The big difference between face cream and body lotion is, of course, where people apply it. There are many different brands of skin care products on the market, with different formulas catering to select areas of the human body. Not only are there general face creams and body lotions, there are also eye serums, foot lotions, lip balms, and even cuticle creams. While the brand names and price may vary significantly among creams and lotions, the basic formula and method of use are usually pretty constant.
The face is usually the first part of the body that people see upon meeting each other and the source of most people's first visual impression. In order to preserve the youthful and fresh appearance of the facial skin, cosmetologists and dermatologists recommend that individuals use a face cream daily to keep the skin soft and healthy. It is important for preventing the signs of premature aging, especially since the face is the first body part to show the signs of excessive alcohol use, smoking, fatigue, and stress. Facial skin also secretes more oily sebum from its pores than other body parts, especially when exposed to sunlight. This makes the face is a high risk area for skin damage, and it must be protected early on.
The body, on the other hand, is everywhere below the neck and is often concealed under clothes, depending on weather. Because the body's skin is subject to less environmental damage, signs of premature aging are often not as common, although this may be less true for people who tan or spend a lot of time in the sun. If a person is not well hydrated, then he or she may have trouble retaining moisture in the skin, making it feel coarse and dry.
Face cream usually contains a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) due to its higher exposure to sun. Some also claim to combat dryness, imbalances in sebum production, and acne, based on their ingredients. For example, creams that contains alpha hydroxy acid, an enzyme that eats away the dull, dead layers of the skin to reveal a rejuvenated layer underneath, have been recommended by dermatologists for younger people. For older people, face creams that actively fight signs of aging by reducing lines and wrinkles are desirable. These products are usually categorized by the type of skin they are intended to treat: dry, normal, oily, and combination. These different types of skin vary based on distribution of sebum production and all require different formulas.
Body lotion is usually a quickly absorbable formula that is intended to retain or replenish lost moisture. Skin that is well hydrated is also usually softer and smoother. Body lotions usually contain more water than oil, creating a thinner formula that is appropriate for daily, all-over use. Many people find it convenient to apply it right after a shower to help seal in the moisture, or before going outdoors. Unlike products for the face, body lotion comes in many scents. While facial skin is more sensitive to fragrance and other additives, body skin is naturally less prone to such irritation.
Manufacturers of both these products have featured plant extracts, essential volatile oils, and emollients in their products, to try to enhance the lotion's marketable properties. Both face cream and body lotion can be found at any retailer where skin care products are sold.