Lotion vs Cream – Are they Different or the Same?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Lotion vs cream? Which is right for you? If you’re trying to give your skin the best possible care and keep it well hydrated, you may be having a difficult time distinguishing the lotion vs cream difference. After all, aren’t both products designed to hydrate the skin? They are, but there are some notable differences between lotions and creams that can help you decide which one is right for you!

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NIVEA Essentially Enriched Body Lotion Pack of 48 Hour Moisture for Dry to Very Dry Skin 16.9 Bottles, Almond, 33.8 Fl Oz, (Pack of 2)

Lotion vs Cream: Similarities

How are lotions and cream similar?  There are a few key similarities between these two skincare products:

  • Lotion and cream have the same ingredients.  Both are made of water and oil droplets.
  • Creams and lotions are both designed to hydrate and moisturize the skin.
  • You can find both lotions and creams designed for the body. You can also purchase lotions and creams formulated for use on the face.

Lotion vs Cream: Differences

Just as there are some differences between gel and cream moisturizers, there are also some key body cream vs body lotion differences to keep in mind.

So what is the difference between body cream and lotion?

  • Ingredient ratio:  While lotion and cream are both made from oil and water, the ratio of these two ingredients is different in each product type.  Whereas creams have about a 50.50 ratio of water to oil, lotions have a higher water content.
  • Consistency:  The higher water content in lotions makes them lightweight.  Lotions have a much thinner consistency than creams, which can be quite thick.  While lotions are absorbed quickly by the skin, thicker creams take longer to be absorbed and can work to create a protective barrier over the skin that locks in moisture.
  • Length of wear:  Which lasts longer lotion or cream.  Lotions are absorbed quickly by the skin, and depending on how dry your skin is, may not last too long.  The thick consistency of creams allows them to last longer than lotion.
  • Greasiness:  The higher oil content of creams makes them much greasier than lotions.
  • Ideal skin type:  The consistency and greasiness of lotions vs creams makes lotions a better choice for those with normal or slightly dry skin and creams a better choice for those with very dry skin.  The thinner consistency of a lotion offers sufficient hydration for most users. Meanwhile those with very dry or cracked skin may benefit from the barrier that thick creams will form on their skin.  In winter time, even individuals with normal skin may find the protective barrier and other benefits of a thicker cream more desireable due to the cold and dry weather.
Olay Active Hydrating Cream Face Moisturizer, 1.9 fl oz Packaging may Vary

Should I Use Lotion or Cream?

Which is better lotion or cream?  The answer to this will really depend on your skin type.  If you have normal skin, a thinner and lighter weight lotion, such as Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion or Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion, will likely deliver sufficient hydration to keep your skin smooth and soft.  However, if you have very dry or cracked skin, choosing a thicker cream, like Olay Active Hydrating Original Cream or Honeyskin Ultimate Face & Body Cream, that will help create a barrier on your skin to seal in moisture may be the better option for you.

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