The rise of body moisturisers as skincare — and the ones you need to know

Whether you want more youthful-looking skin overnight, to keep body blemishes at bay, or to curb dry skin for good, Madeleine Spencer has your new skincare hero

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The new wave of body moisturisers have myriad benefits
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Madeleine Spencer2 April 2024

Here are two things I’d like you to know about my sister: first, she’s eight years my senior. Second: she has suffered from body eczema all her life and is therefore devoted to — no, positively obsessed with — moisturising her skin. It’s important that you know both these things because as a child, looking up to my sister on all such matters because of said age gap, I thought body moisturising par for the course, just something all adults did. 

I took to it with gusto as a teen. Palmer’s superlative Cocoa Butter was my day-to-day choice, while on ‘fancy’ (read: boy-related) occasions, The Body Shop’s iconic Body Butter came into play. As a result, my friends teased me (lovingly, I like to think) about my skin, some calling me ‘the seal’, other less charitable ones referring to me as a ‘toad’ on account of my skin always being slightly damp thanks to lashings of those moisturisers. 

Back then, ever a maximalist, I was always on the hunt for more. Something that would perhaps make me even softer. And perhaps even last for longer. Crickets. Nothing. The world of twenty years ago was a vastly different place.

But now, there is a proliferation of exciting body moisturiser launches. We have everything from those that will exfoliate gently while on (bye bye, KP) to deeply satisfyingly moisturising concoctions you can imagine the likes of famously-sybaritic Liz Taylor would slide on before slipping into silk and diamonds. I’ve tried all of them - of course I have. Here are those I think you should know about if you want to level up your efforts:

Transforming Body Lotion


This contains an AHA to gently exfoliate, glycerin to hydrate, and lactic acid to really dissolve those plugs in the skin — making it ideal for any areas with bumpy ‘chicken skin’, aka Keratosis Pilaris. Be warned though; while this smooths on nicely and will absolutely make your skin softer, it has a sour sort of smell, so is maybe not one for before a big night out.

Buy now£16.08, Ameliorate

The Body Cream

Augustinus Bader

Terribly expensive, I know - but this is a real treat for your skin, and after using it for a couple of weeks, I noticed mine was softer, smoother, and it definitely reduced the appearance of pigmentation on some scars I have. I’d recommend using it on bits you really want to improve to get the maximum bang for your buck.

Buy now£150, Augustinus Bader

Sleep Hero Overnight Recovery Body Mask

Body Proud

I can’t get enough. This is a lovely, lightweight gel that instantly makes skin feel more comfortable, then drops its retinol goodness to tell skin to behave more youthfully, too. Very clever, and an excellent price for the quality of product.

Black Rose Beautifying Emulsion


If I wanted to feel really, really good, this would be the one I’d go for. It slides on so easily, isn’t greasy, but packs a punch on the moisturising front. If you’re baring skin, or just like me think that having soft skin is a goal in itself, this one won’t let you down.

Buy now£138, John Lewis

The Shaping Body Cream with Lymphactive


One of the signs your lymphs need a little extra help? Puffiness. Iraye has developed a solution in the form of their range that stimulates the lymphatic vessels, helpign them to usher the stagnant fluid to the lymph nodes to be processed. Very clever. I use it on my legs and arms in the morning to encourage them to drain when they’re a bit swollen.

Buy now£95, Iraye Skincare

Anti-blemish & Scar Repair Body Moisturiser

47 Skin

Have body blemishes but also want to moisturise? 47 Skin has a formula designed to hydrate thanks to Vitamin D and ceramides, and then to treat using Silver Chitoderm, which reduces inflammation and kills bacteria — ideal for ‘bacne’ or chest acne.

Buy now£32, 47 Skin

Moisturising Cream


If you suffer from very dry skin, this is the one for you. Containing three ceramides (your dry skin loves ceramides — they help the lipid layer out and increase barrier function) and hyaluronic acid to help draw moisture to the surface, you can expect instant relief with an improvement in hydration over the long-term.

Buy now£16.13, Look Fantastic