If you're someone who likes to get the most out their skincare routine, you might be wondering whether a body oil or body lotion is the better option. Both products promise soft, smooth, hydrated skin, so what's the difference and which one should you use in your beauty routine?
In this article, we're going to explore the differences between body oil and body moisturizer, whether you need both, and which one works best for hydrating your skin.
Both body oil and lotion are designed to moisturize the skin. Usually, we apply lotion after taking a shower to seal in moisture and prevent skin from drying out and getting itchy. So, if they do exactly the same thing, how are they different?
Well, there are a few key differences. Oils, for instance, re-introduce moisture in the skin while lotions are part water-based and treat different skin concerns. For example, people who are eczema-prone would turn to an itch relief lotion while those with chronically dry, bumpy skin may opt for a smoothing lotion that improves skin texture.
Oils strengthen skin barrier function: they offer a reparative, moisturized effect while keeping sensitive skin calm and soothed.
Lotions hydrate dry skin: "Lotions are a mix of oil and water and typically work better for dry skin," says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, Rachel Nazarian. "Because they're partly water-based, they're often better at penetrating the skin, and can deliver ingredients that improve the ability of the skin to maintain moisture." Just make sure you look for creams formulated with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and other hydrating powerhouses.
Oils are highly absorbent: they sink into the skin and absorb quickly. Vegetable oils like almond oil, avocado oil, rosehip oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil mimic the natural lipids found in our skin, which re-regulates your skin's moisture barrier and balances oil production. In other words, they're perfect for oily and acne-prone skin.
Lotions make fake tans last longer: hydrated skin can increase your tan's lifespan.
Oils seal in moisture: they keep skin hydrated for longer.
Body oil isn't necessarily better than lotion. However, it may have benefits for certain skin types and concerns that lotions do not.
For starters, body oils may be more beneficial for acne-prone skin since they mimic the natural sebum in skin and prevent excess oil production which is responsible for clogging the pores and causing breakouts. Body oils also tend to be great when applied after lotions as they help seal in moisture for long-lasting hydration. Plus, they sink in quickly and instantly leave the skin feeling smooth and soft.
Body lotions, on the other hand, are best suited to dry skin types as they're primarily water-based and help diminish dryness. They're not so great for acne-prone skin as they're typically comedogenic.
You certainly don't need to pick one over the other. In fact, it might be worth including both of them in your body care routine since they both offer their own set of benefits. Or you can layer one on top of the other like you would your face creams and oils.
Because of their occlusive nature, serums tend to work better when your skin is wet. That's why the derms advise applying oil as soon as you step out of the shower or tub. This way, your skin will better absorb the oil, and you'll enjoy maximized benefits. Simply pat your skin dry with a clean towel, and then apply your favorite body oil. If you want something that absorbs really quickly, be sure to select a lightweight body oil or dry oil formula as these melt into the skin and dry quickly.
Body oils are great for when the warmer seasons arrive. That's because they generally feel much more lightweight compared to thick, heavy creams which can leave you feeling hot, heavy, and may even trigger breakouts.
Slather it over your collarbone, cleavage, or legs to give skin a hydrated and glowing appearance. Better yet, choose a shimmering body oil that adds extra sparkle to your limbs. Oils are a great tool for enhancing your overall luminosity and diminishing dullness. Apply it wherever you need a little added radiance.
Looking to shop body oils online? Or how about body lotions? Here are some of our faves for hydrating, nourishing, and brightening your skin.
Blueberry Kush Hemp Body Oil is a glow-enhancing body oil formulated with exfoliating AHAs + BHAs, plumping vegan collagen, and brightening blueberries to fight inflammation, boost collagen production, and boost your head-to-toe radiance.
Blueberry seed oil is packed with antioxidants and supports skin barrier function due to its naturally high content of fatty acids. The blend of AHA + BHA buff away dead skin cells, revealing fresh, glowing skin underneath. Meanwhile, vegan collagen and hemp use their powers to quell inflammation, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and leave skin silky smooth.
It's our fave skincare oil for illuminating your body.
Boost your body's sparkle with this shimmering, champagne-hued body oil. It's made with a nourishing blend of chai spices, vanilla, vitamin E, and witch hazel to leave skin tighter, brighter, and utterly luminous. Thanks to anti-inflammatory witch hazel, it can also soothe irritation. And it's got vanilla and vitamin E to thank for reducing the appearance of discoloration and stretch marks.
A blend of nourishing botanicals such as coconut oil, lavender oil, grapeseed oil, and passion fruit work together to moisturize, smooth, and heal irritated skin. It's one of our favorite shaving skincare products for preventing ingrowns and razor burn.
Our number 1 bestseller, Unicorn Fruit Body Butter is powered by emollients and humectants such as shea butter and sweet almond oil, and boosted by skin-repairing ingredients like acai, matcha, and vegan collagen. It's guaranteed to leave your skin feeling and smelling amazing!
Body oils are great for locking in moisture and keeping your skin hydrated for hours on end. Plus, they seal in actives like vitamin A, vitamin C, and AHAs.
When buying a body oil, always look for fragrance-free formulas infused with natural oils like coconut oil, argan oil, sesame oil, and neroli oil. Avoid essential oils if you have sensitive skin as these can irritate your skin. And instead of drugstore brands, pick a premium brand like Truly!