What if you didn’t have to worry about ashy, dry skin anymore? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could moisturize just once each day?
Those questions inspired us to look for the best skincare products for African American skin. Specifically, we researched the best body lotion for Black skin.
We searched for lotions used by Black celebrities as well as ordinary people who want to look younger and enjoy glowing skin. Check the reviews below and tell us what you think.
Why Black skin deserves the best moisturizer
Although Black skin has a high sebum content, it’s lower in ceramides than other ethnicities (1). Ceramides are crucial for maintaining the skin hydrated and healthy. Because of the low ceramide level, Black skin is susceptible to water loss, especially if a person uses harsh soap.
Compounding the problem is the fact that many African Americans have to deal with combination skin. Some parts of the body are oily, while others are dehydrated. Therefore, it’s essential to use a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, yet high in ceramides and emollients.
How to prevent ashy skin
Ashy skin is made worse by drying soaps and body washes. There’s no need for sulfates and harsh detergents to get the skin clean. So, the first step to preventing ashy skin is to use gentle products to wash it (2).
Next, it helps to take shorter showers with warm water instead of hot. Water can also dehydrate the skin by stripping the natural oil. Hard water is especially notorious, and high temperatures exacerbate the problem.
Shortly after showering, pat dry and apply a moisturizer to damp skin. Look for body lotions with ceramides, glycerin, and other healthy humectants and emollients. Some dermatologists may recommend creams with petroleum or liquid paraffin, but those ingredients may clog pores. However, they are very good at sealing in moisture.
Keep in mind that the thickest emollient won’t help if the skin is dry underneath it. That’s why most lotions contain water is one of the primary ingredients.
We hope your new body lotion provides instant results. But very dry skin may take a few days (or weeks) to completely recover. Be patient and keep moisturizing at least once per day or more if needed. Then you can enjoy supple skin with a healthy glow.
Other tricks for keeping skin hydrated are to use a humidifier and to drink more water than you think you need.
Finally, remember to wear sunscreen. Although dark skin is less likely to burn, the UV rays can still cause damage at a cellular level and strip needed moisture from it, too.
Best Body Lotion for Black Skin in 2021
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe cream in a jar is an even better moisturizer than the lotion in the pump top bottle. It’s a dermatologist-recommended skincare product that carries the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.
Moreover, it’s gentle for all skin types as it won’t trigger acne or allergic reactions. It’s fragrance-free and has no parabens, either. As much as we love delicious-smelling lotion, we appreciate body butter that doesn’t clash with our perfume. We also love that it’s not greasy and absorbs pretty fast for a cream.
What makes this lotion suitable for Black skin? For one, it’s packed with ceramides. It contains three types that the skin needs to maintain its natural barrier against dehydration and infection.
Second, it contains hyaluronic acid, an excellent moisturizer. This humectant attracts and holds a thousand times its weight in water. Like ceramides, it’s a natural part of healthy skin. Also, like ceramides, hyaluronic acid levels drop as we age.
Lastly, the formula is designed for twenty-four-hour hydration. If you wash, of course, you’ll want to reapply. Otherwise, the skin should stay itch-free and smooth for a full day.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Cetaphil is the nearest competitor to CeraVe when it comes to body lotion. Their moisturizing cream promises to restore the skin’s natural barrier within a week of daily use. In clinical trials, it was also proven to provide twenty-four-hour hydration.
While both CeraVe and Cetaphil creams contain petrolatum, it’s the third ingredient in Cetaphil’s formula and the seventh in CeraVe’s. Thankfully, neither contains parabens nor an artificial fragrance. Both are also non-comedogenic and not greasy.
Cetaphil stands out for including sweet almond oil. This ingredient is frequently used as professional massage oil because of its beneficial effects on the skin.
Vanicream Moisturizing Cream
People with ultra-sensitive skin love Vanicream’s products. Take this moisturizer, for example. It comes with a pump dispenser to prevent contamination.
Furthermore, it has only twelve ingredients. There are no fragrances, masking fragrances, parabens, lanolin, or artificial colors. It’s so safe that it carries the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.
It’s mild enough to use on the face as it won’t clog pores. Yet, it’s potent enough to cure cracked heels and chapped knuckles. Just a little dab goes a long way.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Skin Therapy Lotion with Vitamin E
Were you wondering when we get to Palmer’s lotion? They have several offerings, so we selected the best-selling daily lotion. (If your skin is extra-dry, try the one made for stretch marks).
This economical choice has an appealing cocoa butter scent and a soothing texture. It absorbs rapidly, leaving the skin silky and soft.
If you don’t want to smell like chocolate, you might want to look elsewhere. Also, we were a little disappointed about the artificial dyes and fragrance. But on the bright side, there are no parabens, and there’s plenty of vitamin E.
Why does vitamin E matter? It’s an antioxidant that promotes healing and helps the skin retain moisture.
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
Aveeno’s regular body lotion is a classic choice. Did you know that it’s won awards? It’s also been proven in clinical trials to improve the skin in only twenty-four hours.
The secret to its success is colloidal oatmeal, which is naturally soothing. What’s more, the formula sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. Yet, we have to be honest and say that it might not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin if it’s only applied once per day.
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Moisturizing Lotion
Aveeno also makes an unscented lotion loved by persons with eczema. Since it’s fragrance-free, it’s unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction.
Moreover, it blends science with nature for excellent results. It has both dimethicone and shea butter. One is a lightweight silicone emollient, and the other is one of the best natural moisturizers.
Obviously, it has Aveeno’s signature key ingredient, too. The Triple Oat Complex is a mix of oat flour, oil, and extract, as every part of this plant can work miracles for dry, itchy skin.
Kiehl’s Creme De Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter
One of our favorite high-end body butters is right here. It’s surprisingly non-greasy and has the perfect texture – not too thick and not too runny. The soft fragrance reminded us of a day at the spa.
The formula is free of parabens, silicone, and glycols yet rich enough for twenty-four hours of moisture.
SheaMoisture Hydrating Body Lotion
Did you know that SheaMoisture exists because of a hard-working mother who lived in Sierra Leone at the beginning of the twentieth century? She sold African Black soap and shea butter to take care of her family. Because of that legacy, the company still uses raw shea butter that’s handcrafted by African women.
Besides that primary ingredient, this lotion also features coconut oil, frankincense, and myrrh. They are healing to dull, dry skin. In fact, they are so powerful that the formula has no need for mineral oil, parabens, or phthalates.
Users rave about how the lotion prevents ashen us. They also like the appealing fragrance.
O’Keeffe’s Skin Repair Body Lotion
We don’t know about you, but this pandemic has nearly wrecked our hands from the repeated use of soap in hand sanitizer. What’s saved us are nourishing lotions like this one. It’s unscented and safe for diabetics and eczema-prone skin.
The effects last for an astounding forty-eight hours. Yes, this body lotion keeps moisturizing even after you shower. Still, we recommend reapplying if possible to maintain the skin’s health.
Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion
Eucerin is a brand that dermatologists recommend to their patients with sensitive skin. Take this body lotion, for example. It checks all the boxes.
First, it’s fortified with ceramides to strengthen the skin at a cellular level. It also has amino acids to help the skin repair itself. Plus, there’s lactic acid for gentle exfoliation to get rid of those dry flakes.
Next, it’s fragrance-free, and we didn’t see parabens on the label, either. There’s no lanolin in case you’re vegan or are allergic to it.
Third, it works for up to forty-eight hours, making it ideal for parts of the body that get washed frequently, like the hands.
Users say it feels like a cross between a gel and a cream, making it lightweight and less greasy than the regular Eucerin body lotion.
Everyone Lotion, Citrus and Mint
What about body lotion that the whole family can use? Put this one by every sink in the house. If you don’t love the citrus and mint scent, it comes in lavender and coconut, too.
It has a lightweight texture packed with nutrition to maintain healthy skin. It starts with vitamins and organic plant oils like sesame and coconut. Moreover, it has pure essential oils that create the amazing fragrance. Our only sadness is that the scent isn’t as strong or long-lasting as we hoped.
On the bright side, it’s EWG-verified to be free of phthalates, perfumes, dyes, mineral oil, and parabens.
Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Skin Therapy Lotion
Gold Bond has been in the lotion business for what seems like forever. They have multiple versions to choose from, so we selected this family-size bottle. It’s ideal to care for ashy or rough skin.
Besides shea butter, it has vitamins A, C, and E. All of these are antioxidants that combat premature aging and dryness.
Another point in its favor is that it’s been dermatologist-tested against common allergens.
Reviewers comment over and over about how well it works without making their skin oily or sticky.
Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Body Lotion
Out of all the drugstore lotions, we found that this Jergens formula works particularly well if you want your skin to have a healthy sheen. In the description, they say it “melts into the skin” to leave it “three times more radiant”. To that end, it has something called the “Hydralucence Blend”.
The texture is quite thick for lotion, verging on body butter territory. But if you’re an African-American dealing with a harsh northern winter, it’s perfect. It coats well without making the skin greasy.
Thankfully, although it has a nice scent, it’s not overpowering.
By the way, Jergens also makes different body lotions infused with other key ingredients like argan oil, honey, and coconut. At this price, it could be fun to try them all.
Maui Moisture Body Care Extra Hydrating Shea Butter Body Lotion
We don’t know about you, but we feel like we need a vacation. Hawaii sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Short of hopping on a plane, we found this lotion to provide a pleasant experience. It’s packed with tropical ingredients and an enjoyable fragrance.
Furthermore, it’s paraben-free. The thick texture melts into the skin, leaving it comfortable and soft. Behind the scenes, shea butter, macadamia oil, and coconut work their magic.
The only downside we found is that it takes a little longer to absorb.
If you find yourself unhappy with ashy skin, it’s time to upgrade your moisturizer. Try a better body lotion with the right ingredients for Black skin.
Put down the petroleum jelly and pick up a bottle with the balance of humectants and emollients that your skin craves. Drench yourself in moisture and enjoy a healthy glow.
If we helped you find your new favorite skincare product today, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Ashiness, by Naissan Wesley, MD, published February 10, 2014, accessed April 5, 2021
2. https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/keeping-your-skin-hydrated-avoiding-ashy-skin-in-winter/11151818 Avoid dry, ashy skin this winter with these steps, by Santilla Chingaipe, published 10 June 10, 2019, updated 4 August 4, 2019, accessed April 5, 2021