Does the skin on your arms and legs look dry and wrinkly? The best body lotions for crepey skin will boost moisture, tighten and tone
Crepey skin – skin that resembles the texture of crepe paper – is part and parcel of getting older and should be celebrated as a reminder of our body’s journey to date. While it isn’t anything to worry about, many people want to find the best body lotions for crepey skin to help smooth out their arms and legs.
“Crepey skin is just a descriptive word for thinning skin that wrinkles quickly, especially with movement,” explains Dr Vanita Rattan, skin doctor and cosmetic formulator at SkincarebyDrV. “It tends to happen on thinner areas of the skin first – such as the eye area, the neck area and the hands – before affecting the rest of the face and body.”
Thankfully, there are plenty of lotions and potions to help minimise the appearance of wrinkly skin and help you feel more confident. We’ve tested the very best lotions for crepey skin on the market right now, to bring you the hero products worth stocking up on.
Confused about where to start? Then first check out our guide on how you go about picking the right lotion for crepey skin for you.
Best body lotions for crepey skin: At a glance
|Best overall lotion||Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Fragile Skin Therapy (~£58)||Check price at Lookfantastic|
|Best budget lotion||Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Firming Butter (~£6)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best preventative lotion||No7 Intense Advanced Moisturising Body Serum (~£25)||Check price at Boots|
How to choose the best body lotion for crepey skin for you
What ingredients should I look for?
There are a few ingredients (both for internal and external use) that Dr Rattan suggests looking out for in a product to minimise crepey skin.
- Drinking Type 1 Hydrolysed Marine Collagen (derived from fish): “This is the highest bioavailability type of collagen powder on the market; it’s the most effective. This collagen is broken into peptides, which are recognised by fibroblasts as collagen fragments, which ‘trick’ fibroblasts to produce more collagen in response.”
- Retinol or retinaldehyde: “Make sure your skincare has vitamin A in it. I do prefer retinaldehyde over retinol, since it’s less irritating and works 11x faster.”
- Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate: “This is a fat-soluble vitamin C that also stimulates collagen and peptides.”
- Humectants: Look for humectants in your skincare since they allow the skin to retain moisture. Examples include glycerin or sodium hyaluronate. This is especially true in the winter, in order to trap water in the top layer of skin and refresh the skin’s surface.
What causes crepey skin?
“Degradation of collagen happens with ageing,” explains Dr Rattan. “Starting at age 21, your body loses 1% of its collagen every year, which reduces production of new proteins and compounds that keep your skin healthy. Crepey skin happens faster if you don’t protect the skin from UVA radiation. As such, it’s important that you use broad spectrum sunscreen SPF50+ with maximum UVB/UVA (PA++++) sunblock protection+, such as the Inzincable.”
Dr Rattan also shares how other external factors such as dehydration, weight loss, stress and smoking can increase your chances of developing crepey skin more quickly. “Crepey skin also happens in the winter due to dehydration,” she tells us. “As the seasons change from summer to winter, the skin will have to work harder to maintain its moisture, as cold weather and central heating can dry out the skin. This can result in eczema flare-ups, dry scalps can become worse, and also crepey skin can develop.”
Weight loss can also cause loose skin to develop, which wrinkles much quicker. “Crepey skin can also appear on areas of the body that are particularly sensitive to stress, including the eye area and neck,” Dr Rattan advises. “Finally, smoking is another cause of crepey skin, since it leads to poor skin health.”
Can crepey skin be prevented?
Crepey skin is a completely natural part of ageing, but there are a few things you can do to slow down this process. Step forward the Mediterranean diet and sunscreen.
“When it comes to prevention, you want to reduce glycation, which means we want less sugar in our diet,” recommends Dr Rattan. “Opt for a low GI diet – for example, the Mediterranean diet is excellent, since it includes minimum levels of sugar. In addition, ensure you wear a broad spectrum SPF50+ daily and don’t forget the neck area and hands, which can often be overlooked. Every time you wash your hands, any sunscreen you’ve applied will come off, so it’s necessary to reapply. When UVA rays hit the skin, they penetrate right down into the dermis and affect your DNA, which is the reason, in some cases, that UVA rays can lead to skin cancer.”
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How we test lotions for crepey skin
At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. So, when it comes to testing the best body lotions for crepey skin, we’ll use the product on areas of thinning skin and monitor the results. Where body lotions are recommended for a particular skin type (sensitive, say) or use (during the day or at night, for example), we tested the lotions on those skin types and scenarios to ensure we make an accurate recommendation.
We carefully follow the stated directions for use, evaluating the overall quality of the lotion, and considering its immediate feel on the skin and the results following regular use. We also note how long each container lasts with regular use. Finally, we confirm the size of the product.
The best body lotions for crepey skin you can buy in 2023
1. Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Fragile Skin Therapy: Best overall body lotion for crepey skin
Price when reviewed: £58 | Check price at Lookfantastic
A transformative multitasker that visibly strengthens skin, this cream is easily our favourite when it comes to tackling crepey skin. Comprising retinol, peptides and micro hyaluronic acid, the ingredients combine to nourish, strengthen and replenish fragile areas.
We love how the formula is ultra-lightweight and melts quickly into the skin for effortless application. Despite containing retinol, the lotion is incredibly soothing; it’s also fragrance-free, making it the perfect option for sensitive skin types.
It’s received hundreds of five-star reviews online for noticeably transforming the appearance of fine lines and keeping crepey skin at bay. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s a hardworking formula that truly does what it says on the tin, making it an easy number-one choice for the best body lotions for crepey skin.
Key details – Notable ingredients: Retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid; Size: 177ml
2. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Firming Butter: Best budget body lotion
Price when reviewed: £6 | Check price at Amazon
A fail-safe way to combat crepey skin is to hydrate it properly, and this purse-friendly lotion has it all. We’re talking pure cocoa butter, collagen, elastin and shea butter to nourish and tone skin; ginseng and vitamin E to rejuvenate; and powerful antioxidant enzyme Q10 to smooth and tighten.
It’s been around for as long as we can remember, and is a much-loved cult favourite for use during pregnancy or weight loss to boost natural firmness, as well as being an easy solution to fine lines and wrinkles. It’s affordable and comes in a large and easy-to-use pump bottle.
One of the main benefits of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is the gorgeous caramel smell (although it might not be to your liking if you’re not a fan of strong, sweet aromas). Despite being ultra-nourishing, it’s non-greasy and absorbs well into the skin. All in all, it delivers hydrated and toned skin at a price that’s affordable for all.
Key details – Notable ingredients: Collagen, elastin, shea butter, enzyme Q10; Size: 315ml
3. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Moisturising Body Serum: Best preventative body lotion
Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Boots
If you’re hankering after soft and supple skin, No7’s intense body serum is a great place to start. It promises 24 hours of hydration thanks to a cocktail of nourishing ingredients including argan oil and hyaluronic acid. It targets visible signs of ageing, too, with its trademarked peptide complex, Matrixes 3000 Plus.
The lotion locks in moisture to leave skin feeling soft and silky, and we were impressed that a little goes a long way. It has a light, fresh scent that isn’t overpowering, with the cream a pleasure to slather on.
Customers felt it banished the first signs of ageing, while also smoothing bumps and uneven texture. It’s on the pricey side (although it does help that you only have to use a smidge), so it’s recommended that you use it in the places you need it most.
Key details – Notable ingredients: Argan oil, hyaluronic acid, peptides; Size: 200ml
4. Paula’s Choice Skin Smoothing Retinol Body Treatment: Best retinol body lotion for crepey skin
Price when reviewed: £33 | Check price at SpaceNK
Retinol is the holy grail of anti-ageing ingredients, boosting cell turnover for radiant results. And this highly rated body treatment has it by the bucketload (well, 0.1% – which is pretty generous as far retinol goes).
Formulated with hydrating shea butter and evening primrose oil, it ensures skin is left nourished and supple. One of the biggest selling points for this lotion is that it evens out skin tone, too, as well as reversing the signs of ageing.
At £33 for just 177ml, some customers felt it was a little pricey. As such, we recommend using it on particular areas of concern, rather than as an all-over body treatment, to get the maximum bang for your buck.
Key details – Notable ingredients: Retinol, shea butter, evening primrose oil; Size: 177ml
5. Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body Lotion: Best exfoliating body lotion for crepey skin
Price when reviewed: £27 | Check price at Amazon
If you’re after bright and baby-smooth skin, this exfoliating body lotion is one for your basket. It contains an impressive 12% glycolic AHA to encourage collagen production and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
It’s both fragrance-free and paraben-free, and ensures maximum exfoliation for minimal irritation. Hailed as a time machine in a bottle, customers love the results they saw when using this lotion, reporting an overall improvement in the texture of their skin.
Some users felt that the packaging and dispensing of the product could be better, but don’t let this be a deal-breaker since the lotion itself is excellent for banishing dryness, scaliness and crepey texture to leave skin feeling smooth, supple and luscious.
Key details – Notable ingredients: Glycolic AHA, glycerin; Size: 340g
6. Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion: Best smoothing body lotion
Price when reviewed: £32 | Check price at LookFantastic
A cult-favourite for revealing healthy-looking and radiant skin, Ameliorate’s Transforming Body Lotion is effective yet gentle enough for everyday use. It’s enriched with lactic acid, a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid, which encourages the skin’s natural exfoliation process, helping to remove dead skin cells and refine the appearance of pores.
It also works well to combat keratosis pilaris (KP), which are the little red or white bumps that you’ll often find at the tops of arms or thighs, caused by a buildup of dry skin and keratin. We particularly love the lightweight, fast-absorbing texture; it really is a magic elixir to relieve ultra-dry skin.
The scent is a little clinical-smelling, but we didn’t mind it too much. It could also be considered a little on the expensive side; but if you’re looking for a lotion to smooth your pins, it’s a worthy investment.
Key details – Notable ingredients: Lactic acid; Size: 500ml