What’s the Difference Between a Cream and a Lotion?

What’s the Difference Between a Cream and a Lotion?

07 October 2022


Lotion vs. Cream: What’s the Difference?

Lotions and creams are essential for skin hydration; their only difference is consistency. If you need clarification about the benefits of body cream vs. lotion, the cream is thicker, with more oil-based emollients and humectants to moisturize the skin. In contrast, a lotion glides on your skin with a lightweight texture that's usually water-based.



Body Cream Vs. Lotion: How to Choose Which is Right For You

Body creams and lotions sound the same, but that isn't always true, and differences include texture, consistency, and ingredients. When deciding between moisturizing cream vs. lotion, here's what you need to know:

- The use case: Are you considering cream vs. lotion for your face, body, hands, or feet? It's important to note that each formula is intended for different body parts, so your go-to body cream or lotion may not be suitable for your face and neck. Choosing oil-free and non-comedogenic face creams is crucial to avoid clogged pores. Using thicker body creams on your face can do more harm than good, particularly if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

- The time of the year: Are you looking for a thick moisturizer for the dry parts of your body during the winter, or do you need something lightweight for summertime? Body lotions have a more lightweight consistency, making them great for year-round use. Creams have a thicker texture and hydrating ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil. A thick cream may not be necessary when warmer weather rolls around, so stick with a lotion instead. 


- Skin type: Dry and dehydrated skin benefits from a luscious cream, while oily or combination skin often reacts better to lotions that are less likely to clog pores. If you have combination skin, a lotion may be a safer option to avoid irritating oily parts of your complexion. 


- Climate: The time of the year isn't the only thing that can impact your skin. Cold climates can dry out skin, causing chapping, flakiness, and redness, so a rich cream effectively protects and replenishes the skin's moisture barrier. However, a rich cream may feel too rich in hot and humid climates, whereas a lotion's light hydration may feel more comfortable. Of course, you can also switch between the two as temperatures change.


- Personal preference: You may love the feel of a soothing, buttery cream on your skin after a shower, or perhaps you favor a lotion that sinks into the skin for quick hydration. That's the great thing about Body Cream vs. Lotion — there's something for everyone.

- Skin conditions: If you struggle with eczema or psoriasis, keep your skin hydrated to tame inflammation and redness. Lotions are typically not thick enough to provide long-lasting, hydrating relief, so a thicker cream is a more effective solution. However, be mindful of the ingredients and always look for body creams containing humectants, vitamin E, aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid. 



The Benefits of Using a Body Lotion


Revitalize Your Skin
A body lotion offers quick skin revitalization. The rapid absorption helps your skin look and feel smoother while minimizing the appearance of common imperfections like cellulite or dry skin. 


Soft and Hydrated Skin
To seal in moisture for extra softness, apply lotion when your skin is still fresh from the shower or bath. You can also give extra attention to your hands and feet by massaging in some lotion before bed.


Lightweight Consistency
If you need something lightweight for all-day use, lotions may be your best pick, especially when spending all day in the sun.



The Benefits of a Body Cream

Treat Dry Patches
You may need a cream if your skin is extra-thirsty or you have rough patches on the elbows, knees, or other areas. You can use lotions on damp skin, though you may need a specialized hand or foot cream for very dry skin.


Thicker Consistency 
Body creams have a thicker consistency, making them ideal for all-over body use during the colder months or when your skin feels dehydrated. Body creams also allow you to target the drier parts of your body, including the elbows, knees, and heels.


Great for Winter Weather 
Running the heating all day when it's cold outside can suck the moisture out of your skin, leading to dry patches, redness, and texture inconsistencies. In this scenario, body creams are the go-to solution for the cold winter months. 


Keep Your Hands Hydrated 
If you struggle to moisturize your hands throughout the day, you may benefit from a more targeted skincare approach with hand cream. The Hand Treatment is our luxuriously rich, fast-absorbing formula designed to hydrate and nourish the skin on your hands while reducing the appearance of aging and scarring. It's the perfect hand cream for carrying on the go or to use after washing the dishes or spending a full day in the sun. 



Can You Use a Body Cream or Lotion on Your Face?


The short answer is no. Facial skin is much thinner and more delicate than the rest of your body, making it more prone to sensitivities, redness, and discoloration. Many creams and lotions also include synthetic fragrances and harsher ingredients that can negatively impact the skin on your face. 

Invest in an expertly formulated face cream that suits your skin type to maintain the integrity of the skin on your face. This approach will help you target your unique skin concerns, protect your skin barrier, and maintain your skin's natural beauty.



What to Look for in a Face Cream

Nourishing Ingredients

The most effective face cream will intensely moisturize and nourish your complexion for a healthy-looking glow. It should have powerful, oil-based ingredients (like argan, jojoba, olive fruit, avocado, and sunflower seed oils) that supply antioxidants, fatty acids, and other elements that support a strong skin barrier. 


Improves Elasticity
Hydrating creams are effective at temporarily plumping the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines, and promoting a supple, firmer complexion. Meanwhile, specific face cream formulations can improve overall elasticity, which helps reduce signs of aging and maintain a youthful appearance.


Perfect for Everyday Use
A face cream should be gentle enough for daily use, and to experience the full benefits, use it consistently, day and night. Typically, they’re most effective at the end of your skincare routine when your skin is cleansed and dry. You can still use serums or face oils alongside a cream, but apply the serum first so it can deeply penetrate the skin. For an added boost of radiance, consider adding a drop or two of face oil to your cream or applying it separately after your cream.



Augustinus Bader Lotions vs. Creams

Body Cream vs. Lotion? You can have them both with our Bodycare collection. Here are some of our top recommendations:


The Body Cream


This multitasking moisturizer powerfully hydrates with ingredients like shea butter bisabolol, polysaccharide moisture complex, and verbena. You will see visible skin tone and texture improvement while stretch marks, pigmentation spots, and other issues appear reduced.

The Body Lotion


This potent lotion has many of the same effective ingredients as The Body Cream but with the lightweight feel of a lotion. Botanicals and nutrients such as vitamins B5 and E and aloe vera leaf juice also help draw and lock in moisture, leaving your skin delightfully soft.

The Hand Treatment


Signs of premature aging tend to show up on your hands first as brown spots and lines, especially if you don’t use sunscreen or cream regularly. The Hand Treatment improves the appearance of your hands, and its ingredients, such as honey, glycerin, and white peony extract, soften and soothe chapped, dry skin.



Explore Face Creams from Augustinus Bader 


You deserve a face cream formulated with nutrient, good-for-your-skin ingredients. At Augustinus Bader, we offer an extensive collection of face creams designed to target common skincare concerns and keep the delicate skin on your face hydrated. Looking for the perfect texture in a face cream? Our Face Care line has multiple options for you to choose from:


The Light Cream


Choose this cream if your skin is oily or you live in an urban or humid environment that leaves your skin congested. Australian lemon myrtle extract helps prevent excessive sebum production, and baobab leaf extract refreshes skin. The Light Cream is also less likely to clog your pores, thanks to rice bran oil, and its matte texture stands up to even the hottest days to minimize shine.

The Cream


This product has everything you want in a face cream. Vitamins A and C renew and brighten your complexion for a youthful-looking glow, and hydrolyzed rice protein, and aloe vera juice soften and plump the skin and minimize wrinkles. Consequently, your skin looks firmer, smoother, and more youthful because it’s well-hydrated and protected from environmental aggressors.

The Rich Cream


Dry or mature skin can benefit from this ultra-hydrating cream. Naturally derived oils (evening primrose, argan, and avocado oil) combine with amazing hydrators like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E for unparalleled moisturizing that enhances your complexion.


The Ultimate Smoothing Cream


Our advanced formulations use powerful botanicals like those in The Ultimate Smoothing Cream. Potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories (including totarol, black cumin oil, and evening primrose oil) protect the skin from free radical damage that triggers premature signs of aging.



Discover Skincare Essentials From Augustinus Bader

At Augustinus Bader, we have everything you need to help you understand the nuances of the lotions vs. creams debate. TFC8® technology powers our science-backed skincare essentials, supporting cellular renewal and guiding critical ingredients to your cells. Our expertly formulated products target common skincare concerns and keep your skin soft and supple. 


Discover our innovative, high-performance skincare and see the difference it makes in the look and feel of your skin.