Difference Between Moisturizer and Lotion


Main Difference

The main difference between moisturizer and lotion is that the moisturizer has a thicker consistency and is a mean to hydrate the skin, on the other hand, a lotion is a type of cream which has a lighter consistency and is a mean to treat many skin problems.

Moisturizer vs. Lotion

A moisturizer is a form of cream exclusively designed to provide essential vitamins and oils to a person’s face or skin. A lotion is a form of a cream which is placed on the skin to add or remove various effects. Moisturizer ensures that the vitamins and oils linger in the skin. It is utilized to cure severe dryness of the skin. The lotion is utilized to guard the skin against sun injury, prevent acne, or give specific medicated applications in the form of beneficial minerals and vitamins such as vitamin E. Moisturizer is specifically designed to add the hydration feature to the skin to keep it moisturized and more hydrated. On the other hand, most of the lotions are deliberately made opposite of a moisturizer. They remove the hydration property beneath the skin. Both the creams have a clear difference in their effects on the skin. Moisturizer is utilized to renovate moisture underneath the skin. Lotion consists of oils that help as a lubricant to avoid friction on the skin. A moisturizer is significantly lighter as compared to lotions and is easily absorbed into the skin. A lotion terminates the moisture attribute of the skin and is not easily absorbed in the skin. Some of the moisturizers are commonly utilized for cosmetic and therapeutic functions. These are specially manufactured to treat the skin for conditions of water loss and are good for dry and scaly skin. Some different kinds of lotions like the topical product, food cream, and skin lotion are used for the profusion of diverse skin ailments, disorders, and pain.


Comparison Chart

Moisturizer uses a mixture of water and oil soluble components to keep the outermost layer of the skin in its natural condition.The lotion is cream with additional ingredients like anti-bacterial agents, fragrances, etc. which treats skin disorders.
Percentage of Water
Percentage of Oil
Hydration Characteristic
Essentially presentSometimes removed
Penetration Capacity
Treatment for
Dehydrated/dry skinSkin lacking various essential elements

What is Moisturizer?

Moisturizer is a product that gives moisture to the human skin. Moisturizer is important to help in reducing the daily loss of water that travels through the epidermis. It ranges from being severe to minimal depending on the skin type, individual’s age, and the routine loss of water. A moisturizer is classified into two types, emollients and occlusive. Emollients are commonly called as lotions, but they are not lotions. They work by penetrating through the skin to close the gaps which are created due to the breakdown of the links between the dead cells. Occlusive is specifically a moisturizer. They come in the form of paraffin, mineral oil and petroleum. Moisturizers are generally known as chemicals that:

  • maintains hydration
  • relieves sun damage
  • reduce skin aging

What is Lotion?

A lotion is a cream designed to be used on the body having a high water base together with low oil content. Lotion can be a hand lotion, baby lotion, etc. according to its classification. Many other types of lotions are designed for facial use or as a treatment agent for acne. It contains various ingredients including glycerol, dyes, fragrances, proteins, petroleum jelly, preservatives, and stabilizing agents. The lotion is designated for both day and night use depending on its consistency. Lotions with lighter texture are suitable for daily moisturizing, and heavier texture lotions are good to be used at night. The lotion has a variety of uses which are:

  • moisturizing
  • soothing
  • smoothing
  • protection agent
  • anti-fungal, antibiotics, anti-acne, antiseptics agents

Key Differences

  1. The moisturizer has a higher consistency whereas the lotion is light in consistency in order not to clog the pores.
  2. Moisturizer treats the dry skin by keeping it hydrated on the other hand lotion provides essential elements to the skin to avoid skin disorders.
  3. Moisturizer replenishes the moisture beneath the skin on the flip side lotion consists of oils that are designed to be utilized as lubricants to avoid friction.
  4. Moisturizer is specifically designed to carry essential vitamins and oils back into a person’s face or skin conversely lotion is a form of a cream which is placed on the skin to remove or add numerous effects.
  5. Moisturizers make the oils and vitamins stay longer on the skin and lotions make the skin protected from acne, sun injury, and other skin infections.


Moisturizers are creams manufactured especially as hydration agent, but lotions offer more than that. They are anti-fungal, antibacterial, protecting, moisturizing and soothing agents.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson