I get this question a lot if you can use hand lotion as a body lotion or vice versa. After doing some research I found out that you can use hand and body lotion interchangeably. In fact, hand lotion and body lotion are mostly the same. I put together a comparison guide between the two different lotions. You will also find out why you can use them interchangeably.

What Is A Body Lotion:

A body lotion is the same as hand lotion. A mixture of water and oils combined with a few other ingredients to soothe, soften, and moisturize the skin. A body lotion could also have ingredients like vitamin e oil, oatmeal, essential oils, and added colors and scents.


The benefits of body lotion are going to be the same as hand lotion. It will help hydrate your skin and can take away dry, flaky, and chapped skin. It is best to use body lotion before your skin gets really dry. The sooner the better.


One negative is that body lotion can be a little more greasy than hand lotion. Body lotions are also filled with a lot of harsh and synthetic ingredients that many people don’t want on their skin. You can find really synthetic-free and alcohol-free body lotions here.


Due to the fact that body lotion in thicker, a small number of people say it’s a little greasy. It will still absorb into the skin the same, it’s not like a body butter greasy. But, some people do notice this and others don’t mind it at all.

What Is Hand Lotion:

Hand lotion is an emulsification of water and oils. Hand lotion is applied to the skin mainly to moisturize the skin. Hand lotion can have other benefits such as helping with wrinkles and some hand lotions have SPF to help prevent sunburn. Hand lotion can be applied to other parts of the body as well. Hand lotion isn’t just for hands


The benefits of hand lotion would be the cost. Hand lotion is considerably less expensive when compared to a body lotion. They both do the same amount and have almost the same ingredients in them. The only thing different is the label on the product for where to apply them.


The worst part about hand lotion is that there is a lot of different kinds to choose from. It can be overwhelming to find a lotion that you like and it may take you a while to find one. Some hand lotions are for cracked skin, sensitive skin, or even for people with flaky skin.

How Are Hand & Body Lotions Made:

A body or hand lotion has 4 main ingredients: water, oil, an emulsifier, and a preservative. All of the ingredients are heated up and then mixed together to make a lotion.

Some body lotions or hand lotions also have scents or perfumes. Many lotions also have artificial coloring and synthetic ingredients. These ingredients may irritate your skin and cause redness in people with sensitive skin. It’s best to avoid these ingredients if you have sensitive skin.


Water is the main ingredient in body lotion. Depending on the formula, it can be around 70% of all the ingredients in the body lotion. Water helps with the moisturizing and also making the product thinner and spreadable.


Oil will help create a barrier over the skin and trap in the moisture your skin has. Many different kinds of oil can be used such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. Be aware that some companies user cheap oils and try to cut corners with lotion. Oil is expensive but it works and you will pay for that when buying a body lotion.


An emulsifier combines both the water and oil molecules together. This is needed or the water and oil will separate when mixed together.


A preservative is needed to prevent bacterial growth in the lotion. Germs and bacteria love water and adding a preservative will create an environment where they are not welcomed. If your lotion doesn’t have a preservative, it could start to mold and go bad after 2 days.

You can expect a properly made bottle of lotion to last up to 2 years.

Comparing Hand & Body Lotion:


Both hand lotion and body lotion are going to feel the same. They will be smooth, silky, and rub onto the skin the same way. Both of them will absorb into your skin fast. After application, both of these products are going to make your skin feel the same way.


The looks will be similar between the two. If both lotions are poured into a cup and you had to just look at them, it would be hard to tell the difference between them.


This is really the only difference between the hand lotion and body lotion. Hand lotion is going to be thinner since most people apply it to their hands and arms. However, body lotion will have a thicker consistency. This is because the skin on other parts of our body is thicker than our hands. The difference in the thickness is very minimal and not obvious at all. It’s not like one is as runny as water and the other is thick like frosting.


Most of the time the prices of both are going to be competitive. Both hand lotion and body lotion are going to cost about the same price for the same amount of lotion. In some cases, hand lotion maybe just a little cheaper but again, not by much. Typically the more lotion you buy, the cheaper you can get it for.

Should I Chose Hand Or Body Lotion:

When choosing if you want a hand lotion or a body lotion is a pretty easy decision. It all comes down to the consistency of the product. In the end, the body lotion will be thicker compared to hand lotion.

You will have more choices if you chose hand lotion, stores typically tend to stock more brands of hand lotion compared to body lotion. Some people prefer body lotion for skin that is more dried out but, I personally never noticed a difference between the two. If you are looking for a thicker lotion choose a body lotion or hand lotion for a thinner lotion.

Where To Apply:

You can apply both hand lotion and body lotion to anywhere on your body. I don’t recommend putting any of these lotions on your face since they might be too thick or made of the wrong kind of oils. Some oils applied to your face could cause acne or clog your pores.

Some hand lotions and body lotions can cause acne. You don’t have to buy and use hand lotion just on your hands because the bottle says hand. The same thing goes for body lotion.

Body lotion can be used almost anywhere on your body:


Types Of Skin Hand & Body Lotion Work For:

Both body lotion and hand lotion can be used for any of the following purposes. Remember, if you have any medical conditions or a severe skin problem, talk to your doctor before using any body lotion or hand lotion.

Dry Skin

Flaky Skin

Chapped Skin

Cracked Skin

Irritated Skin

Winter Skin Treatment

Should I Apply Hand & Body Lotion More:

Someone asked me if you need to apply one lotion more often than the other. I haven’t found that out to be the case. Both body lotion and hand lotion are made the same. This means that will moisturize and help the skin the same way. You don’t need to apply one more often than the other.

I recommend applying both lotions 1-2 daily and working your way up if needed.

The bottom line is not to worry about if your using hand lotion or body lotion. Both of them are made the same way. These lotions can be applied all over the body.

Lastly, they are formulated to treat the same skin conditions. If you already have one kind of lotion, don’t think that you need to go out and buy the other kind just to have it.

The most important thing is that you are happy with the lotion that you are using. It the lotion works, keep using it, don’t look at the label and think that you can’t use it on another part of your body.