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What Is The Difference Between Body Lotion And Body Cream?

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What Is The Difference Between Body Lotion And Body Cream

Smoothing a quality moisturizer all over your freshly washed, still dewy skin after a bath or shower can be so satisfying. Your whole body soaks in that much-needed moisture and it makes you feel so soft. 

It's a simple but sweet indulgence that just so happens to support a healthy skin barrier.

You may currently be keeping your skin hydrated with a body cream, a turmeric eye cream, body lotion, body butter, or other body product. Perhaps you've found a formula that's a perfect fit for your skin type.

Or you may still be looking for that perfect moisturizing product and not sure how to go about it since there's just so much out there, and you're not certain what all of it means.

If you have wondered about the difference between body lotion and body cream, you're not the only one. Maybe you've even typed out this exact question with dry, cracked fingers, that are thirsting for answers as well as moisture.

With a bewildering amount of brands and a plethora of product types, it's understandable to be overwhelmed when it comes to body butters, creams, lotions, gels, and even moisturizing sprays.

Clearly, there's no shortage of options, so the challenge is to gather some information about body creams and body lotions, understand the differences and similarities, and see what makes the most sense for you.

Ultimately, you'll likely use a combination of beauty products to protect and hydrate your skin.

In the meantime, we'll do our best to cover some basic information and address common questions that pertain to body butter, cream, lotion, and the like.

See Related: How To Get Glowing Skin At Home

Body cream vs. body lotion

While some people may use the term interchangeably, most folks in skincare circles understand the differences between body lotion and body cream as having to do with the oil and water content. 

The biggest difference is that body creams are thicker and have a higher oil content, while lotions are generally non-greasy, less viscous, and have a higher percentage of water.

Still, both can be excellent moisturizers for the body. Much depends on your particular needs and preferences.

Cream and body butter have higher viscosity thicker sticky mixture of water and oil than non-greasy lotion

Creams tend to be more rich, dense, and definitely stay on the skin longer. Some take half an hour to fully absorb. They lock in the moisture more effectively, and should make skin feel nourished and soft.

However, some people don't like the feeling of a heavier substance sitting on the skin, so they opt for lotion.

Because it is generally less viscous (in other words, it's more lightweight), body lotion is readily absorbed into the skin. A lotion with a thinner formula may also be less likely to leave an unwanted greasy residue.

If you have oily skin or normal skin, a good lotion will still support overall skin health. If you have dry or very dry skin, you may lean more toward creams.

A bit about beauty rituals

The descriptions above offer a few generalizations, but again, the results you see will always depend on the specific type of moisturizer you're using, not to mention your overall approach to wellness and beauty.

At JUARA, we like to emphasize how self-care, joyfulness, and being part of a community can feed every aspect of your wellness journey.

How are you eating and moving throughout your day? Do you have time to share the things you love with the people you love? Are you able to allow yourself sufficient time to rest and relax? 

All of these things impact your health, and thus, the skin you're in.

Sure, makeup can do an amazing job at minimizing our imperfections, covering up dark circles, and camouflaging blemishes, but if you really want to address the root causes of most skin issues, it helps to approach them holistically.

Having soft, supple, and healthy skin does come - in part - from within. That's why experts will say, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet filled with proteins, greens, and other good things.

We like to reiterate the notion that there should be a healthy dose of happiness, self-love, and even indulgence when caring for yourself and your skin. So when you go to get your next lotion, body cream, enzyme mask or scrub, body butter, or moisturizer, make sure it sparks some joy.

In case you're in need of a little inspiration, here's a video you can incorporate into your bath-time beauty ritual. It's a guided meditation that encourages you to get the most out of that "me time" right before you moisturize.

Maybe you'll want to incorporate the exotic aroma and warm light of JUARA's Mini Hope Candle. The Mini Hope Candle's soy and vegetable formula is designed to burn longer and cleaner than your average candle, and it provides a preview of the tropical fragrance you'll find in many JUARA moisturizers.

When it's time to towel off and moisturize, the hope is that you'll be in a place of receptivity and gratitude, so you can really enjoy the feeling that a lotion or cream can bring. 

Now let's turn to what's inside those moisturizing lotions that make them work so well.

Types of moisturizers that make body creams & body lotions work

Our skin requires more than water to stay hydrated. We need a variety of ingredients to draw in moisture and seal it in.

There are three main types of moisturizers. Most ingredients in body butters, creams, and lotions will land in one of the following categories: humectants, emollients, and occlusives.

Humectants attract moisture to the uppermost layer of our skin (the epidermis), increasing the moisture level in the stratum corneum (the outermost crust of the epidermis). This causes the skin to be less flaky.

And because humectants break down proteins that hold cells together, this speeds along the natural skin renewal cycle, in which dead cells die and slough off so that newer, younger cells replace them.

That means humectants not only help with moisture levels, but also aid in bringing fresh cells to the surface, which makes the skin look more supple. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and Aloe vera are just a few of the humectants you might find in a lotion, cream, or body butter.

Emollients are moisturizing agents that keep you soft and smooth by filling spaces in between skin cells with lipids (special fatty substances). This is an essential aspect of skincare. Emollients include cocoa butter, and fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic acid.

Emollients that contain more oil can also act as occlusive agents.

Occlusives provide a protective oily coat on the skin, locking in moisture and keeping skin hydrated longer. Common occlusives include petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and lanolin.

Body lotion has higher water content less oil than body butter body cream but all help moisture levels

Moist moisturizing products on the market include ingredients from at least two of these categories. Some will contain additional elements to address particular skin ailments or issues, or to enhance the scent.

Bonus: What Is The Best Body Soap?

What to do about dry skin?

During the cold and dry winter months, our skin often suffers. While the crisp air will sometimes get you in the mood for ice skating or fired up for snowball fights, it can really take a toll on your body.

You may notice more rough patches, cracked skin, and itchiness. All of this excessive dryness pretty much comes down to low humidity.

Whether you're braving the winter wonderland outside or cozying up inside by the fireplace, there's less moisture in the air than most other times of the year. The water content of the epidermis generally reflects the level of humidity that surrounds it.

Still, there's hope, even for extremely dry skin. There are body moisturizers with thicker consistencies that replenish lost moisture and provide a protective barrier for your skin. They might contain ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, or other deeply hydrating ingredients.

If you're dealing with severely dry skin or related conditions, you may want to consult a dermatologist. There are certain formulas that address issues like eczema, or ingredients that can help handle dry, yet acne-prone skin. 

A board certified dermatologist might try cream with organic shea butter for dry skin

Colder months can certainly wreak havoc on the body, but even if you're in a more humid climate with temperate weather, dry skin can still be an issue. Be sure to keep skin moisturized whenever you have a moment.

Staying on top of your skincare schedule will help you keep your skin healthy all year round.

A luxurious body creme for all skin types

One way to make sure you won't skip the important step of moisturizing is to make it enjoyable. If you love your body butter or body creme that smells amazing and does away with dry skin, then you're probably more likely to make it part of your radiant skincare ritual.

The Candlenut Body Creme by JUARA checks both of those boxes and goes far beyond. It's been a best seller because it has nourishing, natural ingredients, and is easily absorbed. This body cream works well with every skin type and is very gentle, so even if you have sensitive skin, you're safe.

Because of the essential fatty acids it contains, the skin easily soaks it in. Even though it's a cream, it has a less greasy residue than many lotions. It's a challenge to convey with words how creamy and dreamy this body cream feels as you apply it on the skin.

With a whipped texture, it melts on contact. Your skin will be soft and velvety to the touch, and not feel greasy at all. When it comes to hydrating skin without laying it on too thick, the Candlenut Body Creme is a clear winner.

The secret is in the carefully concocted formula that draws upon traditional Indonesian tonics and wellness recipes as well as ingredients backed by science. Many of the lessons learned millennia ago still hold true today.

This cream will bring out your body's natural glow and give your skin a radiant finish, all while feeling fabulous. 

The candlenut oil is ultra-nourishing with its high content of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The Illipe butter brings even more moisture to the skin with additional fatty acids and essential vitamins.

The avocado and carrot seed oils are packed with antioxidants that strengthen skin and protect it from free radical damage. That means it helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and improve the skin's overall complexion. Avocado oil also brings anti-inflammatory effects, which impact numerous skin conditions in a positive way.

This cream lifts the skin's moisture level as it adds a touch of luxury to your daily skincare routine. Simply warm the desired amount of Candlenut Body Creme in the palms of your hands, and then massage into freshly cleansed skin.

Not only will your skin feel immediately more soft and smooth, but you'll also be greeted by a beautiful bouquet of botanical aromas. Tropical greens, bergamot, blooming white jasmine, and fragrant fresh coconut are some of the natural notes that make this cream an all-time favorite.

Juara's best selling body butter works with slightly dry skin and won't cause acne breakouts

Lotions and butters and creams, oh my!

If you've made it this far, you now know some of the differences between body lotion and body cream.

However, just a quick refresher before you go...

Body cream or body butter is generally thicker, and has a higher oil to water ratio than body lotion. A lotion will generally have a thinner consistency that covers more of the body.

Creams are often used to address skin issues that require additional moisture. And since oil glands slow down the production of hydrating oils our skin needs, it's imperative to put back some of that essential stuff with a quality lotion, body butter, or cream.

Lastly, let's not forget that an important part of the story is to truly enjoy the time you take when helping your skin help itself.

Keep Reading: What Is The Best Natural Oil For Your Skin?


Juara Skincare incorporates ancient rituals with western skincare science creating the ultimate beauty experience. We aim to transport you from the mundane to the extraordinary with our exotic ingredients, intoxicating scents, and powerful, skin-improving formulas. All of our products are nutrient-rich, and botanically based. We are proud to be certified cruelty-free. Get the latest skin care tips and info on Juara products by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest