Body Butter vs Body Lotion: What's the Difference?

There are a million and one products out there that promise to work wonders on the skin, and body butter and body lotion are what most people turn to when theirs needs a little extra hydration. But with so much choice on the shelves, choosing the right product for your skin can be a daunting and overwhelming experience, especially when you don’t know the difference between body butter and body lotion.

Though the two moisturizers share many similarities, there are a handful of key differences that people should be aware of before heading to the nearest beauty counter. These differences mostly come down to the ingredients and the consistency, which work together to treat different skin types and concerns. When it comes to skincare, knowledge is power, so read on to discover more about the differences between body butter and body lotion!


What is Body Butter?

As any skincare junkie knows, keeping your skin moisturized year-round is one of the best ways to keep it looking and feeling smooth, healthy and beautiful – and in our opinion, body butter is among the most effective ways to do it. Body butter usually has a lower water content than body lotion, which gives it a thicker and creamier consistency. Where body lotion quickly absorbs into the skin, body butter sits on top of it and absorbs much slower. This works to promote and maintain a healthy skin barrier, which locks in moisture and prevents the skin from drying out.

Body butters generally contain high amounts of essential oils, such as coconut oil, almond oil, neroli oil, argan oil and vitamin e oil. These oils are then mixed with ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter to create enriching formulas that provide deep and long-lasting hydration. Body butters are ideal for people who have very dry skin or for use in winter months, when our skin loses more than 25% of its ability to hold moisture and becomes chapped and flaky. Body butter is also recommended to moisturize the driest parts of the body, including the elbows, the knees and the feet.

The bottom line: If you’re looking for intense and long-lasting hydration for dry and flaky skin, body butter is your best bet!


What is Body Lotion?

Body lotion – like body butter – can be used all over the body to repair and prevent dry skin. The main difference, however, is that body lotion has a higher water content and a lighter consistency that quickly absorbs into the skin. This makes it appropriate for everyday use and for people with minor skin problems, as well as anyone wanting to give their skin a quick pick-me-up on the go. As body lotion spreads and absorbs more easily, it’s particularly useful for the hands or arms. In fact, many body lotions have been specially formulated for the hands to prevent dryness and chapping – we know we never leave home without ours!

Body lotions are essentially a lightweight combination of oil and water, with common ingredients including chamomile oil, lavender oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil (all of which are known to nourish and restore the skin). Whereas body lotions used to be sticky and greasy, most products today can be slathered on and absorbed without leaving any residue or stickiness. The vast majority of lotions are also non-comedogenic, which means they don’t clog pores – a must for acne sufferers. To be sure, always check the label before buying.

The bottom line: If you deal with occasional dryness or simply want to show your skin some more love, we recommend buying a good body lotion.


What’s Best for My Skin?

Simply put, this all depends on your skin’s needs. Though body butter and body lotion will both provide significant benefit to people with dry and rough skin, there are some key differences between the formulas that will ultimately decide which product is best for you. To help you choose, here’s a reminder of the main differences between body butter and body lotion:

Body Butter:

✔️ Low water content – thicker consistency similar to butter
✔️ Combination of butter and essential oils for intense, long-lasting moisturization

✔️ Ideal for extremely dry skin or for use in winter months

✔️ Can be used all over the body, but especially on the elbows, knees and feet


Body Lotion:

✔️ High water content – thinner consistency similar to sun cream

✔️ Combination of water and essential oils for skin hydration on the go

✔️ Ideal for people with normal skin and for everyday use

✔️ Can be used all over the body, but especially on the hands, arms and legs

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

shop the lifestyle