Body Oil vs Body Lotion - Which Is Better?

Body Oil vs Body Lotion - Which Is Better?

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in the body, with the average adult carrying about 20 square feet (2 square meters) of it?  

One of the functions of skin is to act as a barrier, keeping our internal organs and fluids in and unwanted external elements like bacteria, UV and free radicals out. When the barrier function is working well, skin is firm, hydrated and plump, but when that is compromised, that’s when your skin health suffers too. 

Dry, red, itchy, flaky, tight and sensitive skin are all signs of a weakened barrier function, which in turn makes it easier for allergens and irritants that cause inflammation to penetrate your skin and lead to ailments like acne, eczema, premature aging etc. 

The secret to healthy, radiant skin? Maintaining the integrity of your skin barrier, by avoiding harsh chemicals, regularly using non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen and supporting your skin with oils and lotions. 

Now the debate remains, which is better: body oil vs body lotion? Let’s take a closer at look at both of them. 


The Case For Body Oil

Body Oil vs Body Lotion - Which Is Better?

Oils tend to sink right into your skin, and many plant-based oils naturally mimic our natural sebum (the oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands) and are easily absorbed by our skin and gives a lighter feel than a lotion. Dermatologists recommend oils for acne-prone and oily skin, which may sound counterintuitive but the similarities in structure actually help repair and regulate your skin’s moisture barrier.

It is also worth noting that unlike lotions, oils do not need emulsifiers and preservatives given that they do not contain water and are not prone to bacteria growth.

Interestingly, in India, the tradition is to apply a body oil before a shower - this is to prevent the water from draining the oils from your skin, ensuring that it stays moisturized. We recommend applying body oil after a shower when your skin has just absorbed water, because its occlusive nature helps to seal the hydration in! 

What’s in our Body Oil? 

Our Lime Vetiver Dry Silk Body Oil is an indulgent body oil that sprays on a nourishing blend of nutrient-rich moringa and apricot kernel oils that sink into your skin quickly:

  • Moringa Seed Oil has been documented for its nutritive properties in Vedic scripts from 5,000 years ago, due to its extraordinary density of skin-nourishing nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids.

  • Apricot Kernel Oil has been extracted by the people of Ladakh in the trans-Himalayas for centuries. Rich in essential unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acid, apricot kernel oil is also concentrated in Vitamin A. Like Moringa Oil, it soaks right in and makes skin supple and smooth.


The Case For Body Lotion

Body Oil vs Body Lotion - Which Is Better?

Lotions are actually better for dry skin because they supply some water (which moisturizes your skin) suspended in a greasy substance (which holds the water in), and they tend to be lighter in texture and best used for an anytime hydration boost!

The high water content in lotion, however, can encourage the growth of bacteria and mould. To prevent this, some lotions contains parabens and other preservatives which can be highly allergenic. Take note of the ingredients when shopping for a lotion, because alcohol or emulsifiers will dry out your skin more. 

What’s in our Body Lotion? 

Our multi-award winning Lime Vetiver Body and Hand Lotion will heal, hydrate and soften your skin thanks to a combination of Kokum Butter and Aloe Vera. 

  • Kokum Butter has been used in India for centuries, largely for its ability to rejuvenate damaged skin cells and to heal and condition skin. It is easily absorbed by the skin and rich in fatty acids and vitamin E.
  • Aloe Vera juice is a thick liquid made from the flesh of the Aloe Vera plant leaf that is rich in Vitamins C, E and beta carotene, which enables it to nourish and hydrate skin.


Our Final Verdict

At the end of the day , it boils down to a matter of personal preference. I generally prefer to use an oil while Tejal uses both oils and lotions, and it is not a bad idea to have both in your beauty cabinet (which is also why we formulated both products!). Oils work better straight out of the shower, because it will help to lock in the water in your wet skin, and lotions are great for moisturizing whenever or on-the-go.

What we do agree on is to choose a product that is as naturally formulated as possible, and both our Oil and Lotion are made from the highest grades of natural ingredients and free from parabens, mineral oils, silicones, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, TEA and DEA. 

Make sure you check both products out in our shop!



Alexandra Turner, better known as Alix, is the co-founder of Malavara. Having spent 15 years working with European Luxury Goods brands, Alix's passion for wellness, aromatherapy and travel led her to India and Ayurveda. Alix lives in London and keeps busy with a day job, a toddler and our exciting Malavara journey.

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