CurelRough Skin Rescue
20 fl. oz. for $8.88
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The main emollient ingredients in this body lotion are great for dry to very dry skin, but this isn't quite as rich as it seems and it contains a small amount of potentially problematic plant ingredients.

Rough Skin Rescue contains the AHA ingredient lactic acid, and this ingredient's exfoliant action is tied to the product claim of loosening dry skin flakes without irritation. Like all AHA ingredients, lactic acid depends on a minimum concentration and specific pH range in order to function as an exfoliant. In this case, the pH is borderline (but still worthwhile) but the amount of lactic acid is likely too low. We suspect it's less than 2%, but for best results on dry, flaky skin you want at least a 5% concentration.

Although that's not the best news, the lactic acid will still function as a water-binding agent. The bad news goes back to the plant ingredients we mentioned earlier. Curel includes eucalyptus, lemon juice and grapefruit juice, all of which contain one or more chemical components that are irritating to skin (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). The amounts of each are low, but such ingredients truly don't belong in a body lotion, let alone one claiming to "rescue" rough skin! Skip this moisturizer in favor of the superior formulas from brands like Eucerin, CeraVe, Gold Bond, and Olay.

  • Contains some worthwhile emollient ingredients for severely dry skin.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Lactic acid can be a good water-binding and softening ingredient for skin.
  • The amount of AHA lactic acid is likely too low to offer exfoliant benefits.
  • Contains several plant extracts and juices whose fragrant components can be skin irritants.
  • The fact that this is claimed to be a dermatologist-recommended formula is meaningless; who knows if the dermatologist works for Curel, not to mention dermatologists aren't typically up to speed on skin care formularies.
Last Updated:03.31.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Ideal for severely dry, flaky skin, this smoothing lotion gently loosens flakes without irritation, allowing essential hydration to reach the areas that need it most. The dermatologist-recommended formula uses natural ingredients to relieve roughness and help prevent it from returning.


Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tapioca Starch, Mineral Oil, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Lactic Acid, Allantoin, Panthenol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Cetyl-Pg Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Behenyl Alcohol, Dmdm Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Polysorbate 60, BHT, Butylene Glycol, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juice, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Juice, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Juice

Brand Overview

Strengths: Inexpensive and generously-sized; contains a consistent range of tried-and-true emollient ingredients.

Weaknesses: None of the products are state-of-the-art formulas; several products listed as being good for sensitive skin or not containing fragrance are fragranced and/or contain ingredients those with sensitive skin should avoid; Many products contain a high amount of irritating eucalyptus extract the foot cream contains irritating citrus juices; the hand cream is overly fragranced.

Long a staple of the body-care aisle at drugstores around the world, Curel and its sister company Jergens (and Biore) are owned by the Japan-based Kao Corporation. Like Jergens, Curel offers an assortment of body lotions for dry, itchy skin. Whereas Jergens has expanded into an array of self-tanning products alongside their body lotions, Curel remains firmly based around body lotions for dry skin. Considering Curel’s specialty, it’s disappointing that so many of their body lotions disappoint, either due to average formulas or the inclusion of fragrant plant extracts (most often eucalyptus).

There’s truly nothing worth considering from Curel, and that’ sad. The price point is excellent, the sizes are generous, but none of this matters if what’s inside the bottles isn’t great for your skin. Don’t get us wrong; Curel’s body lotions contain some workhorse ingredients such as petrolatum and glycerin. Those can be great for dry skin, but they’re just the beginning—dry skin needs a range of ingredients, including repairing and cell-communicating substances plus antioxidants—and those are lacking in pretty much every product Curel offers. In essence, Curel isn’t the cure for dry skin.

If you’ve been intrigued by this line, your curiosity can stop here. Curel isn’t the answer for dry, itchy, or sensitive skin (indeed, several of its products are a problem for sensitive skin). Other drugstore body lotions offer more for your money, and without problematic ingredients like eucalyptus. Some of those may cost a bit more, but when you’re getting a truly superior formula, it’s money well spent!

For more information about Curel, call (800) 572-2931 or visit www.curel.com

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