The Best Body Lotions For Dry, Winter Skin, According To A Dermatologist

The Zoe Report/Amazon

Winter can be hard on our skin because of the cold air outside and the dry heat indoors, so it's important to swap out the lighter-weight body lotion you use during the summer for a richer, thicker cream once the temperature begins to drop. When shopping for the best body lotions for dry skin in winter, look for ingredients that are known to soothe and protect chapped skin and help your body retain moisture, such as hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, certain proteins, and urea, suggests Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich, M.D., whom The Zoe Report consulted for this article. Dr. Vasyukevich also says that even something as simple as applying petroleum jelly on a regular basis can help make your dry skin feel better.

Dr. Vasyukevich says it's up to you to choose the type of body lotion you like best. Balms and thicker oils may have superior moisturizing and skin-protecting qualities, but lotions and creams are also effective, not to mention more practical for applying all over your body, especially if you plan on getting dressed right after.

Whether you prefer heavy-duty ointments, rich creams, or lightweight lotions, you'll find it all in this guide to the best body lotions for cold weather, just ahead.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Doctor’s Pick: Best Body Butter

"Personally, I like shea butter products and regularly recommend them to clients," says Dr. Vasyukevich, who recommends the Pré de Provence Shea Butter Body Butter. It's a whipped, unscented body cream that feels thick and luxurious, and provides long-lasting moisture courtesy of ingredients like shea butter, grapeseed oil, and sunflower seed oil.

Best Face & Body Cream

Another favorite among dermatologists, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a fuss-free drugstore staple that's packed with hydrating and skin-strengthening ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. A good bet for people with skin sensitivities, this fragrance-free body cream boasts the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, and can be used on both your face and body.

Best Budget Face & Body Cream

Another solid drugstore option for you face, body, and hands, NIVEA Creme comes in a 13.5-ounce tin and costs just over $5. It's made with petrolatum, lanolin, and other thick, creamy ingredients, and has a clean but subtle scent. This cult-favorite cream has been around for over 100 years and can be used as a face mask or makeup remover, as well.

Best Ointment For Extra Dry Patches & Lips

I can vouch for how effective this ridiculously thick, petrolatum-based ointment is. Aquaphor is truly a miracle worker, and like NIVEA cream, has tons of uses: Apply it to dry elbows, knees, heels, lips, or even on fresh tattoos. It is a bit thick and sticky, so I find it's best for use on more targeted dry patches, rather than all over your body. Another pro tip: Apply it to extremely dry feet or hands before bed, then put on a pair of thick cotton socks or gloves to seal everything in. You'll wake up with baby-soft skin.

Best French Pharmacy Body Lotion

If you can't get enough of French pharmacy products, pick up La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+. It's packaged in a huge, 13.5-ounce bottle with a handy pump dispenser, and can be used on your face, body, and hands. Key ingredients in here include shea butter, glycerin, niacinamide, and the brand's signature prebiotic thermal water, which has soothing and skin-balancing benefits. It doesn't contain any fragrance, however, and it doesn't feel thick or gloopy, so you can slather it on from your head to toes and proceed to get dressed. It's even safe for use on babies as young as two weeks old.

Best Gel-Cream

If you prefer a very lightweight moisturizer that still provides plenty of hydration, try Neutrogena's best-selling Hydro Boost Gel Cream. The refreshing, gel-cream formula feels light and almost cooling going on, but the fragrance-free, oil-free formula still helps soothe and moisturize dry skin all day long. It's completely non-greasy as well, so it's another great choice for rushed mornings when you want to get dressed immediately.

Best "Clean" Body Lotion

Cruelty-free, vegan, and made with only naturally derived ingredients: this body lotion from Sukin Organics is for all the "clean" beauty lovers out there. It contains plant-derived ingredients like aloe juice, rosehip oil, shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil, though note that it does have a fragrance (courtesy of all-natural essential oils). For just $10, you get a massive, 16.9-ounce bottle, so you'll be set for ages.

Best For Babies & Kids

Evereden Baby Moisturizing Lotion also made the National Eczema Association's approved products list, thanks to its gentle, fragrance-fee formula that's enriched with nourishing natural ingredients like oat kernel flour, aloe, avocado, coconut oil, and shea butter. Designed to help soothe and comfort dry, irritated skin, its a great choice for babies and adults with sensitive skin alike.


Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich, M.D., a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and skin care expert based in New York.