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Moisturizer vs. Cold Cream: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 3, 2024
Moisturizer is a skincare product designed to hydrate and soften skin, while cold cream is a thicker, heavier cream mainly used for deep cleansing and intense moisturizing.

Key Differences

Moisturizers are skincare products formulated to hydrate and maintain the natural moisture balance of the skin. They come in various forms like lotions, gels, and creams, suitable for different skin types. Cold creams, in contrast, have a thicker consistency and are traditionally used not just to moisturize but also to cleanse the skin, often removing makeup.
The primary function of a moisturizer is to attract and lock moisture into the skin, helping to prevent dryness and maintain skin health. Moisturizers often contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Cold cream, on the other hand, is a type of emollient that deeply nourishes and protects skin, especially in harsh weather conditions. Its formulation typically includes water, oils, and waxes.
Moisturizers can be used across various skin types, including oily, combination, or acne-prone skin, with formulations adjusted accordingly. They are generally lighter and absorb quickly into the skin. Cold creams are more suitable for dry or sensitive skin due to their rich and creamy texture, which provides a barrier to prevent moisture loss.
Many moisturizers now come with added benefits such as SPF protection, anti-aging properties, or ingredients targeting specific skin concerns. They are a staple in daily skincare routines. Cold creams are more traditional and have been used for generations as a multi-purpose skincare product, often favored in colder months or as a nighttime treatment.
In terms of application, moisturizers are typically applied after cleansing and toning, serving as a base for makeup or as a final skincare step. Cold creams can be used to remove makeup and impurities, followed by a rinse or wipe-off, and can also be left on overnight for intense moisturization.

Comparison Chart


Light to medium
Thick, creamy

Primary Use

Hydrating skin
Cleansing and moisturizing

Skin Type Suitability

All skin types
Best for dry, sensitive skin

Added Benefits

SPF, anti-aging, etc.
Deep nourishment, makeup removal

Typical Ingredients

Hyaluronic acid, glycerin
Oils, waxes, water

Moisturizer and Cold Cream Definitions


Moisturizer helps maintain skin’s moisture balance.
Finding the right moisturizer can improve skin health.

Cold Cream

Cold cream is used for cleansing and hydrating skin.
Cold cream effectively removes her makeup.


Moisturizer comes in forms like lotions and creams.
For oily skin, a gel-based moisturizer is recommended.

Cold Cream

Cold cream is suitable for dry and sensitive skin types.
She uses cold cream to soothe her sensitive skin.


Moisturizer is used in daily skincare routines.
After cleansing, she uses a moisturizer to hydrate her skin.

Cold Cream

Cold cream has a rich, emollient texture.
His dry skin benefits from the richness of cold cream.


Moisturizer is a skincare product for hydrating skin.
She applies moisturizer daily to keep her skin soft.

Cold Cream

Cold cream is a thick cream for deep moisturization.
In winter, she switches to cold cream for extra moisture.


Moisturizer can contain ingredients for specific skin concerns.
His moisturizer has SPF for sun protection.

Cold Cream

Cold cream is a traditional skincare product.
Her grandmother recommended using cold cream for healthy skin.


A cosmetic lotion or cream applied to the skin to counter dryness.

Cold Cream

Put cold cream on one's face


Something that causes moisture or a a condition of wetness; something that makes things moist.
The oil acts as a moisturizer to the wood.


Moisturising cream, emollient.


Can moisturizer be used on oily skin?

Yes, there are moisturizers formulated specifically for oily skin.

Do moisturizers have SPF?

Some moisturizers contain SPF for sun protection.

What is moisturizer used for?

Moisturizer is used to hydrate and maintain skin’s moisture.

What are the main benefits of cold cream?

Cold cream deeply moisturizes and cleanses the skin.

Can cold cream be used daily?

Yes, cold cream can be used daily, especially for dry skin.

Are there different types of moisturizers?

Yes, moisturizers come in various types like lotions, gels, and creams.

Is cold cream good for removing makeup?

Yes, cold cream is effective in removing makeup.

Can cold cream be left on overnight?

Yes, cold cream can be used as an overnight treatment.

How does cold cream benefit sensitive skin?

Cold cream soothes and protects sensitive skin by providing extra moisture.

Should moisturizer be applied before makeup?

Yes, moisturizer should be applied before makeup as a base.

Can moisturizer prevent aging?

Moisturizers with anti-aging ingredients can help reduce signs of aging.

Can I use cold cream if I have combination skin?

Yes, but focus on drier areas and use sparingly on oily zones.

Is cold cream too heavy for oily skin?

Cold cream might be too rich for oily skin; lighter moisturizers are better suited.

Can moisturizer reduce skin dryness?

Yes, regular use of moisturizer can significantly reduce skin dryness.

Should I rinse off cold cream after use?

For cleansing, rinse off; for moisturizing, it can be left on the skin.

Are there moisturizers for acne-prone skin?

Yes, non-comedogenic moisturizers are designed for acne-prone skin.

How often should cold cream be used?

Cold cream usage depends on your skin type; it's often used at night.

What ingredients are common in moisturizers?

Common ingredients include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides.

Does moisturizer help with skin elasticity?

Moisturizers can improve skin elasticity by keeping it hydrated.

Is cold cream good for all seasons?

Cold cream is especially beneficial in colder seasons for extra hydration.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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