The Difference Between Lotions, Creams & Balms

The Difference Between Lotions, Creams & Balms

We use various mixtures daily to preserve the health and beauty of our skin - whether it be lotions, creams or balms. These are composed of water, oil and an emulsifier which serves to make mixing the former possible. An emulsion is formed based on the water and oil content. This is known as a water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsion.

Lotions - Excellent Spreadability

A lotion glides over the skin and is often very rich to provide the skin with long-lasting care. It is an oil-in-water emulsion whereby the water content is higher than that found in creams or balms. This results in excellent spreadability ideal for use on larger surface areas. Body lotions supply the skin with sufficient moisture, vitamins and nutrients to preserve the health and elasticity of the skin. Since lotions have a low oil percentage, they are easily absorbed by the skin and provide a pleasant skin feel.

Cosmeterie tip: Lotions are ideal for normal skin types. Dry skin should use products with higher oil content.

Creams - Moisturising Boosters

Generally, cream contains more water than oil and is classically found in most bathroom cabinets. Creams aim to supply the skin with sufficient moisture whilst being easy and light to apply. The oil and water ratios may vary, however, the cream is formulated to refresh, regulate and moisturise the skin. Creams are enriched with various ingredients targeted to individual skin types and concerns.

Cosmeterie tip: It is recommended to use water-based creams on oily and combination skin types because they deliver moisture without being greasy. Skin that is prone to sensitivity should only use creams with a low or fragrance-free formula. This prevents the risk of irritation from occurring. If your skin is on the drier side, opt for a rich cream with high oil content.

Balms - High in Oils

Balms are water-in-oil emulsions with high oil content. It is formulated to protect the skin and lock in moisture. Furthermore, so-called ointments or salves do not contain a water component to cover the skin and provide intensive protection.

Cosmeterie tip: Dry skin types can benefit from using balms that are high in oil to protect the skin against dryness and dehydration.