It’s likely you have at one or two different types of lotion or moisturizer in your bathroom, the same products you’ve been using since college. How much do you know about the product you use, have you explored any other alternatives? What’s the difference between lotion and moisturizer anyway, and which topical is right for you? In our tireless quest to improve health and wellness, we will explore both topicals to help you find the product that’s best for you.
A lotion is usually in the form of a low-viscosity, oil and water emulsion that’s applied to the skin as a topical for a variety of benefits including healing dry skin and as a preventive measure and treatment for blemishes. Lotions have minerals and vitamins designed to smoothen and soften the skin, provide UV protection (sunscreen), and even promote tanning. Lotions can also be used as topical medical applications in the case of acne blemish gels and cortisone creams. Although it has fewer overall applications than lotion, moisturizer is a similar emulsion of oils, lubricants, skin lipids and sterols used to hydrate the skin. Moisturizers range from low to high viscosity depending on the type of skin they are manufactured for and prevent/treat dry skin, improve skin tone and are also designed to cover up blemishes.
There are many different types of lotions and moisturizers and not all are created equal. Many of the traditional and less expensive products are chemical based. They contain synthetic oils and other chemicals that are unnatural and may exacerbate skin dryness and other conditions instead of helping to improve these blemishes. Those prone to rashes and allergic reactions to certain types of chemicals found in common lotions and moisturizers are in luck as there are now 100% organic body lotions that contain all natural ingredients. As we become more health conscious as a society and people begin to take health matters into their own hands, the demand for all natural, organic lotions and moisturizers has increased and the skin care industry has pay heed to this trend by manufacturing newer, more natural products.
Organic Body Lotion vs Natural Skin Moisturizer
Organic Body Lotion
Organic products have vast advantages to the health and wellness of your body and lotions are no different. Organic body lotions are of course made with all natural ingredients. They are also packed with minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin E, which nourish your skin. Organic lotions contain other beneficial ingredients from natural sources, like shea butter and aloe vera which penetrate the skin to hydrate and rejuvenate, restoring damaged skin cells.
To be sure if a product is truly organic look for at USDA label. There are two distinctions the USDA classifies as organic “100% Organic” and just “organic”. To be labeled organic by the USDA the product can contain up to 5% synthetic oils, lubricants, lipids, etc. This is not to say the manufacturer is purposely trying to trick you, they are simply stating that in an attempt to create the best, most effective organic lotion, they feel the recipe needs to include a few synthetic binders. This is where knowing your body is important. You may not have an allergy that necessitates a 100% organic lotion if the benefits received from synthetic lotion are suitable for you. However, those suffering from known, and especially unknown, allergies would do well to research the ingredients in Organic and 100% Organic lotion in order to analyze which lotion or moisturizer is best suited for your own unique skin.
Oil-based lotions contain minerals and nutrients just like their natural, organic counterparts however they also include humectants (water molecule like substance used to keep things moist) and emollientsâ (emulsions or mixtures of various naturally occurring and artificial lubricants lipids) that bind together with minerals and nutrients to produce a moisturizing topical lotion. These oils and lubricants aren’t necessarily bad for the body but as we discussed prior, people react differently to different chemicals so for some natural, organic lotion is the only way to go.
Natural Skin Moisturizer
Many people deal with skin dryness at some point in their life or on a regular, seasonal basis. Moisturizers increase moisture availability by bringing minerals and oils back in the skin and working from beneath the skin. When using moisturizers, it is important to use an all-natural skin moisturizer or you are essentially dumping chemicals into your body that can be harmful. There is an abundance of natural ingredients for moisturizers so they really are not that much more expensive.
Natural moisturizers are more eco-friendly, avoid chemical irritation, have fewer side effects and are gentler on the skin. Being all natural saves the planet from big chemical factories that pollute and also in the byproduct of disposal. Not all, but some unnatural lotions can cause skin irritation or odd side effects such as a rash. Overall, natural products better and while you may not notice the effects right away, after continued use you will eventually realize that natural products are better and gentler on the skin vs the unnatural products.
Get Started with These Moisturizer Recipes
If you are a little more industrious and enjoy making your own creations, then why not add a homemade moisturizer to your repertoire; You can customize your lotion to make the very best for your skin. It is also a great way to ensure that your moisturizer is all natural and/or organic. There are many different ingredients and methods for making your moisturizer at home, here are some of the common ingredients:
- Almond Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Liquid Vitamin E
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Rose Water (regular water is fine)
From the above ingredients, you can prepare a homemade moisturizer to help you improve the health of your skin. To give you an idea here is one method:
- Put Aloe Vera Gel into a saucepan and heat on low. Fill another bowl with a few inches of Rose Water.
- Once the Aloe Vera or Beeswax is melted into liquid form pour it into the rose water bowl. Add liquid Vitamin E to the melted concoction and mix thoroughly.
- In another bowl, pour out a large amount of oil. You can use any particular oil or a combination of different oils such as coconut, almond, sandalwood, etc.
- Combine the two bowls in Step #2 and #3 and mix thoroughly (we suggest a blender on low) until the lotion is of desired texture.
Homemade Hand Lotion
Using lotion on your hands regularly can keep them feeling soft and smooth. Hands are exposed to heavy use and being washed constantly which dries them out. Making a quality homemade hand lotion is very easy and can save you money as well. Many of these ingredients can be found in your kitchen or bath, if not they are abundant down the street at your local market. Some of the more popular ingredients are:
- Cocoa nut Oil
- Cocoa Butter
- Distilled Water
- Olive Oil
- Lavender (or any essential oil of your choice)
One method of creation is as follows:
- Pour distilled water in a jar and heat to almost boiling.
- Melt Beeswax into a different bowl and add lavender (our essential oil, of which you can find some good diffusers here) and a small amount of olive oil to the melted wax
- In our melted beeswax lavender bowl add some coconut oil and melted cocoa butter. Stir thoroughly for a uniform mixture.
- Remove the distilled water from heat and pour it in the bowl containing the olive oil, wax, cocoa nut oil, and cocoa butter mixture. This should turn into a milky hot liquid.
- Allow the mixture to cool
Whether you decided to take matters into your own hands by creating your own homemade lotion and moisturizer or whether you buy organic, there are lots of factors to take into consideration. Knowing your body and how it reacts to the various artificial (and even natural) oils, lubricants and humectants is paramount in determining which organic body lotion is best for you. The benefits of organic lotion may differ from person to person so understanding your skin type and any skin conditions you may have before choosing your lotion is important. Once you understand your body and which oils and vitamins work for you, searching for your next bottle of lotion (or making your own homemade lotion) will be as simple as looking what ingredients they contain.