Is Lotion a Moisturizer or Not? – Why you shouldn’t confuse them

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Can you use lotion as face moisturizer?

We would all like to live in a world where we have perfect skin that maintains its elasticity and hydration. However, the reality isn’t quite as idyllic. The truth is, we are constantly exposed to harsh environmental elements, and we use severe cleansers which leave our skin feeling dull and dry, making it look less than ideal.

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As a solution, we grab our handy moisturizing creams…but wait. We’re out of moisturizer. But…what about lotion?

Is lotion a moisturizer or are they one and the same?

A large number of people think that lotions and moisturizers are the same things. While in certain ways they are quite alike, these two are not exactly the same. They have subtle differences that set them apart.

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What Are Lotions?

Lotions are creams that tend to have a higher percentage of water compared to its counterparts.

Simply put, lotions are basically droplets of oil that are mixed into water.

Lotions tend to be quite light in weight, non-greasy and can be absorbed by the skin far more easily. This makes them an ideal choice for people who tend to have normal to moderately dry skin.

Lotions typically have a liquid consistency and are sold in bottles. The basic rule when it comes to using this product is that they should be used during the day and even in the hot summer time. It gets absorbed by the skin very quickly without any sort of greasy residue being left behind.

What Are the Benefits of Using Lotions?

Below we will list some of the top benefits of lotions.

  • Lotions can hydrate the skin very well regardless of the climate you live in. It is ideal for dry and irritated skin.
  • Regardless of the type of skin you have, everyone tends to have rough skin on certain areas of the body, such as the knees and the elbows. Using lotion on a daily basis will make these areas soft and supple.
  • Dermatologists recommend that using lotions once or twice a day on a regular basis can be an easy solution for skin itchiness.
  • Another great benefit of using lotion regularly is that it will make you smell good. Most lotions come with a fantastic fragrance. Using it at the start of the day will make you smell good throughout.
  • Lotions, to a certain extent, have the ability to alter wrinkle formations. The ones that contain anti-aging components help in retaining the youthful state of the skin.

What Are Moisturizers?

A moisturizer does not exactly pertain to just one thing. This is a broad term.

Anything that you apply on your skin so that you can increase levels of hydration, lubrication, and comfort is considered a moisturizer.

Some of the different types of moisturizers include gels, creams, and even ointments.

Gels tend to be made using water or alcohol and are very lightweight. Creams are slightly heavier and are quite similar to lotions. They typically consist of an oil and water emulsion.

Lastly, ointments tend to be extremely thick and have the highest concentration of oil in comparison to other types of moisturizers. These are quite heavy and sticky too.

What Are the Benefits of Using Moisturizers?

The benefits of moisturizers are quite similar to lotions. Some of its top benefits are:

  • Moisturizers help in making you look younger than you really are. Using a good-quality moisturizer on a regular basis will keep your skin fresh and glowing.
  • If you are looking for an anti-acne product, then we recommend using moisturizers. Moisturizers keep your skin well moisturized, which ultimately keeps it acne-free. However, if you have oily skin, you have to be very careful with the quantity you apply.
  • Moisturizers with SPF is an excellent addition to your daily skincare routine. It not only keeps your skin looking healthy but also helps fight off cancer.
  • If you suffer from patchy skin, eczema, redness, and the likes, using a moisturizer is recommended, especially if it contains calming ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile.

Is Lotion a Moisturizer?

Moisturizers are basically a spectrum – from water to Vaseline – and you have everything else in between – such as creams, lotions, and ointments.

So, in that sense, you can technically call a lotion a moisturizer.

Then again, they are not exactly the same.

Let’s talk about some of their differences below.

Chemical Components

Moisturizers tend to be a mixture of water-soluble components and oil, which works to restore the skin layer back to its natural condition.

Lotions, on the other hand, tend to have some of the most added ingredients. They have a higher content of water, and to combat the growth of bacteria, it features benzyl alcohol or salicylic acid, which can be anywhere between 0.01 and 5%.


The texture of a moisturizer can entirely differ on the basis of its type. It can range anywhere between light to very heavy and sticky.

Lotions tend to have a lighter weight and can be easily applied to the skin. Furthermore, the skin absorbs lotion pretty quickly without making it feel sticky, heavy, or, dry.


The use of moisturizers entirely depends on your skin type and issue. If you have dry skin, then heavier-duty moisturizers are an ideal choice. People suffering from eczema can highly benefit from thick creams or ointments. It is essential always to know what exactly your skin needs.

The use of lotions is quite simple. Ideally, you should stick to using lotions when you are looking to get it hydrated or if you just want to pamper yourself.

If you have a normal or combination skin type and are experiencing oiliness or dryness, then you should stick to using gel-based lotions.

For those with acne-prone skin, then check out lotions that come with a lower level of emulsifiers and oils.

If you are stepping out on a hot day, stick to using water-based lotions.

are lotion and moisturizer the same

So: Is Lotion a Moisturizer or Not?

To answer the question of whether or not is lotion a moisturizer, it can be a yes, but it isn’t exactly the same.

Regardless of what is which, you should be more aware of what your skin type is and what it needs, and only on the basis of that, you should be deciding on whether you want to settle for any one of them.

Don’t forget to pack both moisturizer and lotion in your hanging toiletry organizer when you’re traveling!

RELATED: How Long Does Hand Lotion Last?

What do you think?

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. Thanks so much, we tried our best and we’re happy to hear you found it useful! Please do!

  2. I love your article. I have been looking for great info about lotions and your article is precisely what I needed. Great content. Will surely pass it onto my followers.

  3. I always separate the lotions from the moisturizer because I need something that will help my face. Thanks for sharing this information!

    Nancy ♥

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