lotions – and the one you choose depends on your skin type and preference. To save you time and effort finding the right one for you, we’ve rounded up the best ones, some with self-tanning properties and others boasting antioxidants for skin-boosting benefits. If you have a specific skin condition, however, it’s a good idea to check in with your dermatologist before starting any new project regimen, just to make there won’t be any adverse effects.
Here are the best body moisturizers in 2021:
- Best body moisturizer overall: Kiehl’s Crème de Corps
- Best drugstore body moisturizer: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
- Best body moisturizer to splurge on: Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
- Best body moisturizer with antioxidants: Nécessaire Body Lotion
- Best self-tanning body moisturizer: Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Daily Moisturizer
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is our top body moisturizer overall because it gives you soft, smooth, and healthy-looking skin with immediate results.
Pros: Good for normal, dry, or sensitive skin; no added synthetic fragrance
Cons: Some may find it a bit greasy
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is a lifesaver that targets dryness, dullness, and uneven skin texture, giving you brighter-looking skin. It nourishes, locks in moisture for hydration, and leaves your limbs feeling soft and smooth.
The rich body lotion is packed with a powerful blend of ingredients, including antioxidant-packed beta-carotene, skin-softening cocoa butter, and moisture-replenishing olive-derived squalane. The beta-carotene is also what gives the lotion its slightly orange tint.
In testing, I found Kiehl’s Crème de Corps had a whipped butter-like texture and a pleasant, subtle fragrance that stems from the ingredients. The body lotion absorbed quickly leaving it looking instantly smoother. However, despite claiming to be non-greasy, it did feel a little greasy on my skin, possibly due to the cocoa butter and oils like olive and avocado.
The best drugstore body moisturizer
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion is an award-winning drugstore moisturizer that hydrates without leaving behind a greasy feeling — and without the big price tag too.
Pros: Affordable, fragrance-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic, soothing oatmeal is good for eczema and itchy skin, great for all skin types including sensitive, oily, and dry skin
Cons: Left behind some residue on skin
Designed to absorb quickly and last 24 hours, this body moisturizer’s gentle formula promises to leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and healthy-looking
Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion works wonders for dry skin and is ideal for daily use. It contains natural ingredients like oatmeal to relieve dry, itchy skin, while emollients soften dry areas.
In testing, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion was the perfect consistency — not too thick or too thin. It didn’t irritate my sensitive skin and made it look smooth, though it left a slight residue. I appreciate its pump dispenser (for extra convenience), and the fact its fragrance is subtle.
The best body moisturizer to splurge on
The Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream has a velvety consistency that doesn’t leave a residue — and it smells like a tropical island.
Pros: Fast-absorbing, hydrating, delicious smell, antioxidant-packed ingredients, cruelty-free, paraben-free
Cons: The scent can be a little strong, especially if you use a lot of product
Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream product smell like coconut trees and sandy beaches. Its consistency is super smooth and glides seamlessly over the skin. It’s especially great for dry areas and, though I focus the product on my upper thighs during the summertime, it’s still a go-to in colder months when I hop out of the shower.
It’s also fast-absorbing. In fact, your skin will feel instantly hydrated the second you swipe it on. Though the scent may be too strong for some, I only noticed an extra potent scent if I apply more product than average.
The best with antioxidants
For instant hydration and long-term protection, Nécessaire Body Lotion is well, necessary.
Pros: Formulated with vitamins A, C, and E; fast-absorbing, paraben-free
Cons: May be greasy if much product is used
Necessaire’s Body Lotion is a top-tier product for including popular skin-care ingredients in its body-care products. This ensures the skin on your arms and legs is just as hydrated, healthy, and nourished as the skin on your face.
This minimalist tube is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, and omega fatty acids 3, 6, and 9 for an added, antioxidant-filled boost. There’s even niacinamide — an ingredient more commonly found in serums — to help soothe irritated skin and smooth out fine lines. The formula still manages to absorb quickly and doesn’t leave much greasy residue, though that depends on how much you pile on.
The best for self-tanning
For hydrated, firmer skin, and a natural-looking glow, Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Daily Moisturizer is our top pick.
Pros: Affordable, gradual and natural color, bearable smell for a self-tanner
Cons: Only comes in two shades
Not only does Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Daily Moisturizer target dry skin, but it also provides a gentle-looking tan and helps reduce the appearance of cellulite in seven days.
This multipurpose moisturizer is formulated with vitamin E, collagen, elastin, and ginseng to help hydrate, firm, tighten, and improve the elasticity of your skin. What’s more, its color-enhancing complex subtly yet gradually deepens your skin tone, so you don’t need to worry about looking like an Oompa Loompa.
It comes in two shades (fair to medium and medium to dark) and leaves behind uniform color with a streak-free finish. For best results, exfoliate first before applying all over your body, but do so sparingly on knees, elbows, and ankles. Wait a few minutes for the lotion to dry before dressing and be sure to wash your hands — unless you want them to be extra tan.
This is my go-to body moisturizer for parties, weddings, or whenever I want to take my fair skin a hue tanner. It does the job and always results in a smooth finish in less than a day. And, unlike many self-tanning products, the smell is bearable thanks to odor-reducing technology.
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