I’m going to start with a bit of a disclaimer here: I am totally obsessed with body moisturisers. And while I give away a huge number of the beauty products that land on my desk for work to friends, family and colleagues, whenever a body lotion, butter or balm arrives for me I swiftly squirrel it away into my bathroom cupboard (which is, at this point, effectively a beauty hotspot for all manner of lotions and potions promising total body hydration).
Do you really need to use a body moisturiser?
For me, a body moisturiser is as much a staple in my daily routine as my toothpaste or face wash – i.e. it’s a total non-negotiable. So I’m always intrigued when friends of mine say that they don’t bother moisturising their body or view it as more of a special occasion – you know, maybe once a week after you’ve had a hot girl shower and bothered to shave your legs.
And I do get it. The main critique of body moisturisers seems to be that they’re just a bit of a faff – an extra step in a daily routine that has the potential to cause more issues than good. After all, is there anything worse than stepping out of the shower only to apply a nourishing body butter that refuses to sink in? Your freshly-clean skin is now coated in a thick, sticky residue that makes pulling on your jeans near impossible. In short, you’re sometimes left feeling cross rather than cocooned.
All I can say is, trust me. I have tried hundreds of body milks, lotions, butters and balms over the years and, yes, there are plenty that are not worth the time of day. But when you find one that works, it’s a complete game-changer.
What are the benefits of using a body moisturiser?
From softening dry skin and gently exfoliating away flaky patches, to evening skin tone and boosting radiance, the best body moisturisers will leave your limbs looking better than ever before. Oh, and they all sink in effortlessly with no elbow grease required on your part.
The best body lotions for dry skin in 2023
Ahead, six of the best body moisturiser formulas that I’ve tried, tested and won’t stop recommending. You’re welcome.
1. Keys Soulcare Melting Body Balm, £30
Turns out, Alicia Keys isn’t just skilled at crafting karaoke-worthy bangers; she’s also pretty nifty at creating efficacious body care. I’ll be honest, I adore the entire Keys Soulcare line (with the Sacred Body Oil and Rich Nourishing Body Cream also high on my most-used list) but it’s this innovative balm that has stolen the top spot as best body moisturiser for me.
Made from shea butter and coconut oil, it has a rich creamy texture that transforms into a silky oil on contact with your skin. Worry not though, there is no oily residue with this beauty, as it instantly sinks in to leave your skin ultra-soft and supple. Plus, it has the same comforting, creamy scent as the rest of the Keys Soulcare line, so you’ll genuinely feel like your skin is being cuddled by a cashmere blanket.
2. The Body Shop Moringa Body Yoghurt, £12
For many years, The Body Shop’s cult Body Butters were my jam and I always had a pot of the classic shea formula for dry skin in my stash. Of course, they’re a brand bestseller for a reason – they all smell incredible and genuinely do a brilliant job at moisturising skin – but it wasn’t until I tried The Body Shop’s slightly lesser-known Body Yoghurts a couple of years back that my allegiances changed.
Boasting a lighter-weight, slightly more whipped texture, the body yoghurts provide that magic mix of intense hydration, without any of the heaviness of a classic butter. They’re pleasingly slippy to apply and leave even the driest skin feeling soft and smooth. Moringa is my favourite for every day use, but I get extremely excited whenever a limited edition scent is released as I love using them so much.
3. Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Deluxe Body Moisture Crème, £15.50 with membership
I’ve become a firm believer that moisturising your body shouldn’t be a task, but rather looked upon as part of your morning ritual, and so the product that you use should, in the words of Mary Kondo, spark joy. This luxurious choice from Beauty Pie does just that, proffering a sumptuous, hydrating cream that has a lightweight feel but heavyweight moisturising capabilities.
Shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil and cold-pressed hibiscus flower enrich this cream with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids which nourish and soften the skin. The scent is heavenly too and goes a long way to helping you start your day right, thanks to the orange, tangerine, geranium and tonka bean essential oils.
4. CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream, £20
I like to have a bit of a library of body moisturisers, so I’ve got something for every occasion: indulgent textures for self-care rituals, scented creations for nights out and science-led formulations when I want to see results. This lotion from CeraVe lands in the latter camp; a dermatologist-developed cream enriched with salicylic acid and ceramides to gently yet effectively exfoliate away dead skin cells while protecting your skin’s natural barrier.
It’s totally fragrance-free (so great for sensitive skin) and it’s so effective at smoothing and treating bumps and dry patches then even people prone to psoriasis or keratosis pilaris will reap the benefits of slathering this on post-shower.
5. Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle, £8.50
For anyone who skips body moisturisers because they can’t be bothered to add an extra step to their beauty routines, or who simply don’t have the time to be slathering lotions on before getting dressed, this clever lotion from Sanctuary Spa is the answer. In fact, you don’t even have to exit the shower to use it.
Once you’ve rinsed clean and switched off the water, just apply this to soaking wet skin then towel-dry and get ready as normal. If you’ve never tried it then the concept sounds bizarre, but it’s really brilliant. Packed with apricot and avocado oils, it leaves skin deeply nourished without feeling sticky and it has a gorgeous floral scent that really lingers too.
Despite being a beauty editor who is lucky enough to have access to so many amazing products, there are still some brands that I can’t help but save for ‘best’ and one of those is Rituals. All of their products, from the shower gels to the body lotions, have a magical way of transforming a standard daily practice into a little self-care ritual, and their rich body creams are no exception.
My favourite is The Ritual of Ayurveda, an indulgent blend of sweet almond oil and heady Indian roses, which I have come to associate with evenings out or special occasions. The cream itself is thick and pampering, but melts into skin leaving nothing more than a healthy glow behind. I always buy it as a gift for friends and family and truly rate it as one of the best body moisturisers on the market.