Body butters such as cocoa butter, coconut oil and shea butter are generally extracted from the nuts or seeds of certain plants. What sets butters apart is their thickness and semi-solid state at room temperature. They gradually start melting at around 98 degrees Fahrenheit or body temperature. Body butters contain a high proportion of skin-shielding saturated essential fatty acids. They're best used as an intense, nourishing and protecting shield of lubrication for the surface of the skin. Use butters occasionally when needed and until a problem is resolved.
Oil and water do mix in body creams and lotions, which are emulsified blends of a hydrating, water-based phase and a lubricating, nourishing and protecting oil-based phase in one, easy to use product. Unlike body butters which are oil based, lotions and cream formulations consist of oil and water emulsions.
Creams are generally heavier, containing more thickeners and/or oils than water and are best for occasional use on specific, problematic areas such as elbows, knees, hands and feet. Creams tend to be more protecting, combining the benefits of a body butter with the hydrating benefits of a lotion. Tip: Body creams are great for deeply nourishing applications on hands and feet. Try applying at bedtime and donning a pair of soft cotton gloves and socks to increase the effects.
Lighter textured, more absorbent lotions generally contain more water than thickeners or oil and are ideal for daily use on dry, clean skin whenever and wherever it needs an application of moisture and a sheer and light touch of nourishing and protecting oil. Body lotions work best on clean, dry skin surface. The best time to apply is right after you wash and dry your skin.