Skin Cream Or Skin Lotion: What's the Difference?

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As far as skin care products go, lotions and creams are at the top of the charts as far as market share goes.

A walk down the aisles of your local beauty shop or pharmacy will reveal a wide array of lotions and creams to treat virtually any skin condition. From anti-wrinkle creams to skin softening lotions, acne care to eczema relief, you're certain to find exactly what you need.

The difference between creams and lotions often leaves many consumers scratching their heads. While much of the choice comes from personal preference, there are some differences in the texture and purpose of creams and lotions you should be aware of.

Creams are likely (but not always) oil based. They tend to be made for specific use on smaller areas. They are heavier and don't absorb quite as quickly as lotions. Lotions, on the other hand, tend to be more soluble and of thinner consistency. Lotions absorb quickly and are better suited for larger areas, such as an all over body moisturizer.

To best way to grasp the differences between a cream and a lotion, is to take a look at baby products. Diaper rash cream is designed to treat and prevent rashes caused by wetness. The cream is used on a targeted area, is quite thick, and acts as a barrier to protect baby's skin from wetness while helping to heal the current rash.

Baby lotion, however, serves a much different purpose. While you would never put a diaper rash cream all over baby's body, a lotion keeps baby's skin soft and moisturized. It's much thinner, absorbs quickly and is designed to be applied all over.

Understanding the differences between lotions and creams will greatly help you when making your purchase. Once you've determined what benefits you would like to derive from the skin care product, you can decide what kind of application you will need. All over itchy skin needs a lotion, while the fine lines under your eyes should have a cream.


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