Here’s everything you need to know about this hydrating skincare duo.
– KEYS SOULCARE
When it comes to skincare, we know moisture is key. Moisturizing our skin is also a three-part process — retaining moisture we have, restoring moisture that’s lost, and locking in moisture that’s applied — for the best results. For a full-body hydrating skin care routine, two of the most notable contenders in skincare are body butters and body balms.
While body butters and body balms are both master hydrators, there are some key differences in ingredients, texture, and absorption to keep in mind when adding these to your body care ritual. Read on to discover the benefits of body butters and balms, when to use them, and just how amazing they are for long-lasting hydration.
Is body butter and body balm the same?
It can be hard to tell the difference between body butters and body balms because they have a lot of similarities. Body balms and butters are both anhydrous — meaning they are considered water-free beauty products. This lack of H2O makes body butters and balms less likely to contain added preservatives to combat bacterial growth that can occur in more water-rich formulas like lotions. This anhydrous characteristic found in body butters and body balms also make these two a win-win for the planet and the skin. Body butters and body balms reduce water waste in production, plus body butters and body balms are less diluted, meaning their ingredients are more concentrated for an even greater boost of hydration.
Body butters and body balms are also occlusives, which means they create a protective barrier on the skin. This layer acts as a seal, locking in moisturize while shielding skin from environmental changes, allowing skin to restore itself.
What is a body balm?
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty: balms are often seed and plant oil-based, much like body butters, but have one major difference: wax. Unlike body butters, body balms are mixed together with a higher concentration of wax — more specifically, beeswax — making it a much denser formula.
How do I use a body balm?
You can use body balm as an all-around moisturizer, like any cream, lotion, or butter, but balm’s thick texture has some added benefits for all skin types. With wax being an essential ingredient, body balms are an excellent skin sealant. Wax intensifies body balm’s occlusive abilities, making body balm a superior supplementary boost to other moisturizers. Have dry, dehydrated skin or in the midst of a harsh wintry mix? Balm can be used as a “spot treatment” for skin to keep skin protected. (Pro tip: use body balm at night to support moisture retention and restoration to wake up with fresher, softer skin.)
What is a body butter?
Body butter is also traditionally made with seed and plant oils such as coconut oil and many essential oils for aromatherapy. That said, body butter mainly consists of natural butters — like cocoa and shea butters. The extracted fats that make up butter are extremely moisturizing and absorb into skin more easily than the wax in balms.
How do I use a body butter?
Much like a body balm, body butter can be used as a full body moisturizer. Unlike its wax-dense counterpart, body butter is creamier and packed with essential fatty acids that deeply penetrate the skin’s surface. Body butter offers a rich, smooth texture with a hit of moisture you can feel instantly. While body butters still boast occlusive benefits of protection, they also replenish the skin with healing, vitamin-rich fats. For optimal results, use body butter on freshly showered or bathed skin, when pores are more open for intense hydration.
Which is better — body balm or body butter?
Your moisturizer choice is up to you. Both butters and balms offer skin-nourishing benefits from vitamin rich oils, while locking in moisture and protecting skin. Both are great choices for dry skin and moisture retention. If you’re more concerned about sensitive skin conditions, the creamier texture of body butters makes it easier to spread across the skin while absorbing quickly for instant hydration. If you have rougher patches of skin and need a moisturizing boost in the winter months, a balm may suit your needs. Both are excellent additions to any moisturizing routine, and can leave your skin feeling softer and more replenished. Who wouldn’t want that?!
Soulcare tip: Try our Body Ritual. This Keys Soulcare offering has everything your body needs—including our moisture-rich Melting Body Balm.
What’s your moisturizing go-to for head-to-toe hydration? Drop your body ritual in the comments!