Best Lotion for Crepey Skin on Arms and Legs
We can all agree that seeing the skin on our arms & legs get thin, loose and wrinkled is every middle-aged woman’s nightmare. No one wants this type of sagging skin.
But did you know there’s a name for this? It’s called crepey skin. And it’s not our friend. Don’t worry.
If you have crepey skin already, I’ll help you understand why it’s there and how to treat it. If you don’t, this article is for you too. We’ll chat about ways to prevent it for the future.
For now, we'll focus on the body. I’m going to share the 5 best body lotions for crepey skin on arms and legs. You’ll see why these lotions are a big part of treating and preventing.
Before we dive into product recommendations, let’s talk a little about what crepey skin is and why we get it.
What is Crepey Skin?
Crepey skin is thin and tissue-paper like. It can be loose and saggy. Crepey skin doesn’t have the “bounce” of youthful, healthy skin and it can sometimes be discoloured, dry and flaky. It gets its name from crepe paper, which is used to make party decorations like streamers. Can you picture it?
Crepey skin develops on large surfaces of the skin, like arms and legs. It also appears on the delicate skin around our eyelids, under eyes and neck.
So why do we get crepey skin?
You can develop crepey skin for a few reasons.
This is enemy #1. UV exposure breaks down collagen and elastin, which are responsible for the normal "stretch" and return that our skin does when it's healthy.
Picture an elastic band. When it's been stretched too far, it becomes loose and wavy. It will never return to its original stretchiness. Our skin’s elastin is the same: once damaged, it cannot tighten back up.
We know that UV damage causes hyperpigmentation too, which is common in crepey skin.
Other environmental stressors - like pollution and smoking - are also guilty of causing crepey skin.
Most crepey skin appears at age 40+. Overtime, our skin's natural processes slow down. Collagen production, elastin integrity, lipid layer - they all weaken with age. Collagen keeps skin plump, elastin keeps it stretchy and lipids keep it strong and resistant to damage.
Our skin also produces less oil as we age. Natural oils help our skin to stay hydrated, plump and healthy.
Which leads me to my next point.
There are a few things that lie at the root of most skin care woes. Dryness is one of them.
The connection is clear.
Our bodies are about 60% water, and our skin is the largest organ of our body. So naturally, our skin needs - like really NEEDS - to be hydrated.
The good news? Unlike ageing, which is inevitable, we have more control over dry skin. That’s why we’re going to focus our energy here, by looking at the 5 best lotions for crepey skin on arms and legs.
But one last thing before we do. Crepey skin can also be related to certain medication use or medical conditions. For example, folks who experience drastic weight changes can get crepey skin. In these cases, speak with your doctor about a treatment that is safe for you.
OK, now for the good stuff.
My Top 6 Creams for Crepey Skin
TruFirm Complex: this blend of apple, dill and sage extracts strengthen the skin’s structure. It helps with elastin production and skin elasticity. The proprietary complex is what makes this an anti-aging lotion.
Grapeseed Oil: softens + moisturizes + improves elasticity. A crepey skin-fighting triple threat!
Olive Oil: moisturizing + antioxidant + prevent signs of sun damage.
Cocoa Butter: full of fatty acids that hydrate and nourish skin. Cocoa butter helps form a protective barrier on the skin to seal in moisture.
Squalane*: moisturizing + oil-soluble antioxidant. Squalane very closely resembles our skin's oil, which makes it absorb really well. The key to effective moisturizing is absorption.
*We cannot verify the source of squalane used in this product.
Why You’ll Love It
As the name suggests, Crepe Erase Advanced Body Repair Treatment specifically targets crepey skin on the body. It tackles the hydration, firming and antioxidant needs of crepey skin. Since Crepe Erase recommends using this lotion after exfoliating off dead skin cells (which they have a product for). This intensive body repair treatment has both scented and unscented versions available.
At USD $69.95 for 10oz on their website, this is a worthwhile investment for a high quality daily body moisturizer. It won’t completely reverse crepey skin (because no cream truly can!) but it will hydrate and firm skin with regular use.
Coenzyme Q1o: identical to the Q10 that is naturally occurring in the body. In skin, its job is to support cell regeneration and fight oxidative stress (like UV). On the surface, Q10 is important for smooth skin. Like collagen and elastin, Q10 production decreases with age and in sun damaged skin.
Vitamin C: antioxidant powerhouse. Need we say more?
Shae butter: every lotion for crepey skin needs some solid moisturizing ingredients. Shae butter is full of nourishing fatty acids that make skin supple and smooth.
Why You’ll Love It
Since we're talking about the best lotions for crepey skin on arms and legs, we need options where a little goes a long way. NIVEA's skin firming body lotion is that option. It's thinner, so it spreads and absorbs well. It's a great daily option to make skin smooth and improve skin texture. NIVEA products do have quite a strong fragrance, so it may not be suitable for very sensitive skin.
At under USD $10 a bottle, this is the best budget lotion for crepey skin.
Growth Factor Peptide: peptides are like little “messengers” that tell our skin to act younger. This growth factor peptide improves the look of thin/weak skin by signaling to our skin that it needs to strengthen.
Hyaluronic Acid: this micro HA penetrates deeply into the skin to hydrate and plump.
Retinol: this vitamin A derivative is a gentle chemical exfoliant. It helps aging skin to regenerate new skin cells - a process that slows over time. We’ll chat more a little later about the importance of exfoliation in preventing/treating crepey skin.
Why You’ll Love It
Perricone MD’s Cold Plasma Plus+Fragile Skin Therapy was created specifically with arms and legs in mind. Especially the extra delicate areas on the inside upper arm (you know the spot!) and shins, where skin is thinner. It tackles every angle of crepey skin:
- exfoliates the top layer to prompt cell turnover (prep)
- hydrates & plumps for visibly smoother looking skin (temporary)
- strengthens so that the skin firms over time (long term)
If that’s not enough (news flash, it is!), this skin therapy lotion is also fragrance free. So it’s safe for sensitive skin. And noses. It’s free from phthalates, sulfates, parabens and talc.
At USD $49, it’s pricey for a body lotion, but we think it’s worth it.
Shea Butter: shea butter is a humectant and a well-known moisturizing ingredient. It’s full of fatty acids, like linoleic acid. We need these fatty acids to help keep our skin barrier strong. The stronger our skin barrier, the harder it is for moisture to escape! Shea butter is also smoothing and can help improve the overall appearance of crepey skin.
Vitamin E: vitamin E is an antioxidant, so it can help reduce damages from UV radiation. Since we know that sun exposure is a key cause of crepey skin, using a body lotion with added antioxidant power is a great preventative step. Vitamin e is also moisturizing, strengthening and anti-inflammatory!
Why You’ll Love It
Like all Matter Company must-haves, the Leg and Back Creme is made with natural ingredients and fragranced with essential oils. Its blend of lemongrass, basil, dill, black pepper and rosemary is a delight for the senses! And beyond being a great daily moisturizer for crepey skin, this body cream has therapeutic properties to ease aching legs and improve circulation.
At only USD $17, this cream is accessible - not to mention handmade in Canada and infused with the highest quality herbs.
Aloe barbadensis leaf juice: AKA aloe vera, everyone's favourite moisturizing ingredient.
Jojoba oil: natural and nourishing emollient, great for dry skin. Jojoba oil isn't really an oil - it's a wax ester. It resembles our skin's sebum (oil) so it helps to seal in moisture without clogging pores. It's one of the ingredients that makes this Gold Bond body lotion lightweight and non-greasy.
Whey protein: yes, just like the one you put in your smoothie! Whey protein strengthens the skin by boosting your natural collagen production. Bye-bye loose skin!
Why You’ll Love It
Gold Bond Ultimate Crepe Corrector is a great budget-friendly lotion for crepey skin. Even though it won't "correct" the problem completely, it does really help to smooth saggy skin as the name suggests. It's hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested, which is great for those with sensitive skin.
As a USD $10 investment, this is the best body lotion to keep on hand for daily use and volume.
Coconut Oil: anti-inflammatory + moisturizing. Coconut is a deeply hydrating oil, good for both skin and hair. It's even been shown to help heal itchy, scaly skin cause by eczema.
Natural Beeswax: creates a protective barrier to keep in skin moisture. It's also a humectant that draws water to the skin.
Sunflower Seed Oil: non-comedogenic + good for all skin types. Sunflower oil contains oleic and linoleic acid, which support the skin barrier.
Why You'll Love It
A natural beauty, Coconut Lime Butter is free from parabens and petroleum. The whipped texture is an absolute indulgence - its the ultra hydrating body lotion! Its safe for all skin types and will help your skin retain moisture all day long. Oh, and it smells AMAZING.
This luxurious butter is handmade in Canada and available for just USD $19.
Sesaflash: a proprietary active by Seppic Inc. that uses a hydrolyzed sesame seed protein to visibly (and instantly!) firm sagging skin.
Hydrolyzed Hemp Seed Extract: clinically proven to reduce the width & depth of wrinkles, effectively hydrate and reduce flakiness caused by dry skin.
Hemp Seed Oil: contains the ideal ratio of omegas 3, 6 and 9, essential fatty acids that fortify your skin's moisture barrier to maintain hydration and prevent crepey skin.
Why You'll Love It
A super lightweight formula, this cream is designed with your neck and décolleté in mind, but go ahead and use it on your arms and legs too! It hydrates, visibly firms and smells incredible with our signature blend of lavender + orange blossom.
Can Crepey Skin Be Reversed?
If the main cause of your crepey skin is dryness, then it can be treated. Repeat after me, "hydrated skin is healthy skin"!
If crepey skin develops later in life due to decades of unsafe UV exposure, it cannot be reversed. The damage to skin elasticity cannot be undone. Remember the image of the over-stretched elastic band? But the right products can help with hydration and appearance to combat crepey skin. Scroll up if you missed the best body lotion recommendations!
How to Prevent Your Skin from Sagging and Getting Crepey
Two words. Sun. Protection.
Since UV damage is the #1 cause of crepey skin, you guessed it, sun protection is the #1 way to prevent it.
- Stay out of the sun when you can
- Wear sun protective clothing. Your face LOVES a wide brim hat
- Wear an SPF. Every. Single. Day. Even when it's cloudy those UV rays can get ya!
And whatever you do, stay out of the tanning bed. We said crepey skin starts at 40+, right? Well too much time in the tanner and you may start seeing the sag as early as your twenties. Yikes.
Sun care is the most important skin care step for about a hundred other reasons, so find an SPF you like and prepare yourself for a long, very committed relationship.
Actually, find two. One for your face and one for your body. Even those of us who lather up our faces with SPF everyday often miss our necks, hands, arms and legs. These areas are more exposed to UV than clothing-covered areas, which is why they are prone to crepey skin later in life.
If you’re still not on board with SPF, here’s a final fact to hopefully win you over:
Dermatologists have found that people can have a 30-40 year age difference between skin that was sun protected and skin that was not. One of the biggest signs of aged skin? Crepiness.
Next up, moisturize.
And then moisturize some more. Scroll up if you missed our product recommendations.
Hydration is key to healthy skin. It keeps your skin plump and sagging at bay.
It's especially important to moisturize immediately after bathing since hot water is harsh on our skin. Hydration is prevention in the long-term and treatment in the short-term. If your crepey skin is being caused mostly due to dehydration, you're in luck. A better moisturizing routine will help.
And while you're at it, prevent the dryness from happening in the first place. Wash your face and body with products that won't strip your skin of its natural oils. Those natural oils keep your skin's natural barrier strong, which prevents the skin from losing water.
For your face, we're partial to oil cleansers for this reason. empyri's hemp face wash uses hemp and meadowfoam seed oils to deeply clean out pores without damaging your skin's moisture barrier.
And for your body, we suggest cold pressed bar soaps that are free from skin stripping surfactants. empyri's hemp cold pressed soaps have the added benefit of hydrolyzed hemp seed extract which is clinically proven to improve the look of scaly, dry skin.
Finally, remember to exfoliate regularly (about 1-2 x per week). This ensures you remove dead skin cells in a normal cycle and growing new cells (aka turnover).
Best Ingredients to Treat/Prevent Crepey Skin
The best ingredients to treat crepey skin are the ones that help prevent it in the first place. All of our recommendations are natural ingredients, because clean & green is important to us.
Sun damage can be prevented and repaired using topical antioxidants like vitamin C. Vitamin C is clinically proven to boost collagen and elastin production and heal damages from free radicals. You may also include ingredients like retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids and peptides to treat sun damage.
For hydration, look for moisturizers that have 3 different ingredient types - humectant, emollient and occlusive.
Humectants are hydrators. They bind water to the skin.
Glycerin, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid are three popular and effective humectants. In fact, hyaluronic acid gets lots of hype because it can hold up to 1,000 x its weight in water!
Emollients are the smoothers & softeners. They make our skin more comfortable against irritations like roughness and flakiness. Emollients restore the lipid (remember that just means fat/oil) layer on our skin which becomes damaged when our skin is dry.
We love plant-based emollients like coco-caprylate (coconut oil), cocoa butter and hempseed oil.
Occlusives are the protectors. It's the shield, the physical barrier to prevent water from going out and irritants from coming in. Think of it like the bodyguard that's watching both the entrance and the exit.
Shea butter and sea buckthorn are two of our favourite occlusive ingredients.
Final Thoughts on the Best Body Lotions for Crepey Skin on Arms and Legs in 2022
If you're starting to notice sagging skin that looks like crepe paper on your arms and legs, don't panic. You don't need to be happy about it, but try to remember that aging is a privilege.
Start by honouring your body - it works so hard for you. And be kind to your aging skin.
Then grab one of these best body lotions to hydrate, firm and deal sun damage, because
You Are Loved.
Author Bio: Jennifer is the president and founder of empyri. Jennifer’s passion for formulation and product development was set ablaze in 2019, when she incorporated the healing power of cannabis roots into her long-standing three-step skin care system. Armed with scientific evidence on the actives in cannabis roots and seeds, a clean and conscious brand was born. Using her masters degree in bio-chemical engineering, Jennifer is forging a path to ...READ FULL BIO