Clinical Edge

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Best-Selling Moisturizers by Price, Characteristics

JAMA Dermatol; ePub 2017 Sep 6; Xu, et al

Best-selling moisturizers vary widely by price and product characteristics, according to a recent cohort study that analyzed the top 100 best-selling whole-body moisturizing products at 3 major online retailers (Amazon, Target, and Walmart). A total of 174 unique best-selling moisturizer products were identified, constituting 109,713 reviews as of August 2016. Products marketed for use on a specific body part (eg, face, hands, eyelids) were excluded. Investigators found:

  • The median price per ounce was $0.59, with a wide range (9400%).
  • The most popular vehicles were lotions (102 [59%]), followed by creams (22 [13%]), oils (21 [12%]), butters (14 [8%]), and ointments (3 [2%]).
  • Only 12% (n=21) of best-selling moisturizer products were free of North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) allergens.
  • The 3 most common allergens were fragrance mix (n=87), paraben mix (n=75), and tocopherol (n=74).
  • Products with the claim “dermatologist recommended” had higher median price per ounce ($0.79) than products without the claim ($0.59).
  • Lotions were statistically less expensive per ounce than butters, creams, and oils.
  • For products with a claim of “fragrance free,” 18 (45%) had at least 1 fragrance cross-reactor or botanical ingredient.


Xu S, Kwa M, Lohman ME, Evers-Meltzer R, Silverberg JI. Consumer preferences, product characteristics, and potentially allergenic ingredients in best-selling moisturizers. [Published online ahead of print September 6, 2017]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3046.

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