The 10 Best Body Moisturizers for Aging Skin, According to a Dermatologist

Photo: Getty Images / Jakob Helbig
Cold winter air plus the dry heat that comes from heaters makes the perfect recipe for dry skin. This issue gets worse as we age and our skin becomes naturally dryer. For that reason, Caren Campbell, MD, a California-based board-certified dermatologist, explains that getting the right body cream or lotion is key for keeping aging skin soft and moisturized.

"In the winter there is less moisture and humidity in the air," says Dr. Campbell, who is the founder of skin-care line CCMD. "As we age, skin cell turnover slows and the production of protective lipids in the skin also slows leaving the skin more prone to dryness. Additionally, medications which are more commonly taken by older individuals, like statins and blood pressure medications, can cause drier skin." She adds that this dryness is particularly apparent in the lower legs.

When looking for a body moisturizer for aging skin, Dr. Campbell says we should look for moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid and proteins like filaggrin, ceramides, cholesterol, and lipids. "[These are the] proteins that make up the building blocks of the barrier that locks moisture in and keeps the outside environment out," she says. For hand creams, she says there should be a barrier ingredient like dimethicone. Creams are always better than lotions for those with super dry skin, she says, because "they have more oil and less water, which helps with moisturizing."

To get the most out of your body lotion, Dr. Campbell says to apply it on damp skin. "Apply cream or lotion right after getting out of the shower to lock-in the moisture that remains on damp skin. And when you are very dry, she says to limit body soap to underarms, groin, and face "Don't soap up your whole body unless it's dirty as this will contribute to dryness," says Dr. Campbell. Mild soaps like Dove Beauty Cream Bar ($7) and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($15), she says, are best for washing your body.

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And steer clear of hot showers and baths which "cause more water to evaporate from the skin, much like heaters in the winter months," says Dr. Campbell. "Take lukewarm showers and only use your hands as the washcloth, as other abrasive tools like loofahs and wash clothes can further irritate or dry the skin." Shop what Dr. Camplbell says are the best body moisturizers for aging skin below.

Best Body Lotions for Aging Skin

cetaphil pro lotion
Cetaphil Pro Eczema Soothing Moisturizer — $14.00

Dr. Campbell loves this moisturizer, which contains ceramides and filaggrin—the building-block proteins for locking moisture in and keeping the outside environment out. “This is a great lotion for any patients, particularly those with normal to dry skin,” she says.

cerave 1 moisturizing cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream — $16.00

“CeraVe cream contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid and is perfect for patients with very dry skin,” says Dr. Campbell. “Creams are best for patients with drier skin.”

Avène Trixera Nutrition Nutri-fluid Balm
Avène Trixera Nutrition Nutri-fluid Balm — $42.00

Great for the face and body, the Avène TriXera Balm contains ceramides and moisturizers like glycerin, and ceramides, essential fatty acids, and sterols to help restore the skin’s natural barrier.

AmLactin Rapid Relief Lotion
AmLactin Rapid Relief Lotion — $21.00

“Amlactin contains lactic acid and is perfect for dry skin that is also flaky—perfect for dry heels,” says Dr. Campbell. “I recommend this for my patients who need gentle exfoliation and hydration.”

CCMD Restorative Hand Cream
CCMD Restorative Hand Cream — $30.00

Essential for a good hand cream, Dr. Campbell says this product contains dimethicone, which is a moisturizer and barrier that keeps moisture in and irritating and drying factors from the outside environment out. It also contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid, “a hydrating must-have,” says Dr. Campbell.

Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream
Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream — $28.00

“Cicalfate is used for wounds and is a great hand cream for repair and prevention for dry, chapped hands,” says Dr. Campbell. It’s got moisturizers, like dimethicone and glycerin, to keep your hands soft and protected.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel — $17.00

This gel moisturizer is non-comedogenic and absorbs quickly to moisturize your skin. It’s lightweight enough for all skin types or to wear under makeup, and it has hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin and leave you with soft, smooth skin.

L'Oréal Revitalift Moisturizer
L'Oréal Revitalift Moisturizer — $30.00

With a trio of powerhouse ingredients—hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and pro-retinol—this cream moisturizer helps hydrate, brighten, and firm you skin. You can also get a fragrance-free or SPF 30 version.

drunk elephant protini polypeptide cream
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer — $68.00

Moisturize and improve the texture of your skin with this protein cream, which only has clean ingredients. The moisturizer is formulated with signal peptides and pygmy waterlily to not only hydrate your skin, but also help reduce lines and signs of sun damage to keep you looking fresh-faced.

skinceuticals triple lipid restore treatment
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 — $130.00

We we age, our skin creates fewer lipids, which leads to your skin losing elasticity and the appearance of fine lines. This SkinCeuticals treatment has essential lipids like ceramides, fatty acids, and natural cholesterol to replenish and hydrate your skin, as well as even out your complexion. It also has vitamin E to support cell reproduction to keep your skin looking youthful.

Watch a dermatologist share her best tips for dry skin:

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