Body Lotion vs Body Cream: Understanding the Difference

Moisturization is a simple yet crucial part of any proper body care routine. We all tend to pay more attention to our faces and follow a somewhat more comprehensive skincare facial routine than we do for our bodies. However, your body's skin still needs care and attention, especially moisturization. While both body creams and body lotions help combat dryness, roughness and irritation, they have different formulations and could be used for various purposes. Let's learn what's the difference between body cream and body lotion and why it's essential to use them for moisturization.

What is body lotion?

A lotion is a low-viscosity topical formula that you can apply to the external skin. It is lighter than other body moisturizers due to its higher water content. Lotions can be used to smooth, moisturize and soften the skin and many skincare products like sunscreens or you can find even body washes in a lotion composition. Lotions are also known for having less oil content than most other moisturizer formats like creams or body butters. Finally, lotions are lightweight, allowing the skin to absorb them fast. And thanks to its light consistency, body lotion doesn't leave a greasy look.

What is body cream?

In comparison to body lotions, body creams tend to be heavier and have lower water content as well. Body creams are also thicker in consistency and contain more oil content and less water. As a result of their high viscosity, body creams can be more hydrating than body lotions. Creams provide a barrier that keeps skin ultra-hydrated, which could be more beneficial for dry skin. However, it also tends to be greasier than lotions when applied to the skin because of its higher oil concentration.

The main differences between body cream and body lotion

Body creams and body lotions are both emulsions created from a combination of water and oil. While they share many similarities when it comes to uses and benefits, they also have many differences. To recap, here are the main differences between body creams and body lotions to help you decide which to choose or if you maybe need to include both in your body care routine!

  • Lotions are lighter in consistency than body creams.
  • Lotions contain less oil than body creams.
  • Body creams last longer on your body than lotions do.
  • Thicker formulas like creams may cause a greasy residue, while lighter lotions don't leave a greasy look.
  • Body creams help provide a heavier barrier than lotions to keep skin hydrated.
  • Body creams are more suitable for winter, while lotions may be better for hotter months.
  • Body creams are usually sold in tubs, while body lotions are typically packaged in bottles with pumps or tubes.

Benefits of Body Cream and Body Lotions

Body creams and lotions are both designed to moisturize, smooth and hydrate skin. You can apply both on clean skin after the shower to rehydrate and replenish your skin with moisture. Using body creams and lotions every day can reduce the chance of developing common skin conditions that are usually caused by extreme dryness or oiliness. They can also be highly effective when it comes to soothing dry skin and getting rid of dry patches.

While both creams and lotions share a lot of benefits, here are some ways each of them can benefit your skin differently:

  1. Since body lotion is easier to absorb by the skin and has a lower viscosity, it is suitable more for normal to slightly dry skin.
  2. Lotions leave a less greasy residue than cream, making it perfect for use during the day and in the summer months.
  3. Creams can help provide a barrier for ultra-hydration; this makes them a better choice for people with excessively dry skin.
  4. Creams can be more moisturizing and effective than lotions during colder and harsher weather in winter.

Best body lotion or body cream to use

It doesn’t matter if you prefer body lotions more than body creams or the other way around; as long as you use one of them to moisturize your body daily. You can also alternate between using both body lotion and body cream to get the best benefits of both moisturizing formulas! If you’re looking for a rich lotion to add to your body care routine, try Johnson's® Vita-Rich Smoothies Comforting Body Lotion. You can also try our all-time favorite Johnson's® 24-Hour Moisture Soft Cream if you’re looking for a long-lasting cream to prevent dryness without leaving an oily or greasy finish.