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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Body Moisturisers

By Rebecca Jenkinson and Carly Cochrane - 2 years ago | Updated
women in white robe moisturising her legs

We all know the importance of taking care of our skin every day with the best face moisturisers, but are you as committed to moisturising your body every day? Let’s be honest, probably not.

Often, we leave moisturising our bodies for sunny holidays with body bronzing formulas or in winter when our skin is super dry and scaly. However, we think moisturising is an all-year round commitment to keeping the skin in tip top condition. But with so many lotions and potions on the market it can be tricky figuring out which is the best format and texture for your body type.

Luckily for you we’ve rounded up all your common FAQs to help run through the very best body moisturisers. This may be a long one, but it’s certainly worth it.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive straight in!

Body Balm

What is a body balm?

A body balm is a moisturiser which helps smooth and soothe the skin, made up of solidified oils, beeswax or butters. They are an indulgent treat for the senses and often have luxury scents. Body balms also don't contain water and instead have a thick, rich consistency. They are perfect for deeply hydrating any dry patches, such as the elbows, feet and knees.

How do you use body balm?

The best time to apply body balm is after a shower or bath when your skin is damp as the balm helps lock in the moisture. Simply take a small amount of the product and gently massage across your whole body, focusing on any areas that need some extra TLC. The heat from your body and your hands will melt the formula, making it glide easily across your skin, so you're left feeling soft, smooth and oh-so-supple.

Is body balm the same as lotion?

They are both versions of body moisturisers, but they have different consistencies. A body balm has a thick texture, enriched with oils or beeswax. A lotion, on the other hand, has a water base and a thinner consistency. Body balms are perfect for winter worn skin, when your body feels extra dry, while lotions feel lightweight and are ideal in the summer months.

What are the best body balms?

REN Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm

£27.20 £34.00 (20% off)

Nuxe Reve De Miel Body Oil Balm

£22.50 £26.50 (16% off)

Australian Bodycare Body Balm

£9.21 £11.99 (24% off)

Body Butter

What is body butter?

Body butter is a thick, rich moisturising cream that you can smooth over your entire body. They are often heavier than gels or creams and are perfect for the skin in colder months. In summer, beauty lovers may favour lighter moisturisers.

Body butters are deeply nourishing on the skin and are a comforting option for after bathing. Body butters also leave you with a long-lasting hydrated feeling, which are perfect for people suffering from dry, chapped or flaking skin.

How do I use body butter?

Take a scoop of the body butter in your hands and massage across your skin in big circular motions, concentrating on any dry patches. Your natural body heat will help melt the formula into the skin.

Like any other body moisturiser, use after bathing or before heading to bed as this will boost hydration and allow the butter to fully absorb into the skin throughout the night. Use as little or a much as you like, but we recommend using a generous amount to fully nurture your skin. Mix and match your favourite body butters to get the best nourishing results.

What is body butter made from?

Body butters can be made from a variety of different ingredients. They combine a nourishing mix of butters, oils, vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants to create a deeply hydrating elixir. Popular body butters often include shea, cocoa or coconut butter. Whether it's a just one or a blend of a few different types, all come with huge benefits.

Cocoa butter is fantastic at locking in hydration, helping even the skin tone and reducing the appearance of scars. It is also known as a great option for skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Coconut butter also has fantastic restorative properties, while shea butter has high fat content and keeps your skin feeling silky and supple. It also has a plethora of anti-ageing properties thanks to its rich vitamin content.

What is the best body butter?

Pestle & Mortar Nimbu Body Butter

£31.81 £33.00 (4% off)

Weleda Skin Food Body Butter

£16.46 £22.96 (29% off)

Sunday Rain Mango + Coconut Moisturising Body Butter


Body Cream

What is body cream?

Body cream is similar to body lotion in that it is a moisturising formula that utilises an oil and water blend. Body cream has a higher concentration of oil though, and tends to be thicker in consistency in order to provide a strong barrier that supplies ultra-hydration.

Body creams are the best option if you are looking to treat and prevent very dry and cracked skin, especially when the harsh weather can take a toll on skin. They are extremely good at absorbing into the deeper layers of skin and can keep the skin moisturised for longer.

Like lotions, body creams are typically non-greasy, however they may feel heavier on the skin. Body creams are usually packaged and sold in a jar or tub container.

Can I use body cream on my face?

Using body cream on your face isn't advised. While it may seem harmless and convenient, body creams are thicker than face creams and typically contain fragrances that could irritate skin.

When it comes to moisturising your face, you should use gentle and delicate day creams that have been specifically formulated for your skin type and concern. Face creams are made with many more targeted ingredients, so that your skin is cared for in the right way. Whereas, body creams are designed to protect and soften the skin on your body. If they are applied to the face, they can clog pores, cause breakouts and leave skin feeling greasy and heavy.

What is the best body cream?

ESPA Deeply Nourishing Body Cream

£23.99 £53.00 (55% off)

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

£14.40 £18.00 (20% off)

ELEMIS Frangipani Monoi Body Cream

£17.30 £29.00 (41% off)

Body Lotion

What is body lotion?

Body lotion is the beauty product that keeps your skin soft and smooth, all year round. Not only are they specially formulated to lock in moisture, but they also stop your skin absorbing water and oil from elsewhere. The result? Skin that bursts with hydration, for longer.

Body lotion can be used to soften rough patches of skin and soothe minor skin irritations, such as nappy rash or sun burn. Some formulas can even boost cell turnover and elasticity, leaving you with skin that looks and feels younger.

How do I use body lotion?

Body lotion is essential in any everyday beauty routine. You can use body lotion twice a day, in the morning and evening; like other body moisturisers it's best to apply body lotion immediately after a bath or shower when skin is still damp, as this allows you to lock in the most moisture.

What is a firming body lotion?

A firming body lotion is the ideal option if you want to target areas on the body that have cellulite, stretch marks or sagging skin.

Firming body lotions are specially developed to temporarily tighten and restore the elasticity of skin. They often include ingredients such as caffeine and retinol, which help to boost collagen production and plump skin.

What are the benefits of a retinol body lotion?

Retinol-based body lotions offer a magnitude of benefits, if used correctly.

As retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, it packs the ability to boost cell turnover, stimulate collagen production and minimise the appearance of pigmentation. That means it can be used to target anything from stretch marks and cellulite to uneven skin tone and signs of ageing.

What are the best body lotions?

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

£11.46 £15.12 (25% off)

Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion

£23.21 £39.00 (41% off)

Augustinus Bader The Body Lotion


Body Oil

What is a body oil?

A body oil is the perfect lightweight alternative to heavy moisturising lotions, creams and butters. While those thicker treatments will certainly help hydrate your body, they can often take some time to fully absorb into the skin, unlike body oils.

Quality body oils help improve the texture and tone your skin. With restorative properties, they can help soothe and nourish scars, stretch marks, blemishes and irritations. They also create a protective barrier on the skin to lock in moisture, without feeling weighed down or greasy.

Body oils can be the perfect massaging tool to ease muscle tensions, reduce joint pains and send you off to the land of nod. It's the all-rounder body treatment everyone should have in their beauty collection.

How do I use a body oil?

From body glow oil to body massage oil and bath soaks to body oil sprays, there's a product for every occasion and every skin care need. How you use them is up to you.

For the simple moisturising body oils, we suggest massaging into the dry patches on your skin. Whether it's your feet, elbows or even your cuticles, body oil can nourish your entire body.

You can also add a few drops of body oil to your bath and soak up all the nourishing properties. Not to mention, deeply massaging an oil onto your stomach if your pregnant can help soothe stretch marks. Body oils also make the perfect healing elixir and can be applied to areas that feel achy or sore.

What is the best body oil?

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Florale

£10.00 £12.50 (20% off)

Dr Hauschka Rose Nurturing Body Oil

£19.42 £23.00 (16% off)

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra Moisture Body Oil

£20.25 £39.78 (50% off)

Phew, that was a lot! If you made it this far, we know you’re ready to find all the best moisturising body and skin care. For more go-to guides, why not take a look at The Best Hand Cream for Dry and Cracked Skin and The Best Bath Oils for Total Relaxation?

Rebecca Jenkinson

Written by Rebecca Jenkinson

Rebecca is a content writer with over three years’ experience and a keen interest in cosmetics. Cosmetify allows her to combine her blogging skills with her passion for beauty.

Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane

As the Senior Content Editor for Cosmetify, Carly is the go-to for all the latest (and greatest) beauty tips, tricks and trends. With over six years of experience in the industry, she knows all the ins-and-outs when it comes to health, beauty and wellbeing. 

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