Body Cream vs. Lotion

Dr. Evan Goldstein

fundamentals November 05, 2021

Your skin deserves the best, from your head to your toes. No part of your body should feel dry and irritated or have an ashiness that steals your confidence. Maintain your skin’s moisture by adding a body cream or lotion to your everyday — or at least regular — grooming routine. When deciding whether a cream or lotion is better suited for your needs, the difference between body cream and body lotion lies primarily in the amount of hydration each is able to offer. Both will provide benefits, but one may be better suited for your needs. Let’s unpack how each works.

 What Is Body Cream?

A body cream is a moisturizer formulated with ingredients better suited toward really dry skin. Body creams are made with more oil content and less water, so they’re heavier and more concentrated. Expect more viscosity, or thickness. With a cream, you’re likely to have all-day moisture because the ingredients are better able to penetrate skin and seal in hydration. Opt for a soothing body cream if your skin really needs some TLC, or if you live in a colder climate that dries out your skin quickly.

What Is Body Lotion?

A body lotion is also a moisturizer, but it does differ from creams. Lotions are formulated with more water and less oil, making them lighter. A lightweight lotion will make a difference in the top layer of skin right away, but it won’t penetrate and offer the amount of lasting hydration a cream will. Lotion is better for quick skin pick-me-ups or warmer climates when you don’t want to use a heavy cream. And since it soaks in quicker, it’s better when you need to get dressed right away or have to handle tasks before a product dries.

For Body Parts, Which Is Better?

Most body moisturizers can be used on the entirety of the body, though some formulas are better to spot-treat certain areas. For instance, shaved areas are likely to respond better to a formula designed for sensitive skin. Everyone’s skin is different and might need a different kind of performance from a moisturizer. Consider your skin sensitivity and hydration needs before purchasing a moisturizer.

Best Moisturizer for Hands

Our hands get a lot of wear and tear from doing tasks, frequent handwashing, and being exposed to the elements. Applying a body cream is beneficial for tough, cracked hands, though it’s better to use a cream at night before bed to give the moisturizer time to fully soak in. If your hands need some help during the day, hold them over with a bit of lotion.

Best Moisturizer for Your Face

Lotions tend to work better for the face. The key with any moisturizer you apply to your facial area is that it should be non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. Aim for a lighter, more oil-free formula for full-face coverage, or spot-treat areas that are prone to more dryness, like around the nose and mouth, with a light layer of a cream product. 

Best Moisturizer for Your More Intimate Areas

For intimate areas, you want the gold standard. Any formula you use should be designed for sensitive skin, and all ingredients should be as clean and natural as possible, and quick drying, to help minimize excess moisture. Because intimate areas typically don’t see the light of day, you want a moisturizer that can soothe and replenish without leaving the skin feeling oily, greasy, or excessively moisturized.

Body Cream vs. Lotion for Skin Conditions

A body cream vs. lotion may be preferable if you have certain skin conditions, like the ones below.

Best Moisturizer for Your Eczema

Finding the right moisturizer can be life-changing for someone with eczema. Lotions are generally not thick enough to provide the hydration eczema sufferers need. You want a product with a higher oil content, such as a cream or even an ointment that can deeply penetrate the skin for better and longer-lasting relief.

Best Moisturizer for Your Psoriasis

The best moisturizer for psoriasis depends on where it’s located on the body. If it’s below the shoulders, a higher oil content is best, like with eczema. If it’s on the scalp, however, go with a lotion (unless your scalp is smoothly bald). Applying a cream to hair is a recipe for a greasy mess you’ll be frustrated with for days.

Best Moisturizer for Your Acne

Don’t risk clogging pores further if you have acne. Apply a lighter formula, like a lotion in dry areas. Go for lotions that include soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea, aloe vera, comfrey, chamomile, or vitamin E.

Body Cream vs. Lotion for Different Skin Types

Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin

If your skin is already dry, go with a body cream. The thick formula, especially if rubbed in before bed, can transform your skin in just one or two uses by treating skin to a big dose of luxurious hydration. Look for products with shea butter, cocoa butter, or rich oils.

Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin

The lower the oil content, the better when it comes to oily skin. Don’t apply oil on top of oil. A lighter lotion is all someone with oily skin needs. Look for phrases like “non-greasy” on the label to ensure the lotion is made to be quick-drying, light, and not leave a residue. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time getting it to fully soak in. 

Best Moisturizer for Combination Skin

Those with combination skin can really pick whichever product they need at the moment. In cooler months when skin tends to chap, a cream is helpful. Unless your skin is experiencing a lot of dryness or irritation, a lotion is all someone with combination skin needs for day-to-day use.


Future Method wants to make sure you take the very best care of your skin so you never lose comfort or confidence. Our Butt + Body Soothing Cream is made to provide quick relief for the body, including intimate areas. Made with shea butter, jojoba and avocado oil, botanical extracts like black willow tree, and pampering peptides like Scotch Marigold extract, this body cream is meant to soothe and calm sensitive, even shaved skin. Use it on any skin type, as well as drying conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Really, it’s perfect for just about everyone.


About the author

Dr. Evan Goldstein is the Co-Founder of Future Method and the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical, the leading private practice in health and wellness for gay men. He received his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Goldstein is the go-to butt and bottoming expert, having been published in Huffington Post, Men’s Health, Healthline, and more. Learn about Dr. Goldstein by visiting his practice,


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