Body Lotion vs Body Cream: Understanding the Difference

Body Lotion vs Body Cream

When it comes to skincare regime, the presence of multiple products often cause confusion. From creams and lotions to serums and butters there are plenty of products that promise healthy skin. 

While some products are intended for particular skin conditions, others work well for different skin types. Among them, body creams and body lotions are focused on moisturizing the skin, making it smooth, and repairing dry and dull skin. 

If you are in dilemma over these two skincare products and not sure what to use, the information on body cream vs. lotion will help. Keep reading to find out what’s the difference between body creams and body lotions and what’s the best for your skin type.

Difference between Body Lotions and Body Creams

The major difference between the two goes down to their ingredients, among which water plays a major role. While body lotions are light and thin in consistency due to more water content, body creams are thicker due to less water and more oil. 

Often the formula of body cream is infused with oils and butters, giving it its typical thick texture. Among oils there could be essential oils such as coconut and avocado oil and among butters there could be shea butter, cocoa butter, palm butter, etc. 

Below is the table differentiating body lotions and body creams under different categories-

CharacteristicBody CreamBody Lotion
TextureThick, rich consistencyLighter, thinner consistency
Moisturizing PowerProvides intense hydration and moistureProvides moderate hydration
Absorption RateSlower absorption, leaves a protective barrier on the skinQuick absorption, feels lighter on the skin
Recommended UseBest for dry or very dry skin, especially in cold climatesSuitable for normal to slightly dry skin
IngredientsTypically contains higher oil content and emollientsContains higher water content and humectants
LongevityLasts longer on the skin, requires less frequent applicationMay need reapplication throughout the day
Suitable AreasSuitable for areas prone to extreme dryness, like elbows, knees, and feetSuitable for all-over body use, including hands and arms
PackagingOften comes in tubs or jars for thicker consistencyOften comes in bottles with pumps or squeeze tubes
BenefitsProvides long-lasting hydration and helps repair very dry, cracked skinOffers quick hydration and moisturization without feeling heavy

Body Cream vs. Lotion- What’s Better?

There is no specific parameter on which we can decide if body cream is better or body lotion. Both these products are meant for different purposes and while one product may suit certain skin type, other may not. 

For Hands

For Hands

Hands are often exposed to things that make them dry and rough. From soaps and detergents to housecleaning products, all of them contain chemicals that can make the hand’s skin dry and dull. 

For such areas, body cream with thicker formula can restore the moisture and offer more hydration to the skin. At the same time, body creams infused with butter will provide the desired nourishment, combating roughness manifold. 

For Face

When it comes to face, being extra cautious while using a skincare product is essential. It is important that you use products with noncomedogenic formula so that it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts. 

Body lotions are light with thin consistency so you may try them for face. But since body lotions usually don’t offer sun protection, they may make the skin susceptible to skin damage. 

Dry Skin

If your skin tends to stay dry, body creams will work the best. They have thicker consistency that can keep the skin hydrated and moisturized for longer. However, if you have normal skin which is slightly dry, body lotion will suffice. 

On the contrary, people with extremely dry skin should ditch both body cream and lotion and use body butter for instant and extra nourishment. They are good in the chilling winters when the dry environment contributes to making the skin drier. 

Oily skin 

Oily skin is already infused with extra oil and sebum; therefore, body lotion will be the best choice. With more water content, body lotion will provide the required moisturization without leaving the skin looking greasy.  

Make sure that the body lotion is noncomedogenic, non-greasy, and gentle on the skin. It will ensure that oily skin will stay light and won’t experience breakouts. 

Combination Skin 

Combination skin is a little tricky to deal with as it has dry areas on certain parts and oily areas on others. For such skin types, you may use body creams in the dry zones and body lotion in the oily zones. 

Body Cream Vs. Body Lotions for Different Skin Conditions

When it comes to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne, being mindful of what you use becomes essential. It ensures that the skin will stay healthy and you won’t experience flare-ups due to the skincare product. 

  • Eczema: In eczema the skin tends to stay dry; therefore, using body creams will give beneficial results over body lotions. They can reduce flares and severity of the condition.
  • Psoriasis: Even though in such skin condition it is better to use prescription ointments, if you have a choice between cream and lotion, go for those having active ingredients like vitamin E. 
  • Acne: Body creams are too thick for acne and have a higher chances of clogging the pores. Therefore, for acne-prone skin, body lotions that have less oil and more water will prove to be beneficial. They will not clog the pores or result in further breakouts. 


Whether body cream is better or body lotion depends upon your skin type and skin condition. Since body creams are thicker, they are safe for dry skin. Likewise, due to thin viscosity, body lotions work well for oily and acne-prone skin. 

The key is to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized without hampering its condition. Some creams and lotions contain ingredients that can cause skin irritation and inflammation, especially if it’s broken or damaged. 

So, use your skincare product only after reading the ingredients. If you have certain skin condition, talk to the dermatologist who will prescribe you the right moisturizer. 

Feature Image Source – canva

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