11 Best Body Butters of 2024 for Hydrated Skin, According to Dermatologists

Editor Tip: If you look under the hood, you’ll find that this is basically a body oil for extra dry skin, all thanks to hardworking sunflower, rose, juniper, cedarwood, geranium, camellia, evening primrose, safflower, and more ultra-hydrating oils.

Key Ingredients: Bacuri butter, caviar lime, mulberry leaf, sunflower oil | Who It’s For: Normal to dry skin | Fragrance-Free: No

Best Lightweight Body Butter: Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

Josie Maran

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

Why We Love It: According to Dr. Gold, argan oil is very rich in vitamin E, which helps keep skin soft and supple and guards the skin against free radicals. The Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter has a lighter texture than other options on this list but is still considered a huge boon for dry skin, due to the amount of argan oil in the product. Other ingredients, such as white tea extract, aloe vera, and avocado oil also add to the high antioxidant content of the product.

Editor Tip: Calling all vanilla girls: This pick is lightly fragranced with vanilla bean. Layer over your favorite gourmand fragrance and you’ll smell warm and sweet all day long.

Key Ingredients: Argan oil, white tea extract, aloe vera, avocado oil | Who It’s For: Dry and mature skin | Fragrance-Free: No

Best Budget-Friendly Body Butter: Weleda Skin Food Body Butter


Weleda Skin Food Body Butter

Why We Love It: A budget-friendly find that goes a long way, the Weleda Skin Food Body Butter wins top points from Dr. Gold due to its plant-based skin-care ingredients. It contains a mix of shea butter, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, and pansy extract, which gives this body butter a smooth texture that very easily melts into the skin for full absorption.

Editor Tip: This one has an earthy and floral scent from essential oils that are so fragrant you’ll be able to leave the house sans perfume.

Key Ingredients: Shea butter, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil | Who It’s For: Dry, very dry skin | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Frequently Asked Questions

How moisture loss affects the skin barrier

“The function of the skin is to be a protective barrier of the underlying tissues, protecting the internal organs from infections and irritation,” Birmingham, Atlanta-based board-certified dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD, explains. “Desiccation and stress disruption of the protective barrier can lead to the increase of transepidermal water loss, and therefore conditions that are associated with skin, dryness, and irritations.” So essentially, the more you skip out on moisturizing your face and body, the more prone you’ll be to flaking, itching, and other irritation to the skin barrier.

Who should use body butter?

Most dermatologists agree that very dry skin would benefit best from body butter, which Dr. Hartman describes as “a waterless, thicker version of a body lotion.” However, especially during the drier, winter months, anyone could benefit from a heavier formula. In general, it’s great for anyone to use a body butter, but especially if your body wash is more drying, which might be the case if you’re using one formulated with exfoliating ingredients like AHAs, retinol, and salicylic acid.

What ingredients to look out for

Look out for familiar, hydrating powerhouses, Dr. Hartman notes, “such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and oils like coconut and avocado, as well as vitamin E, which softens skin and protects the skin’s moisture barrier.” (Spoiler: You’ll notice that most of the picks listed below will boast shea butter, a rich emollient that heals cracked skin, thanks to a composition that includes vitamins A, E, and F.) Dr. Hartman also adds that it’s best to avoid any ingredients that will dry out the skin, like alcohol or witch hazel.

When and how to use body butter in your routine

Since there’s very little to no water in body butters, New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Julie E. Russak, MD, says the best time to use one is when you’ve just stepped out of the shower—when your skin is damp. “Pat the skin dry, and while the skin is still moist, apply body butter to all the areas that are rough and dry, including feet, hands, ankles, and elbows,” Dr. Russak says. “This locks in the moisture obtained from the shower, decreases trans-epidermal water loss, and helps repair the barrier.”

Meet the experts

How we test and review products

When Allure tests a product, our editors look at it from every angle in an effort to best serve you. We review ingredients, scrutinize brand claims, and, when necessary, examine peer-reviewed scientific and medical studies. In addition to testing each and every product that’s included in each and every review, we rely on experts who shape their fields, including dermatology, cosmetic chemistry, and medicine, to help us vet the ingredients and formulas.

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