What’s The Difference Between Body Balm, Body Butter, And Body Lotion?

woman applying lotion
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Last Updated on July 16, 2021 by uts_admin

With the plethora of skincare products available today, it gets confusing. If you want to keep your body moisturized, you have to choose between body balm, body butter, and body lotion. What is the difference between these three products and do you need them all?

The Difference Between Body Balm, Body Butter, and Body Lotion

Body Balm

A body balm is a thick, often solid, product made with butters and hydrating oils. It is somewhere between a body cream and a body oil. In terms of consistency, this is thicker than both butters and lotions. Utama Spice’s Fresh Soul Body Balm is made from virgin coconut oil, beeswax, and various moisturizing essential oils.

Body balms are extremely hydrating but are absorbed fairly quickly compared to body oils. However, if it is in solid form, it may still take a while to be absorbed into the skin (especially when compared to lotions) because it will need to melt into your skin. One thing that many people love about body balms is that it leaves a subtle sheen that makes the skin look like it is glowing.

Thanks to the combination of butters and oils, body balms are moisturizing while serving as a protective barrier for your skin. It can help heal the skin and promote skin regeneration. For these reasons, body balms are great for skin conditions that require moisture, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and the likes. However, body balms are also great for treating dryness in elbows, knees, and feet.

woman with lotion on legs

Body Butter

A body butter is a thick cream that is packed with hydrating ingredients, making it extremely moisturizing. It is made primarily with a butter, oil, and very little or no water at all. Natural butters are extracted from natural sources like seeds, beans, and nuts. Some of the most popular butters are cocoa butter, shea butter, lavender butter, and mango butter. Butters contain essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The resulting body butter has a thick consistency; however, viscosity may vary depending on the natural butter used. Some butters are light and are, thus, absorbed quickly, while others are thicker but also more potent.

Regardless of their consistency, body butters are effective at hydrating and moisturizing the skin. Aside from hydrating the skin, body butters also create a protective barrier that locks in moisture. This skincare product is perfect for people with extremely dry skin, roughness, cracking, and inflammation because it can help to rejuvenate while healing the skin.

Because of their thick consistency, body butters are best used at night, preferably after a shower or bath, for maximum absorbency. Additionally, since body butters are quite potent, you will only need to apply small amounts.

Utama Spice has a selection of body butters: Cocoa Love Body Butter, Lavender Body Butter, Lemongrass Ginger Body Butter, Rose Allure Body Butter, and Tropical Flower Body Butter.

Body Lotion

Body lotion is the lightest of all products here. Lotions contain water various ingredients that target different skin concerns. As a result, body lotions are thinner, lighter, and are absorbed much quickly than body balms or butters. Lotions also do not leave an oily sheen on the skin.

Because body lotions are water-based, they contain less oils or butters, and are thus, less nourishing. However, this does not mean that they are not moisturizing. Lotions help the skin absorb water and seal it inside. This is ideal for people with dehydrated skin since lotions are able to penetrate deep into the skin for deeper hydration. Furthermore, lotions seal the moisture in the skin, allowing the skin to stay hydrated for longer.

Body lotions are perfect for dehydrated skin because it can help with water retention. However, it is a great body moisturizer for day time and warmer seasons or for when you do not have time to wait for your skin to absorb the lotion.

How to use body lotion properly? Body lotion helps trap moisture so it is best used after a shower when the skin is still damp. This will allow the skin to not only absorb the oil and nutrients from the lotion but also moisture from the water on your skin.

Choose from these refreshing Coconut Lotion scents: Island Spice, Lavender, Lemongrass Ginger, and Mint Crush.

The Differences In Summary

All body balms, butters, and lotiosn provide great moisture for the skin. But they differ in terms of ingredients, consistency, and how fast it is absorbed by the skin. Body balms are the thickest and most potent as they are made without water. Body butters, on the other hand, is the in-between as it is made with natural butters and just a bit of water. So, it is thinner than balms but thicker than body lotions. Lastly, body lotions are the lightest because it is water-based.

Which Is Best For You?

Now that you understand the difference between body balms, body butters, and body lotion, you need to make a choice between them. Neither of the three is better than the others, so your choice must depend on your skin’s needs. In fact, you may need all of them.

If you have normal or oily skin, you may find that a body lotion may be sufficiently moisturizing during the warmer months, but you may need a more potent moisturizer, like a body butter for the colder months.

However, those with dehydrated or dry skin may benefit from the power of body butters and body balms. Body balms in particular are ideal for those managing skin conditions.

Finally, consider your preference. If you prefer lightweight, on-the-go moisturizers, a lotion may be the best option. Meanwhile, if you prefer more moisture, you may use a body butter at night or after your showers.


Body balms, body butters, and body lotions each offer different levels of moisturizing. None of them are better or worse—it all depends on your skin’s needs and personal preferences. In fact, you may find that you need all three for different times of the day and seasons. Complete your skincare with Utama Spice.

66 thoughts on “What’s The Difference Between Body Balm, Body Butter, And Body Lotion?

    • Sheila gagnon says:

      Spectacular explanation. Sadly some companies don’t know the difference lol. We use them all!! Moisture Moisture Moisture

  1. Ruby Gray says:

    Very good article about the differences in moisturizers. Now I’ll have to think about which one will be best for me.

  2. Laura Harrison says:

    A plethora of skincare products is right! There are so many different types and aromas. I’ve tried some that didn’t smell very great but worked wonders and some that smelled heavenly and didn’t work well. It’s a hit and miss with skincare products.
    I should just find one that I like and stick with it but I get bored and want to try something else.

  3. LisaMJ says:

    My skin is the driest of dry. Been seeing a dermatologist since 1978. Hence, lotions are just watery to me, useless. I’m glad to try rich body butters and balms instead.

  4. Julie Barrett says:

    I never knew the difference between these types of skincare products before either. Thanks for sharing the differences and benefits of each so we can use them properly.

  5. Ronald Gagnon says:

    I would definitley recommend the lotion..
    It works quicker, has no oily residue and has a lighter consistancy

  6. Lori A. Yarbrough says:

    You’re never too young to learn. I enjoyed reading about the difference in the body Cream, Butter, and Balm. Thank you.

  7. Kimberley North says:

    I actually found that very interesting. I’ve always wondered the difference between the three of them. I often stick to body lotion. I didn’t know that it is the least moisturising. I’ve found body butters to be too oily in the past. Great tips on when to apply them after a shower too

  8. Lauryn R says:

    Very interesting to read the differences! I agree that they are all great, depending on your skins needs.

  9. Michael F says:

    It seems to be that lotions are great if you’re planning on heading out and about after application, whereas butters and balms are more for if you’re planning on relaxing at home and treating yourself.

  10. Susan Smith says:

    Great information! I have never used a body balm before. I find a body butter helps moisturizes my dry skin.

  11. Lisa M says:

    Thank you for this. I need to look into purchasing some body balm. Because of the conditions you previously discussed like psoriasis. Also that it also helps to combat dermatitis.

  12. Paula S. says:

    I’ve never used anything other than body lotion. I’ve never really thought of using anything else, so this is good info!

  13. Susan Marina Brown Lane says:

    I knew lotion was the thinnest, but did not know the difference between balm and butter. Thanks.

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