Body butter versus body oil: everything you need to know

Body butter versus body oil

When it comes to skincare, we all know that moisturizing is an essential step: according to research, it’s key to keeping your skin looking gorgeous, young, and healthy. But picking the right product can be kind of confusing without knowing what sets them apart from one another. We’re shedding some light on the topic and breaking down the differences between body butter and body oil, so you can find the right product for your beautiful Bawdy.

What is the difference between body oil, body butter, and body lotion?

To understand the differences between body oils and lotions, we need to dig a little bit deeper into how each of them is formulated. Body butters tend to be denser in consistency and contain Vitamin E or Creatine, which are absorbed by deeper skin layers. In contrast, body oils use the natural properties of various oils to nourish the outer layer of your skin and - according to a 2018 article published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology improve the function of your skin’s moisture barrier.

As well as their ingredients, body butter and body oils leave the skin with different sensations after they are absorbed. Body butter tends to leave skin feeling moist, with a layer of product that remains on the very surface of the skin. This can benefit people who have sensitive skin that needs a little bit of extra protection from everyday life. In turn, body oil tends to leave skin feeling moist but without a greasy residue. Some people prefer body oils because they don’t like the residue other products can leave behind.

If you’re wondering what the butter vs. lotion differences are, lotions tend to be lighter and generally leave less residue than body butters also. However, they often contain more common nasties in their ingredient lists, so if you’re looking for a clean beauty option, it’s worth keeping that in mind.

What goes first: body butter or oil?

People are increasingly following a multi-step skincare routine for the rest of their bodies and their faces. Not only is it a great act of self-care, but cleansing, moisturizing and protecting your skin from the sun are ideal ways to keep your skin looking great and prevent premature signs of aging according to Dr. Stacy Hawkins, et al. If you’re thinking of layering body oils and butter, you’ll need to know which order is best to apply them.

Much like skincare on your face, you will be looking to follow a cleanse - tone - moisturize routine. After cleansing your skin in the shower or bath, you will want to lightly dry your skin before applying your body butter. Once that has had a chance to be absorbed for a couple of minutes, you will then use the oil to seal in moisture. 

While layering skincare is an option for your body as much as for your face, combining body butter and oil is not strictly necessary and could leave you feeling a bit sticky. Imagine the feeling of adding a facial oil after applying Weleda Skin Food… a bit icky, right? That being said, if your skin really needs an intense hydration boost, layering body butter and body oils could work.

When should I apply body oil?

Generally speaking, body oil is best applied just after a nice steamy shower while your skin is still warm and damp. If you want to elevate your application, consider using it as a gua sha body massage oil to tone and firm your skin. Gua sha massages are great for improving the tone of your skin and giving it a tighter, firmer appearance.

The best body oils are natural, so they have a pretty versatile range of uses. Some of which are naughtier than others, we’ll be honest. Fragrance-free body oils can be used to enhance massages of all kinds and can be used to have some silky and smooth fun at playtime too... if you catch our drift. Coconut body oils are an excellent option for your sexy pampering sessions and are safe to use all over your body as long as they are fragrance and irritant-free.

According to a Medical News Today Article, if you’re planning on having some fun with your body oil, you need to double-check the ingredients first. Scents can be a nasty culprit when it comes to irritation. So while a rose body oil might sound super romantic, you’ll want to go scent-free in this case and let the pheromones do all the talking!

What are body butter and body oil made from?

Base ingredients for body butter and body oil differ quite a lot. Formula Botanica, a skincare formulation resource, explains that body butter ingredient lists revolve around solid bases such as cocoa butter, mango butter, or shea butter. In turn, body oils use liquids as a base. These commonly include almond oil or coconut oil. Each of these ingredients has its own properties and will provide your skin with different nutrients, but brands tend to add to these to make their products more effective.

You will find other ingredients in the mix as well as these base oils to give products a specific purpose and make sure they are enjoyable to use. These can consist of scents, vitamins, and other more specialized, expensive oils. These extra ingredients make sure products are effective and deliver great results, such as our Bawdy Oil, which uses natural ingredients to tone and firm up your skin. Some products also have additional ingredients included for a specific result, like tiny particles of biodegradable glitter to create shimmer body oils. 

Depending on your skin’s condition, you’re best to take a read of the ingredients on the products you are considering and choose one that contains ingredients that will address your primary skin concerns.

What body butter is the best?

Body butters come in tons of different shapes and sizes, with ingredient lists varying wildly from one brand to another. Some of the most popular moisturizers are shea body butters, and with good reason! Shea butter is rich in both fatty acids and nutrients, meaning not only will it moisturize your skin, but according to research published in 2012 it can also act as an anti-inflammatory.

When it comes to homemade body butter, it’s worth checking processes. Whether you’re thinking of making your own or buying a product from a small maker. When purchasing or making small-batch cosmetics, you need to be careful that products are handled safely, and cleanliness is a top priority. Making cosmetics is a science, so getting measurements exactly right every time is essential too. So it’s worth having a think about whether it’s a good idea to DIY cosmetics before you Google ‘how to make whipped body butter?’ 

To conclude: which is better, body butter or body oil?

The bottom line is the best product for you will depend on your skin and your skincare routine.

  • If you find that your skin is dry and doesn’t get greasy, layering body butter and body oil can be a good shout. 
  • If your skin is more sensitive or is prone to breakouts, then a body oil would be your best bet. 
  • If you don’t have any specific skin complaints, keeping both body oil and body butter to hand is ideal. That way, you can pick which one you want to use, depending on your mood.