Body Cream vs Lotion: Which One Should I Use?

Body Cream vs Lotion: Which One Should I Use?

Though they might sound similar, there’s a big difference between body lotion and cream. Not knowing this might be causing some of your mysterious and frustrating skin issues or making your skincare routine less effective than it should be. 

But which one is better for you? And how do you make that decision considering your skin type and needs?

If you’re someone who wants to step up your skincare game, but didn’t even know there was a difference between body lotion and body cream until recently (or until reading the title of this article), keep reading. In this complete guide to all things lotion vs cream, we’ll cover the concrete differences between the two, and explain when it’s better to use a moisturizing lotion and when you should stick to nourishing cream. 

The Differences Between Body Cream and Body Lotion

Body cream and body lotion may serve a similar purpose (which can often lead to people mixing them up), but they’re not the same. To clear up the mysteries of body cream vs lotion, let’s take a closer look at each skincare product so you have a better idea of which to incorporate into your daily body care routine

The main differences between these two lie in the ratio of oil to water present in each. Body cream is the one that:

  • Has a 50/50 split between oil and water
  • Can feel greasy on your skin
  • Has a heavier weight
  • Can help skin stay hydrated for longer by forming a barrier

On the other hand, body lotion:

  • Has more water in it
  • Is less greasy than cream
  • Is a lighter weight option

This means that while both can help dryness, they also come with their own unique set of pros and cons, which can help you decide which is best for you.

How to Choose Between the Two

When weighing the benefits of body cream vs body lotion, it’s important to consider factors such as:

  • Your skin type
  • The amount of moisture and care your skin needs
  • The climate you live in

These factors will help decide if you need a product that’s more oil-based or more water-based to amp up your self-care routine.

When Should You Choose a Body Cream?

A body cream, like our Soften Up Rich Body Cream, is the right choice for you to incorporate into your life and daily routine if:

  • You have thicker skin
  • Your skin is dry 
  • It’s wintertime, or the air has low humidity

These elements could mean your skin craves moisture than usual. Using a heavy, rich cream that provides 24 hour moisture will be a real life-saver (or, in this case a skin-saver).

When Should You Choose a Body Lotion?

While body cream has its positives, a moisturizing product, like our Sweet Curves Body Lotion, will be your BFF if:

  • You have oily skin
  • Your skin needs less moisture
  • It’s warm outside

If you have oily skin or you’re sweating a lot due to heat, using a heavy body cream will make your skin feel greasy. But lotion has a lower oil content, meaning it can give your skin the moisture it needs without bringing along the grease.

When Should You Apply Body Cream or Lotion?

Now that you know which product is right for you, you may be wondering when you should apply each to see the best results. 

To make your skin the happiest, apply lotion or cream:

  • Before you go to sleep – When you wake up in the morning, you might feel rested, but that doesn’t mean your skin is. Skin tends to lose moisture overnight, so applying some lotion or cream before you turn in can keep your skin feeling fresh, too.
  • When you step out of the shower – We all love a long, hot shower, but if you don’t moisturize afterwards, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to hydrate your skin. For the best results, don’t put the skin lotion or cream on right away. Wait for your skin to dry a little, then apply while it’s still a bit damp.
  • When you use hand sanitizer – Even though hand sanitizer has quickly become a must-have item, it can dry out your skin. To help avoid this, rub some hand lotion or hand cream on after applying the sanitizer.

Following these tips will help your skin get the moisture it needs and help maintain that glow.

Take Care of Your Skin with Honest®

It’s no doubt that self-care practices are essential to keeping up with today’s hectic world, but it’s important to make sure you’re using the best products to do so.

That’s where Honest® comes in. All of our products are clean, so you can feel confident in what you’re putting on your skin. Plus, our lotions and creams are cruelty free, so your furry friends will feel as positive about your skincare choices as you do. 

At Honest®, we believe a healthy, happy lifestyle should be easy to achieve. With our affordable, clean beauty self care essentials, you can jumpstart your skincare goals today. 


ABC News. What's The Difference Between An Ointment, A Cream And A Lotion? 6 Times You Should Always Apply Body Lotion

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.