What is the difference and when to use them

The skin is the window to your health. Healthy skin reflects a healthy body. Usually, our skin is able to retain its suppleness and moisture. But exposure to a polluted environment leaves the skin lifeless.

Most often, we cover our skin with body lotion and/or moisturizer to keep it hydrated. Although both work to moisturize the skin, each has a different use as the content inside differs. Let’s see how to use both.

Benefits of a moisturizer

As we age, the sebaceous glands that help skin maintain its freshness lose their ability to produce oils effectively. This leads to skin lesions. A moisturizer maintains your skin’s oil balance. It also protects the skin from sun damage. Today the market is booming with moisturizers of all kinds. The Oil Control Moisturizing Gel is a good buy because it doesn’t make the skin too oily and prevents excessive oil production.

Lotion Benefits

The lotion moisturizes the skin to keep it healthy. It prevents the skin from drying out during harsh climates. Scented lotions help you relax and unwind. Some lotions can help add shine to your face. They can also lessen the effect of harsh body washes that could damage the skin. There are also medical lotions that treat skin problems and wounds.

Skin type matters

Since dry skin needs to be moisturized often, a moisturizer would be a better option as it soaks into the skin and helps retain moisture longer. If you have oily skin, use a non-greasy, oil-free gel-based moisturizer. The cream-based one is best for dry skin, while if you have sensitive skin, opt for a fragrance-free, paraben-free, and irritant-free moisturizer.

It gets a bit tricky if you have combination skin. See which way your skin leans – dry or oily and buy a moisturizer accordingly. For dry skin, use a thicker moisturizer and for oily skin, use a gel or gel-cream.

Normal skin generally benefits from lotion, which is lightweight and provides the required amount of moisture to the skin.


The change in weather means a change in skin care products. The products you use in the summer aren’t always good for you in the winter or the monsoon. The same goes for moisturizers and lotions. A lotion is low in viscosity because it has a high water content. Therefore, it is more suitable for summer and wet weather. The moisturizer can be used all year round. In summer, opt for a non-comedogenic moisturizer based on sunscreen. If your skin is extremely dry, you want to try a maternal skincare product (even if you’re not pregnant) during the winter. These products are suitable for sensitive skin. You can also opt for an oil-based moisturizer.

What Works Better

The moisturizer and lotion aim to nourish the skin. Lotion is lighter than moisturizer and contains more water. The lotion heals the surface of the skin and prevents sunburn. Moisturizer, on the other hand, seeps into the skin and locks in moisture. A moisturizer can also be a combination of lotion and cream. A lotion can also be moisturizing. Even though both serve the same purpose, they have different ingredients. A lotion contains an extra amount of water compared to a moisturizer. However, since water alone cannot protect the skin, few ingredients are added. And it can cause skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. So be careful when making your choice.

The bottom line

Moisturizers are best for daily use. But, if you want to keep your skin hydrated longer, a lotion is your best bet. To get the most out of moisturizer and lotion, they should be applied after a bath, as hot water strips the body of oils and moisture. In addition, the open pores allow for rapid absorption.

(Rhythm Vats Bhardwaj is co-founder, Riyo Herbs India)