What Is Better for Your Skin, Body Butter or Body Lotion?

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Walking down the lotion aisle of your local drug store can be confusing (and frustrating), as there are just so many different products to choose from! Each claims to be better than the other at moisturizing but how do you know for sure which one to pick? Right now, you may be asking yourself, ‘which is better for my skin, body butter or body lotion?’

What is better for your skin, body butter or lotion? Butter is better for people that have very dry skin because it provides deeper longer lasting hydration. If you have normal skin, body lotion will provide the light-weight, clean-feeling moisture you require. However, one isn’t necessarily better than the other and choosing between the two is more a matter of personal preference than anything else.

Now that you know choosing body butter over body lotion (or vice versa) has to do mainly with your own individual inclination, let’s take a closer look at this in more detail below. We’ll discuss the main difference between the two as well as which is ‘better’, depending on your skin type. Whichever one you choose there is evidence that shows using them do help hydrate your skin.

We’ll also talk about whether it’s okay to use body butter or body lotion on the face. We’ll even include an example of good body butter to try and explain how to make your own homemade version. So, if you’re ready to learn all you need to know about body butter versus lotion, then let’s get started!

What’s the Difference between Body Butter and Body Lotion?

The main difference between body butter and lotion is the consistency.  Lotion is lighter in texture than a body butter. Lotion also absorbs into the skin quickly with a less greasy feel. Body butter is usually thicker, heavier and leaves an oiler finish on the skin.

The ingredients are what makes the texture of each product so different. Body butter often contains shea butter or cocoa butter and various natural oils, such as coconut or jojoba. Body lotion, on the other hand, is made from a combination of oils and water.

Which is Better Body Butter or Body Lotion?

Body butter and body lotion are equally good. One is not necessarily ‘better’ than the other, however, body butter will work better on certain skin types than body lotion and vice versa. Body butter is especially good for people with extremely dry, cracked or chapped skin, as it is richer, thicker and penetrates deeper into the skin than body lotion.

Body butter is also better for rough, calloused skin areas, such as the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. It works wonders on stretch marks and can even be used to treat chronic dry skin conditions, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis. It can also be applied directly to lips and cuticles or used as a wipe-off make-up remover.

Body lotion is often better for normal or combination (partly oily, partly dry) skin, which prefers lightweight, water-based hydration. It penetrates quickly with a less greasy feel. In this way, body lotion may work even better than body butter on dry skin, as water is quicker and easier to absorb than oil. An added bonus with body lotion is that it helps seal-in and preserve moisture already present in the skin.

The fact of the matter is that choosing body butter over body lotion (or vice versa) is really a matter of personal preference rather than anything else. Each product has its pros and cons. Depending on your skin type and the end result you’re after (rich, heavy-moisturizing body butter or clean, light-weight body lotion), it’s all about you and what you like better.

Do You Use Body Butter on Wet or Dry Skin?

The best time to apply body butter is right after a bath or shower when the skin is still warm and slightly wet. This will allow the product to absorb deeper and quicker into the skin. It will also form a protective barrier, trapping moisture in and keeping skin hydrated for hours.

When you step out of the bath or shower, do not rub your skin completely dry but rather pat it gently, leaving a bit of moisture behind. Apply body butter directly to your arms, legs, stomach or wherever extra hydration is required. Allow enough time (5 to 10 minutes) for the product to absorb into the skin before getting dressed.

Is it Ok to Put Body Butter or Body Lotion on Your Face?

The skin on your face is different than that on other parts of the body. It’s thinner with more oil glands and more hair follicles. Facial skin tends to be more sensitive as well. Therefore, you can’t treat it the same way you would your arms or legs, for example.

It is generally not recommended to use body butter on the face, as it is rich in oils that have a tendency to clog pores. This can cause acne or blemishes, which can be problematic, especially for those with oily skin. It is also not recommended to use body lotion on the face either because it too contains oils that can clog pores. Many body lotions also contain dyes or fragrances, which can irritate dry, sensitive skin.

Always choose a moisturizer that is specially designed for the face. It can be either a lotion- or cream-type, as long as it is free of oils, perfumes, colorants and other chemical additives. Look for one that is geared toward your specific skin type, such as dry, combination, oily or sensitive. Since the skin on your face differs as well, be careful when applying moisturizers to the delicate eye or lip areas.

Which Body Butter Is Best?

The best body kinds of butter are unrefined, pure and organic. A great one to try is Sky Organics Shea Butter. It is made from raw ingredients that are cold-pressed and rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also easy to apply and can be used all over the body, including the face!  It is all-natural and safe to use on dry, sensitive and mature skin types. A study has shown that It even helps treat chronic conditions such as eczema. Some people also use it to treat psoriasis.

More Best Body Butters at Amazon:

Best Body Lotions at Amazon:

How to Make Your Own Natural Body Butter

Making your own homemade body butter is easy, fun and affordable. For a great whipped version, try the following:


  • ½ cup of shea butter
  • ½ cup of cocoa butter
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of jojoba oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of an essential oil such as lavender, rosemary or sandalwood


  1. Combine all ingredients (except the essential oil)  in a double-boiler
  2. Cook over medium heat until all ingredients are melted
  3. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly
  4. Add essential oil to the mixture and stir well
  5. Put the mixture in the fridge for an hour
  6. Use a hand mixture or blender and whip the cooled mixture
  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and continue to blend until it reaches a fluffy, whipped consistency
  8. Return the mixture to the fridge for an additional 15 minutes to set
  9. Apply liberally to the skin, wherever extra moisture is required
  10. Store remaining mixture in a glass jar with a lid – in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight

This is a wonderful, all-over body moisturizer that works great on dry skin. It is quite rich, so be sure to massage it completely into the skin. Give yourself enough time for the product to absorb before getting dressed, otherwise, you may soil your clothing.

Just a word of caution. Before applying oils or any homemade skin formulas, it is important to perform a patch test on your skin. Even if you have never had a prior history of any skin irritation issues you may find that concentrations and different mixtures may cause slight irritation like rashes, swelling, itching or even burning. To learn how to perform a patch test on your skin CLICK HERE  


To conclude, choosing body butter over body lotion depends on what type of skin you have. Very dry skin will benefit from the longer-lasting, deeper-nourishing hydration that only body butter can provide. Normal to combination skin, on the other hand, do will well with a more light-weight, water-based hydrator, such as a typical body lotion.

It is important to note, however, that one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Choosing between the two is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. So why not pick up a jar of body butter (or better yet, make your own) and compare it to the body lotion you likely already have at home. Then, you can decide for yourself which is ‘better.’

This resource discusses the difference between ointments, creams, and lotions.