The 12 Best Lotions For Crepey Skin That Hydrate, Tighten & Tone
Crepey skin (or when your skin resembles a fragile sheet of crepe paper) happens for a few reasons: Most notably, the thin appearance is exacerbated by a lack of hydration, loss of collagen, and diminished cell turnover—processes that are affected by the natural course of aging as well as environmental influences, like sun exposure, smoking, and pollution.
As a result, those larger sun-exposed areas tend to turn crepey most quickly: think upper arms, neck, legs, etc.
While the best remedy for the tissue-like skin is to delay it in the first place, it is possible to tighten the skin and prevent any more sagging.
"Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize—this can improve the appearance," board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., told us about how to treat crepey skin. And according to board-certified dermatologist Amy Ross, M.D., exfoliating and promoting cell turnover are also key: "Using an exfoliant (whether chemical or physical) will improve the appearance of crepey skin quickly," she says.
Given the derms' top tips, might we suggest a lotion that can do both? Below, find the best moisturizing players that also slough the skin smooth.
Best lotions for crepey skin.
- postbiotic body lotion, mindbodygreen ($30)
- Anti-Aging Body Balm, OSEA ($48)
- Green Apple Firming Body Moisturizer, Juice Beauty ($20)
- Svelte Cream, African Botanics ($160)
- T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion, Drunk Elephant ($25)
- The Body Cream, Augustinus Bader ($180)
- Extra-Firming Body Lotion, Clarins ($66)
- Resurface+ AHA Renewing Body Cream, Skinfix ($48)
- Whipped Argan Pro-Retinol Body Butter, Josie Maran ($46)
- Anti-Aging Body Cream, Dr. Barbara Sturm ($95)
- Supple Preparation All-Over Lotion, Klairs ($34.50)
- Watermelon Glow AHA Pink Dream Body Cream, Glow Recipe ($28)
mindbodygreen postbiotic body lotion
If you have sensitive skin, you might find ingredients that promote cell turnover (like retinol and AHAs) a little difficult to tolerate. Not to fret: Plenty of other healthy aging ingredients on the market can help your skin look soft and supple—like coenzyme Q10 (which helps skin cells literally act younger), aloe vera, botanical oils, and targeted-biotic ingredients, all of which are included in mbg’s star body lotion. With shea butter, moringa seed oil, oat oil, and squalene, the formula also deeply hydrates—and keeping your skin ultra-moisturized is key to prevent any more sagging.
postbiotic body lotion, mindbodygreen ($30)
OSEA Anti-Aging Body Balm
This silky serum-lotion hybrid contains Alaria seaweed, a powerful humectant loaded with antioxidants to help improve skin appearance. In fact, when used topically, algae has been found to be a better humectant than hyaluronic acid! For even more moisture, the formula calls on coconut oil and safflower seed oil, and it exudes an invigorating jasmine and geranium scent.
Anti-Aging Body Balm, OSEA ($48)
Juice Beauty Green Apple Firming Body Moisturizer
With an apple, grape, and aloe juice base, this lotion is quite literally a cool beverage for your skin. It has a nice and thick texture, too, so you know it's packed with moisturizing players—shea butter, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil, to be exact—but it absorbs easily and feels super lightweight.
Green Apple Firming Body Moisturizer, Juice Beauty ($20)
African Botanics Svelte Cream
A few rich botanicals make this firming cream a star for crepey skin: There's milk thistle, which has antioxidant abilities that can help protect against free-radical damage; there's caffeine, which constricts blood vessels and can lead to a brighter, "tighter" appearance; there's willow bark extract, a natural cousin of the BHA salicylic acid, that can exfoliate and promote turnover; and, finally, there's niacinamide to even tone.
Svelte Cream, African Botanics ($160)
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion
This body lotion features glycolic acid plus tartaric, lactic, and citric acids (that’s why it’s called T.L.C.), which quickly resurface uneven skin texture—for me, it even leaves a slight tingle upon application. Glycolic acid is especially helpful for skin elasticity, as research has shown that six months of topical glycolic acid stimulated a 27% increase in epidermal thickness. It’s not all about the AHAs, though: This formula also calls on shea and marula butters to nourish dry, flaky skin.
T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion, Drunk Elephant ($25)
Augustinus Bader The Body Cream
There's a reason this cult-favorite product has so many rave reviews: It all boils down to the brand's signature Trigger Factor Complex (TFC8), composed of amino acids, vitamins, and synthesized molecules naturally found in the skin. It then delivers those nutrients directly to the skin cells, which aids in cellular regeneration. Translation: It gives the skin cells exactly what they love so they can focus on repair. To wrap it all up, the cream also contains shea butter and bisabolol for even more antioxidants and moisture.
The Body Cream, Augustinus Bader ($180)
Clarins Extra-Firming Body Lotion
This decadent lotion features centella asiatica (or "cica"), which can not only help with hydration but also promotes fibroblast proliferation (aka, the things in our cells that create collagen and elastin). In other words: It works in two ways for crepey skin.
Extra-Firming Body Lotion, Clarins ($66)
Skinfix Resurface+ AHA Renewing Body Cream
A blend of AHAs and willow bark extract (again, that's the natural version of salicylic acid), this lotion gently buffs the skin while coating it with comforting shea butter, aloe, and grapeseed oil. The lime extract also offers a fresh, crisp scent, if you're one for some subtle fragrance.
Resurface+ AHA Renewing Body Cream, Skinfix ($48)
Josie Maran Whipped Argan Pro-Retinol Body Butter
Retinoids are beloved for stimulating cell turnover and collagen production, so, of course, we had to include a retinol-infused cream in this list. This body butter includes algae extract, a natural vitamin A ingredient that has similar cell turnover benefits and nourishes the skin with nutrients. Not to mention, it has quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, and 100% pure argan oil for a smooth, satin-like finish.
Whipped Argan Pro-Retinol Body Butter, Josie Maran ($46)
Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Body Cream
Most of the lotions on this list skew toward thick butter creams—if you're looking for an airy hydrator, this lightweight lotion is your best bet. It contains potent botanicals to target rejuvenation, like Indian almond and purslane extract, as well as lactic acid to lift dead skin and shea butter for moisture.
Anti-Aging Body Cream, Dr. Barbara Sturm ($95)
Klairs Supple Preparation All-Over Lotion
Another lightweight number, this velvety lotion comes laced with shea butter, ceramides, and jojoba oil to leave your skin—you guessed it!—oh-so supple. Bonus: Use it as a conditioner, too, for silky strands.
Supple Preparation All-Over Lotion, Klairs ($34.50)
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow AHA Pink Dream Body Cream
Yes, watermelon seed butter is a thing, made from ground white watermelon seeds (similar to tahini). It has a creamy texture that's the perfect antioxidant-rich base for this pink goop, and it's infused with natural hibiscus AHAs and hyaluronic acid to plump the skin with hydration.
Watermelon Glow AHA Pink Dream Body Cream, Glow Recipe ($28)
mbg's review process
At mbg, high standards are earned—and there are no shortcuts. Our beauty editors stay up to date on the latest ingredient research and innovation. It's a dynamic, continuously evolving space, and it's important we look into the science so we can make informed choices about which formulas earn our stamp of approval (figuratively speaking).
Our high standards also come from testing products—many, many products. Our editors and writers rigorously test and research the products featured in our roundups to offer you the best, most informed recommendations. When we write reviews, you can trust we spend quality time with the formulas: We don't simply rave about products we've slathered on the back of our hand. We endorse products we've tried and loved.
Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.