Are In-Shower Lotions Really All They're Cracked Up to Be?

A quest for the truth.

Shower lotion
(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

For forever, our dermatologists, mothers, and DJ Khaled alike have been telling us to apply body lotion as soon as we hop out of the shower to lock in that moisture🔑. It's as much of an all-important beauty ritual as taking off our makeup at the end of the night...

So when brands began shaking things up with in-shower moisturizers—which are applied in the shower to wet skin and washed off after—I was intrigued, but a little skeptical. Eager to have an expert weigh in, I reached out to Dr. Donna Bilu Martin, a Miami-based dermatologist and consultant to Clark's Botanicals. First thing's first, I was curious how these in-shower emulsions different from what we usually slather on.

"Typically, moisturizers contain humectants, which attract water, and emollients, which seal in the moisture," explains Dr. Martin. "In-shower moisturizers are a specially formulated mixture of these that are activated by water and deposit a layer of oils and emollients on the skin that are absorbed before they are rinsed off."

The thing is, while these treatments are effective in trapping water in the skin—and saving as that extra post-shower step—they may not provide enough hydration for everyone. "While they work well for normal skin types, those with very dry skin, or conditions like eczema, will likely fare better with applying traditional cream moisturizers and ointments to damp skin," she says.

Personally, I have severely dry skin, so I won't be nixing my standard, tried-and-true body moisturizing cocktail (a combination of L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Riche Body Lotion and Bio-Oil). This said, I'm very aware of my own lazy-girl tendencies, and think this could be a great solution for those nights where I can't even or mornings where I'm racing out the door. In other words, this under-$10 hack deserves real estate on your shower shelf.

Shower lotion

(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

1. Nivea In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion, $5.99;

2. Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer with Monoi Oil, $6.39;

3. Eucerin In-Shower Moisturizer Body Lotion, $9.11;

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.