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Taking Care of your body this Winter: Lotion vs. Oil

Posted by Evelyn Marshall on December 24, 2012 at 11:50 PM

We're now into the driest season of all: Winter.  The harsh weather tends to wreak havoc on the skin causing it to be constantly dry, itchy, flaky, inflamed & in more severe cases burning & cracking of the skin.  Just like you must care for your face, your body needs some extra attention during this time.  One thing, is to skip the scalding hot baths & showers.  Yes they feel good after a long, cold wintery day but it can exacerbate dryness.  Depending on where you live & the hardness of the water, it can make the dryness even worse.  So what are you to do?  Well first, shower or bathe in a warm bath versus hot.  It won't strip the skin as much. Second, exfoliate. Yes you want to remove those dry, skin cells because if you don't whatever product you use will not absorb into the skin properly.  Use exfoliating gloves, a loofah or an exfoliating body wash.  Preferably one with beads in it.  The beads will glide gently across the skin & remove the dead dry skin. 


Now onto the greatest debate: Lotion vs. Oil

Every skin type needs hydration.  Your skin produces oil (some more than others) which is the body's natural way to protect the skin from the external aggressors.  It also is produced to be a "waterproof" film over the skin to keep the water & other good stuff in.  When you bathe or shower this barrier becomes compromised & needs some assistance until the skin begins to produce it on its own. 

Now there are three things that determine whether you use an oil or lotion to re-moisturize your body, texture preference, what look you like on your skin & your level of skin dehydration.  Oils mimic your skin's natural oil (lipidic) barrier & assist in keeping the water in your skin from evaporating.  The 3 main oils that are closest to what your skin naturally produces are: jojoba, grapeseed & coconut oil.  Shea butter is good also but it carries more of the waterproof properties in the protection of the skin.  It also provides a small amount of sunscreen (around SPF 6 or so).

Lotions/creams are simply emulsions that are comprised of oils combined with water & other water soluable ingredients.  Lotions also need preservatives to keep them from separating & having a longer shelf life & if you're going preservative free then it won't be your best option.  However they do have great emollient (moisturizing) properties for dry skin & penetrate fairly quickly into the skin more so on those rougher parts (knees, elbows & feet).  If you're looking for that glowing, shiny & silky look to your skin then lotion won't compare to a body oil.

I prefer oils because of the preservatives, fragrances & coloring in most lotions it tends to aggravate my skin sensitivities. Oil keeps my skin more hydrated longer & keeps that smooth, shiny look & the healthy glow longer. Also I tend to not go through as much oil as I do lotion.  It repairs & nourishes my skin in a more natural way that my body readily recognizes.  

I hope that this blog answers some of the questions that you may have & guides you into healthier skincare.  

Until next time loves,



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