Whether Your Skin Is Itchy Or Cracking, These Are The Absolute Best Moisturizers For Dry Skin


If your skin is dry from your neck to your toes, occasionally slathering on body lotion before getting into your pajamas isn't going to cut it. What you should be doing is applying one of the best body moisturizers for dry skin every time you come out of the shower, since damp skin absorbs moisture better and holds on to it for longer.

Picking out a body lotion for dry skin isn't as easy as grabbing whatever's on sale at your local pharmacy. There are rich creams, lighter weight lotions, formulas that exfoliate, and oils. To ensure you actually use it on the regular, you want to make sure you pick out a product that suits your personal preferences. If your someone who prefers light, milky lotions, you're not going to enjoy slathering on a rich balm.

To avoid further exacerbating your dry skin, you'll also want to avoid taking piping hot showers. Dermatologists also recommend taking shorter baths or showers — ideally, between five and 10 minutes.Make sure you're using a moisturizing body wash, too — preferably one that doesn't contain any soap, sulfates, or alcohol.

Now, onto the important stuff: choosing the right body moisturizer for you. Below, you'll find five of the most highly-recommended formulas from dermatologists and Amazon reviewers alike.

Best Body Lotion For Dry Skin

O'Keeffe's Skin Repair Body Lotion might look like something you'd find in your dad's toolshed — but don't discount it just because it won't look chic on your nightstand. Using a mix of glycerin to attract moisture, dimethicone to retain that moisture, and glycerin to soften skin, this hard-working body lotion hydrates skin for up to 48 hours. The non-greasy, fragrance-free formula can also help relieve flaky, itchy skin, which diabetics and those with eczema will appreciate. Reviewers who have to wash their hands a lot for work swear by this stuff for healing cracked skin, too.

"I work at Starbucks and my hands are constantly in super harsh sanitizer, dish water, being washed over and over, and reaching out the cold drive thru window," writes one reviewer. "This is the first lotion I've ever found that is truly non-greasy, odorless, fast-acting, long-lasting, and actually makes a significant difference on my dry, cracked, eczema-prone skin."

The Best Body Cream For Dry Skin

For generally dry skin that's not necessarily itchy or irritated, La Roche-Posay's Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Cream is one of the best moisturizing body creams on the market. Dermatologists typically recommend using creams over lotions for dry skin, since they tend to be more effective at moisturizing. This one, which has won awards (from SELF and Ebony magazines, to name a few) uses shea butter to soften, glycerin to retain moisture, niacinamide for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and the brand's signature prebiotic thermal water to further soothe and hydrate skin. It hydrates for up to 48 hours while working to replenish the skin's lipids and soften rough areas. Even babies as young as 2 weeks old can use this fragrance-free moisturizing cream, making it an excellent option for sensitive skin.

Best Body Balm For Dry Skin

For an even more nourishing option, try Bioderma's Atoderm PP Baume Ultra-Nourishing Balm. It's rich and creamy, yet easily absorbable, and was made with dry, itchy, sensitive skin in mind. The hero ingredient in this fragrance-free formula, asides from the regular moisturizing suspects, like glycerin and dimethicone, is zanthalene, a unique, plant-based extract that has soothing and itch-relieving properties. Another great option for those with eczema or other sensitive skin conditions, this body moisturizer also works to prevent future flare-ups by strengthening your skin's natural protective barrier. Though it may be on the pricier side, you do get the most product out of any lotion on this list — almost 17 ounces. Not to mention, it's one of the rare beauty products with a near-perfect, 4.8-star rating on Amazon.

Best Body Lotion/Cream For Body Acne & KP

If you have dry skin that's prone to breakouts on your chest, butt, and back — or you have keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin — you should definitely try an exfoliating formula, like CeraVe SA Cream. It contains salicylic acid, a BHA that's used to treat acne by shedding dead skin and unclogging pores. But even though it's exfoliating, it's still incredibly moisturizing, thanks to a mix of vitamin D, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that help your skin maintain a healthy protective barrier. Many reviewers also noted that it helped with their psoriasis.

"This product completely changed the texture of my skin. I use to suffer from excessive dryness and keratosis [pilaris]. I had horrible bumps on my legs and alligator skin until I found this lotion. Now I feel like a baby dolphin when I rub my legs together!" raved one reviewer.

Note that the same product is also available in a lotion, for those who prefer less thick formulas. For those with dry skin looking for more heavy-duty nourishment, though, the cream is probably your better option.

Best Body Moisturizer Eczema-Prone Skin

Though all of the products on this list are accepted by the National Eczema Association (except for the O'Keeffes, which is still relatively new) and may help relieve symptoms like itching and flaking, this body moisturizer from Cetaphil Pro was specifically formulated to treat eczema-prone skin. It's free of all the common irritants that may trigger eczema or dermatitis flare-ups — fragrance, steroids, nut oils, etc. — and works to soothe dryness, relieve itching, and hydrate skin. It also contains arginine and PCA, which both naturally occur in your skin and are essential to maintaining a healthy protective barrier. You can use it on babies as young as 3 months old, too.

"Our baby had intense eczema on his legs when he was about 3 months. We tried everything ... Nothing worked," writes one reviewer. "His eczema would get so bad it will be raised, red, scaly patches covering his whole calf. Enter Restoraderm. [Ed's note: the old name for the product.] Worked like a miracle! After a few months his eczema stopped surfacing all together. Now anytime he gets a little red spot, this stuff zaps it! Will never use anything else!"

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