Want to irritate a dermatologist? Tell them you don't use body lotion. “I cannot emphasize enough that moisturizers should not be considered a cosmetic product,” King of Prussia-based dermatologist Dr. Erum Ilyas tells Mic. It may not be marketed that way, but using moisturizer — on your face and body — is an important healthy habit, just like flossing and wearing sunscreen. To help you in your search for the best body lotions for men, read on.
But first, some key insights from Dr. Ilyas, plus a few handy tips. It's helpful to think of our skin as a cobblestone street. “The skin cells make up the bricks, and the mortar that holds them together is made up of lipids, ceramides, wax esters, and other proteins that serve to protect our skin," she explains. "Once our skin dries out and the barrier function it serves starts to break apart, our skin becomes inflamed and more sensitive to the environment. Using a body lotion serves to replace these lost oils and helps restore our skin’s function as a barrier. Another benefit to moisturizing, especially in older skin, is that it increases the turgor to the skin to make it less likely to tear or bruise with minor bumps or scratches.”
If you have sensitive skin (or simply prefer unscented products), stick to a fragrance-free lotion to avoid irritation. Another important tip: always apply your body lotion immediately after showering while your skin is still damp to lock in all that residual moisture. And, if you can't be bothered to put together an elaborate skin care routine, invest in a quality lotion that you can use on your face and body to make things easy.
With that in mind, scroll on to shop five of the best men's body lotions on the market right now.
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1. The tried-and-true one
This drugstore-favorite lotion from CeraVe — an affordable, reliable brand often favored by dermatologists — checks off all the right boxes. It's fragrance-free, oil-free, and noncomedogenic, so it won't irritate sensitive skin or clog up your pores. The formula contains barrier-strengthening ceramides to keep your skin healthy and strong, as well as hyaluronic acid to restore hydration. Plus, you can use this lotion on your face, body, and hands.
2. The multitasking one
Another popular, reliable brand for body lotions is Lubriderm (Dr. Ilyas counts herself as a fan). And the brand's three-in-lotion is particularly great because it can be used as a body lotion, a face moisturizer, and a post-shave balm (the soothing aloe in the formula is what makes it such a great choice for calming just-shaved skin).
Of course, though this lotion is marketed towards men, anyone can use it. Interestingly, though, "[m]en’s skin tends to be a bit thicker and a bit more on the oily side compared to women, because androgen stimulates sebum or oil production," explains Dr. Ilyas. "If there is a significant amount of sun damage experienced, then men can lose the benefit of thicker skin as the UV exposure can impact collagen [production] and elasticity."
3. The high-end one
La Roche-Posay is a French, dermatologist-favorite brand that's known for their high-quality skin care products across the board. This lotion from their Lipikar line can be used on your face, hands, and body, and it's rich in deeply moisturizing shea butter and niacinamide, a form of vitamin B that prevents moisture loss and encourages a smoother, more even-looking skin tone. This makes it a great choice for anyone dealing with particularly dry skin. The fragrance-free, oil-free formula also contains the brand's signature prebiotic thermal spring water, which has soothing and hydrating benefits.
4. The one for rough, bumpy skin
Personal preferences plays a big part in choosing a moisturizer, but Dr. Ilyas says her male clients tend to like lotions from AmLactin because they absorb quickly and have a nice, light feel. This specific formula contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that can help treat body acne, keratosis pilaris, or generally rough, bumpy skin.
Since AHAs are exfoliating, they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun's rays. Therefore, it's important to consistently use sunscreen when using an exfoliation lotion like this one. Note that this is designed for use on your body only — not your face.
5. The one for itchy or eczema-prone skin
For people who experience itchy skin or have conditions like eczema, the daily use of body lotion is essential. But if you want to experience relief from itching and other eczema-related symptoms, you'll want to choose the right lotion — and this one, from Aveeno, is perfect. The fragrance-free, steroid-free formula contains colloidal oatmeal, a naturally soothing ingredient that's known to help treat dry, irritated, or inflamed skin. It also contains ceramides to help strengthen your skin's natural protective barrier, which is responsible for fighting off forms of irritation like eczema.
W Gehring, Nicotinic Acid/niacinamide and the Skin; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17147561