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What is the Difference Between Hand Cream and Body Lotion? (Plus Why it Matters!)

hand cream vs body lotion

Take this scenario for example: you wash your hands often and you notice they’re becoming dry and not as soft. You reach for your bottle of lotion and rub it in. Question: what type of lotion did you just use? Was it a hand cream or was it your run of the mill, full-size lotion from Nivea or Aveeno? Follow up question: do you know why you shouldn’t mix the two when moisturizing your hands? You need to read this article to understand the significance and the benefits you’re missing from not applying the right hand cream!

Why Creams and Lotions Are Not the Same Thing

Lotions and creams – are they different? Absolutely! While lotions and creams are both moisturizers and work to keep your skin feeling soft and smooth, they are slightly different, and one may be better than the other for certain skin types. (Those with skin conditions should be very aware of this fact!)

All moisturizing skin care products have the same goal -- to keep moisture, or water, in the outermost layer of your skin. Lotions and creams do this, certainly, but they do so at different levels. Both lotions and creams can be oil-based or water-based and knowing which one to use for your skin type and the purpose is important. If they're oil-based, that means that they're an emulsion, or mixture, of water into oil. If they're water-based, they're an emulsion of oil into water. Most lotions and creams are water-based, but water-in-oil emulsions are also on the market.

We can define lotions and creams just like the oil you put in your car: by their viscosity, or how thick the product is. Lotions are low viscosity, which means they're thinner. That's why they usually come in a bottle that you can squeeze or pump. Lotions are also lighter and a little less oily than creams are. For these reasons, people with normal skin probably only need to use lotion to keep their skin moisturized.

Creams are high viscosity, meaning they're a lot thicker than lotions. Creams usually come in jars, because they're so thick it would be difficult to squeeze them out of bottles or pumps. They typically work well on dry skin because of their extra protection. (Eczema and psoriasis sufferers should be using creams, not lotions, to soothe and relieve their severe dry skin problems.)

Experts suggest using a lotion or cream immediately after showering in order to lock in moisture from the shower in your skin and create a barrier that stops you from losing water quickly. Remember, your pores are opened from the steam and warm water of a shower, therefore moisturizing right after you step out means your skin can benefit from full hydration delivery from your lotion.

Lotions work well on areas of the body that are covered in hair, such as the scalp, or any area affected by mild dryness, such as rough patches on elbows or feet. Creams also work well on these areas, but only if they're affected more severely by dry skin. Your face should have its own specific face creams applied to it, not body creams or lotions as the benefits are different.

Wild Naturals Cream Products

Now that you know why lotion and creams differ, it’s time to learn about the right ingredients for each of them. Firstly, you want to avoid harmful ingredients that are, unfortunately, quite common in skin care. SLS, parabens, PEGs, mineral oil, petroleum, and fragrance are regularly used ingredients in many popular beauty brands. These can cause more damage than help to your skin.

What you want to focus on are the key ingredients, which should be towards the top of the ingredients list (this means they are the most potent ingredients in the product; the lower down they are, the less the amount of that ingredient is used). You want ingredients with incredible benefits, such as:

  • Anti-Aging
  • Rich in Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Minerals
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Ultra Moisturizing
  • Helps Even Skin Tone
  • Repairs Skin

To find all of these in a cream is tough, but not when you shop with Wild Naturals! You’ll find these benefits and more from the bountiful, natural ingredients utilized in every product. Discover the wonders of manuka honey, cehami extract, coconut oil and many others (minus all the harmful ingredients) with Wild Naturals Manuka Honey Cream. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, there’s a specially formatted cream (not to mention a full line, including shampoo and conditioner) to help!

Head over to the online store today to properly nourish your hands and body with the right cream!