What Is The Difference Between a Hand Lotion and a Body Lotion

Our skin the largest organ in our body, bet you already know that from your science class. It is one massive organ that it covers our entire body, and if it missing, well, you know what will happen. Our skin structure is not at all the same, and it behaves differently according to where it is located on our body. Some of our skins are more exposed to the sun, weather, cleaning products, etc., while others are mostly hidden from external forces.

Sadly, our skin is also the most abused part of our body and it is also the least we give attention to. And if we do give some relief to our skin, not all of the skin gets the equal treatment it badly deserves. Thus, skin care products like hand and body lotions also differ not only from one skin type to another but also the different parts of our bodies.

Hand and body lotions are just some the many skincare products readily available in the market today. You can see a barrage of skin care products both online and at physical stores all promising healthier skin. They are raking billions of dollars, convincing people to use this or that product and guarantees supple and younger looking skin. There is actually nothing wrong with this, in fact it gives people choices and lots of them. But some people with the sea of lotions and creams available, they just grab a product and uses it all over.

Some people thought that using one in lieu of the other is okay, but in reality a hand lotion may not be suited for your body, and vice versa. They think that interchanging the two products is ok.

For starters, our hands have remarkably different kind of skins. The palm and balls of the fingers and thumbs have skin that is thick and has robust horny layer. It is free from hairs and has no sebaceous glands. The skin also has lower natural moisturizing factors, possesses a high density sweat gland and is well padded with tissue. The skin at the back of our hands is quite the opposite. It has the presence of few hairs, is thin and the presence of fatty tissue is hardly noticeable.

By looking at the difference, it is also safe to say that they require different types of nourishment and skin care products.

Our hands needs different type of skin care products, different from what skin in your body needs. Yes, lotions for our hand and body lotion can provide moisture, protection to any parts of the body. The question however is, is the protection provided say, body lotion, effective when used in our hands?

To answer the question what is the difference between a hand lotion and a body lotion, the latter is generally thicker as compared to lotions for the hands. It is however thinner as compared to most face creams available.

Our body lotion is used to trap the moisture that our skin badly needs after being stripped from the harsh soap that we use when taking a bath. It also slows down the process of our body losing water content when we sweat and helps maintain healthy moisture level. Body lotion is also used after bathing allowing you to suck lots of moisture.

Hand lotions on the hand are tailor made specifically for our hands. Yes, our hands. It is formulated and created in such a way that it can effectively lock moisture and oils which are usually stripped due to frequent hand washing and interactions like picking things or handshaking. Some hand lotions even have antibacterial properties allowing people to protect themselves from bacteria which can penetrates in cracked skins in the hands. It is not as thick as a body lotion but is far stronger than face lotions. When using hand lotions, a decent amount is needed to fully penetrate the skin in our hands.

Can the two products be used interchangeably?

Companies have conducted intensive research before they release their products to the market. It means that before their products hits the shelves, a thorough research of the properties of their products have been conducted. So, the answer is NO. In doing so, you are short changing your hands or your body, depriving it of the much deserved moisture it needs.

The formulas found in a body lotion differ from that of a hand lotion. The nutrients are blended targeting the special need of a specific part of your skin, in this case either your hands or body.

Hand lotions’ properties which is slightly lighter than a body lotion may not work well when applied to our body. It can even result to itching especially if it can provide the decent amount of moisture in the body. A body lotion on the other hand is thicker (some are claiming that body lotion is thicker than hand lotions but that is another story) and using it may clog the pores in the hands and may result to cracking, scaling and dryness as it prevents the pores to produce oils.

Most hand lotions have peeling properties (Keratolytic) like lactic acid. This exfoliates the skin and at the same time moisturizes the tough skin. Though this can be used in certain part of the bodies where it is rough like the elbow, knees and bottom of the feet, using it all over the body may have some adverse effect. It may be irritating to our body considering the peeling effect of the lactic acid present in hand lotions.


Use a product formulated and produced for a specific purpose. Occasional application may not hurt you, but interchanging its uses frequently may do more harm than good. The thickness of body lotions can also be difficult to rub in your hands and may be hard to penetrate the skin. Of course there are some exceptions to rule, especially if you blessed with a baby-like skin on your hands. But it always pay to follow the rules and use the product where it is intended.

Moreover, use the one that is suited for your skin type. It is also best if you can get hold of a water-based lotion especially if you have oily skin. If you have dry to very dry skin, oil-based moisturizers is best. Choose products that are alcohol free. Products with natural ingredients can also do a lot help but check with your dermatologist first before applying it. To know if you are allergic to a lotion product, apply a bit at a small portion of your skin and see if it reacts.

To have healthier skin, a good daily regimen is needed. Balance diet, avoid alcoholic drinks, and using the appropriate lotions or creams can help you attain a much healthier, supple and youthful looking skin all over. You must also avoid very strong soaps, hand sanitizers and chemicals especially when your job requires you to do frequent hand washing.

Remember to use hand lotion and body lotion where it is intended. Do not interchange its uses as much as possible unless you want to see your money go to waste.