Cream vs Lotion: Difference and Comparison

Everybody wants to keep their bodies hydrated and nourished.


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However, there are such wide varieties of products in the market that it becomes difficult to choose a particular one best suited to one’s skin.

Essentially, both cream and lotion have the same purpose: to keep the skin moist and hydrated.

However, there exist specific differences among them, majorly concerning their composition.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cream and lotion are both skincare products that moisturize and nourish the skin.
  2. Creams are thicker and heavier than lotions, providing a more intense level of moisturization. In contrast, lotions are thinner and lighter, making them more suitable for daily use or people with oily skin.
  3. Creams and lotions can treat various skin conditions, such as dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis.

Cream vs Lotion

The difference between Cream and Lotion is their composition. The cream has less water content and more greasiness in it, whereas it’s the opposite in a lotion.

Cream vs Lotion

A cream is a blend of water and oil, but the concentration of oil is higher in cream, and thus, their consistency is also thicker.

The lotion is also a blend of water and oil, but the difference lies in the fact that lotion has higher water content and consistency lighter than that creams.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonCreamLotion
MeaningIt mixes oil and water to keep the skin moist and hydrated, with more fat.It is also a mix of oil and water to keep the skin moist and hydrated with more fat.
Higher contentCreams have higher oil content.Lotions have higher water content.
ConsistencyCreams have a thicker consistency as compared to lotions.Lotions have lighter consistency as compared to creams.
GreasinessCreams are generally greasier than lotions.Lotions are less greasy than creams.
Kind of SkinBecause of their composition, creams are generally suitable for dry to dehydrated skin.Owing to their composition, lotions are generally more suited to normal or slightly dry skin.


What is Cream?

A cream is a mixture of oil and water with more amount of fat in it. In other words, creams are droplets of water mixed in oil.

Because of this fact, creams are greasier than lotions. Moreover, the consistency of the cream is much thicker than a lotion’s.

These are why creams are more suited for dry to dehydrated skin because they help prevent dry and cracked skin by keeping it moisturized.

Creams provide a substantial barrier and help in keeping the skin ultra-hydrated.

This is also one of the reasons why it is recommended for night use.

The cream helps in protecting the skin against harsh environmental effects like heat, cold, and wind.

Applying the cream right after bathing when the skin is slightly damp is incredibly beneficial.

As a difference from lotion, it is better for extended periods. It is also sold in a jar or tub because of its consistency, which is quite thick compared to lotions.

Creams come in a lot of variety, whether concerning the brand they are a part of the body part for which they are most suitable.

However, their main motive is to keep the skin hydrated and moist and avoid any dryness to keep it healthy.


What is Lotion?

A lotion, similar to a cream, is also a mixture of oil and water but with the difference that it has more water content than oil, unlike that in cream.

In other words, it has droplets of oil mixed in water, as opposed to the composition of creams.

Lotions are less greasy as compared to the creams and hence have a consistency which is far lighter than that of a balm.

Lotions are generally more suited for normal to slightly dry skin because of less oil in them; thus, they get absorbed quickly, whereas creams do not.

Since it gets absorbed quickly, it leaves a significantly less greasy residue, suitable for use in the day and the hot summer months.

It is generally found or sold in bottles, making it easy to squeeze and use.

However, it doesn’t last long on the skin due to the more water content and because it gets absorbed rapidly.

Like creams, lotions also come in several varieties regarding their brand, composition, or area of use best suited to, etc.

Even then, their main aim remains to keep the average or slightly dry skin hydrated and healthy in summer.

Photo by unsplash/@pokoskincare

Main Differences Between Cream and Lotion

Cream and lotion, in essence, have a similar purpose: to keep the skin hydrated and moist.

However, we have observed quite a few differences in composition, suggested use, outlook, and effect.

The most significant differences are as follows:

  1. The first and foremost is in their composition. Both of them are mixtures of oil and water but with different amounts and a variety of contents.
  2. Creams have a higher oil content than lotions, while lotions have higher water content.
  3. Another significant difference is in their consistency. Creams have a thicker consistency because of the higher oil content, whereas lotions have a significantly lighter feeling than creams because they have more water than oil.
  4. Next is the greasiness. Creams are greasier than lotions because of their composition involving more oil than water. And lotions, on the other hand, are pretty much less smooth.
  5. Because of their composition and effects, creams are generally more suitable for dry skin to highly dry, whereas lotions are more suitable for skin that is expected to be slightly dry.
Difference Between Cream and Lotion
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