Differences Between Body Cream, Body Lotion, and Body Butter

Aimee Werner

Posted on September 13 2019

woman applying body butter to legs

Moisturizing is one of the most important and underrated ways that you can care for your skin. Not only does a moisturizing regimen keep skin looking luminous, but it also slows down common signs of aging, softens rough patches, protects skin against environmental damage, and replenishes moisture lost throughout the day.

But with all the products on today’s market that promise to deliver intense moisture and revitalize skin, how do you choose the right moisturizer for you? When it comes to skin care products, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to determine your skin type and needs.

Here, we’ll discuss the factors that affect skin moisture levels, the differences between body cream, body lotion, and body butter, and how to lock-in moisture.

What Affects Skin Moisture Levels? 

If you’ve ever dealt with dry skin, you are definitely not alone! There are several major contributors that affect the moisture levels in your skin. Have you ever considered the following reasons as to why your skin is dry? And if so, are you using a body lotion, body cream, or body butter to address them?


We’ve touched on this subject before, but it’s the truth: everyone is genetically predisposed to certain things. In some cases, those “things” can influence overall skin health.

When the body functions as it should, your genes regulate things such as skin cell production and turnover. However, every now and then, genes don’t work properly in regulating the body. That can manifest as dry skin, eczema, or other
skin conditions.


According to WebMD, about 85% of older adults develop “winter itch,” because of the dry climate (inside or outside of the home). Couple that with the loss of oil glands as you age, and you have a recipe for dry skin! With a high-quality body cream, body lotion, or body butter, this is one skin condition that you can absolutely control well into your golden years. 


Where you spend most of your time definitely plays a role in your skin’s moisture levels. Think about the winter months when you run your heater or AC – that’s totally drying out your skin! Moisturizing with a body butter, lotion, or cream, helps replenish moisture lost due to environmental factors, and also acts as a barrier from possible contaminants.


Your lifestyle choices are so important when it comes to your overall health. To optimize skin radiance, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet high in fruits and veggies, avoid smoking and alcohol if you can, and exercise for glowing skin.

Bathing Habits

We totally get that a long steamy shower may feel great (especially after a long day at work), but it’s not necessarily the best thing for your skin. Hot showers and baths can inflame skin, cause redness, itching, and strip skin of vital oils, fats, and proteins.

Instead of partaking in a hot shower or bath, turn down the temp, decrease the amount of time you spend bathing, and toss the drying body wash. So many products are formulated with chemicals that wreak havoc on your skin’s moisture, so it’s best to use a replenishing
all-natural bath & body gel or an exfoliating body wash if you need a little scrub and buff, then follow up with a high-quality moisturizer.

Body Cream 

Now that you know all about some of the factors that contribute to dry skin, let’s talk about the differences between body cream, body lotion, and body butter.

Body Creams are typically characterized as being thicker than body lotions, but not as thick as body butters, since they’re made up of water and oils. However, the main difference between body cream and body butter is the water to oil ratio – which is why creams are indeed emollient, but not as hydrating and effective as body butter per se. 

As we said earlier, everyone has his or her own unique skin needs. What are yours? If you have dry skin that’s in need of a complete moisture overhaul, then body butter vs a cream might be the right fit for you.

Body Lotion

Body lotion is formulated with mostly water and a little bit of oil, making it a suitable option for almost any skin type. If you’ve ever shopped the aisles of the drugstore, then you’ve probably noticed that the majority of body moisturizers are lotions.

Body lotions don’t provide penetrative moisture, so if you have super dry skin that needs special attention, it’s best to go with body cream or even better,
body butter vs a lotion.

Body Butter

The thickest formulation of all the body moisturizers, the main difference between body butter and lotion or cream is that body butters can be formulated with some water (depending on the brand), but very little. Also, they’re packed with oils and other deeply hydrating ingredients to quench skin and lock in moisture by creating a protective barrier on the dermis.

If you have severely dry skin, rough patches, or just want to do an overnight moisturizing treatment (break out the socks and gloves!), then body butter is the right choice for you. Treat skin to true luxury with Whish’s
all-natural body butter. With four scents (pomegranate, lemongrass, lavender, and coconut), these moisturizers provide long-lasting hydration, boost collagen production, and protect skin with a triple antioxidant formulation.

Organic shea butter, raspberry butter, aloe, seaweed extract, and rice bran oil are the stars of this body product and provide moisture beyond belief, while firming, and purifying skin. We have to say, when in doubt, pick a body butter vs a body lotion because it’ll always provide you with enough moisture, whereas a lotion might not address all of your skin’s needs.


Dry Skin? Here’s Things to Avoid & How to Lock-In Moisture

When it comes to keeping skin moisturized, there are easy steps you can take at home. Here’s our list of things to avoid if you suffer from dry skin and how to lock-in moisture, so you can rock a supple, gorgeous glow year-round.

Don’t Take Hot Showers & Baths

Sure, it’s relaxing to soak in a hot bath, but hot water can strip your skin of its natural moisture and actually dry it out even more than it might’ve already been. Instead, use tepid water and cut down your bathing time.

Get Rid of Drying Skin Care Products

Replace drugstore products that are full of drying chemicals with all-natural body care products. Replenish lost moisture with natural and organic products that are free of parabens, sulfates, DEA, TEA, petrochemicals, and phthalates.

Exfoliate Skin

Lightly exfoliate skin in the shower to remove excess skin cell buildup and aid in the turnover of skin cells. Exfoliating also preps skin for intensive moisturizing and allows product to absorb faster.

Pat Your Body Dry

It’s tempting to quickly dry off after bathing; however, vigorous drying can further remove precious moisture from skin. Instead, pat skin dry and take the first step towards locking in moisture post-bath or shower.

Moisturize Immediately After Bathing

Before your skin has a chance to completely dry, apply the body moisturizer of your choice to lock in water. If you’re anything like us and want to hold onto summer for as long as possible, then you’ll love Whish Coconut Body Butter. After just one application of this tropical smelling body butter, you’ll see and feel the difference in your skin. This ultra-hydrating formula is great for everyday use.

Keep your skin happy and moisturized throughout the entire year with Whish all-natural body moisturizers and ditch the drying drugstore products for good. We welcome you to a gentle new world!