Our Organic Shea Body Butter is one of the most popular products in our body care product line. But why did we prefer launching ‘body butter’ instead of a lotion or cream format? What are the differences, and which is better and why?
The natural oils on the skin acts as a protective barrier that prevents dryness. Skin starts to lose its moisture due to various factors such as harsh weather, pollution, stress, aging, etc. To retain this lost moisture and to protect the skin, and most of us are in the habit of using body lotions, body creams or body butters.
Organic Body Butter vs Body Cream vs Body Lotion
Body butter has a consistency similar to regular softened table butter. It is rich and luxurious, having the thickest consistency with an oily finish and high viscosity. Body Creams are thinner than body butter and have a ‘whipped’ consistency. On the other hand, Body Lotions are even lighter with the thinnest consistency (maximum dilution with water), similar to fresh cream that we eat.
Lotion emulsions are made by blending oils and water. Body butters are typically a mix of 100% Natural Butters (such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Kokum Butter or Beeswax) and Natural Oils (such as Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil or Almond Oil). Since ingredients such as Shea Butter and Coconut or Jojoba Oil are added in full concentration to body butters, they also give you a certain amount of natural sun protection.
If we talk about natural body lotion and body creams, they may contain the same ingredients, but in a much diluted/emulsified concentration. Others, which are not natural or organic, may also contain toxic ingredients such as sulfates, alcohol, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and colors, dyes, PEG compounds, ethoxylated ingredients and more which helps in product shelf life stabilization.
Put in simple terms, once they sink into the skin, Body Butters have the longest staying power, followed by Body Creams and Body Lotions. Ingredients like Shea butter and Beeswax create a protective barrier on the skin, which is especially helpful in the Vata (dry/winter) season. When it comes to longevity of Body Lotions, the hydration elements evaporate into the atmosphere quickly and are not suitable for intense and long lasting moisturization.
The presence of water in any formulation promotes spoilage (or growth of molds quickly). To prevent this, a high percentage of preservatives are added to high-water containing formulas such as Body Lotions and Body Creams which extends their shelf life. Most of these preservatives are not people friendly and are known to cause hormone disruption and systemic toxicity in the long run. On the other hand, since natural Body Butters have no dilution, they do not require any preservatives to protect them from spoilage.
Body butters formulated with 100% pure shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, coconut oil, etc., alone has a natural shelf life of about 1-2 years. When they are infused with antimicrobial herbs (such as Neem and Rosemary) the oxidation and contamination of the product is prevented and depending upon the ratio of the ingredients, the shelf life can go above 3+ years.
Body care formulas today come in a variety of flavors and fragrances, such as Pure Madagascar Vanilla, Green Tea, Jasmine, Rose, Mandarin Orange and so many others. In fact, many of us love reapplying body butters, lotions or creams just to sense the invigorating fragrance of the product over and over again! If you want to smell amazing for a longer time, fragrances of body butters have the longest staying power, followed by body creams and body lotions.
Body lotions tend to be more suitable for just summertine or extremely oily skin. Body butters have a myriad of uses. They can be used for hand and foot care, cuticle softening, dry skin care, massage and all over skincare and softening. Body butters are the best pick if you want to avoid pregnancy stretch marks. If you have oily skin, use a small amount of the formula spread evenly onto your skin, and if you have dry to normal skin, you just apply a little extra, especially on knees and elbows.
So to recap, body lotions give you lightweight moisture and can be ideal for frequent touch-ups for hands or legs during the summer months for oily skin. The same is true for body creams for people with dry skin. However, for intense whole body moisturization with long lasting results and without the toxic overload, natural and organic body butters is the ideal choice for all skin types.