Difference Between Cream and Lotion

Everybody wants to keep their bodies hydrated and nourished.

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

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

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

Cream vs Lotion

The main 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 of creams.


Comparison Table Between Cream and Lotion (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonCreamLotion
MeaningIt is a mix of oil and water to keep the skin moist and hydrated, with more amount of oil in it.It is also a mix of oil and water to keep the skin moist and hydrated, with more amount of oil in it.
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 highly dry 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 oil 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 that of a lotion.

These are the reasons why creams are more suited for skins which are dry to highly dry because they help in preventing dry and cracked skin by keeping it moisturized.

Creams provide a strong 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 the harsh environmental effects like heat, cold, and wind.

It is greatly beneficial to apply the cream right after bathing when the skin is slightly damp.

As a difference from lotion, it is better for extended or long periods.Apart from that, it is usually sold in a jar or tub because of its consistency, which is quite thick as 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 lotion.

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

Since it gets absorbed quickly, it leaves a significantly less greasy residue and for this reason itself, it is good 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, due to the more water content and because it gets absorbed rapidly, it doesn’t last long on the skin.

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

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

Photo by unsplash/@pokoskincare

Main Differences Between Cream and Lotion

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

However, we have observed quite a few differences concerning their 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 variety of contents.
  2. Creams have a higher oil content as compared to lotions while lotions have higher water content.
  3. Another major difference is in their consistency.Creams have a thicker consistency because of the higher oil content whereas lotions have a significantly lighter consistency than creams as they have more amount of water than oil.
  4. Next is the greasiness.Creams are relatively greasier than lotions, again because of their composition involving more oil than water.And lotions, on the other hand, are quite less greasy.
  5. Because of their composition and effects, creams are generally more suitable for skin which dry to highly dry whereas lotions are more suitable for skin which is normal to slightly dry.
Difference Between Cream and Lotion



Creams and lotions are both greatly useful products that help in maintaining the health of the skin by keeping it hydrated and moist.

However, it becomes complicated at times to choose between the two because of a lack of awareness about their benefits and uses.

Thus, it is important to understand the fundamental differences between them to be able to make an informed choice for the betterment and health of our skin.



  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/030006057900700519
  2. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/6540569
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691504003138
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