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10 Body Care Products That Will Smooth and Soothe Dry Skin

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If your facial skin tends to be on the dry side, you reach for your moisturizers, hydrating serums and maybe even slather on a nourishing mask or two for good measure. But what about the rest of your body? More often than not, simply grabbing the first item you see in the drugstore’s lotion aisle isn’t enough to quench your parched elbows and shins. Fortunately, as common a problem as dry skin is, it’s also one of the easiest to manage. That is, if you’re using the right products.

What Causes Skin to Become Dry?

  • Climate: “Skin dryness can be caused by our genetics, but the environment plays an even more important role for most of us,” says plastic and reconstructive surgeon Lara Devgan, M.D. “Colder winter months, dry climates and exuberant indoor heating all contribute to dryness,” she adds.
  • Winter months are particularly harsh on skin as there is less water in the air. “As a result of that lower humidity, moisture jumps off the skin, where there is more moisture, into the air, where there is less,” explains New York-based dermatologist Neal Schultz, M.D., host of
  • Soaps: Because soaps are “intrinsically drying,” Dr. Schultz says that using them on a daily basis—particularly during winter—can aggravate dry skin as they strip the skin of its natural oils.
  • Aging: According to Dr. Schultz, sebaceous glands produce less oil as we age, which results in the skin’s inability to lubricate and seal in enough moisture, often leading to dry and cracked skin.

The Importance of Choosing Products for Your Skin Type

One product certainly doesn’t fit all, and when you have dry skin, using the right products can “help reduce symptoms such as redness, flaking, irritation, rough patches and that feeling of tightness,” says board-certified dermatologist David Lortscher, M.D.

Choosing body care products formulated for your unique physiologic characteristics and skin type means that you are most likely to get the benefit of rehydration without causing untoward side effects like clogged pores and breakouts,” echoes Dr. Devgan.

How to Pick the Right Body Care Products and What to Look For

When trying to boost hydration and moisture, always go for the thickest and greasiest product you can handle. Body oils, oil-based lotions and creams are great at locking in moisture, especially when applied on damp skin. Barrier creams, on the other hand, work by adding a protective layer between your skin and environmental stressors while trapping natural oils and moisture. As for ingredients, Dr. Devgan says, “The best rehydrating products contain hyaluronic acid and vitamins E and K. They act as emollient moisturizers, trapping the body’s natural moisture in place rather than causing greasy, oily skin.”

Other Ways to Improve Dry Skin

Aside from drinking plenty of water and applying a moisturizing lotion every night, cosmetic physician Stanley Kovak, M.D. says regular application of sunscreen (even when the sun is out) is also “very important to help protect skin and keep it hydrated.”

To reduce the effects of cold, dry air, Dr. Lortscher suggests equipping your room with a humidifier while avoiding hot and long showers will prevent your skin’s natural oils from being stripped.

Ready for smooth, baby-soft skin? We’ve rounded up our favorite body care products for dry skin below!


  1. 1. Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel
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    1. Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel

    We know that soap can do more harm than good if you have parched skin, so this soap-free shower gel is ideal for those with dry and sensitive skin. Infused with vitamin K, this foamy head-to-toe cleanser is gentle enough for daily use.

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  2. 2. Archipelago Botanicals Milk Soap

    This mildly scented milk soap delivers moisturizing goodness while you’re still in the shower, thanks to its deliciously indulgent formula of milk solids, soy oats and rice proteins that hydrate and soothe dry skin, while vitamin E provides antioxidant protection.

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  3. 3. Glytone Exfoliating Body Lotion
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    3. Glytone Exfoliating Body Lotion

    Formulated with 17.5 percent glycolic acid, this exfoliating lotion acts as a smoothing moisturizer that improves the appearance and texture of dry skin and other skin concerns like keratosis pilaris. Its vitamin E component delivers antioxidant benefits that protect against further damage and stress.

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  4. 4. Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Revealing Body Lotion 10% AHA
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    4. Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Revealing Body Lotion 10% AHA

    This lotion hits two birds with one stone as an anti-aging and dry skin solution. Formulated with 10 percent AHA, shea butter, vitamins C and E and green tea, this exfoliating formula smooths, evens out skin tone and improves sun damage while encouraging collagen production.

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  5. 5. Avene TriXera Plus Selectiose Emollient Balm

    Skin conditions like eczema and rosacea can leave dry and itchy patches that can only worsen when treated with the wrong products. This creamy balm helps soothe irritation and restores lipids to the skin’s natural barrier, reducing flakiness and tightness. Best for dry and sensitive skin, its gentle formula makes it safe for the whole family.

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  6. 6. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
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    6. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

    Your skin is far from being a wonderland during winter, so make sure you keep this ultra-hydrating face and body cream within reach. Its dense, non-greasy formula is packed with nourishing ingredients: oatmeal extract that leaves a protective layer to prevent flaking and dryness, antioxidants to counter free radicals and allantoin and eucalyptus oil to soothe and alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.

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  7. 7. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Moisturizing Cream
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    7. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Moisturizing Cream

    True to its name, this intensely moisturizing body cream provides up to 48 hours of hydration for dry and dehydrated skin without the grease and the slick. Infused with shea butter, glycerin and niacinamide, it preserves the skin’s natural barrier and soothes and nourishes parched skin.

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  8. 8. Epionce Extreme Barrier Cream

    Safflower, linseed and rosehip oils are the stars of this deeply moisturizing body cream. It creates a protective barrier on the skin that helps prevent moisture loss and protects it from environmental stressors. Featuring hyaluronic acid and beeswax, it’s also dense and rich enough to treat the driest parts of the body such as elbows, knees and feet.

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  9. 9. Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil
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    9. Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil

    This body oil is a double-acting dry skin savior with its moisturizing and restorative properties. Featuring sea buckthorn berry extract and sesame seed oil, it rejuvenates tired skin by encouraging cell tissue regeneration while delivering antioxidant benefits.

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  10. 10. Éminence Organic Skin Care Apricot Body Oil
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    10. Éminence Organic Skin Care Apricot Body Oil

    Aside from providing dry skin with much-needed moisture and hydration, this body oil—infused with vitamin-rich apricot kernel oil—also offers intense anti-aging benefits by improving the skin’s elasticity, complexion and texture. It also features grapeseed oil, CoQ10 and vitamin C that help diminish visible signs of aging.

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Beauty Reporter

Janeca Racho

With over 10 years of writing and editing experience, Janeca Racho has worked with clients in the fashion, entertainment, food, health and travel industries. An adventurer at heart, she will gladly trade her heels for a good pair of hiking shoes and skip hotels to camp under the stars. She loves horror movies, googling ingredients in her beauty products and backpacking trips with her toddler. Her newfound obsession: nude lipstick.