When I step out of the shower in the morning, my skin sometimes feels quite dry. But I’ve found that using a good body lotion before dressing makes a real difference.
I’ve tried many products and am always looking for lotions that offer long-lasting hydration but that I also like the smell of.
If you’ve been looking for a pleasantly scented body lotion to make your skin feel soft and hydrated then this roundup is for you. I’ve compiled a list of my most favorite lotions, each with its own properties and benefits.
1. Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion
Body lotion with a fresh coconut scent
Aveeno first caught my eye when I saw the Goddess that is Jen An advertising the lotion. If it’s good enough for her…
Aveeno did not disappoint. It does what it promises and hydrates even very dry skin. I love that even though it’s scented, it’s still really gentle on the skin and contains some lovely ingredients like coconut oil and oats.
That said, Aveeno does contain dimethicone. While this is a perfectly safe kind of silicone for human use, it is synthetic. If you’re looking for a lotion that contains only organic and natural ingredients, perhaps one of Lush body lotions (see further up my list) might work better for you.
2. Philosophy Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion
Anti-aging body lotion with the perfect scent
Amazing Grace lotion is part of a wider range of products from Philosophy that help to firm and tighten the skin. If your skin is starting to show signs of age, such as wrinkles then this lotion will tackle that.
On top of its anti-aging properties, Amazing Grace also nourishes the skin and keeps it feeling soft and smooth. I love how quickly it absorbs yet it keeps the skin feeling hydrated all day.
And speaking of longevity, how about that scent! Amazing Grace has a soft floral fragrance that seems to last well. However, if you want to get the strongest and most long-lasting effect then I’d suggest pairing it with the matching perfume.
3. Soap And Glory The Righteous Butter Body Lotion
Hydration and scent in equal measure
I’ve used Soap and Glory products for as long as I can remember and one of the things that always stands out to me is the way they smell. S&G has a range of pleasant scents, but this is the original and one of my favorite ones with a soft floral fragrance that lasts for a long time.
And it’s not only the scent that lasts well, this super hydrating lotion keeps my skin feeling soft and nourished all day. Not surprising, though, as it is enriched with ingredients like vitamin E and shea butter.
I also love that this lotion is suitable for all skin types and I have never had a reaction to any S&G products despite having very sensitive skin.
4. Kiehl’s Original Musk Body Lotion
Super scented body lotion for sensitive skin
I have very high expectations for Kiehl’s because they claim to be skincare experts. One of the first things I want to mention about this body lotion is the smell. With hits of orange blossom, florals, and patchouli, it smells more like a high-end perfume. The fragrance lingered on my skin for quite some time.
In terms of hydration, I would recommend this for people with normal to slightly dry skin. It’s quite lightweight and ideal as a summer lotion. However, if your skin is crying out for more intense hydration, it might not be moisturizing enough. In this case, I’d go for something like a Dove Body Love Glowing Care Body Lotion.
Kiehl’s Musk Body Lotion is very gentle on the skin and contains natural ingredients like almond oil, vitamin E and fatty acids. It is also possible to get a matching shower gel for a full-body care routine.
5. Victoria’s Secret Bare Vanilla Body Shimmer Lotion
Gorgeous vanilla body lotion that shimmers like a star
My friends pointed out to me that Bare Vanilla Shimmer has a summer vacation scent. They nailed it. If you like a warm, comforting scent then this lotion will be worth considering. I noticed that the scent lasted quite well and I could still catch a hint of it at the end of the day.
However, the shimmer is way more than I bargained for and it gets everywhere! If you don’t want shimmer all over your clothes then there is a non-shimmery version of this.
While the body lotion left my skin feeling very smooth, I wouldn’t say it was the most hydrating. I think this is more of a gimmicky lotion. That said, it’s non-greasy and lightweight so perfect for vacations and summer.
6. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisturizer Lotion
Fresh-scented body lotion for dry and sensitive skin
Often, I find that intensely hydrating lotions are thick and greasy but that is not true of Neutrogena. This lotion is so lightweight and absorbs so quickly into the skin that you’d barely notice it if it weren’t for how soft your skin feels.
The lotion has a light citrus fragrance that’s not overpowering. It smells lovely but I’d recommend it for people who want something very delicate. The smell also fades more quickly than something like Lush.
However, for those with very dry skin, ingredients like D-panthenol will lock in moisture even in the deeper layers of the skin. As a lightweight healing cream, it’s spot on.
7. Dr Teal’s Soothing Lavender Body Lotion
The best smelling moisturizing body lotion.
Sometimes, it’s hard to find a lotion that smells incredible but also provides your skin with ultimate hydration. Dr Teal’s manages to combine the best of both worlds well. I’d say that this lotion has the most lasting effect of any I’ve tried.
When I apply the lotion again, I still feel the benefits of the previous application. Plus, the scent lasts a really long time, which I find ideal if you want something more delicate on the skin than perfume.
This isn’t an organic lotion but it contains some lovely skin-friendly ingredients like vitamin E and essential oils. And I’m super happy to report that this is a 100% cruelty-free body lotion!
8. Lush Sleepy Body Lotion
Lavender Body lotion with a scent that’s hard to resist
I am a die-hard Lush fan and the Sleepy body lotion is one of my favorite products. It’s more of a souffle because of how dense the lotion is yet it glides smoothly onto the skin.
Sleepy is highly scented and Lush uses only natural ingredients which I really like. However, I do find that this lotion exacerbates the eczema on my elbows so I have to avoid applying it here. In my view there is no better lotion for sensitive skin compared to Soap and Glory. These lotions are highly scented while being super gentle on the skin.
But if you’re after a lovely and long-lasting smell, Sleepy is it! I apply this in the morning and still get hints of lavender when I undress for bed. It’s that strong smelling!
9. Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturizer
Body lotion that gives your skin a smooth, radiant appearance
As someone with sensitive skin that’s prone to dryness, I really enjoy this Jergens moisturizer. It’s one of the best for preventing excessive dryness and cracking so I find it a real lifesaver in the colder months.
The shea fragrance is soothing and warm but isn’t over the top. I like to use it when I want a clean scent that I can use as a base for a similar perfume.
I find that the lotion doesn’t upset my sensitive skin at all. However, one thing I do find is that it’s very thick so it can be a little more difficult to apply. But that’s certainly not a deal breaker.
10. Dove Body Love Glowing Care Body Lotion
Sweet-scented lotion that rejuvenates the skin
One of the things that caught my attention with this Dove lotion was that it’s designed to replenish the skin’s moisture barrier. So, if you suffer from very dry skin then it’s an ideal candidate. Plus, it’s paraben-free and suitable for even sensitive skin. I’ve not had a reaction when using it and that’s saying something.
Dove advertised that this lotion lasts up to 24 hours and they’re not just hyping it up. When I apply this in the morning, my skin feels soft and hydrated right until the end of the day. This is something you’ll only need to apply in the morning.
Aromatically, it smells like almond and mango so it’s a gorgeous one for summer. The fragrance is noticeable but perhaps doesn’t last as long as something like Lush or Dr Teal’s.
11. Olay Hydrating And Firming Body Lotion
Collagen boost for hands and body
If your skin is starting to show signs of age then using a collagen-based body lotion can help to tighten and firm. Olay is a pioneer in this area, so I set high expectations for them.
This lotion penetrates up to ten layers of skin, firming as it goes as well as depositing a whole load of hydration. My skin feels nourished by it, and I’ll admit, a little tighter. I mean it’s no miracle surgery but for the price, it works well. The brand does offer other options including a similar lotion containing hyaluronic acid which promotes supple skin and decreases wrinkles.
The scent is light and clean and perfect for after you step out of the shower. It’s one of the more delicate-smelling body lotions so great if you want to layer it under a similar perfume.
12. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Body Lotion
High-end and luxurious body lotion with a delightful scent
Pomegranate Noir is one of my fave JM scents and I wear the perfume a lot. So, I decided to layer it with the body lotion. The scent isn’t over the top and if you know the perfume, you’ll know it’s noticeable but elegant. Layering the two just gives it a bit of a boost and I did keep catching a whiff throughout the day.
You’d think that a perfume-scented body lotion might not do much in the way of moisturizing but the opposite is true. This lotion contains glycolic acid which acts as a kind of exfoliator or skin peel. I did notice that, after a few uses, my skin was visibly smoother and softer.
However, this one did cause my sensitive skin to flare up in spots. If you’re prone to irritation, I’d suggest patch testing or trying something like Soap and Glory that’s still highly scented but won’t irritate the skin.
13. Native Eucalyptus And Mint Lotion
Invigorating body lotion packed with organic ingredients
If you’re worried about nasty chemicals like parabens and silicone in your skincare then Native is definitely a brand worth trying. I find their lotion not only on the skin but the eucalyptus and mint version certainly wakes me up in the morning thanks to its fresh, uplifting scent.
There are other scents in the range including coconut and vanilla as well as lavender and rose. Clearly, there’s something for every taste. You can also buy matching shower gel and deodorant to layer the scent to make it stronger and longer lasting. Although on its own, the lotion’s scent does last well but it’s not terribly strong.
14. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze
Get a sunkissed glow and lots of hydration
I have incredibly pale skin so a body lotion that also gives me a bronzed glow is a bonus. However, some lotions like this irritate my skin whereas Palmer’s doesn’t. It’s one of the best hydrating lotions that is packed with skin-friendly ingredients like vitamin E and cocoa butter that really softens the skin.
I especially like the scent. It’s a warm, comforting cocoa butter smell that’s subtle yet lasts a long time. I find that, when I apply this in the morning, I can still smell it by dinner time. I also like to apply it before bed for a hydration boost and to enjoy the calming scent as I fall asleep.
15. St. Ives Softening Body Lotion
Take care of your skin while being whisked away to a tropical paradise
It’s hard to describe how much I love the coconut and orchid scent of this body lotion. It’s summery and fresh. Yet I’ve noticed some say it smells somewhat synthetic to them. In any case, the scent lasts a long time for me, which I really appreciate.
In terms of how it takes care of the skin, I have to say that this has to be one of the most hydrating lotions I tried. It’s also non-greasy and absorbs really quickly so you can apply, get dressed, and get on with your day.
This is a lightweight lotion and I find that it works well to prevent irritation after shaving. It also didn’t cause any flare-ups with my sensitive skin which was a real bonus. If, however, you want something thick and super hydrating, this might be too thin for you so I’d recommend trying Palmers.
16. Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion
Natural goodness with a light fragrance
Burt’s Bees is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something no nonsense. I was astonished by how quickly it absorbed into my skin without leaving any residue. The product leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated from ingredients like grape seed oil and honey.
The lotion has a somewhat natural smell to it from the organic ingredients so it’s a lot more delicate and light than something like the Jo Malone lotion. The smell does, however, persist for a few hours on the skin after application, so this lotion is ideal if you want something delicate. I absolutely love how well it nourished any dry patches without irritating my skin.
17. Chanel No 5 The Body Lotion
A delicate lotion with a rich fragrance
The Chanel No 5 fragrance has long been a favorite of mine, and even though it’s quite a strong fragrance, I like to layer it to make it even more prominent. So, I found this matching body lotion that’s just as intense. I must warn you, you could wear this alone and still smell great so proceed with caution.
But it isn’t just the smell I fell in love with. Chanel No 5 Body Lotion is very light and applies beautifully. The lotion leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated with no stickiness or greasiness.
Yet let’s face it, it’s a pretty pricey lotion and if you use as much moisturizer as I do, you’ll soon end up breaking the bank. I think this Chanel lotion would make a great gift for someone special.
18. Bath And Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom
Light hydration for a super scent
Before I get into the scent of the Bath and Body Works lotion, I have to say that out of all of the products I tried, this one offered the least hydration. I’m not saying it’s no good because it does lightly hydrate the skin but it’s probably not the best choice if you’ve got anything other than normal skin. It contains shea butter and cocoa butter which are nourishing ingredients. And again, whilst not the most hydrating, I felt my skin was softer after using it.
However, it’s the fragrance that really sells it to me. It’s floral and sweet and lingers all day. When I put on this lotion in the morning, I can still smell it when I get into bed at night, albeit a little less intensely.
19. Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon Herbal Body Moisturizer
Happiness in a bottle
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the scent of this body lotion is heavenly! It’s sweet and fresh and lasts so long that I would almost replace my perfume with it.
Containing hemp seed oil and a load of other goodies like vitamin E and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, this lotion is ideal for combating the signs of aging skin. The cream leaves your skin feeling really supple and smooth without causing any irritation.
This formulation is paraben-free and cruelty-free, and there is an extensive range different scents that you can discover. I feel as though I’ll be working my way through them all.
20. Nivea Cherry Blossom and Jojoba Oil Infused Lotion
Affordable hydration for floral fans
I believe this lotion is one of the best from Nivea’s skincare line. It’s an oil-infused lotion so it’s perfect for very dry skin without leaving any greasy residue and just melting in. I love how light it feels.
I think its smell is a perfect summer scent. It’s light and floral without being too over the top. While it is one of the more gentle-smelling lotions on my list, I find it wonderful to layer under a floral-scented eau de toilette.
As someone with sensitive skin, I was pleased to find that this lotion did not irritate my skin at all.
21. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Daily Shade Body Lotion With SPF 15
A great-smelling lotion to protects and hydrates the skin
Truth be told, finding a body lotion that contains SPF that doesn’t smell like a summer vacation can be difficult. That’s why I loved this one from Alba Botanical. It’s got a light aloe vera scent that feels very refreshing yet isn’t overpowering.
If you want something delicate then this is one I’d highly recommend. On top of smelling fresh, I also felt that this lotion left my skin feeling so soft and hydrated and that sensation lasted all day.
But what really stood out was the formula. This lotion contains no parabens or synthetic fragrances and is 100% vegetarian-friendly.
I should point out, however, that the pump isn’t the most effective thing in the world. Once you reach the last inch or two in the bottle, you’ll have to tip it upside down as the lotion is so thick.
How To Use Body Lotion
I find, and experts agree, that applying body lotion right after you come out of the shower is the best method. The reason for this is that the skin is already slightly more hydrated thanks to the water. So, you’ll want to make sure that you retain some of that water by applying the lotion while the skin is slightly damp.
Just lightly towel dry the skin before application and the lotion will lock in that moisture, leaving your skin soft and preventing that tight feeling.
It is important to choose the right body lotion for your skin type so give it some thought. I’m sure the mini-reviews in this guide will point you in the right direction.
You want to make sure that all parts of your body are covered so I’d suggest starting at the bottom and working your way up. If there are any hard to reach spots, you can buy accessories like a spatula to make application that little bit easier.
When rubbing the lotion in, it’s best to warm it up with the hands first and then apply it in a circular motion. If there are any areas of particularly dry skin, then pay a little more attention to these. You can apply lotion as many times as you wish throughout the day but when you buy a long-lasting, super hydrating product, you shouldn’t really need to.
Body Lotion Vs Body Cream: Which Is Best
It can be confusing to choose between a lotion or a cream when there are so many body moisturizer products available. Here’s what makes the difference.
In general, a body lotion has a lower oil content and is a lot more lightweight than a body cream or even a body butter. Therefore, it’s typically better suited to normal or slightly dry skin. It doesn’t have such a greasy feel as a cream but if your skin is very dry and needs additional hydration, a cream may be worth considering.
Body Lotion Vs Body Oil: What’s The Difference
Body oil is another product you may find when choosing a daily hydration solution for your body. As you can probably tell from the name, these are made from oil and are much more hydrating and greasy than body lotion or cream.
The way body lotions and body oils hydrate the skin differs:
A body lotion is a lightweight product that’s ideal for people wanting to lock in moisture, they do this more easily because they are water-based. On the other hand, body oil provides the skin with additional hydration but it won’t soak in quite as quickly so the effects may take longer to notice.
Is Scented Body Lotion Better Than Perfume?
I actually received a gift set at Christmas that had a perfume and a matching body lotion. They both smell incredible but I wouldn’t say the body lotion was better than the perfume.
Scented lotion is ideal if you want to achieve a very light and intimate fragrance. However, many products won’t last all day and they certainly won’t last as long as a perfume.
That said, it’s recommended to layer your scents to get the best longevity and wear from them. So, with the gift set I received, I apply the lotion straight out of the shower and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. I’ll then apply a few spritzes of the matching perfume on my pulse points and I notice that the scent lasts much longer than when I use either product on its own.
Does Body Lotion Expire?
As with most cosmetic products, many bottles of body lotion will contain a date on the packaging. This comes in the form of a picture of a jar with a number inside. The number tells you how many months the lotion is good for.
While lotion may ‘expire’, it probably won’t harm your skin if you use it outside of this time frame. What you may notice, however, is that the lotion doesn’t function as it once did. For example, if we’re talking about an SPF lotion, using it after the expiration date will mean it doesn’t offer the same level of protection.
There are some cases where lotions that are left open and unused could be more prone to bacteria build-up as the preservatives break down over time. Of course, storing the lotion correctly can help to prolong its life. It’s best to avoid storing lotions in extreme temperatures and out of direct sunlight.