Body Butter Vs Body Lotion: Which Is Best For You?

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body cream vs body lotion

Which Is Better Body Lotion or Body Butter?

While you may take great care of your facial skin, it’s common for many people to neglect the skin on their body. Making sure you skin stays moisturized is a huge part in ensuring your skin stays healthy. After all, it is your body’s largest organ and it doesn’t just stop at your face. Body moisturizers can play a big part in how healthy and happy your skin is. You may think body lotions, creams, butters and moisturizers are all the same thing, but there’s actually some major differences. In those post we’re going to talk about body butter vs body lotion so you can determine which moisturizer is best for your skin type and needs.

What Is Body Butter?

Think of body butter like the icing on a cake – it’s thick, rich and decadent. Body butters are the thickest of all body moisturizers, which means they’re incredibly nourishing. They usually contain mostly plant based products like oils and, of course, butters.

Their high concentration of oils and other moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter, enables them to provide deep long lasting hydration. They’re thicker than body lotions and create a protective barrier when applied to the skin.

Common Ingredients

  • Butters: butters are fats that are extracted from things like nuts, fruits and plants. Some common butters used in body care products include shea butter, cocoa butter, mango seed butter and Kokum butter. Each butter will have its own unique benefits like antibacterial properties or rich in vitamins and minerals. The butters themselves are usually incredibly thick and difficult to spread, so that’s why body butters typically have additives like oils to thin them out a bit and make them more useable
  • Oils: oils most commonly used in body and skincare are taken from plants. Some common oils include argan oil, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil and rosehip oil. Again, each oil has its own benefit for the skin – from soothing properties all the way to brightening
  • Humectants: some body butters will also contain humectants like glycerin or hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. Humectants attract water into the skin and hold onto it which keeps skin hydrated and plump
  • Fragrance: most body care products will contain fragrance of some sort, whether that’s more natural fragrance like essential oils or synthetic fragrances. While I typically don’t recommend fragrance in skincare for most people, it’s okay for body care as the skin on our body is tougher. There are also plenty of fragrance-free body butters as well

Benefits Of Body Butter

While all body moisturizers will have the same benefit, since body butters are so thick and rich, they have lots of moisturizing and nourishing power. Here are some benefits of body butters:

  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Smooth skin texture
  • Forms a protective barrier 
  • Provides skin with vitamins and minerals
  • Helps prevent stretch marks
  • Soothes irritations and other skin rashes (eczema, psoriasis, etc)
  • Strengthens skin’s moisture barrier

Who Should Use Body Butter

While anyone can benefit from body butter, those with dry or extremely dry skin will benefit the most from the nourishment of butters. Body butters are great for drier areas like the elbows, knees and feet as they can help soften and smooth the skin.

Body butters tend to have a pretty greasy texture, so they’re ideal for those with very dry skin. However, anyone can use body butter. Most people prefer to use them at night, that way they soak into the skin overnight and you’ll wake up with smoother, softer skin. 

What Is Body Lotion

body butter vs body lotion vs body yogurt

Body lotions are moisturizers that often have a thinner consistency than body butter. Body lotions contain more water in them which makes the product lighter and easier to apply, but doesn’t offer as much nourishing moisture as an equivalent-sized amount of body butter would. Body lotions can come in different textures, like creams or gels.

Common Ingredients

Since body lotions are lighter and thinner, they tend to have more skin-loving ingredients that can nourish skin without being heavy. Here are some common ingredients found in body lotions:

  • Ceramides: ceramides are a type of lipid that helps keep the skin hydrated. The lack of ceramides can lead to dry skin – even if you’re using moisturizers. Ceramides are also essential for a healthy skin barrier and skin health.
  • Humectants: humectants are key to creating a lightweight body moisturizer. Humectants can attract water into the skin and hold it there. Some common humectants in body lotions include glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
  • Fatty acids: fatty acids are an essential nutrients for the skin. They are responsible for providing your skin with moisture, hydration, and anti-aging benefits. Some of the most important fatty acids when it comes to skincare are omega 3, 6, and 9. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help improve skin elasticity in addition to reducing inflammation.
  • Oils: body lotions also usually contain some type of oil, but smaller amounts to keep the texture lightweight. The oils help to lock in hydration in the skin while providing other benefits like vitamins, minerals or antioxidant properties. Some lightweight oils include squalane, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil and grapeseed oil.

Benefits Of Body Lotion

Body lotions have the same benefits of body butter. Body lotions are lighter and thinner than body butter which makes them more appropriate for those with more oily skin or those who want to moisturize during the day.

Body lotions can come in different textures like creams or gels and usually contain a mix of water and inert ingredients, such as oils, to create a lightweight moisturizer. Body lotions often have lighter fragrance which is better for use on the skin.

The most important ingredients in body lotions are humectants, which attract water into skin cells. Inert ingredients will also be present to keep the texture lightweight and include oils, which help to lock in hydration, ceramides, fatty acids that help with moisture and anti-aging benefits, and additives that provide vitamins.

Who Should Use Body Lotion

Anyone can benefit from using body lotion daily, but those with more oily skin may like the lightweight texture of body lotions more than body butters. Lotions are also great to use during the day to keep skin moisturized.

A good body lotion will sink into the skin quickly without leaving behind a greasy or sticky feel.

What’s The Difference Between Body Butter and Body Lotion?

The main difference between body butter and lotion is the texture. Body lotions are lightweight and best for those with more oily skin or those who are looking for a daytime body moisturizer. Body lotions are great for hydrating skin all year round, but during the winter months, your skin may benefit from a thicker body butter.

Body butters are thicker than body lotions and intended to deeply moisturize the skin with nourishing ingredients. Body butters usually contain a higher concentration of butters and oils to lock in moisture and hydrate intensely.

Similarities & Differences

Body Butter

  • Contain more oils, waxes & butters
  • Thicker and richer
  • Heavier and can feel a little greasy
  • Best for nighttime use
  • Best for dry to extremely dry skin

Body Lotion

  • Contain more lightweight ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin and less butters and oils
  • Lightweight and thinner consistency
  • Best for daytime use
  • Best for oily to normal skin

Should I Use Body Butter And Body Lotion?

If you can’t decide between body butter vs body lotion, the good news is you don’t have to! You can definitely use both body butter and body lotion! Many people like to use body lotion during the day since it’s lightweight and non-greasy and then use body butter at night so it can soak in while you sleep.

Can Body Butter Replace Lotion?

Yes, body butter can replace lotion! Although you can use both body butter and lotion, you don’t have to. If you prefer body butter, then you can absolutely just use body butter 1-2x a day. It’s really the better choice for those with extremely dry skin or to use to help soften rough patches like elbows and knees.

Can You Use Body Butter And Body Lotion At The Same Time?

Absolutely! If you’re using both butter and lotion at the same time, always use the lotion first and then follow up with the body butter. Although you certainly don’t have to use both at the same time, it can be beneficial for those with severely dry skin. The lotion will have more hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin which keep the skin hydrated. By adding body butter on top of that, you will lock in all those hydrating ingredients to help keep your skin from getting dehydrated or dry.

Should I Use Body Butter Or Body Lotion?

While both are great products, there’s likely a best choice for you and your skin. So let’s take a look at who should use body butter vs body lotion.

  • Skin type: those with normal to oily skin will likely prefer a lightweight body lotion as opposed to a heavier body butter or body cream. Since body butters are thicker and heavier, those with dry or extremely dry skin types will prefer a body butter
  • Season: It’s common for the skin to become drier during the winter months, so body butters and body creams will help to restore moisture and soften dry skin during the dry months. On the other hand, no one wants a thick, heavy and greasy body cream when it’s hot and humid outside. You can totally switch up your products depending on the season.
  • Preference: One of the deciding factors is how you want your skin to feel. Those that hate the heaviness of creams will prefer a lightweight lotion that sinks in and doesn’t leave a film on the skin. But those with dry skin may prefer to have that silky feel from a body butter.

When To Use Body Butter And Body Lotion

You can use body butter or body lotion at any time, but they are especially beneficial to use right after a shower or bath, that way you’ll lock in all that moisture! You can use both on damp, dry or even wet skin right after showering.

I do find that using them on damp or wet skin keeps my skin softer and smoother and everything sinks in much better and feels less greasy.

In general, body lotions are best to use during the day and body butters are best for nighttime. Because butters can feel heavier and greasier, many people do not like to use them during the day.

Best Body Butters

Now that you know what the differences are between body butter vs body lotion, let’s take a look at some of the best body moisturizers.

Clinique Deep Comfort™ Body Butter

This rich and silky body butter is one of Clinique’s best selling products. It’s a cult-favorite body moisturizer that nourishes skin without feeling greasy.

It has glycerin to help draw moisture into the skin to keep skin hydrated, while shea butter nourishes, moisturizes and prevents water loss.

This body butter is fragrance-free and sinks into the skin quickly. It leaves skin feeling softer and smoother without leaving a heavy layer of product on the skin.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

This cult-favorite body cream will be the most delicious thing you have ever smelled. Not only does it smell incredible, but it also moisturizes, firms and nourishes skin with tons of antioxidants and vitamins.

Cupuaçu Butter, coconut oil and Açaí Oil lock in moisture while providing skin with much needed nutrients like fatty acids and antioxidants.

Guaraná is used as a source of caffeine to help smooth and tighten the skin.

This body butter Is cruelty-free, vegan, gluten, soay and paraben free.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Butter

This drugstore body butter is a top-rated moisturizer that smells incredible and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.

It features shea butter and cocoa butter to nourish the skin with moisture and keep hydration in. Plus a blend of sweet almond oil, coconut oil and pistachio oil provide more moisturization and essential nutrients to the skin.

This body butter has a light, sweet, delicious scent of vanilla and pistachio. It leaves skin feeling softer, smoother and healthier.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

This luxurious body butter is packed with butters, oils, nutrients and plant extracts to deeply nourish the skin. Its whipped texture makes this moisturizer feel light and glide onto the skin.

It features glycerin and aloe to draw moisture into the skin and shea butter to lock it in and keep skin moisturized. Plus argan oil, sunflower seed oil, squalane and and avocado oil to provide the skin with nutrients and even more nourishment.

This body butter comes in unfragranced and a few other scents like vanilla bean and citrus. The vanilla bean is my personal favorite.

Best Body Lotions

If you’re looking for something more lightweight but still nourishing, try these best body lotions.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion with Cocoa Butter

This cult-favorite body lotion has been a favorite among beauty lovers for years and years. It’s pricey, luxurious and completely worth the price.

With a blend of cocoa butter and shea butter, this body lotion is nourishing and moisturizing without being heavy or greasy. Squalane is also added to keep the skin barrier strong and soften the skin quickly.

A few different oils like sunflower and sweet almond oil nourish the skin and keep hydration locked in.

It’s a heavier body lotion that’s perfect to use at night or to give your skin a nice glow.

Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream

This lightweight body lotion is perfect for those with oily skin or those wanting a lotion to use during the day.

It has glycerin and hyaluronic acid to draw moisture deep into the skin to smooth and soften. Dimethicone and paraffin wax keep that hydration locked in without leaving a greasy film on the skin.

This body lotion comes in an unscented or scented version and is an affordable drugstore body lotion option.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This drugstore body lotion is one of the best lotions on the market for all skin types. It’s lightweight but keeps skin hydrated and the skin barrier healthy and strong.

Glycerin and hyaluronic acid draw water into the skin while ceramides help to lock it in and strengthen the skin barrier.

It’s fragrance-free and the formula glides onto the skin easily and sinks in quickly. It’s perfect to use during the day or at night.

Related Post: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion Vs Cream: What’s The Difference?

La Roche Posay Lipikar Body Lotion For Normal To Dry Skin

This body lotion is packed with nutrients for the skin that will help to keep skin hydrated and healthy.

Formulated with La Roche Posay’s Thermal Spring Water, which acts as a source of vitamins and minerals that are essential for skin health.

Glycerin hydrates the skin while shea butter keeps it locked in for smoother and softer skin. Niacinamide helps to brighten and strengthen the skin barrier.

Body Butter Vs Body Lotion: Wrap Up

With so many types of body moisturizers – from body yogurts to body oils, how do you know which one to pick? Picking a body butter vs body lotion comes down to personal preference.

Body lotions are best for those with more oily skin or who want a lighter moisturizer to use during the day. Body butters, on the other hand, provide more nourishment and hydration and tend to be heavier and a little greasy, depending on the formula. Both body lotion and body butter have their benefits which is why it’s important to find what works best for your needs!

When it comes to body butter vs body lotion, it all comes down to your skin and personal preference. I prefer the lightweight body lotions and can’t stand to use heavy creams that sit on top of my skin.

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