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13 Best Shimmer Body Lotion For Summer

shimmer body lotion

123RF.com (miramiska)

If you haven’t tried shimmer body lotion because you’re worried you’ll look too glittery, let me set you straight. Glitter makes you sparkle but shimmer body lotion makes you glow.

Pair this with gold nail polish for a summer goddess look. Find the best shimmer body lotion for the summer of 2023 below.

What Are the Best Shimmer Body Lotions?

Pump bottle of gold lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Beautiful sparkle
  • Many color choices
  • Hydrating macadamia nut oil
Price: $19.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black jar of glimmer lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bold sparkle
  • Shades to choose from
  • Small batch body butter
Price: $29.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Tube of Burt's Bees lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Subtle sparkle
  • Deeply hydrating
  • Trusted brand
Price: $17.79 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mario Badescu bottle of face product Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trusted brand
  • Pleasant coconut scent
  • Moisturizing beeswax
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Unicorn Snot sunscreen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Eco-friendly plant-starch glitter
  • Bold sparkle
  • Cruelty-free
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pearlescent lotion by Melanie Mills Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Highlighting and brightening
  • For face and body
  • Color choices
Price: $44.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tan bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Choice of SPF strength
  • Fun tropical scent
  • Botanicals extracts
Price: $9.19 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Soap & Glory glowing lotion bottle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Moisturizing shea butter
  • Pinky-toned shimmer
  • Nice for a range of skin tones
Price: $22.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Small bottle of shimmering gold oil Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Five shades to choose from
  • Two sizes to choose from
  • Warm, summery glow
Price: $19.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Pink cherry blossom lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Subtle glow
  • Nourishing botanicals
  • Trusted brand
Price: $30.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Hempz coconut lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sparkle and shimmer effect
  • Hydrating shea butter and heep
  • Smells amazing
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Large pump of olay lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three bottles for the money
  • Barely there subtle sheen
  • Affordable
Price: $89.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Glass pump of slimming lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Real diamond dust
  • Skin-firming caffeine
  • Transfer-resistant
Price: $38.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Juicy Skin Care’s Gold Glitter Up

    • Works on a wide range of skin tones
    • Hydrating macadamia nut oil and aloe
    • Gorgeous subtle glow
    • Several colors choices
    • Pump bottle is hard to travel with
    • Not all colors work for all skin tones
    • Hard to keep in stock sometimes

    Gold Glitter Up hits that perfect balance that works with all skin tones to create a bright, highlighting effect.

    The lotion has a thick but silky texture that absorbs quickly into your skin so there’s no greasy residue. It has a beautiful starlight shimmer but doesn’t have large flakes of glitter so if you’re looking to go bold, this probably isn’t for you. But if all you want is that elegant glow, this is a smart choice for a wide range of skin tones.

    When you squeeze some out the first time, you’re going to be nervous because it starts out opaque yellow– almost like mustard. Don’t panic. It rubs in and the yellow transforms into that sexy, beach-ready sheen.

    As far as the moisturizing portion of this lotion, it contains macadamia nut oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E making this a soothing after-sun lotion so you can take that beach glow with you after you’ve left the ocean. Even with all the moisturizing, it’s a very lightweight lotion. It has a light, natural apple fragrance but it also comes as fragrance-free if you prefer.

    Gold looks good on everyone but if it isn’t your style, Glitter Up also comes in Pink PearlRose Gold, and Silver.

  2. 2. Simply Radiant’s Glimmer Goddess Illuminating Whipped Body Butter

    • Bolder sparkling flecks
    • Four shades to choose from
    • Unscented
    • Made in small batches
    • Some may miss fragrance
    • Moisture too heavy for face
    • Too flashy for some

    If you’re hoping for a little more spangle than just a subtle glow, then you may be looking for Simply Radiant’s Glimmer Goddess Illuminating Whipped Body Butter.

    This shimmer gives that luminous glow but also has larger flecks that glint in the light for a slightly glittery effect.

    It’s a much more intensely hydrating moisturizer as well. Body butters have lower water to oil ratios, or in this case, no water at all. This makes Glimmer Goddess a good choice for people who tend to need thicker, more moisturizing lotions and don’t want to have to double up with their regular lotion. For deep hydration, this butter combines shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and almond oil.

    This butter has six ingredients and only one of them isn’t certified organic–and that’s the mica powder but I’m fairly certain no one is spraying down rocks with pesticides. According to the United States Geological Survey, mica has been used by humans for 4,000 in everything from medicines to the Mayans decorating the outside of their temples with it to make them pretty. 

    This is a much more noticeable shimmer and comes in four different shades: gold (featured above), rose gold, bronze, and diamond.

    The gold and rose gold are great options for all skin tones. Diamond is the most subtle of the bunch and is more of a shimmery glow rather than sparkly flecks. The bronze shimmer butter has a similar shimmer to the gold, but the whipped butter has a bronzing effect that will give your skin the appearance of a light suntan.

    This shimmer is unscented which can be awesome if you’re sensitive to fragrances or it can be a bit of a bummer if you’re used to your lotions smelling delicious.

  3. 3. Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion (2-Pack)

    • Subtle glow that sparkles in the sun
    • Coconut oil, beeswax, and royal jelly
    • Nourishing botanical extracts
    • Light floral scent
    • Not vegan (beeswax and royal jelly)
    • The tube is quite stiff
    • Too heavy for face

    I would place this Radiance Body Lotion from Burt’s Bees right in the middle shimmer-wise since it’s subtle and then not-so-subtle depending the lighting. It’s very subtle until you get into the sunshine where the mica really shines.

    Sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, canola oil, aloe vera, and beeswax hydrate and seal in moisture while botanical extracts like sage, chamomile, rosemary, and nettle nourish and condition your skin.

    This lotion includes royal jelly which is known to have antibiotic and anti-fungal properties. It’s also thought to support collagen production and reduce inflammation when applied to skin. That said, that does make this one very not vegan-friendly.

    Royal jelly is a substance produced by bees that is fed to all baby bees for their first few days, but only larvae chosen to be the new queen are fed royal jelly their entire lifespan.

    My only other issue is the packaging is difficult to deal with and the lotion can be hard to squeeze out if you have hand troubles.

  4. 4. Mario Badescu Summer Shine Lotion

    • Moisturizing beeswax
    • Choice of sizes
    • Trusted brand
    • Subtle sparkle
    • Contains peanut oil and parabens
    • Not vegan (beeswax)
    • Not as deeply hydrating as others

    Mario Badescu’s Summer Shine Lotion is thin and easy to spread making it great for those who want a shimmer but don’t necessarily need a deep moisturizer.

    It’s certainly got some hydrating power with beeswax, corn oil, and peanut oil but it’s not as heavy as some of the other thicker lotions on the list. 

    The shimmer is very light and mostly only visible in the sunlight which is perfect for giving your skin that extra healthy glow. This one has a slightly pink tone to it that results in a warmer tone of skin as well. 

    It has a summery coconut fragrance that’s a little artificial but I’ve never met a coconut scent I didn’t like.

  5. 5. Unicorn Snot Biodegradable Shimmer Sunscreen

    • Biodegradable glitter
    • Deeply moisturizing beeswax
    • SPF 30
    • Two colors to pick from
    • Too glittery for some
    • Not as perfect for dark skin
    • Not vegan (beeswax)

    As cute as it is, glitter isn’t always great for the environment and that’s why I love Unicorn Snot’s Bio-Glitter Sunscreen. Instead of plastic, ground-up metals, or mica, this lotion uses special biodegradable glitter made from plant starch. How they managed to make plant starches sparkle like this is beyond me but I’m glad they did.

    It rides the line between a glitter and a shimmer so if you’re looking for something very subtle, this isn’t it. It’s a pearl tone which is typically more for lighter-skinned folks but as it’s more glittery, you get more leeway. The model on the product page for this product is a person of color and the cool-tone sunblock looks stunning on them.

    The broadband sunscreen is SPF 30 and also contains moisturizing beeswax. True to the whimsical feel of the Unicorn Snot brand, it’s scented like cotton candy. 

    Unicorn Snot also has non-biodegradable glitter sunblock in pink-toned Love Shake (featured above) and purple-toned Space Junk.

  6. 6. Melanie Mills Hollywood Moisturizing Gleam Body Radiance

    • Brightening glow
    • Works as face and body highlighter
    • Calming white and green tea extracts
    • More subtle than others
    • Pricey
    • Needs to be shaken up
    • Not as perfect for darker skin

    Want versatility? Melanie Mills Hollywood Moisturizing Gleam Body Radiance lotion is a multi-purpose lotion that can be used as a shimmer cream, highlighter, or both on your body and face.

    It gives a beautiful natural glow without large glittery flecks on your arms and legs. On your face, it can be used as an all-over brightening moisturizer or as a shimmering highlighter.

    Olive oil, jojoba oil, safflower seed oil, and aloe vera moisturize and extracts of seaweed, white tea, and green tea nourish and improve the texture of your skin.

    This is nice subtle, dewy glow that isn’t too dramatic.

  7. 7. Hawaiian Tropic Ultra Radiance

    • Choice of SPF protection strength
    • Extracts of plumeria and passionfruit
    • Coral reef safe
    • Gives a warm glow
    • Parabens, PEG's, and mineral oil
    • Not as hydrating as others
    • Quality is lower than luxury brands

    Hawaiian Tropic’s Ultra Radiance collection includes options for SPF 30 (featured above), SPF 15, and SPF 50. I burn in no time, so I’m glad to see there is an option that means I won’t have to double up with shimmer and SPF protection. The sunblock is coral reef friendly which is very important.

    If your main goal is to have that beachy glow while you’re out in the sun, many of these lotions will do that but very few include SPF to protect your skin while you’re out in the sun looking like a goddess. 

    It has that expected suntan lotion tropical scent to it which I love, but if you’re looking for something for winter, that might not work for you. 

  8. 8. Glow Lotion by Soap & Glory

    • Pink and bronze tones
    • Hydrating shea butter
    • Easy to use pump bottle
    • Light to medium skin tones
    • Can be hard to find
    • Only one color available
    • Contains added fragrance

    Feeling nostalgic? Go for Soap & Glory’s classic Glow Lotion which moisturizes with shea butter as it adds a healthy glow. It a warm-toned shimmer that adds a gold-reflective flash with mica flecks and a pink lotion. It’s very warming and works on a wide range of skin tones. 

    As a highlighting lotion, it’s perfect to accentuate collarbones, shoulders, arms, and legs. It’s decently transfer-resistant to prevent rubbing off on things and it doesn’t have a great amount of pigment in it so any transfer isn’t as noticeable as shimmers that double as self-tanners. 

  9. 9. GlowMotions Glowing Body Oil by Sol de Janeiro

    • Several shades
    • Luxury brand
    • Not too glittery
    • Has good staying power
    • More an oil than a lotion
    • Very small bottle
    • Can feel sticky if you apply too much

    GlowMotions by Sol de Janeiro offers a line of shimmer oils that can be used on their own or mixed with your favorite body lotion. There’s a color for everyone in this collection and includes colors like deep Samba Sway for darker skin, Rio Sunset (featured above) for a golden glow that works on most skin tones, and Master Flash which is a bluer-toned oil with an iridescent look to it. 

    The sparkle is a warm, summery glow without being glittery. It’s not the most subtle shimmer on the list. You’ll definitely notice a difference. I like that it’s transfer-resistant and does well staying on after a dip in the pool. It’s a base of moisturizing coconut oil, safe for use on your body and face, and a little goes a long way. And that’s good because the bottle is fairly small. 

  10. 10. L’Occitane Shimmering Cherry Blossom Body Lotion

    • Gives skin a subtle luminescence
    • Hydrating shea butter
    • Nourishing rosemary and bitter cherry
    • Beautiful cherry blossom fragrance
    • Contains mineral oil
    • Shimmer may be too subtle for some
    • No color options

    If what you crave is a little shimmer in a lotion that smells divine, this Shimmering Body Lotion from their Cherry Blossom is for you.

    L’Occitane is a French brand that is known for their moisturizing lotions and dreamy fragrances–the Shimmering Body Lotion from their Cherry Blossom line doesn’t disappoint.

    The fragrance is sweetly floral with that hint of spring cherry. It’s a stronger scent so you’d likely be wearing this alone and not on top of perfume. The shimmer is very subtle and lends your skin a warm luminescence when you move in the light.

    It may not be shimmery enough for everyone. This lotion lightly hydrates with shea butter, grape seed oil, and includes skin conditioning extracts of rosemary and bitter cherry.

  11. 11. Hempz Coconut Fusion Herbal Shimmering Body Souffle

    • Sparkling starlight with low shimmer
    • Luxurious texture
    • Moisturizing shea, hemp, and aloe
    • Smells like a beachy cocktail
    • Not vegan (beeswax)
    • More prone to shimmer transfer
    • Not everyone loves the pina colada scent

    For something in the middle, Hempz Coconut Fusion Herbal Shimmering Body Souffle has a shimmering glow with a hint of slightly larger flecks. This one has more of a twinkling starlight effect compared to larger flecks or just a subtle glow.

    It’s a more intense moisturizer compared to the shimmers that are labeled lotions with deeply hydrating shea butter, sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera, and beeswax.

    The texture is smooth and decadent and the fragrance has a tropical pina colada scent that has you feeling like you’re at the beach. The shimmer in this has a bit of a silver cast to it so keep that in mind when matching to your complexion. Some people have found that the shimmer is prone to rubbing off on things but others haven’t had an issue.

  12. 12. Olay Quench Shimmer Body Lotion (3-Pack)

    • Barely there sheen
    • You get tons of product
    • Affordable
    • Cocoa butter and jojoba oil
    • The Olay fragrance is hit or miss
    • Petroleum products and parabens
    • Huge bottles
    • Pump is not great for travel

    Olay Quench Shimmer Body Lotion doesn’t so much make your skin look shimmery as it gives your skin almost a satiny sheen. As a trusted drugstore brand, you sort of know by now how your skin responds to Olay and whether or not you love their signature cocoa butter scent.

    If you like their other products but want that extra glow, they have you covered. The shimmer is extremely subtle and really only visible in good lighting. This isn’t the product for you if you’re looking for even a gentle sparkle.

    It’s very moisturizing with cocoa butter, jojoba seed oil, and glycerin. It also contains petroleum which does a very good job of sealing in moisture but can also tend to be a little greasy.

    But if you’re on a budget or you’re not sure if the shimmer look will be too much, the Olay Quench Shimmer Body Lotion is a good option to try out first before you invest in a more sparkly, higher end product.

    And for the money, this is great for those looking to get more for your buck. This is for three 11.8-ounce bottles. That should set you up for a while.

  13. 13. Shimmer Sleek by Cheeky Physique

    • Contains real diamond dust
    • Transfer-resistant
    • Botanicals like ivy and butcher's broom
    • Paraben and mineral oil free
    • Contains silicone
    • Many unpronounceable ingredients
    • Too much shine for some

    The Shimmer Sleek is like an Instagram filter for your body so if you’ve got unevenness or blemishes this can help conceal them. It uses real diamond dust to create a shimmering glow that hides imperfections, giving your skin an overall smoothing look. 

    It also contains caffeine which acts as a skin tightener which can temporarily make skin appear firmer and even more flawless. 

    Shimmer Sleek spreads like a lotion but isn’t as deeply hydrating as others on the list. If dry skin is a big issue in your life, this might not be the one for you.

  • Why Use Body Shimmer?

  • Shimmer lotions make your skin look radiant and highlighted as if you've just gotten out of the ocean. It's a sensual, fire-lit glow that slims and warms your complexion.
  • Where Do I Apply Shimmer Body Lotion?

Shimmer lotions are perfect for legs, arms, shoulders, and collarbones. It adds that healthy glow and shines when you move. But really, you can use it anywhere you'd like to have a little bit of shimmer.

You can strategically highly areas on your arms and legs or go for an all-over look. It can also be mixed into your foundation to make your makeup glow. (Just don't get it in your eyes.)

Which Body Shimmer Color Is Right For My Skin Tone?

Shimmer lotion is for everyone but like all makeup, colors will look different depending on the canvas. Cooler colors, like silver, will give your skin a cooler cast and warm colors, like copper, will have more of a bronzing effect.

In general, lighter skin tones work best with silver to gold to rose gold. Those with more melaninated skin do best with rose gold to copper to bronze.

That said, wear whatever color you like best.

Why Do We Love Shiny Things So Much?

From highlighters to glossy lipsticks to shimmering lotion and even glittering jewelry, wearing shiny things on our bodies makes us feel more attractive. Not only that, it makes us more attractive. That's not even just my opinion. It's science.

Research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says that humans love shiny things so much as a result of natural selection. The ability of our eyes to pick out and focus on sparkling objects would have helped our ancestors find the reflective surfaces of water. 

An article from the University of Houston broke down research and described the different studies included and they're fascinating. Babies mimicked eating and drinking motions more often when shown shiny objects compared to matte objects. And adults preferred shiny images over dull ones when they were thirsty compared to people who weren't thirsty.  

Early humans who could locate freshwater were more likely to survive and so passed that trait on. And that's why I have an obsession with shiny holo nail polish. It's science. 

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