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Crinkled, loose skin is something everyone will experience. It’s an inevitable part of the aging process caused by the slowdown of cellular turnover and collagen production, movement, and exposure to the sun. While you can’t stop the aging process, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking firm and youthful, and that includes (but is not limited to) moisturization.
Keeping your skin moisturized and nourished with youth-preserving ingredients is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to help with thin, crepey skin. Thankfully, there are plenty of amazing lotions that minimize the appearance of crepey skin, even on large areas like the arms and legs.
If you’re ready to learn more about skin crepiness and which lotions are best for managing it, this article is for you. Below, we’re sharing the 8 best lotions for crepey skin on arms and legs that will help you look and feel your best.
First, What is Crepey Skin?
“Crepey” skin refers to aging skin that looks like crepe paper—aka the thin, crinkly paper you buy at a party store and use to make streamers. Crepey skin is characterized by its loss of elasticity, which contributes to lax, saggy skin, as well as a thinner, fragile, more transparent appearance.
What Causes Crepey Skin?
Skin crepiness has multiple contributing causes, and odds are your crepey skin is a mashup of several.
- Sun damage: Any dermatologist will confirm that prolonged and excessive exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of crepey skin. In addition to increasing your risk of sunburns, hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer, sun damage causes long-term and often irreversible skin aging, accelerating the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crepiness. Sun damage contributes to crepey skin by damaging skin cells. In addition, the sun’s harmful UV rays cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin, two essential proteins for keeping our skin smooth and supple. Elastin, in particular, is what gives our skin the ability to stretch and heal. So with recurrent sun damage, elastin breakdown causes the skin to become more lax and start to sag.
- Aging: The natural aging process is also a main factor. As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen and elastin, contributing to looser, thinner skin. The older you are the more you’ve been exposed to damaging effects like sun and pollution.
- Smoking: Unlike aging, smoking is one of those risk factors you can avoid. In addition to being extremely dehydrating, smoking produces free radicals that cause cellular damage, leading to crepiness. Smoking cigarettes also deprives your skin of beneficial nutrients, particularly those needed for cellular repair.
- Genetics: Some people have a genetic predisposition to crepiness, though it doesn’t mean you can’t still prevent it. Anyone with naturally thinner skin should take precautions to minimize risks and implement restorative skin treatments into their routine.
- Dryness: Maintaining hydration is necessary for healthy skin, so a lack of moisture (along with other factors) can increase crepiness. Dry, dehydrated skin will also emphasize the appearance of already crepey skin.
Where Does Crepey Skin Appear?
Just like wrinkles can occur all over the body, crepey skin can pop up pretty much everywhere, though it’s more common where the skin is already thinner. It’s especially prevalent in these areas:
- Eyelids and under eyes
- Upper inner arms
- Back of the hands
- Inner thighs
How to Treat Crepey Skin at Home
In addition to keeping your skin out of the sun as much as possible and wearing your SPF, the best way to treat (and prevent) crepey skin at home is by maintaining a strong, healthy moisture barrier. By keeping hydration in and prioritizing skin-healthy ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, plant oils, antioxidants, and nourishing ceramides on a regular basis, you can keep your skin supple and youthful. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite hydrating lotions for crepey skin.
8 Best Lotions for Crepey Skin on Arms and Legs
This clean anti-aging body lotion is easily our favorite pick when it comes to treating crepey skin. Use it all over the body: arms, legs, or wherever else skin looks crepey for an instant revival.
With shea butter as its main ingredient, this lotion provides ultra-deep nourishment with its plethora of fatty acids (such as oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids) that remedy the appearance of rough, wrinkled skin. In addition to being mega-moisturizing, shea butter contains vitamins and antioxidants that keep the skin looking younger by preventing collagen breakdown and cell damage. The formula also contains two lightweight emollients, jojoba oil and squalane, that are chemically similar to our skin’s own natural oils. Because our skin produces less oil as we age (resulting in dry, crinkled skin), incorporating these beauty-boosting botanical oils into your routine can help treat crepiness.
Last but certainly not least is Fucus vesiculosus extract or bladderwrack for short. There’s hardly anything this brown alga (seaweed) cannot do. For one, it’s brimming in antioxidants that defend the skin from daily exposure to the sun’s rays and pollution. It’s also abnormally high in water-retaining minerals that hydrate and improve skin texture. It can even help reduce wrinkle depth and add softness to the skin.
Whether you get the fragrance-free version or opt for something scented, the Blu Atlas Body Lotion is an amazing everyday lotion that will hydrate, smooth, and reduce the appearance of crepiness. We love that the formula is made with predominantly natural ingredients (every Blu Atlas product is 96 to 100 percent naturally derived). It’s vegan, free of artificial fragrances, and produced using clean industry standards for a safe, reliable formula.
- Clean, vegan formulation
- Multiple fragrance options
- Deeply nourishes for long-lasting hydration
- Seaweed extract reduces wrinkle depth
- Minimal ingredient list compared to others
Key Ingredients: Shea butter, jojoba oil, seaweed extract, squalane
Price: $40 for 8 oz
Restore your skin’s youth with this lifting and firming arm cream from Maëlys. Designed specifically for use on the arms, this violet-purple moisturizer lifts and firms the appearance of saggy, lax underarm skin for an overall tighter, slimmer-looking arm. We love that this formula has been through rigorous testing and customer trials on people of all shapes, sizes, and skin types.
As one of the best lotions for crepey skin on arms, it’s been clinically proven to smooth the look of crepey skin and give your arm a smoother, more defined, and toned look. This is all thanks to ingredients like red algae, which creates a tauter appearance by smoothing any lumps and bumps. There’s also pink pepperslim, another plant compound that helps even the look of flabby skin. Kangaroo paw flower extract, a unique botanical extract, freshens skin for a tighter-looking silhouette, while industry favorite hydrators like glycerin and allantoin offer active hydration for crepey skin.
The lightweight lotion has a warming skin sensation that helps tighten and slim, though it may be too much for sensitive skin types.
- Clinically proven results
- Helps arms appear tighter and firmer
- Unique ingredients
- Warming sensation can irritate some users
Key Ingredients: Kangaroo paw flower, pink pepperslim, red algae, glycerin
Price: $49 for 3.38 oz
“I have been using the B-Flex for about 8 days and have already noticed a difference in the appearance of my underarms. Love this stuff!”
This lightweight but moisturizing body cream has been shown in clinical studies to improve the appearance of crepey skin in 94 percent of participants—making it a must-try for those struggling with crepiness. This anti-aging cream firms thin, crepey skin with a potent blend of peptides. Tightening peptides, such as palmitoyl tripeptide-38, go deep into the skin to boost skin repair where needed, including collagen and hyaluronic acid production. In turn, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and crepiness, so the skin looks younger and plumper as a result.
Other ingredients, such as caffeine, sodium hyaluronate, and countless plant extracts, also help visibly tighten and improve skin crepiness. Meanwhile, turmeric root extract boosts skin’s radiance and evens tone with its impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities. A decadent blend of plant butters—shea, murumuru, and cupuacu—improves the skin’s texture so it’s smooth and soft to the touch. Apply to dry skin twice daily for prime results, concentrating on major areas of concern, like the arms and legs.
- Contains skin-tightening peptides
- Clinically proven results
- Helps even skin tone and improve luminosity
- Contains silicones (if you’re staying away from those)
Key Ingredients: Palmitoyl tripeptide-38, turmeric root, jojoba seed, shea butter
Price: $59 for 6.7 oz
“This product makes a visible difference in the delicate skin on my neck. I use it faithfully twice a day. I’m thrilled with the result. It absorbs completely, tightens, firms, and moisturizes.”
One contributing factor of loose, crepey skin is the unfortunate effects of gravity, which pull down on our skin over time. Luckily there are award-winning products like The SCULPT Arm Compound that help visibly tighten and counteract the adverse effects of gravity for more youthful-looking arms.
Trust us (and countless other customers)—it works. In clinical studies, this magic potion was shown to increase optimization of the skin’s own natural collagen by 166 percent, and it increased the skin’s natural elastin by 242 percent. This is a no-brainer buy for targeting crepey skin, contouring the body, and boosting elasticity. Here’s what is inside:
In addition to skin-plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and grapeseed oil, The SCULPT utilizes two unique “Siren” capsules designed to keep damaging free radicals away from healthy skin. The result? Noticeably less sagging, crepey skin. The capsules are packed with retinol, probiotics, antioxidants, and energizing marine extracts that penetrate deep into the skin for a firmer, younger appearance.
Yes, this sculpting cream was formulated for the arms, but you can totally use it on other crepey areas, like the hands or inner thighs. And sure, it is more costly than other lotions on our list, but the results are well worth it.
- Impressive clinical results
- Increases skin’s natural collagen and elastin production
- Visibly de-puffs and tones
Key Ingredients: Probiotics, retinol, vitamin C, marine extracts
Price: $98 for 4 oz
“I’m on my second bottle of the arm sculpting lotion and love the results. It’s a bit pricey for the average customer, but so worth it! I’d rather give up something else so I can continue to purchase this product. I’m 65 but my arms don’t look it.”
This budget-friendly moisturizer is one of the best lotions for crepey skin. A luxurious blend of shea butter, jojoba oil, and fatty acids replenishes moisture in areas prone to crepiness and wrinkles (like the arms and legs). Meanwhile antioxidant-rich botanical oils—primrose, linseed, and borage—work to protect the skin barrier and provide beneficial lipids to the dermis layer, encouraging a smoother, crepe-free complexion.
Beloved antioxidants vitamins C and E also deliver potent antioxidant defense in addition to brightening the appearance of dark spots and discoloration. The addition of peptides really seals this as an A-plus body moisturizer for crepey skin. Peptides, such as acetyl hexapeptide-3, contour skin and reduce the number of wrinkles to retain a younger appearance.
The Green Apple Firming Body Moisturizer doesn’t contain any artificial fragrance. Rather, a blend of essential oils and fruit extracts (hello apple) creates a delicious light, citrusy scent.
- Affordable price point
- Organic, vegan, and non-toxic
- Refreshing citrus fragrance
- Thicker texture can be slower to absorb
Key Ingredients: Apple Juice, Peptides, Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin C
Price: $25 for 8 oz
“I have been using the Juice Beauty Green Apple Moisturizer for over 15 years. This is the only product I use on my body. I get compliments on how smooth my skin is. Highly recommend.”
Marketed as a highly concentrated body treatment, this lightweight elixir uses soy-derived antioxidants (genistein, daidzein, and equol) to improve the appearance of thin, crepey skin. Why is that any different than other antioxidants? According to breakthrough research, these extracts have the ability to treat signs of aging associated with estrogen-deficient skin (also known as postmenopausal skin), including dryness, dullness, and decreased elasticity.
This innovative combo is especially great for treating crepey skin on the chest, forearms, and hands, though it can be used anywhere from the neck down. The lightweight texture, courtesy of weightless hydrators like squalane, glycerin, and linseed oil, absorbs right into the skin for fast relief of dryness and crepiness. Use it once to twice daily for optimum results and follow with an additional body moisturizer if desired.
- Utilizes breakthrough research
- Targets age-related thinning and crepiness
- Fast results
Key Ingredients: Soy-derived antioxidants, squalane, linseed oil, sunflower seed oil
Price: $68 for 3.3 oz
“This year I noticed crepey skin on my forearms and hands and it really bothered me. I ordered this expecting that it might make a gradual reduction in the crepey texture over time. Instead, it made a major improvement after one night. After several nights’ treatments, the crepey skin is absolutely gone! I’m a longtime PC customer and am very satisfied with the facial care products. But this treatment is the first that I can call a miracle. It is a high-priced product (I waited for a sale), but it’s a holy grail item that I won’t be without.”
If you’re on the hunt for a decadent, ultra-creamy body moisturizer, look to the Undaria Algae Body Butter. As one of OSEA’s best-selling products, this luxurious body butter is a holy grail for so many—and we totally understand why. Its creamy smooth texture moisturizes even the driest of skin without leaving you feeling greasy or sticky.
In fact, the fast-absorbing body butter has been clinically shown to hydrate skin for up to 72 hours, thanks to ingredients like nourishing shea butter and balancing hemp seed oil. We can also thank sodium hyaluronate, aloe vera, and a skin identical moisturizing complex for the long-lasting hydration. Star ingredient undaria seaweed and oat-derived ceramides help replenish the moisture barrier so skin feels supple and silky smooth.
The cherry on top of an already incredible formula is the scent. An all-natural combination of grapefruit, lime, cypress, mango, and mandarin perfectly encapsulates a beachy, citrus vibe. Apply this luxe body butter morning and night for deep hydration and healthier-looking skin.
- Relieves dryness and crepiness
- Utilizes skincare quality ingredients for long-lasting results
- Not greasy or sticky
- Pricey, but a little goes a long way
- Rich texture might not be for everyone
Key Ingredients: Undaria seaweed, shea butter, ceramides, saccharide isomerate
Price: $56 for 6.7 oz
“Been using it for about 1 month and I can see an improvement in the crepey skin on my legs and neck. Will continue to use. Love the hydrating quality and it smells so nice.”
To stimulate collagen production and get firmer, tighter skin from head to toe, reach for this body lotion from Eminence Organic. With its anti-aging and gravity-defying formula, it’s rightfully earned its place as one of the best lotions for crepey skin. We could write a novel about all the goodness inside the Coconut Firming Body Lotion—it’s that dreamy.
Note that the formula combines a blend of moisturizing shea butter and grapeseed oil to banish any dryness and boost elasticity. Coconut milk and coconut water team up to moisturize, load the skin with toning electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, and provide a light coconutty scent. A deeply hydrating botanical hyaluronic acid—a godsend for crepey skin—plumps and smooths skin texture while minimizing fine lines and crepiness.
The plumping party doesn’t end there. Additionally the product includes a natural retinol alternative complex that provides similar results to retinol (vitamin A), such as increased collagen supplies and firmer skin, without the irritating side effects. There’s even a rejuvenating plant stem cell concentrate and an antioxidant-packed complex to restore skin vitality.
- Vegan, organic formulation
- Natural retinol alternative firms and smooths crepey skin
- Nut-free and gluten-free
- Firming benefits can take a while to see
Key Ingredients: Coconut milk, coconut water, natural retinol alternative, hyaluronic acid
Price: $42 for 8.4 oz
“I just started using this lotion and I can already see a difference in the firmness of my skin! This also moisturizes the skin so nicely and it smells amazing.”
What to Look for in a Lotion for Crepey Skin
Still deciding which lotion is right for you? Consider these key factors.
Moisturizers and Hydrators
The primary purpose of a body lotion is to moisturize your skin. This not only helps your skin look and feel better but being moisturized will also lessen any appearance of crepiness, which can be exacerbated by dryness. You want to ensure the body lotion you choose has a balanced blend of both hydrating and moisturizing ingredients.
Hydrating ingredients are anything like glycerin, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, and marine extracts. These humectants (as they’re known in the skincare industry) hydrate and plump the skin by drawing water from the environment deep into the cells, minimizing crepiness and improving suppleness. To ensure your skin gets the best results from these humectants, a body lotion for crepey skin also needs emollients.
Emollients are moisturizing ingredients that range from plant oils like jojoba, grapeseed, and sunflower and butters like shea and mango seed to fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and ceramides. Emollients are vital for maintaining healthy, youthful skin as they prevent moisture loss, essentially locking in all the hydration provided by humectants. They also do a wonderful job of soothing, softening, and smoothing the skin.
Some body lotions for crepey skin will contain occlusives like silicones or petrolatum. These ingredients don’t add moisture like emollients do. Instead, they form a physical barrier over the skin to ensure you don’t lose any moisture provided by other ingredients.
In order to improve the appearance of crepey skin on a long-term basis, you want to look for a lotion with ingredients that support your skin’s natural collagen and elastin production. Because one of the leading causes of crepiness is the decline of collagen and elastin (the proteins that keep our skin plump and flexible), using active ingredients that support the synthesis of these essential compounds is key.
Look for ingredients like retinol (or other vitamin A derivatives), vitamin C, antioxidants, and peptides, which go deep into the skin to promote collagen and elastin production. Some of the best body lotions for crepey skin will take this a step further, utilizing a curated blend of actives or innovative technology to stimulate collagen and elastin.
Body lotions for crepey skin fall under the “anti-aging” category in skincare, which often comes at a high price, especially if the formula utilizes cutting-edge technology and ingredients. So be mindful of your budget when shopping. Some of the best lotions for crepey skin are around $40 or over, though you can find more affordable options too. Consider how much you’re willing to spend, as well as the quality and longevity of the product, before taking the plunge.
Our list features a variety of different formulations, from lightweight lotions to thick body butters. While you can go for any texture you’d like, in general, lotions will be best for oily and normal skin types or anyone who prefers a quick-absorbing, lightweight feel. Mature skin types with super dry skin would do better with a thicker cream or body butter. Also keep in mind details like whether a formula is vegan, organic, fragrance-free, or made with natural ingredients—if that’s something you care about.
In addition to skin crepiness, are there any other concerns you’d like your body lotion to tackle? Our list includes options that tighten, brighten, improve texture, and more. If you also want to fade pesky dark spots on the hands and arms, for example, look for a lotion with skin-brightening vitamins and antioxidants (bonus: choosing a formula with vitamin C supports your skin’s own collagen production). If combating dryness is your main goal, choose a rich, creamy formulation packed with loads of hydrators.
While none of the lotions on our list contain sunscreen, it’s important to reiterate the effects of UV radiation and its exacerbation of skin damage. While antioxidants provide backup protection from the sun’s rays, they don’t replace the impact of sunscreen. So to obtain and maintain results, you want to either look for a body lotion with an SPF value of 30 or more, or you’ll want to layer sunscreen over your lotion during the day.
We always recommend reading reviews whenever you’re shopping for a new skincare product. This will help you make an informed decision about the product, whether it’s right for you, and if it’s worth the price or not.
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