Best Body Lotion: “The Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel” Test

Bloggers test lotions

Viewpoints tested the Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion and the St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion by asking female bloggers  to try each, then write reviews.

Midway through the worst of winter, most people go through body lotion like toothpaste. Go a day without spreading a liberal amount on your legs and hands after the shower or risk uncomfortable, dry skin. So, everyone needs a good lotion. Find out if the Aveeno or St. Ives brand wins the love of  The Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel.

Some people suffer from flaky, wind-dried, itchy skin because their lotion just isn’t that good.  Using more lotion isn’t the answer either. Any that doesn’t immediately melt into your skin leaves a chalky residue on your clothes.

Viewpoints lotion test

St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion

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Members of the Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel have spent the past several weeks comparing two well-known, drugstore lotions to see which – if either – rises to the challenge. These female bloggers live all over the U.S. and Canada – and have high standards for what a lotion should be.

The lotion test

A month ago, Viewpoints chose the two brands based on their widespread availability and general appeal. Both body lotions promise to calm itchy skin:  Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion ($9.27, 18 oz.) and St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion ($5.29, 21 oz.). The successful female bloggers were asked to evaluate the lotions on scent, absorption and effectiveness.

Viewpoints bought the lotions, and as with all of the product testing by the blogger reviews panel, we asked the writers to give us their honest, unvarnished opinions about each product.

Scent

By far, the biggest difference between the two lotions is scent. The Aveeno is not supposed to have a fragrance, but Amy Bradley-Hole (FreakyPerfect) detected a smell that was “terrible, almost medicinal.” In other words, a lack of scent creates a scent. Lian Dolan (ChaosChronicles) has reached for Aveeno before, like the time her skin was infected by a nasty case of poison oak, writing “that’s why I associate Aveeno with medical situations. Loved it when I had an issue, but wouldn’t use it everyday. Not indulgent enough for me.”

Viewpoints lotion test

Aveeno Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion

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Both Amy Bradley-Hole and Lian Dolan strongly preferred the smell of the St. Ives. So did Sheila Hill (PiecesofaMom):

“I loved that it had a very light but natural scent. It wasn’t overly fruity or flowery.”

Randi Chapnik-Myers (momfaze) called the shea butter scent “yummy.” Kathy Zucker (MetroMomsNetwork) says her whole family hated the fragrance, comparing the St. Ives to Pez candy. But most of the bloggers like the sweet St. Ives smell.

Advantage:  St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion

Absorption

Both lotions got fairly high praise for consistency and absorption.

Randi Chapnik-Myers remarked, “My skin drank this stuff (Aveeno) like water on a hot day. And it’s cold outside.”

Sheila Hill agreed. “It felt as if it (Aveeno) was seeping directly into my skin immediately upon application.”

Kathy Zucker felt the same way – about the St. Ives.“This lotion had a nice weight (not so thin that it was runny, not too thick to use as body lotion).”

Sarah Mock (HowIPinchA Penny) declared the St. Ives a “winter favorite.” But some of the users knocked the St. Ives for leaving the skin a bit “sticky.”

Advantage:  Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion

Effectiveness

Scent and absorption are important, but if a lotion doesn’t fight dry skin and, in the case of these lotions, soothe itchy skin, what’s the point?

Kathy Zucker overall preferred the Aveeno, “I tend to get very dry skin in cold, windy NYC winters and this did a great job of keeping my hands from getting chapped. Fragrance free = no annoying smells.”

But the St. Ives clearly stole the show, even surprising Lian Dolan, “I haven’t bought a St. Ives product since high school when we all used the industrial-strength face scrub, so I was not that impressed to get a sample to try. But my impression of the brand has changed– this is a sophisticated lotion that delivers. Easily absorbed and lasts until the next shower. Loved it.”

Sarah Mock was just as pleased, “This is now my ‘go to’ lotion in my house. I use it on myself as well as my children. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to purchase a lotion to combat winter dry skin.”

The Aveeno promises “24hr moisturizing.” While the Aveeno is clearly a solid contender,  no one felt it moisturized for an entire 24 hours — an example of an unnecessarily over-reaching claim.

WINNER: St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion

VIDEO: Three of our bloggers talk about the lotion test. Sheila Hill and Kathy Zucker tell why they like the Aveeno body lotion the best, while Sarah Mock shares why St. Ives was our winner.

Unless you specifically need a fragrance-free lotion, the majority of our blogger reviewers believe you’ll be quite happy with the St. Ives lotion. And you’ll save money too. A huge 21-oz. pump bottle sells for around $5. You’ll pay nearly twice that for the Aveeno brand– for less product (18 oz.).

Nine respected female bloggers, representing eight websites, make up “The Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel.” This reviews panel was formed in August, 2012, to test consumer products, then weigh in on the pros and cons. In this unique partnership, their opinions will be shared with their own online audience as well as the audience on Viewpoints to amplify the information consumers are increasingly seeking about products new to market. 

Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with skin care products, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.

Carol Fowler Carol Fowler (53 Posts)

Carol's background is broadcast journalism, and for nearly two years, she led the content team at Viewpoints. In 2014, Carol co-founded Queue Digital to help news organizations leverage the explosion in mobile to grow a new audience for their awesome content.