When standing at the skin care aisle of your local market, it’s no doubt that you’re probably vortexed by the plethora of moisturizing options. After browsing through pretty labels and maybe a little sampling, you either end up with an oil or lotion in your cart.
What’s the difference between the two? Aren’t they both going to offer the same moisturizing benefits?
This is yet another “skintroversial” topic.
Both options can be incorporated into a facial and body routine, and each contain their own unique benefits for maintaining beautiful skin.
So, what’s the most suitable moisturizer for your skin type, and which will help you “turn back the clock?”
Who doesn’t love a silky body lotion? Luxurious, creamy, buttery and whipped. You name it, they’ve made it.
Lotions are created by blending oil and water together. However, since oil and water do not mix on their own, wax is needed to emulsify them. Depending on the ratio of these three ingredients, the end result ranges from a light textured lotion to a heavy cream.
the problem with lotions
The presence of wax in face and body lotion formulas creates an “occlusive” layer on the skin, which locks in moisture. While this sounds ideal for those with dry skin types, wax can potentially build up on the skin, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Also, since oil is a more active ingredient, and wax is more or less a “filler” ingredient, this waxy build up may prevent the amazing nutrients from the oil from actually penetrating into the skin.
Another downfall of lotion is that the presence of water in a formula requires some type of preservative to keep mold and bacteria from growing inside the product. Unfortunately, most preservatives on the market today are toxic and not skin-friendly. Truly “natural” preservatives are rare, so checking labels is a must and we encourage you to find the cleanest options! We use Aspen Bark Extract to preserve the integrity of our natural formulas.
Benefits of Using Lotion on Your Skin
- Replenishes moisture in the skin
- Leaves skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated
- Soothes dry, chapped and rough skin texture
- Additional ingredients in lotion formulas include aloe, vitamin E, shea butter, sunflower oil, and extracts, which all have their own beneficial properties
- Lotions help those with sensitive skin
Lotions definitely bring something to the table. But as you go through all of that trouble of lathering on your daily moisturizer of choice, you might want to consider if your skin is would receive more benefits from an oil-based formula?
If you’re familiar with Annmarie Skin Care, you know we’re a huge fan of oils. They are the primary base for the majority of our products (with a lot of love and herbs infused into them!).
I like to refer to oils as the ‘crème de la crème,' because they are an essential component of your typical lotion or cream, and can also be used alone for superior moisturization. In fact, pure oils have been used for thousands of years in ancient beauty rituals from around the world.
the nourishing effects of oils
Oils have extremely high nutrient and antioxidant levels. They are 100% active and are easily absorbed into the skin since they don’t contain any fillers. As we age, the oil (sebum) that our skin produces starts to deplete, so it only makes sense to replenish the lipid barrier by applying oils that our skin will lovingly soak right up! See, if we don’t lubricate the skin effectively, then fine lines and wrinkles start to show up.
A common skin care myth is that oils will clog pores and make you break out, especially for acne-prone skin types. This is wildly untrue! Oils have the amazing ability to balance the skin. Let’s ditch the oil-free hype because all skin types can benefit tremendously from these gifts of nature. Try our Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin which is in a base of grapeseed oil, a very light-textured oil suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types.
Benefits of Using Oil on Your Skin
- Oils hold in moisture
- Since oils deliver antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids to the skin effectively, they are the optimal choice for an anti-aging moisturizer
- A little oil goes a long way, making them the more cost effective choice (applying to wet skin will increase absorption, providing complete coverage in as little as a few drops)
- No preservative is needed to store an oil (miron glass is recommended for extended shelf life)
- Oils are easily welcomed by the skin and will not clog pores
Do keep in mind that the quality of an oil also reflects its performance on the skin. Look for oils that say “cold-pressed” or “CO2-extracted.” Always choose organic when possible and avoid chemical additives such as fragrances (parfum). Oils are often infused with herbs, so if the ingredient on the label are names of flowers and plants, you’ve likely found a good quality oil. Your skin is just waiting to take in all the juicy benefits!
Next time you need to re-stock your moisturizer, experiment with what responds and works best for your skin type. We recommend oils because of the amazing benefits, but some people also love using lotion like Radiant Skin Silk on their faces and have great results.
Winter, Ruth. ‘A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients in Cosmetics and Cosmeceutical’. Harmony; February 10, 2010.
Aguino, Kathy. ‘Skin Care Oils: Natural Plant Oils For Your Face, Body, And Hair’. Amazon Digital Services. November 29, 2014.
Abby Stoecker is a Licensed Esthetician with 9 years of experience in the beauty industry. Her journey has led her to experience first hand the entire cycle of the esthetics industry—first working as a practitioner, then as an Account Manager/ Brand Evangelist at a skin care product company (ASC), and previously as an Educator at Cinta Aveda Institute where she originally studied for her Esthetics License almost 10 years ago. Currently, she is freelancing with start up skin care brands in the green beauty space. Her objective is simple—spread awareness, educate and make people feel their best when it comes to the decisions they make for their wellness and beauty. Abby finds immense joy in navigating clients through the world of skin, helping each person craft their own at-home rituals to achieve balance, inside and out. You can find her on most mornings with a face mask on, coffee in hand, listening to “The Daily” podcast.