There are so many new and exciting products in the beauty world that it's hard to keep up with all the developments. Whether it's an oil, serum, lotion, cleanser, or balm, it seems like there's a product that promises to fix any skincare concern. Body lotions and body oils have been around forever, promise to deliver moisture to your skin, and slow natural signs of aging. But is one more effective than the other? Is a lotion better than oil for certain skin types? Lauren Siso, a licensed esthetician, and ALP owner of ELLEMES Medical Spa in Atlanta, Georgia, gave the details on what you need to know before choosing lotion or oil.
Layer It On
"Lotion is hydration based, so the main point of a lotion is to provide the skin with moisture and to repair it," Siso says. "Even though oils feel and smell nice, they are actually not hydrating the skin."
Oils sit on top of the skin, rather being absorbed into it, Siso adds. Layering these two products are going to deliver the best results. Siso suggests moisturizing first and adding oil right after to ensure your skin is getting the hydration it needs while locking it in.
Know Your Skin
The type of product that you use is also heavily dependent on your skin type. For oily skin, Siso says you can use just a moisturizing lotion. Normal to dry skin types can layer both lotion and oil as long as they are not acne prone in the areas where they're layering products, Siso adds.
You must check that an oil is non-comedogenic. This is essential to avoid clogged pores and future breakouts, Siso says. Some products will be labeled as "non-comedogenic," but others may not include this label and you will have to check the ingredients list. The most common comedogenic ingredients to avoid are lanolin, carrageenan, sodium laureth sulfate, palm oil, coconut oil, and wheat germ, according to the Good Skin Project.
The Pros and Cons
There are no cons to lotion, Siso says. "All skin types need to moisturize and hydrate the skin with a lotion," she says.
As Siso mentioned, oils serve as a lock for the moisturizing lotion you've applied onto your skin. You should avoid oils that are high in fragrance and have comedogenic ingredients because both can lead to irritation of the skin, Siso says.
Layering a lotion and an oil is your best bet for especially cold months and for especially dry skin.
As with any skincare product, you should avoid fragrances that you believe might be irritable to your skin. Always be sure to patch test a product before incorporating it into your skincare routine. The best place to patch test a product is on your inner forearm.
If you're looking for a new, affordable product to add to your routine, Siso says CeraVe is a great brand for hydrating lotions.