Best lotions for the buck


Consumer Reports put more than a dozen lotions through a series of tests to find which moisturize the most. And if you think you have to spend a lot to get a quality moisturizer, you'll be happy to know that you don't have to.

At a spa, there are lots of treatments that pamper and moisturize skin. But can body lotions you buy at the drugstore do a good job? Consumer Reports ShopSmart Magazine checked out 14 moisturizing body lotions from names like Aveeno, Vaseline and Jergens, as well as store brands from CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target.

"Our testers rounded up 26 women to see how well each of the lotions moisturized over the course of a day," said Jody Rohlena with Consumer Reports.

All the testing is done inside a humidity-controlled chamber. Testers used an instrument to measure the moisture level in each panelist's skin before applying the moisturizer then after applying the moisturizer at intervals of two hours, five hours and 24 hours.

Up & Up Extra Healing moisturizer from Target was the least moisturizing lotion.

Consumer Reports' sensory panelists also evaluated the feel of each lotion, as well as the aroma.

"Some smelled a bit like plastic. As far as skin feel, some were thin, others were a bit waxy," Rohlena said.

Some of the moisturizers were virtually aroma-free. Among them is the Cetaphil moisturizing lotion, which was also the most moisturizing lotion tested. It costs about $10.

As for Walmart's Equate that says it's comparable to Cetaphil, there's good news; Consumer Reports' tests show it moisturizes nearly as well and costs around $4 less.

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says another bargain lotion that performed well is Suave's Advanced Therapy moisturizer for severely dry skin. It only costs around $3, and it has a pleasant orange-blossom aroma.

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