Best body lotions to give dry skin a moisturising boost

Skin-quenching lotions and potions

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Ellie Davis10 January 2024
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Our parched skin is crying out for nourishment and there is only one beauty product up to the task - the humble body lotion.

While you may have your facial routine down to a fine art, many of us leave our limbs to fend for themselves on the lotion front.

Instead of smearing on the minis you find in hotel bathrooms, treating your body to quality moisturising ingredients will leave it silky smooth, hydrated and radiant. When it comes to ingredients, look for heavy hydration hitters like shea butter, argan oil and colloidal oatmeal that will support the skin’s barrier and give it the conditioning it so richly deserves.

Whether you’re on a budget or ready to invest in luxe, looking for thick and deeply nourishing or lightweight and cooling, or lotion, cream, butter or oil textures, the market is awash with products. It can often feel overwhelming to know where to start, which is where we come in.

Over the years, as a moisturising addict, I’ve dabbed, rubbed, smothered and patted myself with hundreds of formulas in the name of beauty journalism. I’m in the prime position to advise on the ones worth snapping up and the ones to leave on the beauty hall shelf.

I’ve put them through their paces to sort the wheat from the chaff, but as is often the case with skin and body care, this can be a hugely personal experience. Luckily, body lotions sit at the more cost-friendly end of the beauty product spectrum so don’t be afraid to add a few of the below to basket and try them out for size.

Here are the only body lotions worth investing in.

Shop now

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion


Not only is this one of the best body lotions on the market, but it comes with a purse-friendly price tag - so there’s no excuse not to apply after every shower.

The formula may appear thick on first pump, but as soon as it touches the skin, you’ll feel it is lightweight - even while doubling down on the nourishment - and sinks right into the skin. The collodial oatmeal within the product offers long-lasting moisturisation and is ultra-soothing.

So gentle and kind to skin is the Aveeno hero product that it can even be used by those with sensitivites. It’s fragrance-free, has no oily residue and leaves the most sumptuous skin-feel in its wake. Pay particular attention to dry areas like the elbows to see the product pack a real punch.

Buy now£7.99, Boots

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Body Lotion


When it comes to moisturiser, in some cases, the more nourishing that you’re looking for, the thicker you want the texture. But not with Norwegian Formula. The brand excels in its super absorbant and non-greasy creams, whether you are talking about its hand creams or this body lotion.

You will be a convert in just one use after seeing the benefits of this product on dry areas. It has one of the deepest moisturisations on the market and will keep it that way for up to 24 hours. There’s a lovely, but very subtle aroma that adds to the freshness.

Buy now£5.45, Boots

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

If you’re not yet familiar with Sol de Janeiro or the Brazilian skin, hair and fragrance label’s cult Bum Bum Cream, you’re in for a treat. We cannot stress enough the effect that it'll have on your mood, as well as your skin.

It is enriched with one of the most heady aromas on the market - a combination of almond, vanilla and coconut that you will catch a whiff of throughout the day. While the scent transports you to Copacabana, the nourishing benefits of cupuaçu butter, coconut oil, açaí oil, and Brazil nut hydrates the skin, smothering it with nutrients, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

At the heart is guaraná, an Amazonian vine that has a smoothing and revitalising effect with five times more caffeine than coffee.

The legendary body lotion is joined by Bom Dia Bright with a light, floral and fresh scent and Beija Flor Elasti-Cream with the fragrance of the Cheirosa ‘68 fragrance that has notes of lychee essence and pink dragonfruit, salty ocean air and hibiscus and a base of sheer vanilla and sun musk.

Buy now£48, Space NK

Cetaphil Moisturising Body Cream


When you have sensitive skin, tracking down a product that wont exacerbate the situation may lead you down a path of medicinal formulations that aren’t exactly the most enticing to use. Enter Cetaphil - a brand that provides intense rehydration and yet still feels pampering to apply.

This mighty formulation gives long-lasting moisturisation and is suitable to soothe a whole host of skincare concerns and conditions without causing further irritation. It is thick and nourishing where a little goes a long way.

Buy now£16, lookfantastic

Institut Esthederm Tan Prolonging Body Lotion

Institut Esthederm

Rehydrate with this body lotion after a sun-drenched day and your skin will certainly thank you. The luxurious label Institut Esthederm has formulated this spray to absorb instantly and get to work soothing any warm weather related dryness or discomfort on the skin. The texture is creamy and brings hydration in spades. Don’t holiday without this.

Buy now£48, Space NK

AMELIORATE Transforming Body Lotion


When skin is dry, peeling or cracking, you need something that will provide instant hydration with real lasting power - and this lotion from AMELIORATE should be on hand.

The unperfumed product uses lactic acid to gently exfoliate the skin, while the brand’s signature LaH6 complex has impressive moisturising capabilities.

To take this to the next level, there’s nourishing sweet almond oil that leaves skin feeling silky smooth. Its light texture also makes it ideal for all-season usage.

Buy now£9.60, lookfantastic

Weleda Skin Food Body Lotion


There is a reason why Weleda’s Skin Food is considered a cult product and one of the brand’s bestselling products: it works. The deeply nourishing formula is brimming with shea butter, pansy and calendula that is a godsend to very dry skin types. While treating your arms, legs or wherever else you coat yourself, it has the soothing, sweet scent of lavender, sweet orange and benzoin resin.

Buy now£10.47, lookfantastic

Malin + Goetz Rum Body Lotion

Malin + Goetz

Daily use of this body lotion from Malin + Goetz will be a saviour to skin everywhere. The hydrating ingredients include healing grapeseed oil and provitamin B5, and are all natural so it can be applied by those with rosacea and the likes without incorporating harsh chemicals into your routine. Each time you layer this up will feel like a true act of self-care thanks to the delicious lime and rum concoction.

Buy now£32, Space NK

Neom Energy Burst hand and body lotion


Incorporating pampering products like this lotion from Neom into your routine will have you relishing the often arduous task of full body cream application. That is not in a small part due to the delicious notes of grapefruit, lemon and rosemary that make up the revitalising aroma. This product has been created to give you an energetic boost in the morning and get you ready to take on the day. It will also leave your skin soft and smooth with shea butter, sea buckthorn oil and argan contained within the formulation.

Buy now£22, AllBeauty

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Serum Body Cream

Laura Mercier

You will not be able to get enough of Laura Mercier’s addictive aroma in this cream. The bestselling Ambre Vanille collection is made up of a hand cream, a foaming bath emulsion and this heavenly body serum that you’ll want to lather up for a sensorial experience.

The scent is created with notes of tangerine, coconut and almond, and a heart of tiger orchid, milk flower and heliotrope for a warm, sensual fragrance that remains light. It is also packed with vitamins A, C and E to nourish and enhance skin’s touch appeal.

Buy now£56, Space NK

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait Urea 5+ Lotion

La Roche-Posay

This product, like the entirety of La Roche-Posay’s skincare offering, has the label’s signature Thermal Spring Water at its heart. This provides an immediate hit of hydration that will be very welcomed to parched skin. It has a milky texture that sinks straight into the skin to soothe, reduce roughness and boost its natural barrier. The gentle formula should be massaged into the skin and is entirely hypoallergenic so can be used by even the most sensitive of skin types.

Buy now£26, lookfantastic

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Cream


The frangipani aroma of this body cream from Elemis wont be for everyone but the sweet, floral and exotic scent is ideal for bringing a touch of summer to your skincare routine no matter the time of year. The formula contains a winning cocktail of natural oils - monoi, coprah, macadamia and sesame - for deep nourishment and intense conditioning. Your skin will thank you.

Buy now£29, Boots

Tata Harper Resurfacing Body Serum

Tata Harper

In its latest launch, Tata Harper is on a mission to encourage us all to give our bodies the same love, care and attention as we do our faces. Adding to the brand’s collection of facial serums is one designed specifically for the body.

The Resurfacing Body Serum has a milky texture and contains gentle exfoliants in the form of AHA superfruits to encourage better absorption of the other powerhouse ingredients, namely hydrating hyaluronic acid, brightening vitamin C and anti-ageing vitamin A. Use a scrub first to maximise the benefits and massage into skin.

Buy now£139, Space NK

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Body Lotion


From the light and bright fresh citrus scent, to the easily applied featherweight lotion texture, this body product is the ideal warm weather product.

It instantly soothes and nourishes with the combination of shea butter, sugar cane, sugar maple extracts, lemon and orange extracts, and vitamins A and C. Brimming with antioxidant production, the formula works to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and counteracts dryness over a longer period of time.

Buy now£16.90, Space NK

Summer Fridays Pool Time Glowing Body Oil

Summer Fridays

You don’t need to have spent a week soaking up the sun rays in St Tropez to get that fresh from the beach glow. Summer Fridays has bottled the enviable radiant complexion and made it accessible all year round with this body oil.

It is a skincare product first and foremost so it’s packed with the nourishing cocktail of jojoba, macadamia, sunflower, and apricot kernel oils as well as vitamin E to protect against free radical damage. The formula hydrates and leaves skin feeling velvety soft.

The product has a beautiful addictive aroma too, with fresh notes of almond, vanilla blossom and coconut. Dry and dull skin has met its match.

Buy now£40, Cult Beauty

OLEHENRIKSEN BeamCream Smoothing Body Moisturizer


OLEHENRIKSEN has ventured into the world of body care with two launches designed to smooth and brighten skin.

With the same potent formulas as its skincare products, the brand has created BeamCream that is designed to boost moisture levels with a noticeable effect in just a week of use. With continual application, your skin will feel super soft and strengthened thanks to the combination of gentle exfoliating AHAs and fruit enzymes, radiance-boosting caffeine and nourishing butters and oils. It also improves skin texture, minimises the look of dark spots and even tackles fine lines and wrinkles - in an eight week study, 75.3 per cent confirmed the latter. The formula also has a lovely citrus aroma.

The brand has also unveiled FirmlyYours Toning Dry Body Oil (£36), a firming and hydrating product with a glowy finish.

Buy now£32, Boots

Biossance Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream


Another formula that applies a facial anti-ageing approach to bodycare, this delicious cream is packed with fantastic firming and nourishing ingredients.

Squalane derived from sugar cane ensures deep, skin-softening hydration, marine algae improves texture and elasticity, plus niacinamide provides a smoothing effect. Add caffeine from green coffee beans into the mix to help firm and invigorate skin, and you’ll see good toning results.

The cream sinks in beautifully but has enough slip to allow for massaging well into the areas you want to focus on and as a little goes a long way, the chunky pot will last an impressive amount of time.

Buy now£23, Cult Beauty

VENN Probiotic-Tensive Hydro Firming Body Cream


Rub a little of this cream between your palms and it quickly transforms into a luscious serum-smooth texture that glides onto skin and delivers an instant hit of hydration that lasts all day. It’s rich in fantastic cellulite fighters, including fermented seed and root extracts that repair the skin, counteract roughness and improve collagen production to help firm up sagging areas.

The signature blend of pre, pro and postbiotics as well as antioxidants help boost skin health too, keeping the surface more hydrated and warding off a wrinkled appearance that exacerbates the look and feel of cellulite further.

Buy now£93, Face The Future