The difference between Moisturizer and lotion

In general, people use the words lotion and moisturizer interchangeably. Though both of them are used for the same purpose that is to rejuvenate and heal the skin. But are they really same? The problem is the difference in the usage of the moisturisers and lotions is not known to the people. In this article, we will try to highlight the basic difference between the moisturiser and lotion through the various key factors.

The chemical components.


The moisturizer is a spectrum from water to Vaseline. Most of the products come in two or more forms the cream form and the lotion form which are specifically made in order to satisfy all the types of skin forms. This means a lotion could actually be a moisturizer. The moisturizers use a mixture of water- soluble components and oil which focuses on restoring the outer layer of the skin to its natural condition. The common ingredients of a moisturizer are petroleum jelly, mineral oil as well as some waxes that will thicken the cream and let the moisture stay.


On the other hand, the lotion has some added ingredients. This is because they are towards the water end of the spectrum and higher the water content greater is the possibility for the bacteria to form. In order to prevent this from happening the preservatives such as parabens, benzyl alcohol etc. are added. Their level is usually low ranging from 0.01 to 5 per cent. Additionally, fragrances are added in order to mask the smell of these preservatives. This is the basic reason why we use the lotions on the body and heavier products on the sensitive part like face. Although these additions are not harmful to the body it is always advisable to check how the skin feels after its application and just in case you feel any burning sensation it indicates that it is not suitable for your skin.

The texture


Creams, lotions, oils, gels all have a very different feel when applied onto the skin. A cream is a very standard thick moisturizer which is mostly used for stubborn areas such as elbows or applied on the face during the night time. The greasy feeling that it is left behind might not be suitable for the daytime but when applied at the night will keep the moisture in and irritants out.


The big moisturizer bottle that you use every day after your shower which is easy to apply and is absorbed in the whole body and keeps the skin hydrated for the whole day. This is precisely your everyday body lotion. It is very less sticky and light and contains a high percentage of water which makes it very simple as well as economic.



The moisturizers have a higher proportion of oil and wax and are most ideal for the dry skin. Those who have extremely dry skins and suffer from eczema are greatly benefitted with thick creams (that are towards the petroleum spectrum) as they have a moisture locking quality. The best way to identify what your skin needs is to listen to them. If your skin is feeling dry and irritated then it means it needs moisturizer.


Face and body lotion are absorbed easily into the skin and replenishes the daily requirement of hydration to your skin. Normal skin or the combination skin type get the best benefit from a gel cream or a lotion. For oily or acne prone skin, the lotion is the only best option. If travelling in hot and humid areas even that time the water-based lotions are the best alternative.

Summary of the differences between Lotion and moisturizer.

  • Lotions are more towards the water spectrum while the moisturizer is more towards the petroleum spectrum.
  • Lotions have a thinner consistency while the moisturizers have a thicker consistency.
  • Lotions are usually used on the body while the moisturizers are mostly used on the face.
  • Certain lotions are used to reduce the hydration from the skin while the moisturizers are usually used to hydrate the skin.
  • The lotion has a greater water base while the moisturizers have a greater oil base.

Hopefully, the aforesaid differences have enlightened the differences between the moisturizer and the lotion.