After 15 hours of research evaluating 85 products, we picked CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion as our top choice.
If you’re in your teens or early twenties, you may not be familiar with the term ‘crepey’ skin.
However, “older” folks may start to notice skin that is less buoyant and plump, with many fine lines, especially around the neck and under the arms.
When the collagen and elastin fibers break down and weaken, so does the integrity of your skin, leading to crepey or sagging areas. These protein fibers can be damaged by age, sun damage, and lifestyle choices such as smoking and lack of sleep.
While crepey skin is totally normal, there are many lotions on the market designed to tighten, revive, and plump the skin. Wonder ingredients such as retinoids, lactic acid, and hyaluronic acid help to trigger collagen production and lock moisture into the skin.
We have searched the beauty universe to find the best lotions for crepey skin. You’ll find a breakdown of ingredients, fragrance, effects, and value so you can find the best product for you.
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A rich cream containing oils and butters to soften, hydrate, and firm dry and crepey skin on the body.
It has a very thick consistency which may be too rich for oilier skin types, but great for very dry skin
Cocoa seed butter, grapeseed oil, squalane, dill extract, sage extract, apple extract, coconut oil, and olive oil hydrate, moisturize, and soothe dry, slack skin. These ingredients (especially dill and apple extracts) trigger the collagen and elastin production.
There is a fragrance-free option for sensitive skin, as well as citrus lavender, and linden blossom scents.
Crepe Erase leaves your skin very soft, plump, and hydrated. The tightening effect on sagging, crepey skin may be a little lacking, however. This is a great product for softening and smoothing hands.
This is an expensive lotion compared to other products.
A sophisticated cream designed to tighten the skin on the neck and reduce wrinkles and crepey texture.
The cost will set you back, but it’s worth it for the results if you’re willing to stick with it.
The key ingredient is NIA-114 (niacin/vitamin B3) which protects the skin against sun and environmental damage. Most importantly, it boosts the production of collagen and elastin for more integrity, moisture, and strength. It also contains shea butter, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and plant extracts to hydrate, brighten, and renew the skin cells.
This product does contain fragrance (important to note if your skin is sensitive). It is reasonably strong, but pleasant.
This cream fades lines and wrinkles on the neck while tightening and lifting the skin to slow down the “turkey neck” process. The hydration plumps the skin and reduces the crepey look. It may take a little while to notice results but stick with it.
This is a very pricey pot of cream.
Highly effective for very dry skin, rich, creamy, hydrating, beautiful scent, calming, natural ingredients, smooths skin, fast-absorbing formula, and great price.
The scent of this lotion is VERY strong and it leaves your skin sticky.
This cream is made with shea butter and shea oil, both of which are rich in Vitamin E. The combination of these ingredients leaves your skin smooth, soft, and hydrated. It's one of the best lotions to use for intensive repair and moisturizing, especially for very dry skin.
This lotion has the beautiful, creamy, slightly sweet smell of shea butter/oil, giving it a pleasant scent. However, some users have complained that the smell can be strong and overpowering.
The cream is designed for application on all but the most sensitive skin, and its fast-acting, quick-absorbing formula makes it ideal even for those with greasy skin. It won't leave you feeling greasy, but there is a sticky residue on your hands that can be annoying.
At less than $6 for 13.5 ounces of lotion, this is one of the best-priced creams on our list. It's beautifully effective at repairing and restoring dry, cracked, and aging skin!
Made with wide variety of natural ingredients, highly effective, affordable, great for your face and body, pleasant scent, good for sensitive skin, good value for the price, and won't leave a greasy film on your skin.
Scent can be overpowering to some people.
This lotion is made with a variety of natural ingredients: Vitamins A and C to provide antioxidants, Vitamin E and shea butter for protection and hydration, cucumber for added moisture, Aloe vera for soothing irritated skin, and ginseng to stimulate blood flow. It's not a 100% natural lotion—it does contain some chemical/artificial ingredients—but the natural ingredients it does contain are very effective.
Some users have complained that the smell of this lotion is TOO strong, but most agree that the scent is pleasant (similar to banana or passion fruit) without being too sweet.
This is a basic body lotion that you can use for your back, legs, hands, and feet. It won't leave a greasy film on your skin, but it will do an excellent job of hydrating, protecting, and repairing damaged skin. It's paraben-free, gluten-free, and a vegan-friendly product.
At just over $9 for a 17-ounce bottle, this is a very well-priced product. You get 4-6 weeks of daily moisturizing from this bottle, and it's a cream you'll want to use over and over.
Protects from cracks and dryness, restores healthy skin, 41% petroleum jelly, highly effective, can be used as chapstick on your lips, good for your feet and heels, and smooths out your skin.
Petroleum-derived product, and the scent is less than pleasant.
This product is made with 41% petroleum jelly, making it a highly effective barrier to keep moisture trapped inside your skin and reduce friction, burns, and rashes. It also contains panthenol (Vitamin B5) and glycerin to fight skin diseases.
The product has the typical petroleum-derived smell. Think KY jelly or Vaseline, but with a hint of creaminess added. Not the best smell!
If you want to protect dry, cracked, chapped, or damaged skin, you won't find better than this. It's dermatologist-recommended for dry hands, dry cuticles, cracked heels and feet, irritated skin, chapped lips, minor cuts and burns, friction, and rashes. It's even suitable to treat infant diaper rash. Applying this lotion covers your skin with a protective layer that traps moisture in and keeps irritants out.
At $10 per 7-ounce tube, this is slightly on the pricier side, but definitely worth the cost if you want to protect your skin from friction, dryness, damage, and irritation.
Very soothing, speeds up healing, loaded with antioxidants and ceramides, gentle, restores skin moisture barrier, clinically proven, reduces itching and dryness, and approved by the National Eczema Association.
May sting cracked skin or open wounds.
This cream is made with shea butter and sunflower seed oil, both amazing sources of antioxidants, Vitamin E, nutrients, and fatty acids that can repair and restore dry, cracked, and damaged skin. It also contains allantoin, a medication used to treat eczema and dry, rough, chapped, itchy, and scaly skin. It's clinically proven to be highly effective at restoring dry skin thanks to these ingredients.
This is a non-scented cream, so it can be used with any body spray, deodorant, or cologne.
This cream is used by those with eczema as well as dry or damaged skin. The ingredients speed up healing and skin repair, restoring the moisture barrier and protecting the skin from further damage. It's thick enough to be effective but doesn’t leave a greasy film. For those looking for a medicated option to treat their eczema but don't want to go the route of heavy medications, this is a good choice.
At $37 per 20-ounce bottle, this is slightly on the pricier side. However, it's highly effective at repairing dry and damaged skin, and it can help you to manage your eczema or skin irritations.
Hydrates and repairs damaged, dry, and cracked skin; ideal for VERY dry skin, exfoliating, contains AHA, non-comedogenic, non-irritating, fragrance-free, great price, and can be used on your face and body.
Greasy texture when applied.
This skin lotion contains glycerin, a highly effective moisturizing ingredient that creates a water barrier to keep water in and toxins out. It's also rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, which exfoliate your skin. It also contains caprylic and capric triglyercides, which are derived from coconut oil. Together, they help to condition and smooth out your skin.
The lotion is made without fragrances that could irritate your skin, so it has the standard "no fragrance" smell—rich, creamy, and mild.
This is a cream designed to restore moisture to and repair very dry, cracked, chapped, and itchy skin. It can be used for treating rashes and irritation, reducing friction, and exfoliating your skin (thanks to the AHAs).
Be warned: it will leave a greasy film on your skin. Though it's non-comedogenic (it won't cause acne), it still feels thick and sticky.
At under $9 for a 16.9-ounce bottle, this is a very well-priced product. You'll have to use a lot to moisturize your body, but it's effective at dealing with very dry and rough skin.
Contains alpha-hydroxy acids, repairs damaged skin, promotes skin cell renewal, effective for skin repair, moisturizing, smooths out rough skin, and effective at treating keratosis pilaris.
Faint ammonia smell and leaves greasy film on skin.
This lotion is made with 12% lactic acid, the exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid derived from cow's milk. Lactic acid speeds up cellular turnover, bringing fresh skin cells to the surface to speed up your body's healing process.
While this cream is made without fragrances, many users complain that it has a faint smell of ammonia.
For those who want a medical-grade cream to treat eczema, keratosis pilaris, and other skin conditions, this is a good option. It's not fully medicated, but contains medical-grade ingredients that can treat damaged, dry, and irritated skin. It's effective at smoothing and refreshing your skin, eliminating scaly, rough, and dry patches.
The lotion may leave a greasy film on your skin, but it's highly effective at restoring the moisture barrier and hydrating your skin. The effects will last for 24 hours, and it's particularly useful for your back, legs, elbows, and other body parts prone to dryness.
At $27 for a 20-ounce bottle, this product delivers great value at a reasonable price. Definitely an option to consider for a quality exfoliating, moisturizing, and repairing skin lotion!
Smoothing, effective, balances skin's pH, not too pricey, restores moisture, non-abrasive, no harsh ingredients, reduces age spots and wrinkles, and provides full-body care.
Leaves a sticky, greasy residue on skin.
This cream is made with 12% glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane. It's highly effective at removing dead skin cells and dirt from your skin, bringing fresh new cells to the surface. It's one of the best natural exfoliators, but isn't harsh or abrasive. It may even be able to lighten discolorations and smooth out your skin.
This lotion is also free of both artificial fragrances and parabens, as well as chemicals and abrasive substances. It's suitable for all but the most sensitive skin types.
There is no noticeable scent to this cream, making it the perfect option for those who want to use a body spray, cologne, or perfume.
This is meant as an exfoliating cream to get rid of dead skin cells and dirt, speeding up cellular turnover to improve skin health. It can reduce acne, prevent irritation, and repair dry, cracked, and scaly skin. It can also smooth out wrinkles and tighten up sagging skin. It can be a bit on the greasy side, though, so you may want to wait a while between applying it and getting dressed.
At $19 for a 12-ounce bottle, this is a well-priced cream. It delivers reliable exfoliation for dry, sensitive, and oily skin, repairing damage and restoring moisture to dry skin. All in all, a great product at a decent price.
A hydrating body lotion with urea, jojoba, and aloe that softens skin and builds proteins to bolster the skin’s natural structure.
Contains parabens which may cause reactions.
Urea draws moisture to the skin and gently exfoliates to break down any rough layers (i.e. on the elbows or knees). Glycerin, jojoba, and aloe soothe and hydrate the skin and provide antioxidants such as vitamin E.
This lotion is fragrance-free (and clinically tested by dermatologists) to suit sensitive and aging skin.
This lotion provides 24-hour hydration and visibly softer, tighter, younger skin. It will help to plump saggy, crepey skin, and rebuild the strength and integrity of skin. Thanks to the urea, rough, dull skin is removed so tighter, younger skin can shine through.
At around $10 (depending on where you get it and if it’s on sale), it’s a bargain.
A vegan and cruelty-free affordable body lotion with natural antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to soften, tighten, and renew crepey and aging skin.
It is not fragrance-free, which may irritate very sensitive skin (but the scent is lovely).
The star ingredient is retinol which triggers collagen production. The antioxidant ferulic acid protects the skin’s integrity by fighting free radicals. Glycerin, shea butter, and aloe hydrate, soften, and smooth dry, rough, and crepey skin.
Medix 5.5 does contain synthetic fragrance, which has a light, rose-like scent.
Medix 5.5 works to make skin appear tighter, firmer, and smoother. It leaves your skin looking and feeling softer, and even reduces the depth of wrinkles. Crepey skin on the body is lifted and smoothed.
A very affordable lotion with high-end features.
A very gentle vegan lotion (free from fragrance and parabens) rich in macadamia oil that hydrates, protects, and renews aging skin cells.
It may not be as rich or greasy as you’d like (for extra-dry skin) but it absorbs easily and doesn’t leave a film.
The key ingredient is hypoallergenic macadamia nut oil which provides oleic acid, squalane, omega 6 and 7 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These properties penetrate the layers to hydrate, protect, soothe, and stimulate the skin cells.
This product is pleasantly unscented to protect sensitive, inflamed, and sore skin.
Not only does it hydrate and strengthen crepey skin, but it may help to soothe psoriasis, eczema, and inflamed sensitive skin. You’re left feeling soft, hydrated, soothed, and comfortable in your skin.
At under $20 for 16 ounces, the price is fair.
Fragrance-free, dermatologist-recommended, highly effective moisturizing lotion, not too pricey, 24-hour hydration, improves skin moisture, non-irritating and non-allergenic, good for most skin types, and replenishes ceramides.
Not suitable for sensitive skin, and the pump design is a bit iffy.
The main ingredient in this cream is hyaluronic acid, which is used in cosmetic treatments to increase moisture retention in the skin. It also contains ceramides, waxy lipids that retain skin moisture. Low levels of ceramides have been linked to skin dryness, making this cream an effective preventative measure as well as treatment.
This cream has no fragrance, making it ideal to use with your favorite perfumes, body sprays, and colognes. The absence of fragrance also reduces the risk of skin irritations or reactions.
This lotion provides 24 hour protection for your skin, improving moisture retention and hydration. It has a non-greasy feel, and it's suitable for all but the most sensitive skin. It can keep normal skin healthy and speed up recovery of very dry, chapped, or cracked skin. For those with "thirsty" skin that needs a lot of moisture, this thick cream is a definite winner.
Be warned: those with sensitive skin may suffer from a break-out thanks to the potent ingredients.
At just over $15 for a 6-ounce tub, it's not the cheapest lotion on our list. However, it's an excellent option that provides maximum hydration with minimal usage. In terms of value, you'll find few creams to beat it!
Moisturizing and Hydrating Ingredients
Crepey skin needs hydration and moisture first and foremost, as moisture loss is a key factor in crepey skin.
Plump-up your skin with humectants (ingredients that draw moisture to the skin) such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Other moisturizing and softening ingredients are natural butters and oils such as cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil, and rosehip oil.
Collagen is the protein that gives your skin that bouncy structure and hydrated quality. Collagen production declines as we age so we need to give it a little encouragement with skincare.
Hyaluronic acid, peptides, and chemical exfoliants (see below) are excellent collagen-boosting ingredients.
Gentle chemical exfoliants break down and get rid of dead skin cells and encourage the turnover of fresh new ones. They reveal those plump, glowing layers while encouraging collagen production (the protein that gives skin its structure).
Chemical exfoliators to look for are AHA’s, BHA’s, and glycolic acid.
Antioxidants are crucial for healthy, youthful skin as they fight those nasty free radicals caused by stress, age, alcohol, sun damage, and even certain foods. Look for vitamin E, vitamin C, niacinamide (vitamin B3), and resveratrol.
Figure out your budget and go from there. Remember that once you find “the one”, you’ll want to repurchase over and over. Make sure you can afford to make your chosen crepey skin lotion a stalwart in your skincare routine.
Crepey skin is characterized by a thin, dry, crinkled appearance (yup, like crepe paper!). You will notice it most commonly on the neck, under the arms, and on the hands. The skin doesn’t have that “snap back” that non-crepey skin has, and can tend to sag.
There are many causes of crepey skin, the most common being age. As we get older, we lose collagen and elastin, causing our skin to lose that youthful structure and strength. What’s more, our skin loses moisture as we age, a big contributor to crepey skin.
While age’s effects on skin are entirely natural, certain lifestyle habits over time can also contribute to crepey skin. For example, smoking, lack of sleep, excess stress, and alcohol abuse can increase free radicals that damage the skin cells and collagen. As these structural fibers break down, crepey skin results.
Other causes of crepey skin are extreme weight loss when the skin has previously held more fat before being suddenly more “empty”. The skin doesn’t bounce back and is left saggy and crepey.
However, it is sun damage that is the worst cause, as UV rays damage the collagen fibers that make up our skin. They also damage DNA, causing a rush of melanin to try and “patch up” the damage, leading to discoloration and sunspots. Sun damage can also lead to dry, dehydrated skin, further pushing the appearance of crepiness.
The number one rule? Sun protection.
Protecting your skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays will help to keep the skin elastic, plump, and healthy.
Follow a good skincare routine with plenty of hydration and gentle-yet-effective chemical exfoliants that encourage new cell turnover and collagen production.
Keep the alcohol to a minimum, cut the smokes, and follow a healthy sleep schedule. Other than that, embrace the passing of time and don’t let a little wrinkle or saggy skin get you down!
The best way to treat crepey skin on your limbs is to regularly apply a topical lotion like the ones ranked here (Gold Bond Ultimate Strength is ideal).
Pick a lotion with a combination of hydrating ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid) and retinol that gently agitates the skin to produce more collagen.
Exercise can also help to treat crepey skin on the limbs, especially strength training. By building the muscles, the skin becomes tauter and you achieve a tighter, more toned appearance.