What Is The Difference Between Cream And Lotion

Difference Between Cream And Lotion

When moisturising your skin, which is one of the most essential elements of skincare, you’re presented with various moisturising products. Two of the most popular and used products are creams and lotions. While both are specifically formulated to moisturise and hydrate your skin, there’s a difference between cream and lotion. 

There are significant differences in their formulations, ingredients, textures and, all in all, their use. Each type of product is formulated with specific ingredients, making them suitable for different skin types. If you are stuck on the same question, don’t worry because this article explores the lotion and cream difference and highlights the key results these products help achieve.

What Is A Lotion?

What Is A Lotion

Lotions are lightweight moisturisers with high water content to ensure deep hydration of your skin / Image credit: Freepik

Essentially, a lotion is a moisturiser that is light in texture. It  is widely used as daily moisturiser. Lotions are formulated with a mixture of oil, water and other ingredients. 

However, lotions tend to have more water content than moisturising creams, and hence, they can be absorbed into your skin easily. Because of this composition, they are non-greasy on the skin and easier to apply. 

Generally, people prefer to use lotions during the day or in summer and humid months to avoid excessive heaviness. Most lotions are suitable for acne-prone skin because they are also typically non-comedogenic. However, you should always double-check.  

Additionally, some lotions address more concerns along with moisturisation, such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne marks, pigmentation and more. Typically, these lotions are enriched with active ingredients, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide

What Is A Cream?

Like a lotion, cream is also a moisturiser, essential in every skincare routine. Creams are thick liquids or semi-solid products that are meant for deeper moisturisation. The prime difference between cream and lotion is that creams are formulated with less water content and more oil or moisturising agents, which leads to their thicker consistency. 

Due to this, they are even considered more suitable for creating a strong barrier on your skin. At the same time, this helps lock in moisture perfectly, which lotions cannot do. 

With more moisture content, creams are ideal for people with dry skin or those who live in cold environments where everyone needs higher levels of moisture and hydration compared to hot temperatures.

While creams are more suitable for night time due to their thick composition, there are daytime creams also that are specifically formulated for people who prefer creams over lotions. 

Difference Between A Cream And A Lotion

Difference Between A Cream And A Lotion

Cream and lotion have different consistencies and address varied skin concerns / Image credit: Freepik


The first and foremost difference between cream and lotion is their consistency. This is also the most noticeable difference. Lotions are always on the thinner side as compared to creams that are rich and thick in texture. 


The second most important difference between cream and lotion is their composition. As lotions are lightweight, they have a higher ratio of water content than oils and moisturising agents, making them easy to apply. Meanwhile, creams are loaded with oils and moisturising agents to make them thicker in consistency.

The Moms Co Natural Brightening Vitamin C Face Cream is a dermatologically approved cream for glowing and radiant skin. It is enriched with vitamin C, making it an ideal option for pigmented skin. It is also formulated with Vitamin E which boosts collagen production and keeps fine lines and wrinkles away, making it an ideal product if you’re beginning with an anti-ageing skin care regimen.

Level of Moisturisation

Based on the composition and consistency itself, creams are more moisturising than lotions, making lotions more appropriate in summer, daytime or for oily skin. If you’re on the lookout for a lightweight cream that will help with fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation, you can opt for The Moms Co. Natural Vita Rich Face Cream. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid that absorbs moisture from the environment and arbutin which is a natural extract with skin brightening properties.

Absorption Time

Since creams are thick and heavily loaded with oils, they require more time than lotions to absorb into the skin. In contrast, lotions get absorbed instantly.

Skin Type 

Lotions are generally recommended for oily skin types because they’re lightweight, have more water content, balance out excessive oil production, absorb seamlessly and are mostly non-comedogenic, ensuring that your pores don’t get clogged. 

If you have dry and sensitive skin and are looking for a lotion that will not irritate your skin but help calm it down while retaining moisture, you can go for The Moms Co. Natural Sensitive Skin Lotion. It is packed with 1% Colloidal Oatmeal, Organic Aloe Vera & Calendula Oil which are dermatologically recommended ingredients to provide intense moisture. Since this is an all natural, chemical free moisturiser, it will additionally soothe your skin and prevent inflammation. 

On the other hand, creams are most suitable for dry skin types due to the higher moisture content in them, which helps dry skin not only get moisture but also retain it for prolonged periods.

Target Area

Lotions are majorly used as body moisturisers because of their lightweight and easy-to-absorb formulation that works remarkably for larger skin areas. Creams, however, are preferred to use for specific areas, such as the face, hands, heels and more. 

If you’re looking for a lightweight yet hydrating body lotion, you can opt for The Moms Co. Natural Body Lotion. This lotion is specifically formulated for new moms to help treat dry and rough in an all natural and chemical free manner while also ensuring you get the adequate moisture. 

Seasonal Difference

As they are light and absorbable effortlessly, we recommend lotions for summer use. They are easy to apply without rigorous massaging, don’t become a hassle with the heat and keep your moisture level intact. In winter, when the air is dry and causes flaky, dehydrated skin, creams are recommended to provide extra moisture and help lock it and retain it in the skin for extensive periods. 

If you have acne-prone and are looking for a non-greasy cream that won’t be too heavy on skin, The Moms Co. Natural Green Tea Face Cream is the right choice for you. It is formulated with niacinamide which is an antioxidant and a loved ingredient by people with acne-prone skin, squalene which restores moisture and cucumber which soothes your skin and ensures it is free from any irritation. 

Lotions are lightweight and ideal for summer and oily skin as they provide adequate moisture without clogging pores. At the same time, creams are perfect for dry skin and cold environments as they retain moisture and prevent skin from environmental damage to skin that harsh weather can cause. In a nutshell, the choice between which is better lotion or cream depends on your requirements and concerns. 

Even though both lotion and cream are fundamentally moisturisers, it is essential to realise and understand the difference between cream and lotion to ensure you’re choosing the right one for your skin. Each of the two has its unique advantages and disadvantages, catering to specific needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better: lotion or cream?

There is no specific answer to what’s better between lotion vs cream because it depends on your skin type, your concerns and the environment you’re currently living in. 

Lotions can be a better option if you live in dry and humid areas and have oily skin. But, on the other hand, if you’re facing flaky skin and live in harsh and cold environments, you’ll want to invest in a thick cream.

Is it OK to use lotion every day?

Yes. It is not only completely OK to use lotion every day, but it’s recommended to moisturise your skin consistently to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Regular application also ensures your skin is hydrated at all times. 

When should I apply body lotion?

The best time to apply body lotion is immediately after you’ve showered. Freshly showered skin is clean and damp, ensuring you get the moisture absorbed without any impurities. Also, damp skin helps better penetration of products, which means better results. 

Why cream is better than lotion?

Although no hard and fast rule testifies cream is better than lotion, it can be a better option for dry skin people. Most heavy creams have ceramides, which protect and maintain a healthy barrier. Moreover, they provide appropriate moisture for dry skin needs, making it seem a better option. Moisturising creams are non negotiable in a healthy skincare routine. Wonder what’s the importance?

Also Read:

Face care products: If you’re looking for more face care products for healthy and nourished skin, check out The Moms Co natural and chemical free face care catalogue. 

Day Cream Vs. Night Cream: Make sure you know the difference between your night cream and day cream before you use it. For detailed information, check out this post!

Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com