Body Oil vs Lotion: Which to Choose and Why?

For many years now, skincare has been all about the face. While we have welcomed more formulas and ingredients with open arms to our morning and evening cleanses, our body-care has been neglected. It is for this exact reason that although our face regimens contain a multitude of steps and layers, we are torn over whether to use body oil vs lotion. Some swear by using oils to nourish their body, others stand strongly with the lotion. Meanwhile, those trying to choose between the two are met with conflicting information online over which is best to use.
However, with the body-care world evolving fast to catch up with face skincare, the simple body oil vs lotion debate now has some added ingredients, formulas, and complexity to consider.
Here’s all you need to know about body oil vs lotion- which one is the right one for you and why.
woman in bath with mio solar power body scrub

What is body oil used for?

Let’s begin by discussing the purpose of a body oil. What a body oil is used for is hydrating the skin. However, it also comes with plenty of other benefits depending on its ingredients.

For example, plant-based oils are particularly great for locking moisture into our skin which is a major point that argues a body oil is better than a lotion. This is because the ingredients in plant-based oils mimic the natural structure of our skin. Therefore, they absorb quickly, penetrate deep beneath the surface and can help to repair the skin’s moisture barrier- the key for long-lasting hydration. Plant-based oils include Almond Oil and Cannabis Seed Oil, found in Mio’s Go With The Flow Calming Body Oil.


Body oils can also be used for adding a glow to the skin, especially during summer months. This is especially true if they contain ingredients that are rich in vitamin C, such as a blend of Indian Fig Extract. Vitamin C works to even out the skin-tone, boost collagen and fight the appearance of dull skin, so is a great addition to achieve that summer radiance.

Finally, certain body oils are used for calming and soothing the mind. While Cannabis Seed Oil is known for its calming properties, body oils can also contain an aromatherapy blend of feel-good Essential Oils. Lavender, peppermint, lemon, mandarin and eucalyptus all work well to help you unwind after a long day and prepare the body for rest.

How to use a body oil

How to use a body oil is simple. Simply massage the oil in circular motions all over the body and wait until it dries in before putting on any clothes.

What really matters is the timing of when you apply it as body oils work best when applied directly after a shower. Even better if the skin is still a little bit damp!

What is a dry body oil?

Body oils can be divided into two different types- wet and dry. This does not describe their texture, but rather how they come into contact with the body. In contrast to a wet oil, dry body oils absorb quick into the skin and leave no residue- hence the name.

The ones which can be categorised as a dry body oil are usually light-weight and high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as formulas made from Cannabis Seed Oil.

Is body oil better than lotion?

Now that we have established that a body oil has many benefits, let’s return to the body oil vs lotion debate and resolve the question, is body oil better than a lotion?

As mentioned, body oils are certainly a great choice of hydration during the warmer months. They are lightweight and easily absorbed compared to thick and creamy lotions. On the other hand, with the indoor heating and harsh temperatures of the winter months, sometimes a thick, creamy lotion is exactly what our body craves.

So, what if we told you it doesn’t have to be one against the other? Instead of body oil vs lotion, what about a body oil and a lotion? There is finally a focus growing on body-care and as a result, different formulas contain different ingredients with varying benefits.

The combination of a body oil and lotion can provide your skin with twice the benefits and twice the hydration of using one alone. Plus, while body oils work to provide a protective barrier to dry skin, lotion tends to instantly soothe but later evaporate. If you layer body oil on top of your lotion, you are effectively locking the lotion and all of its active ingredients into the skin.

So next time you step out of the shower are faced with the dilemma of whether to use a body oil vs lotion, treat yourself to both!

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Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an Online Beauty Editor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Her passions involve all things skincare and beauty and in her free time she likes to travel, read and get her beauty sleep.