Lotions vs. Creams vs. Ointments

Dermatologists have recommended using a moisturizer on your skin daily, especially in the winter when dry skin is promenant. It is important to match your skin type to whatever moisturizer you buy. But how do you know what moisturizer is the best? Do lotions, creams and ointments all work the same?


  • Moisturizing lotions are the thinnest formula of the three, they contain the most water. Lotions are the easiest to spread across the skin, absorb quickly and have a light feeling. People who have oily skin should use lotions because they are hydrating without feeling heavy or clog your pores. During the summer when the air is hot and humid, people with dry skin can also benefit from lotions. Most facial moisturizers fall into this category.


  • Moisturizing creams fall in the “in-between” zone between ointments and lotions. They have a formula that is half water based and half oil based. A skin cream has the tendency to be less greasy than oinment and has a heavier feeling than lotions. Creams are good for people who has normal to dry skin. Dermatologists recommend using creams for dry skin, eczema and psoriasis.


  • Skin ointments are the heaviest product of the three; they are made primarily from oils (with a ratio of 80% oil to 20% water.) Ointments create a barrier on the skin to seal in moisture. Ointments are best used for people with very dry skin, and can also be used for elbows, feet and other areas that dry out quickly. Skin ointments are primarily made from oil, therefore they are not recommended as a daily use for people with oily skin.

Thank you to Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc. for the original information. You can read more here.

Posted in Foot Care News.