CREAM OF THE CROP
Ever try putting a delicate stocking over cracked, brittle heels? It's not a pretty sight. Neither are dry hands and rough elbows. We tested seven lotions for dry skin on these problem areas, using each for a few days in a row without any other medicated creams, to see which ones hydrate and soothe without leaving a greasy residue, or too big a dent in your wallet. A couple of the creams we tried are scented, but most are fragrance-free. None contains aluminum or formaldehyde, a boon for shoppers who prefer chemical-free products, and only one contains slight amounts of parabens. Here they are, beginning with the cheapest, and concluding with our pick for the best lotion for dry skin.
Prices and availability may vary.
EUCERIN SKIN CALMING CREME
Est. Price: $6.09 for 14 fl. oz. | Buy it from Target
Moisturizing Ingredient: Colloidal oatmeal, which has soothing, anti-itch properties and is used to treat eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and other skin conditions.
Recommended For: Legs and arms
Not Recommended For: Hands
Greasy Residue: Yes
What It Claims to Do: Natural oatmeal and lipids are said to give instant relief to dry, itchy skin.
OUR REVIEW OF EUCERIN SKIN CALMING CREME
AVEENO DAILY MOISTURIZING LOTION
Est. Price: $7.90 for 18 fl. oz. | Buy it from Rite Aid
Moisturizing Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal and dimethicone, a common emollient that forms an oily layer on the top of the skin to keep moisture in.
Recommended For: All over
Greasy Residue: None at all
What It Claims to Do: "Prevent and protect dry skin for a full 24 hours" and be clinically proven to improve skin health with a unique oatmeal formula.
OUR REVIEW OF AVEENO DAILY MOISTURIZING LOTION
CURÉL ITCH DEFENSE
Est. Price: $8.49 for 13 fl. oz. | Buy it from CVS
Recommended For: Hands, arms, legs — the gamut
Greasy Residue: No
Moisturizing Ingredient: Advanced Ceramide Complex. Ceramides are fat molecules in the top layer of skin that help it retain and replenish moisture.
What It Claims to Do: Rebalance four components of healthy skin: ceramide levels, pH levels, moisture levels, and cellular turnover. It's also popular for moisturizing eczema-prone skin.
OUR REVIEW OF CURÉL ITCH DEFENSE
J.R. WATKINS SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM COCONUT MILK & HONEY
Est. Price: $7.99 for 3.3 fl. oz. | Buy it from Target
Scent: Coconut milk and honey
Moisturizing Ingredients: Cocoa butter and shea butter, which comes from the shea nut and contains vitamin A, E, and cinnamic acid to help with healing.
Recommended For: Hands, all skin types
Not Recommended For: Face
Greasy Residue: Yes
What It Claims to Do: Soothe dry and delicate skin with its natural emollients.
OUR REVIEW OF J.R. WATKINS SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM COCONUT MILK & HONEY
DOVE DERMASERIES REPLENISHING HAND CREAM
Est. Price: $6.97 for 2.5 fl. oz. | Buy it from Walmart
Moisturizing Ingredient: Dimethicone
Recommended For: Arms and legs
Not Recommended For: Palms of hands
Greasy Residue: Slight
What It Claims to Do: Instantly smooth dry hands and provide relief with its fast-absorbing formula. Continued use should infuse skin with much-needed moisture and reduce rough patches.
OUR REVIEW OF DOVE DERMASERIES REPLENISHING HAND CREAM
CAROL'S DAUGHTER OCEAN FLOWERS SOOTHING HAND CREAM
Est. Price: $8.59 for 2.5 fl. oz. | Buy it from Target
Scent: Water lily and lavender
Moisturizing Ingredient: Marine algae, which allegedly conditions, hydrates, and softens skin.
Recommended For: Arms, legs, body Greasy Residue: Yes, but only temporarily
What It Claims to Do: Hydrate and renew dry, dull hands. It also purports to replenish vitamins and minerals, restore moisture for up to 24 hours, and leave skin feeling rejuvenated.
OUR REVIEW OF CAROL'S DAUGHTER OCEAN FLOWERS SOOTHING HAND CREAM
AQUAPHOR HEALING OINTMENT
Est. Price: $6.29 for 1.75 fl. oz. | Buy it from Walgreens
Moisturizing Ingredients: Lanolin and petrolatum, which is derived from petroleum and helps keeps skin soft by blocking water loss.
Recommended For: Nighttime use and intense moisturizing
Not Recommended For: Daytime use
Greasy Residue: Yes
What It Claims to Do: Clinically proven to restore skin to a smooth, healthy state. It also claims to be the No. 1 dermatologist-recommended brand for dry, cracked skin.