Body Butter vs. Body Lotion


Rough, dry, ashy, scaly skin is so not in. Your skin screams, “I’m coated in a thick layer of dead skin cells.” Yuck! This is a result of dehydrated skin that has allowed allergens and microbes to penetrate it. Your skin cannot shed its excess cells.   I’m not a big fan of snakes, but I do admire their super-soft skin. They get that skin because they are efficient in shedding their skin. Let’s talk about what we humans can do to have super-soft skin. Is it using body butter or a body lotion? Let’s compare the details below.

What is Body Butter?

Body butter is rich and fluffy and oh-so buttery goodness whipped light and airy to provide your body loving nourishment and silky smooth skin. Body butters generally consist of naturally derived cocoa, mango, and shea butters. These butters are vitamin-, mineral-, and fatty acid-rich. Cocoa, mango, and shea butters have many benefits. They improve skin health; heal skin conditions; prevent signs of aging; reduce inflammation; and are natural antioxidants, which helps combat free radicals (atoms that are missing an electron and they can damage the skin by trying to grab an extra electron from atoms in the skin). The butters are paired with moisturizing oils like sweet almond, coconut, olive, and jojoba oil. Then the body butter is infused with an aromatic essential oil blend. Don’t think of the essential oil as just a pretty scent. It has numerous therapeutic benefits depending on the essential oils used.

What is Body Lotion?

Body lotion is a creamy emollient to soothe and soften dry skin. Lotions are a combination of oil-in-water, which is a lighter product. Other lotions are water-in-oil, which is a heavier product. The water in lotion allows your skin to drink it in for immediate moisture. You know first-hand, this moisture is short-lived. It doesn’t last all day. Lotion uses emollients, which are skin-softening ingredients. The most common ones are shea butter, cocoa butter, cetearyl alcohol, mineral oil, lanolin, and stearic acid. Some lotions have humectants to draw water from deep within the skin to the skin’s surface. The common humectants are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and lactic acids. Lotions also contain fragrances and dyes. Lotion is best suited when used consistently for preventative measures. Proactively moisturize your skin while it’s damp to seal in moisture. If you try to remedy dry skin with lotion, you’ll get minimal effects.

Side-by-Side Comparison

How do these two products stack up against each other? Body Butter is more moisturizing than lotion because it’s not made with water. Due to the lack of water in body butters, preservatives are not necessary. Lotion is usually a combination of oil and water. To combat the potential of bacteria buildup, lotions usually have preservatives. Unfortunately, most preservatives are not natural. Because body butters are predominantly oils and butters, it creates a protective barrier over skin retaining skin’s moisture for a long period of time. For those who don’t like oil-based moisturizers, oil-free lotions are available. Beware of synthetic fragrances and dyes in body butters and lotions. They can be irritating to your skin. Body lotions are lighter in formula than body butters. Butters can be more beneficial for people with chronic dry skin.

And the Winner Is …

It depends on your personal preference. That’s not what you were expecting me to say, right? The main thing is to use a body butter or body lotion that’s suited for your skin type and use it consistently. Most importantly, choose products with nontoxic ingredients. As a savvy consumer, always check the ingredients list. And make no assumptions that if one product in a company’s lineup is good, they’re all good. You must take into consideration what additional ingredients they add beyond the base ingredients. For example, the unscented version of a body butter or body lotion may have wonderful ingredients. Then you look at the tropical paradise scent and it has a plethora of artificial fragrances and dyes. Yikes, that’s not appealing. Don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with a scented body butter or body lotion. You want to make sure it’s scented with an aromatic blend of natural essential oils. Basically, look for a product that’s non-comedogenic (it won’t clog your pores), non-irritating to your skin, 100% pure and natural, preferably organic, and cruelty-free. And always, always steer clear of mineral oils, polyethylene glycol (PEG, which is a petroleum), parabens (preservatives), phthalates (preserves the longevity of fragrances/parfums), and silicones (used to eliminate greasiness).

Now go forth and get your super-soft skin on!