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

Body butter vs lotion on this picture.

You’re standing in the shop’s aisle, and you look at the countless bottles of skin care products. They all have different names with exotic scents. It’s easy to get lost in this overwhelming display. But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, there is a much bigger difference between body butter vs. body lotion than branding.

This guide can help you understand the difference between these two products. After reading this, you’ll quickly and easily identify them. Plus, you’ll know how to make the best choice between body butter and lotion for your skin.

The Similarities Between Body Butter and Lotion

Before we dive into the differences between body butter vs. lotion, it’s important to know that the purpose of both of them is essentially the same. They moisturize your skin.

Dry skin happens for a number of reasons. Changes in the weather, using harsh soaps, and wearing synthetic fabrics are common culprits behind dry skin. There are also genetic factors to take into consideration.

But with proper use of body butter or body lotion, you can moisturize your skin and restore its healthy glow. Which one of the two you choose depends on their differences.

The Difference in Ingredients Between Body Butter and Lotion

One of the biggest differences between body butter vs. lotion comes from the ingredients.

As the name suggests, body butter contains a kind of butter. Butter is a solid substance, and in body butter, it’s usually shea butter, mango butter or coconut butter. Body butter also contains a liquid oil ingredient. Two of the most common examples of this are coconut oil and jojoba oil

However, there are other moisturizing ingredients that often make it into body butter products. Raspberry butter, aloe, seaweed extract, and almond oil are common ingredients.

Lotion on the other hand contains water with different types of oil. This makes it a lot more suitable for most skin types. The oil-based ingredients in both body butter and lotion form a protective layer that minimizes the loss of water from your skin.

One thing that both body butter and lotion often have is fragrances. Fragrances make products and your skin smell nice. But, they can also easily irritate your skin. 

If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid fragranced body butter or lotion to prevent unnecessary irritation.

Texture difference between body butter and lotion

Body Butter vs. Lotion: Texture

An easy way to tell the difference between body butter and lotion is to look at their consistency. Body butter is a thick and heavy cream. It also has an oilier finish. Meanwhile, lotion is a lot lighter. Thanks to having water among the ingredients, it tends to blend easily over your skin. Plus, it’s also easier for your skin to absorb.

However, lotions don’t provide penetrative moisture. This means that it may not be effective for very dry skin. Still, that doesn’t mean that you should choose body butter over lotion. The best one for your needs depends on the situation.

When to Use Which?

Hopefully now, if you see body butter and body lotion next to each other, you’ll know the difference. However, that knowledge alone won’t help you decide which one you need for your skin. For that, you need to know which one is best depending on the circumstance.

If your skin is very dry, we recommend that you use body butter to moisturize it. The thickness of the cream can effectively treat even the most uncomfortable patches of dry skin. The oily residue you feel is a sign of its potent qualities.

However, you shouldn’t use body butter on your face. The skin on your face is a lot more sensitive than the rest of your body. 

Body butter also has a tendency to clog pores (that’s not surprising when you consider its oiliness). And if you’re prone to acne or body acne, you should be careful and avoid body butter.

While lotion isn’t as effective in terms of moisturizing as body butter, it’s more suited for most skin types. If your skin isn’t badly dry or chapped, you should use a lotion to moisturize instead. Plus, its quick absorption and light texture make it more ideal for sensitive skin. 

You should use lotion if you want a lightweight moisturizer. Unlike body butter, you can use lotion on your face. Also, it’s recommended that you use lotion daily. This will help keep your skin hydrated.

How to Use Body Butter or Lotion for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, you need to moisturize it. Both body butter and lotion are great options for that. While the rawness of body butter makes it harder to spread physically, the watery light lotion can definitely cover more area easily. Here are a couple of useful tips to restore your skin barrier if your skin is dry.

Apply to Clean Skin

To get the best results, you should apply your body butter or lotion on clean skin. Taking a shower before you apply them will help enhance your skin’s absorbing properties, and potentially help improve your results.

However, make sure you avoid hot or long showers. These can wash away oils that form a protective barrier on your skin. It’s also important to avoid harsh exfoliation when you have dry skin. Finally, never use abrasive ingredients or skin care products that contain nuts.

Lotion is easier to apply than body butter, but it doesn't moisturize as effectively.

Use Body Butter at Night

Your skin goes through a regeneration process when you sleep. If you truly want body butter or lotion to bring you the desired result, apply them at night before bed.

Speaking of sleep, the material of your pajamas matter if you have dry skin. 

Opt for cotton or linen clothes to sleep in. Lighter materials that are machine washable will minimize the dryness of your skin.

Get Personalized Body Butter or Lotion Recommendations

Both body butter and lotion are great to moisturize your skin. But, you have to judge the severity of your skin’s dryness to choose the right product. Your skin type and preference will also influence this decision. Otherwise, you risk unnecessary irritation.

At BIALife, we know how difficult choosing the right skin care products can be. That’s why we want to offer you personalized recommendations that suit your skin type and bring you the best results. 

Discover how your skin mentor (a board-certified dermatologist) can help you create the perfect skin care ritual today!

With love, Janelle & Shasa

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