Last month, I wrote a post all about the benefits of body moisturising but it occurred to me that with so many different types of moisturiser out there, it can be tricky to decide which one to buy.
There are tonnes in the shops to suit all budgets and I’ve reviewed many on my blog to give you any idea of which ones are great but I know that many get confused as to which formula to go for. Cue today’s blog post as I’ll share the main types of body moisturiser that are on the highstreet, plus some of my all time faves, to make your next shopping trip a doddle!
Choosing which body moisturiser is right for you depends a lot on the level of hydration you’d like to achieve and when you are using it, from the time of the day to the season as that will dictate the formula that you should go for.
These are the main categories:
BODY LOTION OR BODY MILK
Body lotions and milks are generally the lightest formula of all moisturisers. These are great for using if your skin is hydrated and soft already (perhaps if you already have a body moisturising routine), if you don’t have a dry skin type or if you want something that is going to dry quickly. I personally prefer to use a body lotion in the summer months as sometimes a body butter can be too thick when its really hot and clammy!
My most repurchased lighter body moisturiser is most definitely the Decleor Aroma Confort- Systeme Corps Moisturising Body Milk. I have lost count of the amount of times that I have repurchased this body milk and it all started when I had a massage around eight years ago at Pure Bliss in Sunderland. Ever since I’ve been buying it and enjoying how luxurious it feels. The scent is incredible, very relaxing and the milk itself is velvety in texture, works into the skin quickly and easily and dries down within a couple of minutes which is great as I can get dressed straight away without having to dance about waiting for it to absorb! You can read my full review of this gorgeous body milk here.
BODY BUTTER OR BODY CREAM
Body butters and creams are thick, dense body moisturisers that tend to provide the deepest nourishment to the skin, body butters more so than body creams. They feel indulgent, rich and take the longest to sink into the skin but boy are they worth it!
I like to use body butters or creams most often all year round (in addition to Bio Oil which is a total staple) as I find that the skin on my body is quite dry and in need of deeper nourishment, especially on my knees and elbows. Plus I have a touch of Psoriasis which needs to be kept hydrated, otherwise it cracks, is painful and bleeds which isn’t fun!
One of my favourite body butters has to be the Argan+ Ultra-Rich Body Butter (review here) that I have been using for nearly 3 years now. It nourishes the skin beautifully without being sticky or too heavy and it leaves my skin super soft to the touch, while smelling incredible too.
Oils are designed to lock in moisture to the skin so if you like applying your body products straight after your shower while your skin is still a bit damp, then this formula is great for you although they can be used at any time. Oils are great for body massage, for use as a corrective treatment and simply for those that love hydrating their skin and giving it a silky soft glow.
Body oils tend to be marketed either as a body oil or as a dry body oil, the latter of which you should find to absorb more quickly into the skin and leave the body feeling dry to the touch. Don’t worry though, they’ll still provide plenty of hydration!
Another thing to note with body oils is that they should be used with caution when fake tanning as they can break down the false tan and make your tan look patchy or remove it completely. This is great if your tan is coming to the end and you want to remove it ready for a new application, simply dampen your skin with warm water in the shower, pop on some exfoliating gloves and massage the body oil into your skin while wearing the gloves and then wash away the excess tan. However if you’ve just applied your tan then I’d suggest using a milk, lotion or cream to moisturise the skin- just try to use one that doesn’t have a high oil content in it as you want your tan to last!
If you are specifically looking to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks and skin imperfections while generally improving the appearance of the skin and nourishing it, I’d highly recommend Bio-Oil. I have used it for YEARS and raved about how amazing it is in countless blog posts. This is the one body product that I am never without and although I may switch up the other products that I use quite frequently, I’ll never be without a bottle of this in my beauty stash. It has helped me to literally get rid of three built up, noticeable scars COMPLETELY and it generally keeps my skin looking smooth, perfected and deeply nourished. I’d recommend it for any skin, regardless of whether you’re looking to prevent or diminish scars and stretch marks because its a fantastic moisturiser regardless. You can even use it in the bath on days where you’re feeling too lazy to moisturise… admit it girls, we all have them
I’ll be posting about how Bio-Oil has helped me most recently in a blog post soon but for now, check out this throwback Bio-Oil review post where I talk about when the results of this miracle oil first blew my mind.
Body gels are clear, almost jelly like and are a lot more cooling to the touch. They aren’t usually a product that is a treat to apply, they sort of dry onto the skin rather than into it and can feel quite cold on the skin for a while after application. In my opinion, they’re best reserved for when the skin is hot and in need of cooling, such after some exercise or if you’re unfortunate enough to be sunburned.
The main types that you’ll find on the highstreet for hydrating and nourishing the skin are body lotions, body creams and body butters with one of the key differences between them being the amount of water within their formula which determines how liquid/runny they are.
Body butters are thicker than creams, creams are thicker than lotions and lotions are thicker than milks. The thicker the product, the more effort it will take to rub in and the longer it will take to absorb and dry. Usually the thicker the product, the more nourishing it is although that can change with quality and ingredients and ultimately the brand and price point.
Generally speaking, if you were to compare the products side by side, the body butter would look more solid and need to be scooped out of a pot whereas the body cream would usually be squeezed out of a tube and be dense enough to hold its shape. The lotion would usually be squeezed or pumped out of a bottle and would start to lose its shape and increase its surface area on the skin quite quickly whereas the body milk would either need to be pumped out of a bottle or sprayed and it would be much more of a light liquid which may run if left on the skin and not rubbed in.
The image above should explain demonstrate this pretty well; the body butter is at the top, the body lotion/milk in the bottom left and the oil in the bottom right.
With so many options available, I hope I’ve been able to help you to understand the differences between the various formulas out there so that you can choose which body moisturiser is right for you!
SHOP THE POST
What products do you use to moisturise your body? Do you prefer a lotion, cream, body butter or oil?