Body Cream vs. Body Lotion: What’s The Difference?

body cream vs. body lotion

Skin is the largest organ of our body that sheds millions of dead cells daily. Therefore, people who have a well-thought-out skincare routine that includes employing effective cosmetic products and picking a well-balanced diet possess skin that stands out. And when it comes to beauty products, body lotions and creams are the cherries on the top. In the quest of opting for a more wholesome product, people usually ponder over the difference between body lotion and body cream.

Dealing with the subject of body cream vs. body lotion, it is a fact that both help in battering the signs of aging, environmental damage, and acne of the skin. However, each one of them has its sole purpose of production, and in certain skin infirmities, one surpasses the other in efficacy.

In this article, I will be helping you out in comprehending the difference between body cream and lotion. Being a skin expert, I will guide you through choosing one product over another for particular skin conditions.

Body Cream vs. Body Lotion: Difference

As mentioned before, everyone has his/her unique skin characteristics. Therefore, they will opt for a body cream or body lotion keeping in view their skin requirements.

Chemically, body moisturizers are composed of water, oil, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. So, the following difference between body lotion and cream based on the water to oil ratio and the distinct wellness purpose both serve. 

Body Lotion

Body lotions are lightweight formula moisturizers, which means they have higher water than oil content. Therefore, body lotion, as its chemical composition manifests, is an effective moisturizer for oily and lightly dry skin. 


Body Lotion

The experts don’t recommend lotions for extremely dry skin because they do not provide penetrative moisture, instead, they are good daily moisturizers for normal skin.

You should apply body lotion just after you pop out of the shower. Because your skin will be warm and damp, moisturizer will go smooth and absorb quickly.

Body Cream

Contrary to body lotions, body creams contain a higher amount of oil than water. Therefore, they are thick and a little greasy. 

Body creams are formulated for people with moderate to highly dry skin types. The higher oil and glycerol content outfit them to render penetrative and long-lasting moisture.

So, if you are from a group of people who have cracked and scaly skin due to dryness, body cream can be worthwhile in ameliorating your inadequate skin condition.

Body creams have coconut and shea butter in them for thicker consistency due to which they sit a little bit longer on your skin and take time to soak in. 

Cream vs. Lotion: Which One is Better for Acne-Prone Skin?

It is a common notion among people that acne-prone oily skin does not need any moisturization. They think that they already have ample oil in the skin. And, applying moisturizers will exacerbate already oily skin.

However, this idea does not hold water in scientific literature. Moisture and oiliness are different. How?

People genetically possess skin that produces some extra oil, and it does not mean your skin does not need any water now. Even people who avoid moisturizing their oily skin end up producing more oil. It is because water scarcity in the skin conveys signals to sebaceous glands to produce compensatory oil so that already present moisture does not escape. This is the body’s natural feedback mechanism.


So, it is a fact that oily skin also needs moisturization, but how much can be a good question.

According to studies, one should moisturize oily acne-prone skin with lightweight lotions. Along with rendering efficient moisturization, these lotions will not clog skin pores to lock oil in. 

On the flip side, people who suffer from acne-prone extreme dry skin should opt for moisturizing creams and butter. They will lock enough moisture in your skin to prevent acne.

People who undergo over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments end up having dry and scaly skin. To minimize this side effect of OTC treatments, you can use good moisturizing creams.

Can I Use Body Lotion or Body Cream On My Face?

Your face skin is different and certainly more sensitive than the rest of your body. The fundamental distinction between both is thickness. According to investigations, the skin on your face is thinner than the rest of your body.

It contains more sebaceous glands and pores. To counter sunlight, face skin cells produce more melanin pigments than any other part of your skin. Also, your face is the most exposed area of your body to environmental pollution.

According to Anthony Youn, MD, you should never apply body lotion or cream to your face. Both of them are formulated for body skin, which is rough and tough and can withstand certain conditions like more oil. 

Body lotion and creams contain more oil than face moisturizers. Therefore, employing them on the face can clog pores and cause acne. 

According to the formulations mentioned on body creams and lotions, they contain certain potent ingredients that are only good for the body. According to studies, applying them to the face can cause skin irritation and redness. And if you are already struggling with skin ailments like acne and eczema, things can get worse.

However, if you run short of face moisturizers, using body lotion for once will not cause any complications.

Cream vs. Lotion: Which One is more Suitable for Hands?

Our hands are susceptible to dryness because we wash them multiple times throughout the day and lose some of the lipid barriers on them. Consequently, we dissipate moisture from our hands. Also, washing hands with bar soaps brings dryness and sometimes irritation.

So, using a hand moisturizer can help to combat dryness and help protect the skin barrier. Also, it is important to prevent your hands from getting fissures as a result of excessive dryness.

As you often touch your face with your hands, being mindful about what you are applying to your hands liberates you from complications.

According to experts, creams are more effective than lotion for preventing hands from dryness. They have a thicker humectant that softens your hands and deeply moistures them.

However, using a good hand lotion every time you wash your hands with sturdy bar soap is also a best practice for getting soft and smoother hands.

Benefits of Moisturizing Your Body

Moisturizing and hydrating your skin proffer multiple gains to your appearance. Some of the brands offering the best moisturizers toped up with vital minerals and vitamins. So, moisturizing your body on a daily basis will offer the following benefits.

  • Moisturizers will notch down fine lines and wrinkles. Therefore, they have anti-aging effects. Read out the description of the moisturizer before buying to ensure if it carries extra vitamins or not
  • Soaking your skin with ample moisture will vanish the cases of acne from your body
  • They soothe your skin and make it glow

Wrapping Up

On the whole, when it comes to body cream vs. body lotion, both serve the same purpose differently. Creams moisturize drastically dry to normal skin, while lotions are best suited for soaking oily acne-prone skin. Both are effective in mitigating the effects of dryness and yield youthful and glowing skin.