Shop Smart: Cetaphil best lives up to long-lasting lotion claims

February 19, 2012 12:00 am

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All body lotions are supposed to moisturize, but some come with bigger promises like "long-lasting relief." But do these products really live up to their claims?

ShopSmart, the shopping magazine published by Consumer Reports, recently named Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion the winner in the magazine's test of 14 name- and store-brand body lotions. Wal-Mart's Equate Moisturizing Lotion, a copycat of the top pick, was the only store brand that stood out in the tests.

"Store brands typically do well in many of Shopsmart's other product tests," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart. "However, their performance in the test of body lotions was mostly underwhelming."

To determine which lotions worked best, ShopSmart tested formulas from Aveeno, CeraVe, Cetaphil, Eucerin, Gold Bond, Jergens, Lubriderm, Nivea, Suave and Vaseline, and store brands from CVS, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Many of the brand-name lotions did a good job and left skin slightly more moisturized after five hours than the others that were tested.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, $10.50 for 16 ounces, was tops in the tests, and Wal-Mart's copycat Equate Moisturizing Lotion, $6.50 for 16 ounces, did well, too. ShopSmart also found a bargain buy in Suave Advanced Therapy Body Lotion, which costs $3.25 for 18 ounces.

When it came to store-brand lotions, most of the products that were tested didn't match up to pricier name bands. In fact, the least-effective lotion tested was Target's Up & Up Extra Healing Moisturizer. Yet some name-brand formulas also failed to impress testers including CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, $13.75 for 12 ounces; Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin, $6.75 for 21 ounces; and Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion Fragrance Free, $8 for 16 ounces.

Another surprise was the number of ingredients each of the products contained, with some containing as many as 33. Some such as water and aloe are familiar, but you need a chemistry degree to understand the others. Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion, $10 for 18 ounces, was noted for having the fewest chemicals.


First Published 2012-02-18 23:17:09

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