I take bodycare very seriously. Compared to the likes of facial skincare and makeup, body products have a bit of a weak rep within the industry. It seems as though everyone wants to know exactly what they’re putting on their faces, but when it comes to the rest of the skin on their bodies, anything goes. But if you’re asking me, body creams and lotions are amongst the most important beauty products around.
Ensuring that your skin has optimum levels of moisture is one of skincare’s most fundamental lessons. Whether your skin is naturally oily, dry or sensitive, keeping it hydrated is key to its health. So why do we so often neglect our skin from the neck down? Well, it’s just a bit of hassle, isn’t it? Having to moisturise your entire body every single day when, for the majority of the year, it’s wrapped up in jeans and jumpers just seems like a waste of time.
But actually, moisturising your body is so important. For starters, it will help soothe any dryness-related irritation and keep skin feeling comfortable. Second, keeping moisture levels up generally keeps skin looking and feeling softer and healthier. But for me, the most important reason to be applying body cream every day is all in the self-care aspect. Taking just a couple of minutes out of my day to apply body cream is my nonnegotiable beauty ritual.
Because of this, I’m picky when it comes to my body lotions. They have to deliver just the right amount of hydration without leaving my skin feeling greasy or sticky, they should be easy to apply and absorb in no time at all, and crucially, they should smell pleasant without being too overpowering. Over the years, it’s safe to say that I have tried virtually every formula out there and have collected an elite edit of the best body lotions around for silky-soft limbs. Keep scrolling to see which ones hit the mark.
I'm a big fan of Alicia Keys's Keys Soulcare skin collection, so when I discovered that the brand was launching bodycare, it's safe to say I was more than a little excited. This cream is rich but not in a buttery, greasy sort of way. It's light and bouncy, melting into skin with ease, but delivers that special kind of nourishment that leaves skin glowing all day long. Plus, the delicate sage-and-oat-milk smell is wonderfully comforting—like wrapping yourself in a cosy towel.
To say that I'm a Body Shop stan would be a bit of an understatement. Despite all of the high-end products I try every day, I still stand by my opinion that everything The Body Shop releases is beauty gold. While the brand's body butters are totally iconic, there's no denying that their rich nature can leave skin feeling a little tacky.
This refreshing body yogurt, on the other hand, has a creamy gel texture and seems to deliver just as much moisture without leaving a trace of stickiness. And as for the scent? The body yogurts come in an array of fragrances, but this limited-edition Cool Daisy option is by far the freshest I've tried.
This stuff is the ultimate treat for the body. It's rich and buttery, making it perfect for drier skin, but it doesn't leave an unpleasant film. Above all, it contains a whole bunch of essential oils that create the most calming, mind-soothing aroma. Massaging this into limbs every morning is sure to start your day off right.
On the other end of the spectrum, this stuff doesn't look or smell like much, but if you want to take your bodycare seriously, it's one for you. Containing urea (yes, you read right) and ceramides, this lotion works to offer up gentle exfoliation for seriously dry, irritated skin but delivers impressive moisture while it works. Whenever someone says they have a body-related skin issue, this is the first thing I recommend.
This lotion is new to me, but it has really proved itself over the past few weeks. It's a super-lightweight gel that delivers enough hydration for everyday upkeep, but most impressively, it's seriously cooling. Great for hot summer days or even post-workout, the minty gel soothes muscles and skin at the same time.
When it comes to bodycare, coconut oil is the ingredient to know. It might be simple, but its nourishing benefits really can't be beaten. This body milk contains organic, sustainably sourced coconut oil, along with shea butter and chamomile for serious skin-soothing hydration. And although that blend of nourishing ingredients sounds rich and claggy, you'd be surprised at just how quickly it sinks in.
This is without a doubt the single most ridiculous product in my collection. The first couple of bottles of this stuff that I owned were sent to me by the brand, but I loved it so much I actually bought my third one. It's not unusual for a beauty journalist to buy products they really like, but when that product is a £97 body lotion, I think that really says something. You categorically do not need to spend £97 on a body lotion, but I really do love this stuff. It has a light texture that sinks in instantly and an uplifting lemony scent that really boosts spirits. Turns out I just couldn't bear to be without it.
If you're only just starting your bodycare journey, Ameliorate is a brand to get on your radar ASAP. The products contain a unique complex that exfoliates skin without causing any dryness or irritation. Perfect for those who suffer from scaliness or bumps (especially keratosis pilaris), this lotion leaves skin almost impossibly smooth.
You can't talk about Sol de Janeiro's cult Bum Bum Cream without first addressing the scent. In short, there is no beauty product on this earth that smells as mouth-wateringly delicious as this stuff. Like a tropical fruit platter that's been drizzled in sweet caramel, it's a tub of pure sun-drenched paradise. The formula itself is hydrating, non-greasy and contains the most beautiful sun-reflecting shimmer.
It calls itself a serum, but personally, I wouldn't use a lotion or cream over the top of this lightweight but unbelievably hydrating potion. The smell is spa-like and calming, but the results are supercharged. Skin feels soothed and looks smooth and glowing after just one use. Plus, the bottle looks chic enough that I keep it out on my bathroom shelf as an ornament.
If, like all of the Who What Wear UK editors, you're already a big fan of Oskia's Renaissance skincare range, may I please turn your attention to the accompanying body milk? Just like the rest of the collection, it's exfoliating but calming and hydrating all at once, and the delicate rose scent can't be beaten.
If you're after a budget buy, look no further. CeraVe understands bodycare like nobody else, and this no-frills lotion is truly excellent. With ceramides and hyaluronic acid, it works to deliver hydration and keep the skin barrier intact to prevent future dryness. You really can't go wrong.
At first glance, I thought this stuff was a bit gimmicky. The lotion comes in a coffee cup–esque tub that screams "buy me because I look cute" rather than "I'm a body moisturiser that really works." But out of dedication to the cause, I gave it a go and honestly, it's actually very good. It contains shea butter to hydrate along with a whole bunch of antioxidants and vitamins to really boost the skin's long-term health. The results? Soft, glowing skin that lasts for days.
Better known for its rich bath oils and luxe candles, Aromatherapy Associates doesn't seem like a brand that would produce exceptional bodycare, but here we are. With the same sleep-inducing scent as the Deep Relax candles and bath oil, this creamy lotion will have you drifting off in no time at all. Plus, you're guaranteed to wake up feeling silky soft come morning.