Body Lotion vs. Body Butter: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to moisturizing your skin, there’s a million options out there for a wide range of hydrating and anti-aging benefits, including two seemingly synonymous moisturizers, body butter and body lotion. Here’s the surprising difference between these similar moisturizers and when to use the best moisturizer for your specific skin type.

What is Body Butter?

Body butter is a specific type of hydrating cream that’s richer than lotion. It’s formulated with compounds like shea butter or cocoa butter along with active ingredients like carrier oils and other specialized ingredients like antioxidants. Products like body butter are designed to be used on the skin below the neck, as the facial skin is more delicate and can become greasy if stronger oils and moisturizers are used on it.

Why Use Body Butter

The benefits of body butter are similar to those of body lotion, just for different skin types. It helps to hydrate dry skin and make skin throughout the body healthier-looking and softer. Hydration with moisturizers are essential to good skincare because the skin is constantly losing moisture to the environment and cleansers that are also essential to keep skin clean and healthy.

When To Use Body Butter

Because the formula is a little thicker than your typical body lotion, body butter can be used immediately after getting out of the shower, even while skin is still damp. A little goes a long way, and you may want to concentrate on particularly dry parts of skin like your feet, elbows, and knees. Some people only use body butter during the cold, dry months of winter depending on their skin type.

What Is Body Lotion?

Body lotion is a more average-thickness moisturizer that doesn’t usually contain natural butters. It’s often water-based as opposed to oil-based, and includes more mild hydrating compounds like squalane and carrier oils. Lotions can contain a host of other vital and beneficial ingredients like aloe, herbal supplements, and SPF protection depending on a person’s individual preferences.

Why Use Body Lotion

Similar to the reason to use body butter, you should use body lotion to hydrate and help your skin look great and feel soft. Lotions contain oils that are great carriers of vital nutrients and natural moisturization that’s essential for every skin type. Lotions tend to absorb faster than body butter, which can create a slick barrier on the skin until its fully absorbed.

When To Use Lotion

Body lotion is great for any time you notice you have dry skin. It’s ideally used by people with normal to oily skin types throughout the day whenever a lightweight boost of moisture is needed.

Which Is Best for Your Skin, Body Butter or Lotion?

The answer for which is better for you depends almost entirely on your skin type, although preference can play a role as well. People with naturally normal to oily skin should generally stick to lotion as their primary moisturizer, whereas people with dry skin or who live in dry climates may opt for body butter at least once per day.

The Best Products by Skin Type

Dry Skin

Dry and dehydrated skin types should find a balanced body butter to help lock in moisture at the start of the day and after cleansing the body. Extremely dry skin types may benefit from additional moisturizing with body butter throughout the day, but others may only need lotion.

Normal and Sensitive Skin

Normal skin types may need only to apply lotion after cleansing in the shower, although they can use lotion throughout the day in problem areas when needed, such as after washing their hands.

For Oily Skin

People with naturally oily skin likely only need a light moisturizer like our Kukui Nut After Bath moisturizer without being too greasy or clogging pores. They can also try our Coconut Hydrating Milk for even more light-weight moisture.

For Combination Skin

Having combination skin can make it hard to find the right balance of moisture throughout your body, although over time it’s possible to discern what parts of your body need more moisture than others. For the most part, people with combination skin can get away with a middle-range hydrating lotion while reapplying as needed.

Epicuren Discovery’s Professional Grade Moisturizers

Check out our full line of After Bath moisturizers with luxurious aromas and potent essential oil ingredients by browsing our catalog of Body Care products. We also offer lighter-weight oils that blend seamlessly with skin’s natural oils, so be sure to take our Skin Quiz to find out exactly which body moisturizer is right for you.

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