Body oil vs. lotion: the key differences and when to use each

Body oils, lotions, skin butter, gels, emulsions, moisturizers, serums... There are so many products available for your skin nowadays! Everyone has their own favourite, although body lotions and oils are definitely the ones that have conquered the hearts of most of us. 

On a surface level, they both promise hydrated skin, a wonderful glow, and slowing the signs of ageing. But what are the key differences between the two, and what should you know before deciding? Let us tell you everything you should remember about each of them.


Body Oil

  • The texture of body oil and lotion

One of the most significant changes is obviously the texture of each. While lotions are smoother, creamier and lighter, oils are… Well, oilier! Most of the time (but not every time) it'll be easier to apply and spread lotions, plus you'll feel the soothing effects sooner than with the oil. 

But don't let it fool you, immediate effects don't mean better results! Since oils are generally thicker and need more time to get into the skin, they also get deeper and lock in that moisture for longer.

  • Hydration and moisturization level

Now we're getting to the most important point! After all, this is the main reason why we choose to use one or another, right? Both, body lotions and body oils, moisturize the skin and make it glow. However, there are some key differences.

Many oils (like avocado, jojoba, moringa and almond) mimic the natural lipids found in our skin. That similar structure can help repair and re-regulate your skin's moisture barrier, which is responsible for oil production. That means that, with oil, you're getting a more softening and soothing effect.

Lotions are hydration based, so the main point of a lotion is to provide the skin with moisture and repair it. However, various body lotions also contain oil, to help you get the best of both worlds.

  • Ingredients & cleanness of products

At Moringa Project, we're all about clean, pure products and sustainability. We care about our mother Earth and always make sure that all of the products are as clean and natural as possible. Plus, did you know that any questionable ingredients like fragrances or preservatives can not only be more harmful to our skin but also dry your skin even more?

It's much easier to find a natural oil without any additives, fragrances, and questionable ingredients than it is with lotions.

  • Allergies and sensitivity

As with anything else you use in your skincare routine, you should always make sure that it will not irritate your skin. This can happen with lotions as well as oils.

Be sure to patch test a product before incorporating it into your skincare routine. The best place to do that is on your inner forearm. Simply put the product on and wait for 24 hours to make sure you're not sensitive to that specific product.

  • How to use body oil and lotion

Oils will always work better when your skin is wet so we suggest using them directly after washing your face. That extra water will help lock in the largest amount of hydration possible.

Ideally, you'd also want to use the lotion when the skin is still damp. If your skin is extremely dry, you can also choose to apply body lotion over an oil.

If you want the best results for especially cold months and for especially dry skin, layering a lotion and oil is your best bet. You can layer a facial oil underneath your lotion or mix them together right before applying them to the skin.