Keeping your skin moisturized day-in, day-out, and year-round isn't exactly a big secret. But when it comes to what kind of moisturizer you should use, now that's a much harder decision. With so many different skin types, skin tones, and skin conditions out there, there's no wonder there are a plethora of products out there!
So before we jump right into which is better for you: body butter vs. body lotion for your skin type, let's just take a quick crash course in what both of these remedies try to treat - dry skin.
Dry skin is caused when skin cells are unable to retain essential and optimal moisture levels. Dry skin is typically caused by dry heat, or the repeated removal of the skin's lipid or oily layer, which is critical to protecting the skin from moisture loss. Excessive washing, scrubbing, and cleaning is usually the culprit of the latter.
Now that we know the basics behind dry skin, let's take a look at how body lotions and body butters stack up when they go head-to-head!
Benefits of lotion: Probably the more common item, body lotions can be found in pretty much every household. They rely on a combination of water and oil, bound together through the use of an emulsifier. Lotions also tend to go on smoothly, absorb quickly, and leave no greasy trail, regardless of whether it's a moisturizing lotion to relieve dry skin or medicated lotions like calamine.
Benefits of butter:
A little lesser known, body butters are normally comprised of three basic ingredients: coconut oil or butter, shea butter, and a vegetable oil. There are, of course, a variety of body butters, and normally come in three different forms: whipped, waxless, and even a bar-type. While the waxless and bar-types of body butters are more easily absorbed by the skin, the whipped butter usually includes beeswax, which makes the formula slightly harder to absorb but has longer-lasting effects. Regardless of the type, all body butters are thicker than lotions and tend to leave a film on the surface of the skin. But the trade-off? Longer moisturizing effects.
So which should you choose?
Because most body butters include shea butter, an all-natural, vitamin A cream with healing properties, this makes them a great remedy for skin severely damaged by dryness, chapping, or windburn. Body butters, in general, will provide longer-lasting, superior emollients, making it a better choice when dry skin also needs intense moisture and healing. But if your skin isn't exactly severely damaged, burned, or dry, and all you're really looking for is a little added moisture, a lighter, more easily absorbed lotion is probably adequate. The truth is, both of these have great applications and benefits; pay attention to what your body tells you and when.
Tips to avoid dry skin:
During the wintertime, try using a humidifier and opt for lukewarm showers and baths instead of hot, and avoid using excessively-drying soaps and body products, including deodorant soaps. Try to avoid wearing irritating fabrics and choosing a fragrance-free detergent when doing your laundry.