Body lotion vs. body oil - which one is for you?

Body moisturisers and body oils have unique benefits and features, and it’s helpful to know what one is going to work best for your own skin type. Both have the same purpose – to hydrate your skin and keep it glowing. Let’s take a closer look at both to determine which is right for you. 

What's the difference between a body oil and a body lotion? 

Body oils are usually made up of single or multiple natural oils like plants, flowers, nuts and vegetables. Body oils are used great for nourishing your skin’s outer layer, the oil creates a protective barrier helping to prevent water evaporation from your skin.  

Body lotions are usually made up of water and oil-based solutions. They are usually thicker and richer in texture and consistency, and will target the upper layers of the epidermis, locking in moisture, keeping your skin soft and smooth.  

Benefits of a body oil 

  • Skin barrier is hydrated and protected. 
  • Oils such as jojoba, almond and coconut are known for their ability to keep your skin hydrated and have antibacterial properties. 
  • Oils can help to brighten your skin and give it a natural looking glow 
  • Perfect for massage 

Benefits of a body lotion 

  • Body lotion penetrates deep into the layers, restoring lost moisture. 
  • Can combat dehydrated skin. 
  • Great for areas where skin is thicker and prone to cracking, like elbows, knees and soles of the feet. 


Body oils are oil-soluble and have larger molecules, which take longer to absorb into the skin. They don’t contain any water and the oil-soluble ingredients make them ideal for combating dry skin. 

Body lotions will either be water based or water and oil based. Those lotions with a combination of oil and water allows them to target both dry and dehydrated skin. Water based products have a faster absorption rate meaning that body lotions will quickly penetrate your skin, replacing lost moisture. 

What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin? 

Often dry and dehydrated skin will be confused as the same, but they are separate skin concerns. Dry skin is caused by a lack of oil and is a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin lacks water. Factors such as the environment and harsh cleansing products can upset the skins natural balance, and when our skin’s natural oils are stripped, the skin can become overly dry. 

Can I use a body oil and lotion at the same time? 

Of course! If you want to layer your body skincare routine, using both an oil and lotion will give you extra nourishment and protection. Apply your body lotion first and then apply the oil on top. This will create a protective seal for your skin, ensuring skin stays moisturised.