Written by Sarah Jones
Last Updated

Whether it’s to combat the drying effects of heating systems in the winter, or to protect after exposure to the sun in the summer, our skin always needs a bit of extra care to keep it looking fresh, glowing and at its best. 

One of the best ways to help keep your skin fully hydrated and looking soft is to moisturize regularly, but with so many moisturizing products available it can be hard to know which one is best for your skin. 

Let’s take a look at the key differences between two of the most popular types of moisturizers – body butter vs body lotion:

Body butter vs body lotion
What is body butter?

Body butter is a very rich, fatty and creamy product which is good for when your skin is really dry and needs more intense hydration. Body butters often contain very natural ingredients and can help with some problem skin issues. Here are some of the common body butter contents: 

Cocoa butterthis natural product provides intense nourishing and hydrating fatty acids which help to keep skin looking soft and hydrated. 

Avocado – providing a natural sunscreen, this ingredient contains Vitamin E to help keep the skin nourished and protected. 

Shea butter – another fatty acid this ingredient is renowned for its vitamin content as well as its unique properties for supporting healing. 

Argan oil – another ingredient often used in body butters thanks to its ability to moisturize really dry patches of skin. 

Vitamin E – this is a vital vitamin for skin care and is often found in lotions as well. 

What is body butter?
What is body lotion?

Body lotion is a very different product, made up mostly of water, with some oil, which makes it much less rich and suitable for most skins. Most general moisturizing products come in the form of a lotion. 

If your skin is greasy then body butter is likely to be too rich and not sit well with your complexion, so a lotion would work better for you.  Body lotions don’t provide deep penetrating moisture so are perfect for normal to greasy skin, whereas butter would work better for very dry skin. 

What is body lotion?
Body butter vs body lotion

Here are the very quick ways to tell if you should be using body butter or a body lotion for your particular skin type: 

Body butter:

  • For penetrative, intense moisturizing
  • Perfect for very dry skin, or rough patches
  • Suitable for use on the whole body
  • Thick creamy consistency due to oily ingredients
  • Does not contain much water 

Body lotion:

  • Lighter moisturizing experience
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Suitable for use on the whole body
  • Very light, almost liquid consistency due to water content
  • Contains high levels of water
Which one is best of my skin?

Your skin can be affected by many different factors including the environment, the weather, your diet, your skincare routine, how much water you drink and products which you use on a regular basis. 

Being indoors in a work environment all day can dry out your skin, while being outside can leave it weather beaten and rough. If you have very dry or very rough skin, you will need to use body butter. 

Body butter provides intense, deep moisturizing, and it can create a barrier on your skin to protect it from further damage, keeping it hydrated for longer. This very rich cream will help with problem dry skin. 

If you have normal skin, then a lotion will work perfectly, providing that instant moisture injection that our skin often requires. It can be used across the whole body and doesn’t create any kind of greasy barrier, but is absorbed immediately. 

Body lotion is perfect to apply after a bath or shower, locking in that moisture and keeping your skin feeling soft and looking a million dollars. It’s easier to use body lotion on a daily basis as it’s not so heavy. 

It may be that you have normal skin but with some rough dry patches which need extra support, like your knees or elbows, in which case you can combine the two, using a lotion for all over moisture, with a butter for the specific problem areas you need to tackle. 


Body butter and body lotion have very different roles to play when it comes to caring for our skin, with one providing intense oily coverage for dry skin, and the other providing lightweight water-based coverage for normal skin. You can always combine them to treat problem areas. 

Whichever product you opt for, always check the ingredients and make sure your chosen moisturize is from parabens, artificial fragrances and any other nasty ingredients that you don’t want anywhere near your skin. Keep your skin products natural and your skin will thank you for that extra injection of skin-friendly, all-natural moisture by looking glowing, radiant and healthy all day long. 

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