www.reviewthis.com

The Best Lotions for Dry Skin of 2019, Ranked

Lotions for Dry Skin: The Best of 2019

Finding the best lotion to combat dry skin issues can be a nightmare that makes dull, flaky skin almost worth the lack of effort. While our culture values radiant, glowing, silky skin, those rights used to be almost exclusively reserved for the genetically lucky and the cast of Hollywood, leaving the rest of us to do our best with what Momma gave us. Now, we face a myriad of products rippling down the market as new trends and “beauty secrets” arise. Truthfully, there are no secrets when it comes to skincare. Most of the process is trial and error, so when seeking the best lotion for dry skin, a wealth of products can actually be an advantage. However, to make the most of what’s out there, a guide is a necessity. Maybe yours is spiritual or emotional, but we’d like to add a factual guide, as well, with the hopes of helping all those out there searching for their own miracle, dry skin fix.

Premium pick

1. Aquaphor Healing Ointment

9.75 / 10

Aquaphor’s healing ointment is yet another multi-purpose gem, this time suited for those of us with very dry skin conditions, including chapped lips. Aquaphor can be used just about anywhere on our external skin and provides an intense moisture barrier with a rich viscosity. The texture and feel of this product are quite dissimilar to most lotions and creams, as it is largely petroleum based, resembling instead a Vaseline-type consistency.

With any moisturizer, putting on clothing or touching the applied area with fabric will interfere with the product if done too soon, and typically, thicker products tend to take longer to absorb or dry into the skin. As a result, while Aquaphor’s healing ointment is incredibly multi-purpose, it may require a few extra minutes to incorporate as a daily dose of hydration.

For someone like me, this is an excellent product for troublesome spots, rather than an all-over treatment. It is noticeably healing and soothing on dry lips, hands, nail beds, and heels—especially during the winter months! Repeated use seems to help heal these areas, saving from unsightly patches of dead and drying skin. For others with very dry skin, seasonally or regularly, this may be the perfect product for full-body hydration.

Petroleum-based products are typically quite mild, but can often cause acne, as well. Using this product as a facial moisturizer will likely not be an option, and some may need to consider if it will cause their back or chest to break out. That being said, the unique texture of this ointment truly is unlike other products on the market and is a miracle cure for many people’s worst dry skin issues.

Key Features
  • For use on dry lips, hands, cuticles, heels, feet, and any small burns
  • Ointment formulated to protect skin without smothering fluid and oxygen flow
  • Thicker than lotions and creams; helps heal the driest cracked skin
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.7 inches
  • Product Weight: 1 pound
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Preservative free, fragrance free, no dyes, no parabens, hypoallergenic
  • Excellent for dry, chapped skin types
  • Short list of ingredients
Cons
  • Must sit for a little while to avoid greasiness
  • Petroleum product may cause acne
  • Can stain clothing

Two-for-one. You’ve probably heard of the concept before, and honestly, it’s usually a pretty exciting deal. Feeling like you’re getting something free, or like your single product is doing double duty is gratifying, and sometimes we need that. We could all definitely use that help when it comes to hydrating our dry skin; applying lotion is a time-consuming process, especially for those who are newly adding it to their routine. The best practice is to moisturize just after toweling off post-bathing—a time that can be stressful and busy if we’re rushing off to work, late for a meeting, or trying to wrangle kids off to school. Needless to say, we might not always have a full 5 minutes for flawless application and a bit of drying time before we throw clothes on top of our efforts.

Products like CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing face and body lotion for dry skin become a huge asset, simply for working as a twofer. This semi-thin lotion is made for normal to dry skin, meaning that it might not provide adequate protection for drier skin types. It may also need a boost during the colder months for some but can be ideal year-round for those with mild to moderate dry skin. It is formulated to be used on the body and the face without clogging pores in either area. Not having to swap, mix, or utilize multiple products for this step is a huge time-saver, perfect for those skin types that jive well with this hydrating, hypoallergenic formula.

Key Features
  • Formulated with ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II for hydration
  • Uses hyaluronic acid to aid skin’s moisture retention
  • Patented MVE technology slows release for 24-hour moisture
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 8 x 4 inches
  • Product Weight: 0.16 ounces
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Oil-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance free, hypoallergenic
  • Normal to dry skin
  • National Ezcema Association Seal of Acceptance
Cons
  • May not be hydrating enough for very dry skin
  • Greasy on the face
  • Sensitive skin reactions still occur

As is always my motto, if a product can do more than one good thing for me at a time, I say all the better. This cocoa butter formula from Palmer’s is a daily-use lotion that provides moisture and extra softness all day long. If that weren’t enough, the cocoa butter itself also works in conjunction with an infused blend of Vitamin E to help diminish the visibility of scars, stretch marks, and similar dermal irregularities. Repeated use with this product noticeably evens skin’s tone and texture, including these “imperfections.” Few other predominant products on the market claim to help heal skin, and usually their advertised purpose is more for dry skin specifically, rather than the number of conditions treated with this soothing lotion.

Palmer’s proudly uses natural ingredients and only sustainably produced butters and oils, including the cocoa butter in this body lotion. As with some other dry skin lotions on this list and on the market, this product is not formulated to be a facial moisturizer, but most brands (including this one) carry products to complement their body-only lotions.

As far as a body lotion goes, this product provides deep hydration and eczema care, along with the above-mentioned healing of some skin inconsistencies, making it really excellent competition that stands out and offers something a bit different. Their main ingredient difference, the cocoa butter blend, also gives this lotion a very light, pleasant, natural coconut type scent that soothes the senses, along with eczema and rough, dry skin patches.

Key Features
  • Formulated for all skin types, including eczema treatment
  • Made with cocoa butter to help heal scars, stretch marks, & blemishes
  • Only incorporates butters and oils that are sustainably produced
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 0.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 1 pound
  • Vitamin Types: E
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Dries quickly after application
  • No greasy residue
  • 24-hour hydrating formula
Cons
  • Has a scent
  • Has a long list of ingredients
  • May cause acne

As the cliché saying goes, everybody is different. This is physically true as much as in any other way, and while a great dry skin lotion guide should certainly cater to those suffering most, I think it should also provide a variety of worthy selections for the large wedge of people whose dry skin issues may be more localized on their bodies or more sporadic to appear, determined by environmental conditions. Although the majority of people may not need intense dry skin healing often, milder cases can still become uncomfortable and make our skin look dull and thirsty. For these cases, it is wise to choose a “normal to dry” skin lotion, and since skin types can still vary so greatly within that demographic, it’s really helpful to have a few different options to choose from!

Lubriderm’s daily moisture hydrating body lotion is a leading product within this sector of the skin care game. This fragrance-free formula is very light to the touch, made with a thinner formula that smooths on easily and leaves skin feeling surprisingly silky. I keep this product in my kitchen by the sink, as it is a perfect warm-weather lotion for dry hands brought on by water exposure (the short amount of time it takes to dry suits from my busy summer lifestyle while keeping my skin hydrated). If your skin, like mine, becomes more needy in the colder months, this may not be an adequate year-round product. However, this is my go-to summer time body lotion if my elbows, knees, or heels become ashy, as well, suiting the “normal to dry” skin type it advertises for. For the majority of skin types, this would likely be an excellent candidate for a daily dose of hydration!

Key Features
  • Clinically shown to moisturize for 24-hours
  • Formulated with B5 and moisturizers to help skin’s natural barrier
  • Dermatologist developed brand
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 4 x 9.2 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.77 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: B5
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Fragrance free, non-greasy
  • Normal to dry skin
  • Dries quickly after application
Cons
  • Made with parabens
  • Thinner formula may not treat very dry skin
  • Sweats off with activity

Maybe I have a weak stomach, but I think there are few real-life things more horrifying than noticeably shedding dry skin, especially in a close-quarters situation, during an important meeting, or glammed up and out to eat. Snakes can keep shedding as their M.O., and we can make sure it isn’t ours thanks to strong over-the-counter remedies like Eucerin’s Intensive Repair lotion.

As its name suggests, this lotion is an intense dose of hydration, coupled with an exfoliant called Alpha Hydroxy acid (AHA). This exfoliant targets flaky skin patches, helping to remove dry skin cells and really condition the skin to a smoother, softer state. Eucerin’s Intensive Repair lotion is also infused with a number of key hydrating ingredients which repair and fully moisturize those freshly exfoliated spots, helping to keep them protected.

Unfortunately, this can still make our skin more vulnerable to sun damage, so if these steps are necessary to help combat very dry, flaky skin, just remember to incorporate a sunscreen and/or avoid prolonged sun exposure. Truthfully, we should all be using a sunscreen each day, anyway, and many body moisturizers do not include SPF of any kind. Being able to walk around comfortably with glowing, healthy skin instead of dry, shedding skin is worth the effort—and you’ll be saving your skin from daily hazardous sun damage!

Key Features
  • Repairs and prevents very dry skin
  • 48-hour moisture with immediately noticeable hydration
  • Formulated with natural amino acids and ceramide 3
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Fragrance free, dye free, paraben free
  • Excellent for intensely dry skin
  • No greasy residue
Cons
  • Contains AHA, which increases skin’s sensitivity to sunlight
  • May cause acne
  • Must be used with SPF for burn protection

The second time NIVEA makes this list is for a potion in a purple bottle they call the Shea Daily Moisture body lotion. This lighter formula packs a lot of creamy hydrating power, with a patented moisture serum and shea butter. This product is noticeably effective in healing and moisturizing chapped skin, especially brought on by environmental (weather) conditions.

The only real bummer for this product as a daily-use repair is that it is noticeably scented, which is a huge drawback for sensitivities. NIVEA does not universally offer fragrance-free or sensitivity-free products in their skin care line, so those who already recognize that as a deal-breaker can’t consider this option. It’s also important to note that this is another product that may not be hydrating enough for more moderate to severe dry skin; as we’ve discussed, though, this makes it another viable option for that large slice of the population with normal to dry skin.

For those best suited for this type of body lotion, it is equally worth considering, as it really does feel quite nice on the skin and does create noticeable, long-lasting softness. Many people in the normal to dry skin demographic are only confronted by ashy spots and dull skin during colder months, or due to prolonged exposure with water, like washing dishes or taking long, hot showers (the latter of which we are more prone to do during the colder months); as a result, having access to a lotion that effectively combats these issues is a happy discovery, indeed!

Key Features
  • Nourishing serum made with shea butter
  • Smoother skin after one use
  • 48-hour moisture with a lightweight formula
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 2 x 9.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.02 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Works to combat dry skin due to climate
  • Doesn’t take too long to absorb
  • Very satisfying pump top
Cons
  • Has a scent
  • May cause acne
  • May not be enough for very dry skin

Not long ago, OGX began demanding attention with its wildly popular shampoo and hair conditioners. Now, it’s hard to find a drugstore or supermarket that does not have allocated shelf space for these products, easily distinguishable by their pod-shaped bottles and featured exotic ingredients. Their line now includes body washes and lotions, along with shampoos and conditioners.

All of their products are known for having addictive scents, at least one exotic ingredient, and are made without any animal testing. Their Extra Creamy + Coconut Miracle Oil moisture lotion has a light, tropical scent and provides generous, rich hydration. Since it does contain coconut oil, this product may clog pores and cause acne, especially on the face. However, as a body lotion, this is another fantastic, fast-drying option for dry, dull, and dehydrated skin.

Coconut oil is a bit different than cocoa butter, and the way each treats and sinks into skin as part of a lotion will certainly be different, as well. Generally, coconut oil is said to help treat eczema, which may indicate that this lotion could be quite useful for more moderate to severe dry skin cases, so long as sensitivities aren’t an issue. Raw coconut oil also creates a nice protective barrier over the skin, and this OGX lotion provides that same feeling without leaving behind any greasy residue. It absorbs surprisingly fast for a thicker product, and it really does smell great!

Key Features
  • Infused with coconut oil, vanilla bean extract, and essence of tiare
  • Tropically scented formula is super hydrating
  • Rich, creamy formula still absorbs fast and retains moisture
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 4 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.38 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Very lovely scent for those who can tolerate it
  • Doesn’t leave a film on the skin
  • For AM and PM use
Cons
  • May cause acne
  • Fragranced formula may irritate sensitive skin types
  • Formulated with alcohol

When it comes to skin care products, we often discuss scented options in a negative light, mainly for two reasons: first, perfuming ingredients cause allergic reactions for lots of people, and second, many more people just don’t like strong scents! Having a headache all day from your own lotion just isn’t worth it. This Jergens Original Scent lotion is a bit of an outlier to this rule, as its scent is a large part of what attracts its consumer base and makes users feel comfortable, as well.

Like many of the skin care brands on this list, Jergens is a very old company with some very deep roots in the hearts of its loyal fans and consumers. Their Original Scent lotion is infused with cherry almond essence, creating a memorable smell that thousands of customers (including myself) absolutely love. Tip: if you don’t know the smell, think of the light pink soap in public bathrooms and elementary school bathrooms that smells like cherries! This is a Jergens legend, and plenty of consumers recognize it as something you can trust.

This product is a dry skin moisturizer, after all, and it does a very handsome job of bringing comfortable hydration to all-over dry skin. It’s dermatologist tested, though it is not technically formulated to be sensitivity free in any way. The formula is packed with Jergens nourishing “Hydralucence blend” and Vitamins E, C, & B5. I think there is a visible difference after using this lotion even once, even if your skin has just been a little bit dry.

When a product has been around for a long time and the customers keep the demand up, you know that it’s something special. I definitely recommend giving it a try if it sounds right for you!

Key Features
  • Improves skin tone, texture, and radiance
  • Dermatologist tested product
  • Made with vitamins and a hydralucence blend
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 4 x 10 inches
  • Product Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: E, C, B5
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Classic, light Cherry Almond scent
  • Full body hydration protects over time
  • No greasy residue left behind
Cons
  • May not be enough for very dry skin
  • May cause acne
  • Formula may irritate sensitive skin types

NIVEA, a sister line to Eucerin, also actively competes in the body lotion space—making this list twice for good reason. The first reason is bottled up in their Essentially Enriched 48hr body lotion. This thick moisturizer is made with their patented Deep Nourishing Serum and almond oil, combating roughness while treating dry to very dry skin types.

The NIVEA brand prides itself in creating products to suit needs based on age, gender, and culture, as well as skin type. Still, they do not universally offer fragrance free or sensitivity free, so this product does have a light perfume scent which may irritate some and exclude others. This is also a true body lotion, not formulated for use on the face and not guaranteed to be non-comedogenic.

All the same, for those in need of a satisfying, full-coverage lotion, this is an excellent selection. The Essentially Enriched body lotion is an alcohol-free formula, focused wholly on locking in moisture for as long as possible. While most thicker lotions inevitably leave behind a greasy after-film and take an impossibly long time to settle into the skin, this product actually does a great job of minimizing those problems while treating a “dry to very dry” skin type. Another great perk to this NIVEA number is that a little goes a long way, so buying a single pump bottle will likely last a long time, even for those who are using it for fuller coverage.

Key Features
  • Formulated to improve rough textured skin in one use
  • Moisturizes for 48 hours
  • Serum made with extra almond oil to nourish skin
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 2 x 9.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.23 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: None listed
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Alcohol free formula
  • Doesn’t leave a greasy residue
  • Luxurious texture is great for drier skin
Cons
  • Thicker formula may be harder to spread
  • Has a scent
  • May cause acne

Once upon a time, it seemed like an obvious beauty myth that vitamins, applied to the skin in something like a lotion or a spray, would be effective whatsoever. Extra vitamins in products felt more like a gimmick for advertising than a legitimate skin care strategy. Over the past couple of decades, however, research has been growing at the intersection of scientific study and the beauty industry, and it has become clear that anything we put on our skin absorbs into it and reacts with our body on some level.

Even products that do not have any noticeable effect may be changing our health over time. For this reason, beauty companies are now held to higher standards regarding what ingredients they use in their products, and we pay more attention when considering our purchases.

This Jergens Ultra Healing extra dry skin moisturizer offers a lot to consider when it comes to the ingredient list. On the negative side, some folks may want to consider the fact that this formula is created with methylparaben and ethylparaben and is not formulated for sensitive skin types. It isn’t advertised as a hypoallergenic or noncomedogenic product either, so acne-sufferers may want to test a small spot before applying on the back or chest and may want to avoid the face altogether.

On the positive side, this healing moisturizer is formulated with a blend of hydrating Vitamin C, E, and B5, along with a little bit of almost every other ingredient known to help moisturize (as listed in the body of this guide). It has a very favorable consistency for those of us who have “in-between” dry skin, too—categorized largely on the higher end of moderate. This skin type is typically too dry for thinner formulas, but not quite needing the power of an ultra-thick ointment. As someone with eczema patches, I would definitely need something stronger for those spots, but for cracked heels, dry elbows, and ashy, dull skin, this is a full body winner!

Key Features
  • Quick to absorb, even on heels, knees, and elbows
  • Moisturizes while improving tone and texture
  • Formulated to work 5 layers into the skin to heal dry skin
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 4 x 10 inches
  • Product Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Vitamin Types: C, E, B5
  • Organic: No
Pros
  • Great consistency; not too thick for a dry skin product
  • Doesn’t leave a greasy residue
  • Skin feels hydrated all day
Cons
  • Has a scent
  • May cause acne
  • Formulated with parabens

Dry skin is a seasonal bane for many, and a year-round trouble for many more. Almost all of us can still feel the memory of a cracked knuckle, untouchably rough elbows, or painful, peeling cuticles. Beyond the stinging and physical scarring, dry skin can also be a catalyst for self-conscious feelings and social anxiety. Flaky patches, peeling skin, and eczema breakouts in noticeable areas are among the top culprits for those of us with drier skin types, but few people of any skin type are immune to the embarrassment of someone else noticing our ashy hands or our ancient-looking heels.

Taking care of our dermal layers is definitely important to our long-term skin health. Those who take care of their skin regularly have shown to have healthier, younger-looking skin in their elder years, but it can certainly be difficult to stay disciplined for such a future reward. Making the task of dry skin care even more challenging, the steps we could take now to help (e.g. taking shorter, cooler showers; wearing gloves; changing clothing fabrics) are typically things we don’t really want to or have the means to adjust to in our current lives.

A more modern issue that has become a third significant roadblock in our ability to soothe our dry skin difficulties is just the sheer number and type of products on the market, all of which allege to help us. Products and brands make countless claims about over-the-counter lotions, creams, oils, and ointments for dry skin. Many products claim 24-48 hours of hydration and non-greasy formulas and still fail to deliver on either. Many consumers also forget to take into account just how varied skin types can be and may therefore accidentally purchase a product that sounds like the cure but is not ideal for their own skin’s needs.

Thankfully, there is some science behind keeping our skin nice and moisturized, so we have learned some helpful tips to follow when shopping! Keep in mind for yourself that thicker hydrating products are typically formulated for the driest skin types, while thinner consistency products are for less severe issues. If your dry skin is seasonal in nature, you may only need a thicker product during the colder months, or during months when you are overexposed to water. The number of times per day you apply your product may also need to be tinkered with for a bit until finding what works best for your health at the time.

Since a long list of ingredients can mean even more trouble for those of us with sensitive or acne-prone skin, focus on looking for hydrating ingredients first, such as lactic and hyaluronic acid, mineral oils, glycerin, shea butter, lanolin, dimethicone, and good old-fashioned petrolatum. The main purpose of moisturizing is to help the skin retain water, so once you can confirm that a true hydrating ingredient is included, consider other ingredient factors that might be important to you, such as fragrance and SPF.

When all is said and done, you can always make returns and exchanges until you hit your sweet spot, but hopefully with a little bit of our help, finding the best lotion for your dry skin will be a one-stop shop!

Resources— Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Dermatology

Share this Buyers Guide