Top Ten

9 Firming Body Lotions and Treatments for Tighter Skin All Over

Woman with bare shoulders

Skin care doesn’t stop at the neck, and a well-rounded body regimen should be part of every self-care routine. Creams, lotions and treatments that go beyond the face to help firm, tighten and improve the skin on the body are a big focus right now. (Perhaps it’s because we’ve been showing our faces on Zooms for the past year and it’s time to give our bodies the treatment they deserve.) But are they the real deal? Here, everything you can (and can’t) expect skin-firming creams to do.

Do Body-Firming Products Really Work?

Firming lotions encourage collagen production (collagen is a structural fiber that provides the skin with support, firmness and flexibility). When collagen breaks down due to environmental and sun damage, inflammation and aging, the result is sagging skin. Dr. Jennifer Segal, a board-certified dermatologist in Houston, TX, says firming creams can help, but it is important to have realistic expectations. “These creams are great for improving texture and contour, but they aren’t the end-all be-all. They work on the upper layers of skin to hydrate, exfoliate and tone, but they don’t tackle the deep support underneath the skin,” she adds. “But if these products give you the confidence to wear something shorter to show off your arms or legs, then they’re doing their job.”

Ingredients matter, and so does formulation. Look for thick creams, balms and lotions that contain at least one active ingredient. “Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and caffeine plump, smooth and hydrate. Others, such as urea, retinol, niacinamide and lactic, salicylic and glycolic acids, either stimulate collagen or mildly exfoliate for anti-aging benefits,” Dr. Segal explains.

While creams can help the upper layers of your skin look firmer and smoother, what they can’t do is lift slack skin. “It’s pretty ambitious to say you’ll get a lift from a cream—you won’t. Only a procedure can provide that,” Dr. Segal informs. Topical treatments don’t rival the results of in-office treatments (the most popular ones are body peels, Botox injections in the neck, microneedling with radiofrequency, resurfacing lasers and heat- and ultrasound-based tighteners) or plastic surgery. Nevertheless, if the skin isn’t supple, a procedure won’t render as good of a result, which is why a combination of the two is best.

The Best Skin-Firming Body Treatments

  1. Revision Skincare® BodiFirm
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    Revision Skincare® BodiFirm

    Caffeine appears in many ingredient lists because of its ability to stimulate blood flow, decrease puffiness and tighten loose skin. This hydrating cream is full of caffeine plus the brand’s proprietary iFirm technology (a blend of peptides, antioxidants, botanical extracts and a prebiotic) to improve crepey skin from head to toe.

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  2. SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair
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    SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair

    Retinol is the gold standard in anti-aging since it prompts collagen stimulation, speeds up cell turnover and leaves skin looking thicker, firmer and more youthful. Formulated with tripeptides and slow-release retinol, this treatment prevents irritation, which is a common side effect of retinol use. Dr. Segal suggests “coupling a good neck cream with Botox to reduce the appearance of loose skin on the neck.”

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  3. Eminence Organic Skin Care Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream
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    Eminence Organic Skin Care Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream

    Well-hydrated skin is more forgiving than dry skin, making crepey areas less visible. More than your average body lotion, this quick-to-absorb formula is loaded with powerful hydrators like stone crop, shea butter and jojoba oil to lock in moisture for tighter-looking skin.

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  4. Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment
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    Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

    Retinol is best known for its use on the face, but it works wonders for the skin below the neck. In studies, the ingredient has been shown to reduce body breakouts, decrease pigment and thicken the dermis for firmer skin. This fragrance-free lotion features retinol plus antioxidants and shea butter for supreme softening sans any greasy feel.

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  5. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
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    Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

    Packed with caffeine-rich guaraná extract and skin-softening cupuaçu butter, this award-winning cream tightens up problem areas like the butt, thighs and arms. It glides on and leaves skin with the prettiest glow—and it smells amazing!

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  6. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite BodyWare Pro
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    Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite BodyWare Pro

    Professional treatments have long relied on the power of red and blue light therapy to and improve the skin’s tone and texture. Like a one-stop shop for all of your body concerns, this flexible device works to build collagen in just three minutes for more youthful-looking skin.

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  7. mio Boob Tube Bust Cream
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    mio Boob Tube Bust Cream

    The décolleté is a prime target for sun exposure, which leads to wrinkles, spots and crepiness. This chest and neck cream tightens and strengthens weak skin by improving elasticity and moisture thanks to the Smooth Booster Complex, a blend of plant-based protein, vitamins and niacinamide.

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  8. nuFACE nuBODY Skin Toning Device
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    nuFACE nuBODY Skin Toning Device

    While microcurrent technology may sound more like weird science than reality, this popular skin-firming treatment relies on low-voltage electricity to stimulate collagen production. This is the first at-home FDA-cleared microcurrent device for the body, which helps smooth out dimples for tighter thighs and arms and a smoother derrière.

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  9. Susanne Kaufmann Restorative Toning Body Cream
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    Susanne Kaufmann Restorative Toning Body Cream

    According to Dr. Segal, hydration is your skin’s best friend because it makes the skin look better. This ultra-rich body cream drenches skin in moisture as a mélange of caffeine, tiger grass and boldo stimulates the skin’s metabolism and supports collagen creation for skin that is noticeably firmer.

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Elise Minton Tabin

Elise Minton Tabin is an award-winning beauty journalist, editor, and beauty expert with more than 16 years of experience. She previously held the title of Executive Beauty Editor at NewBeauty magazine, where she reported on beauty, plastic surgery, anti-aging, health and wellness. She was also instrumental in the launch of the beauty supplement brand Hush & Hush. A self-professed beauty junkie and retinol and sunscreen pusher, Elise knows what’s new, what works and who’s the best to go for every procedure under the sun. Follow Elise on Facebook, Instagram, and on her beauty blog, elisetabin.com