August 20, 2022 5 min read


Body oil and body lotion are used to hydrate the skin but work differently. However, skin care specialists argue that the best way to keep your skin soft and hydrated is by using them together. The two skin products do not contain the same ingredients. Therefore, using them together is beneficial as they add different nutrients to the skin. Body oils are thicker than lotions. Oil takes longer before it evaporates. For better results, you need to know what to apply first. Most skin care products come with instructions on how to use them. It is good to read those instructions first even though you feel like they are against what you know. This article will give you tips on how to use the two skincare products.

What is a Body Lotion?

A body lotion is a topical applied to the skin. It is used to add moisture and make the skin soft, healthy, and smooth. They might also have additional ingredients that counteract aging and wrinkles. They are thin compared to oil as they contain more water. This makes them absorbed easily into the skin. Lotions are mostly packed in bottles that are easy to use.  You can use them on daily bases when need be. Some lotions are meant for specific parts of the body such as hands and body. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how and where to use the lotion.

What is Body Oil?

Body oil is a skincare product applied to dry skin. They are thicker compared to body lotion. Unlike body lotions that mainly consist of water, they contain pure oil extracted from different parts of plants such as fruit, leaves, and seed. Some oils are purely made from vegetables.  They may contain other ingredients such as vitamin C and E. Some oils can be used on any part of the body while others are meant for specific parts of the body.  Do not apply body oil on your face. You should strictly follow the instruction given by the manufacturer.

What to Apply First

Purnamawati et al. (2017) discovered that the main factor that determines what to be applied first between lotion and oil, is their density. Body oils are thicker and denser than body lotions. It can easily penetrate through the lotion into the skin.  Therefore, apply body lotion first followed by body oil. Since lotions are lighter, they can easily evaporate when subjected to warmth. Therefore, to retain the two products for long, allow the lotion to settle directly on the skin and the oil to act as a barrier.

Tips on Applying Body Lotion and Body Oil

Body lotions and oil can work well on your body if you use them in the right manner. The following tips will guide you on how to do it

Do patch Testing

Bhowmik (2012) showed that before applying the oil or lotion to the entire body, select a certain part of the skin, and apply your product to see if it goes well with your skin.  If it doesn't react negatively with your skin after 24 hours, go ahead and use the product on the entire body. Some people have very sensitive skin while others are less sensitive. A product might be good for you but reacts with someone else skin.

Do not overdo skin products.

Follow the less is more rule. You should not apply too much product to the skin. Start with a few drops, and smear it on your skin. If it is not enough, you have the liberty to add more.  Too much oil on your skin might make you look unattractive

Wash off Skin Products after 12 Hours

Your skin needs time to relax.  Body lotions and oil attract a lot of dust. They might also block pores on the skin. Therefore, wash your skin thoroughly in warm soapy water. It is advisable to wash off body lotion and oil before going to bed.

Stick to One Product

After identifying the best product for your skin, stick to it. Peate (2002) discovered that changing lotions and oil over and over might expose your skin to harsh ingredients. Some skin products contain bleaching ingredients. If you are not careful, they might interfere with your color skin.

Apply it Post-shower

Applying lotion and oil on dry skin might take longer to get into the skin. It is advisable to apply oil on a wet surface for easier absorption. However, do not apply on very wet skin, partially wipe excess water before putting on the lotion.

Identify Your Skin Type

There are different types of skin. Some people have very dry skin while others are oily. When buying body lotions and oil, check the ingredients used. Some ingredients might worsen the condition of your skin.

Benefits of Body Oil and Lotion

Using both body oil and lotion can benefit you in the following ways.

Hydrate Your Skin

Kapoor& Saraf (2010) noted that the main reason why we put on lotions and oil on our skin is to make it stay hydrated. Hydrated skin looks attractive and soft. Hydrated skin will also make you look younger as it is free from wrinkles.

Eliminates Stretch Marks

 Stretch marks are very common in pregnancy due to overstretching of the skin. Some body lotions repair your skin from the inside and also from the outside. They help the skin to remain hydrated and elastic. The elasticity of the skin will help it to return to its normal size after stretching as it does in pregnancy.

Prevent Sunburns

Long exposure to direct sunlight might make you develop sunburns. Longer exposure to sun rays can also cause cancer of the skin. Dutra et al. (2004) showed that body lotions and oil can protect you from this direct contact with sun rays.


Body lotions and oil are mainly used to moisturize. Body oil is thicker while body lotion is thinner. These two products can be used together for better results. Since lotion is thinner than oil, it should be applied first. Oil should be applied on top of the lotion. The oil acts as a barrier preventing the lotion from being carried away by the wind.


Bhowmik, D. (2012). Recent advances in novel topical drug delivery system. The Pharma Innovation, 1(9).

Dutra, E. A., Kedor-Hackmann, E. R. M., & Santoro, M. I. R. M. (2004). Determination of sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens by ultraviolet spectrophotometry. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Farmacêuticas, 40(3), 381-385.

Kapoor, S., & Saraf, S. (2010). Assessment of viscoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturizers using bioengineering techniques. Pharmacognosy magazine, 6(24), 298.

Peate, W. F. (2002). Occupational skin disease. American family physician, 66(6), 1025.

Purnamawati, S., Indrastuti, N., Danarti, R., & Saefudin, T. (2017). The role of moisturizers in addressing various kinds of dermatitis: a review. Clinical medicine & research, 15(3-4), 75-87.