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Hand cream vs body lotion: why you need separate products

  • 4 min read

Whether you’re a skincare guru or a rookie, you’d be forgiven for assuming that body cream and hand cream do the same job – or even that they’re the same product. While that might be the overriding assumption for many people, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many people forget that the skin is the largest organ in the body. Helping to protect you and keep vital organs safe, your skin bears the brunt of all the external factors we encounter, including: weather, stress, and amongst other things, cosmetic products.

Hand cream and body lotion have different benefits for the skin, despite both serving the same purpose to provide moisture and hydration to the skin. We’ll be explaining why you need to use both hand cream and body lotion in your routine to get the ultimate hit of hydration.

Discover the differences between hand cream vs body lotion:

Hand cream vs body lotion – what’s the difference?

Your skin does a wonderful job of protecting you and keeping you healthy, but different areas of skin have different needs. Skin that is constantly exposed to pollutants has different needs to skin that is constantly covered by clothes – and needs different things.

The main difference between hand cream and body cream lies in their consistency. Hand creams need to penetrate tougher layers of skin – consider all the things your hands are exposed to in a day – and so are often thicker in consistency with a higher percentage of oils. Whereas body lotion is often lighter, with a higher water percentage, so as not to clog the pores on more delicate skin on other parts of your body.

Hand cream is intended to provide a strong hit of moisture, as well as a protective barrier. This protective barrier isn’t as necessary for other areas of the body where the exposure to irritants is less.

Now that we've established the difference between hand cream and body cream, it’s time to discover why you need to use separate hand and body creams, rather than one lotion for both your body and hands.

Why do you need a separate hand cream and body lotion?

It’s easy to assume that all lotions and creams are created equally, with the same purpose. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Some creams are thicker with more nourishing oils included, and some lotions are thin with a high water content, designed to be fast-absorbing.

The cream or lotion you should choose depends on the area of skin you are moisturising, the problems you’re trying to solve, and the benefits you hope to receive from using the product.

We’ve broken down the main properties of hand creams and body lotions, as well as their benefits and uses. This will showcase the differences between the two products, and why you need to use both in your routine. 

Hand cream

We’re all a lot more conscious of our hand-washing in the wake of Covid-19, with many people washing their hands a significant amount more than the years gone by. While a good hand-washing routine is essential for your health and hygiene, each time you wash your hands, you strip them of essential oils that protect them. 

Too much hand-washing can lead to dry and chapped hands that are crying out for moisture and the essential oils that they’re now lacking. This is exacerbated in the colder months, when our hands are exposed to the cold weather far more than the skin on our bodies. This leads to dry, chapped hands that can be irritated or even painful.

Using a natural hand cream that is packed with moisturising ingredients can help to repair the chapped skin on your hands. With a thicker texture to penetrate the thicker layers of protective skin, hand creams can nourish the dry skin with vitamins.

Made with over 10%sustainably sourced shea butter (more than the industry standard of 2-3%) – highly nourishing and rich in vitamins A, E and F which can aid in the production of collagen – our Hand Cream with Hibiscus Flowers is perfect for the job. It also contains upcycled hibiscus flower acids containing 45% alpha-hydroxy acids, helping to gently eliminate pollutants from the upper layers of the skin and stimulate cell renewal.

It’s important to remember that hand creams work best when used consistently and daily, not just when you notice your hands to be chapped and dry. 

Body lotion

We’ve established the benefits and uses of hand cream; now it’s time for body lotion. 

Body lotion typically contains a lower percentage of oils than hand cream, with more water in the formula. As a result, it’s less viscous than hand cream, and more easily absorbed by the skin. This makes it perfect for covering larger areas of skin that have had less exposure to irritants like the weather – who wants to wait for an age for their body to have absorbed a thick formula?

Vegan body moisturisers still contain all the nourishing oils that your skin needs, but with a higher percentage of water. Perfect for all over the body, including areas where the skin is more delicate, lotions help to smooth the skin.

Our award-winning Natural Body Cream with Date Seeds is a natural, luxurious body moisturiser that soothes the skin with hydrating shea butter and nourishing linseed and olive oil. This cruelty-free body moisturiser helps to reduce inflammation and redness – through the anti-inflammatory extract of leftover date seeds, a by-product of date farming – leaving your skin feeling soft, smooth and supple.

Making body moisturising a part of your daily routine is the best way to ensure your skin stays healthy, smooth, and soft.

Nourish your skin with UpCircle

All year round it’s essential to take care of your skin – but in the colder months, more so than ever. It’s not only important to take care of yourself, but of the world around us too; opt for vegan and natural skincare from a plastic negative brand to reduce your impact on the planet. 

Choose from our Natural Body Cream with Date Seeds, Hand Cream with Hibiscus Flowers or shop our full collection of organic skincare.

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