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  • August 23, 2022 4 min read

    What's The Difference Between Hand Cream And Lotion?

    Most people care about maintaining supple, moisturized skin. But it can be tricky; why, with everything out there? For instance, choosing between cream and lotion is more complex than it first seems. Knowing the differences between the two, as well as the contents and advantages of each, is crucial.

    What Is Hand Cream, Exactly?

    According to Purnamawati et al.  (2017), hand creams, which have a thick consistency, relieve rough, dry skin on the hands and prevent further cracking. Hand creams with a high viscosity have a greater oil concentration than water. Therefore, hand creams are thicker and more substantial than lotions. Extra coverage is provided, making them ideal for persons with dry skin. Most people apply hand cream on their hands in the winter.

    Are There Any Advantages To Using The Cream?

    Like the lotion, body cream is used all over the body to cure and prevent cracked, dry skin and to keep the skin soft and hydrated. Those with dry to very dry skin and those with normal skin who live in colder climates will benefit most from this product. Please note that one should not use oil-based lotions on your face unless you have very dry skin. However, they work well on dry skin everywhere else on the body except the hands, feet, and legs.

    Hand Lotion

    Lotions are low-viscosity products used to moisturize the rough, dry skin of the hands. When you want to tell if a product is a lotion, look at how much water it contains. They are often watery and have a runny texture. Spreading it swiftly across a wider area is made possible by the high consistency level. During the warmer months, switch to a lighter hand lotion. Those with normal skin should use hand lotion. Most users prefer hand lotions since they are more effective in preventing dryness and nourishing the skin.

    Why Is Lotion Beneficial?

    The decreased viscosity of body lotion compared to cream makes it ideal for regular to fairly dry skin types. Murphy et al.  (2022) showed that it's more suited for daytime usage and the warmer summer months since it doesn't leave a greasy residue like the cream.

    Cream Vs. Lotion

    The product's viscosity is one method to differentiate between cream and lotion. Hand creams will have a much thicker consistency because of the large amount of oil they contain. When it comes to body lotions and lotions, thinner is better because of the high-water content. Lotion vs. cream is a topic of heated discussion amongst beauty enthusiasts. Knowing the distinctions between them can help you make a more informed decision. In the warmer months, many individuals choose lotions with a lighter texture so that their hands don't feel sticky or oily.

    Meanwhile, heavier creams are often oilier and denser. Last but not least, the difference you may feel is that the skin readily absorbs lotions. Bhowmik (2012) reported that creams with a higher shea butter content sink into the skin more quickly and provide a protective barrier, making them a good option for the colder months.

    Can Hand Cream Be Used As A Face Cream?

    Most people think hand creams are safe for their faces, but this is not the case. Facial skin is much more sensitive than your hands; thus, you shouldn't use a heavy hand lotion. It might also lead to the appearance of acne or other skin imperfections. In addition, several components should be avoided. Lactic acid, included in hand lotions, may irritate sensitive skin.

    Can Hand Lotion Be Used For The Whole Body?

    Lotions for the body may also be used on the hands, making for a more streamlined routine. However, remember that the light formulation of body lotions isn't always enough, especially when hands require heavier substances. Mohiuddin (2019) stated that hand lotions feature substances like lactic acid designed to hydrate the skin of your elbows, knees, and other rougher areas. It is important to remember that not all body lotions will have this component.

    When To Use Hand Cream For Maximum Effectiveness

    It would be best to allow your skin as much time as possible to absorb moisture after applying moisturizer. This makes nighttime ideal for all your moisturizing practices. Applying hand cream before bed allows you 6-8 hours of undisturbed self-care. As a mild pre-sleep reminder, keep hand cream on your nightstand. If you must go out in the winter, at least use some hand cream.

    Hand creams and lotions and their advantages

    Lotions and creams are a low-cost method of skincare. Lotions have several uses beyond making you feel nice.

    One may rehydrate dry skin with the use of lotions and creams.

     The skin may be negatively affected by cold and dry climates. Both hot and cold weather may irritate the skin in certain persons. It will help to use lotions and hand cream.

     Applying hand lotion or cream to rough places like the elbows and knees will help immensely. Exactly what you need to get rid of flaky, dry skin. Applying a cream regularly can help soften rough skin and make it simpler to minimize dry skin.

    According to Gawande (2008), spending many hours standing sometimes develops calluses; nevertheless, one may use a hand lotion to benefit your feet greatly. Applying a thick hand lotion throughout the winter can help protect your skin from the cold.

     Using a lotion or cream scented with one’s favorite perfume is a terrific way to indulge yourself and feel pampered all day.


    Naturally derived moisturizers, such as coconut oil may be safe enough to use all over, including the hands. However, unless you already have very soft hands, you should avoid using hand lotion anywhere else on your body and vice versa.


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

    Gawande, A. (2008). The itch. The New Yorker, 30.

    Mohiuddin, A. K. (2019). Skin Care Creams: Formulation and Use. Dermatol Clin Res, 5(1), 238-271.

    Murphy, B., Grimshaw, S., Hoptroff, M., Paterson, S., Arnold, D., Cawley, A., ... & Mayes, A. E. (2022). Alteration of barrier properties, stratum corneum ceramides and microbiome composition in response to lotion application on cosmetic dry skin. Scientific reports, 12(1), 1-11.

    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.