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Body Butter vs Body Oil vs Body Lotion: The Key Differences and When to Use Each.

body butter , body lotion

With so many formulas lining the beauty aisle shelves, finding the right moisturizing product can be daunting. How do you pick the correct tube, bottle, or tub of moisturizer for yourself? Are there any real differences between body butter, body oil, and body lotion? If so, what are they and which ones are best for one’s skin type?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions which will ultimately help you make conscious decisions the next time you are looking for a moisturizer!

Body Butters

Body butter is a lot like the butter you eat - rich and thick. It provides the perfect moisturizing effect with no room for greasiness.


The best butters are made out of natural ingredients that are free from unnecessary toxic and chemical processes.

  • Plant Products - For its base, the body butter needs Cocoa, Shea, Mango or Kokum ( and others) to procure the desirable consistency.

  • Oils - Next, the base is paired up with different kinds of oils, such as Almond oil, Jojoba oil or Argan oil to make the thick consistency easy to spread and use. These oils also provide vitamins and antioxidants to the formula

  • Other ingredients - Some body butters may also contain a few drops of essential oils, such as Lavender and Chamomile, for their scent, healing and calming properties. Body butters also contain vitamin E and vitamin C that are extremely beneficial to your skin.


  • Body butters are the most occlusive, meaning they provide the strongest possible protective barrier to seal and lock in moisture,

  • The presence of essential fatty acids within butters such as Cocoa and Shea form a nourish and provide a protective barrier around your skin.

  • Owing to their extreme moisturizing capabilities, body butters reduce premature signs of aging.

  • The vitamins and antioxidants make your skin plump and young-looking.

  • It tightens and tones your skin by increasing cell growth and rejuvenation.

  • It is rich and thick in consistency. When applied on your skin, it melts due to the body heat, making it easy to spread but if overapplied, it can feel heavy on the skin.

Body butters work best on dry skin and in cold, dry climates where your skin is in dire need of regular and long lasting moisturizing.

Body Oils

Body oils are decadent and luxurious. They may take a moment to seep in but they leave your skin soft and supple.


  • Body oils are made of liquid plant oils alone.

  • There is no added water content in premium blends.

  • Neither do they(premium quality blends) need emulsifiers nor preservatives to sustain.


  • Oils regulate sebum production: Oils are touted for their absorbent properties because many vegetable-based oils—avocado, jojoba, and almond, for example—mimic the natural lipids found in our skin, which is ideal for a couple of reasons. For one, the similarities in structure can help repair and re-regulate your skin's moisture barrier, which is responsible for oil production.

  • Body oils are more lightweight than body butters and a tad heavier than body lotions.

  • Body oil helps your skin lock in the moisture like never before as it penetrates through the protective barrier of your skin.

  • Consistently using a firm body oil on your stretch marks and other scars will help to reduce their appearance.

  • With body oils, you get more than what you pay for. It is amazing to see how a few drops of oil is enough to moisture your entire body.

  • In addition to your new glow, body oils have a positive effect on your mental health. It relaxes your senses and increases your overall emotional well being.

Body oils are best for those with dry and rough skin. They can also be used for various body and massage treatments. Body oils are ideally used right after a shower or a bath, when your skin is warm and damp. To maximize its efficiency, ensure to wash off any perfume or lotion and exfoliate your skin just before you apply the oil. Give the oil a few minutes to seep into your skin for best results.

Body Lotions

A body lotion’s key task is to bring back hydration to the skin. Lotions are water-based and come in various forms to treat different skincare concerns—for example, those who are eczema-prone would turn to an itch relief lotion They are the most lightweight form of moisturizers which not only feels good but makes you look good!


  • Hyaluronic Acid and ceramides are integral ingredients of premium body lotions as they both enhance skin's water-retaining abilities over time.

  • Essential fatty acids within key ingredients such such as Avocado oil, Olive oil and Shea butter lock in the moisture.

  • Body lotions may also contain Glycerin which helps in drawing in and binding moisture.


  • Body lotions provide our skin with the hydration it requires. Our skin is constantly exposed to pollution, chemicals and the ever changing weather among many other things. Thus regular hydration ensures that the skin does not remain dry and thick.

  • It works to make your rough spots in areas such as elbows, knees, soles of the feet, soft and supple.

  • Some lotions contain anti aging ingredients which will slow down the formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

  • It is more lightweight on your skin when compared to body butters and oils.

Lotions work best for people with oily skin in humid or hotter climates because lotions are lightweight. Using it in the night just before you sleep will keep your skin hydrated and rejuvenated till the morning.

The Final Takeaway

Now you know the key differences between the formulas of body butter, body oils and body lotions. It really comes down to personal preference—and timing. And for that reason, it doesn't hurt to have all three on hand. But because lotion already contains water, it can function as your “quick, on-the-go, whenever” moisturizer. No matter which one you prefer, keep in mind that certain ingredients can give your formula of choice an additional boost. For example, if an oil or butter is packed with other herbs and extra oils, these ingredients will do different things to repair and nourish based on the ingredient's special components.

Lang & Ivy: Know Who You’re Buying From

At Lang & Ivy, we’re a small, close-knit team that makes natural skin care that's good for you, good for your wallet, and good for the planet.

Our clean skin care products are packed with carefully selected botanical ingredients that are time-tested and proven to work gently. Our collection is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and are free of nasties like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, and artificial fragrances.

We’re also a sustainable skin care brand. Our products are crafted with sustainably sourced ingredients and our packaging is up to 90% recyclable!

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