Body butters, lotions, body oils - ever wondered what the difference between those skincare products is? Find out what each of them is good for, which one works best for you and how you can make your own.
What is body butter
Body Butter is a thick cream that contains no or very little water. It's usually made with few natural ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter. Butters are oftentimes blended with carrier oils, like coconut oil to deliver extra ingredients, like essential oils, vitamin e oil and honey.
What is body butter good for
- soften rough patches
- protect skin during the winter months
- moisturize dry and flaky skin
- soothes and protects sensitive skin
- strengthens skin barrier
- great on very dry areas like elbows, knees, hands and feet
- good for dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis especially after an oatmeal bath
How to Use: Rich body butters are best applied before bed to give skin plenty of time to absorb. It's best to apply them on slightly damp skin or on top of a lightweight body lotion. This will help lock in moisture.
Ready to Make Homemade Body Butter? Try whipped body butter and non-greasy shea body butter.
What is body lotion
A body lotion has similar ingredients than a body butter except for the natural butter. The main difference is that body lotions have a much higher water content ~70%). Common ingredients that can be found in lotions are water, vegetable-based oils like jojoba oil or avocado oil, water, hydrosols, aloe vera, emulsifiers and preservatives. Since the essential ingredients in a lotion are water-based and oil-based - two things that don't mix - an emulsifier is needed to bind the two together.
What is body lotion good for
- provide deep hydration due to high water content
- deliver specialized ingredients (like vitamin c or hyaluronic acid) to deeper layers of the skin
- intense hydration helps reduce fine lines
- great option for daily use
- beneficial for oily skin and acne-prone skin
How to use: Lotions can be used anytime you feel like your skin needs some extra hydration. Ideally after a shower or bath when pores are open.
Ready to Make Homemade Lotion? Try easy natural lotion for beginners .
What is body oil
Body oils are made up of lightweight oils (like avocado or rosehip oil) and essential oils that are chosen for specific skin benefits. Surprisingly, they don't feel greasy on the skin and are fast absorbing. Similar to face serums they're designed to deliver essential nutrients and fatty acids to promote healthy skin.
What is body oil good for
- nourish skin
- promote supple skin
- can be used as lightweight moisturizer on dry skin
- can target different skin concerns, like acne-prone skin by adding tea tree oil, for example
- can improve wellbeing through aromatherapy
- can be used as massage oil to benefit skin and body
How to Use: as a lightweight daily moisturizer, apply after shower on damp skin or as massage oil
Ready to Make DIY Body Oil? Try argan plum body oil.
The differences at a glance
The main difference lies in consistency, water content and absorption rate. But what moisturizer is best for you also depends on your skin type, the time of year and your skincare goals.
The are also differences when and how to use each product. Let's take a look:
|Body Butter||Lotion||Body Oil|
|thick texture||thinner texture||liquid|
|little to no water||up to 80% water||no water|
|sits on top of skin||absorbs fast and deep||absorbs fast|
|great for dry skin||great for oily and dehydrated skin||all skin types|
|moisturize and protect||hydrate and moisturize||moisturize and nourish|
|dry, rough areas||whole body||whole body|
|wintertime||everyday use||everyday use or once in a while|
|nighttime after shower||anytime||anytime, best on damp skin|
|use by itself or on top of lotion||use by itself or on top of body oil||use by itself or before body butter or lotion|
|easy to DIY||more complex to DIY||very easy to DIY|
Both are suitable for oily skin. If you skin is dehydrated as well, which happens even if you have oily skin, use lotion. When choosing a body oil, look for one that's made for oily skin.
Use both for best results, first apply body oil then follow up with lotion. Alternatively a body butters works great too.
Use oil on damp skin when fully absorbed follow up with a lotion.
I would use the lotion first and then the body butter to lock in moisture.
I hope you found this post informative. Until next time. Happy Tinkering!
It's great that you mentioned how natural body butter is great on very dry areas like elbows, knees, hands, and feet. It seems my wife is quite worried about the dry skin areas on her body and she is trying to find a good way to moisturize. Using body butter seems like a pretty good solution, so I'll try to talk to her about it later.