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  5. Is Applying Body Moisturizer On Your Face Good Or Bad?

While we all want a skincare product that serves multiple purposes, not all products can be used so. One such skincare product is the body lotion.

If you too have been tempted to use your body lotion on your face, scroll down to know the difference and what the possible effects could be.

What Is The Difference Between Body Skin And Facial Skin?

Our skin is technically divided into three layers: [1]

A. Epidermis or the upper layer

B. Dermis or the layer beneath the epidermis

C. Hypodermis or the innermost layer that stores fat





The epidermis layer of your skin is thick and has large skin pores.

The facial epidermis layer is thinner and has smaller skin pores.


The dermis layer of your body contains fewer blood vessels than facial skin. It has large sebaceous glands throughout your body. These glands are even bigger on your back. Your body’s most apocrine sweat glands are located in the dermis layer of your armpit, areola (chest area) and perineum (anus area).

Your facial skin has more blood vessels than the body. Even though your face has sebaceous glands, they are smaller in size. Facial skin has very less apocrine sweat glands.


The thickest hypodermis layer in a female body is found in the thighs and hips. For males, it is their abdomen and thighs.

Hypodermis is the thickest in cheeks for both the sexes.

How Are Body Moisturizer And Face Cream Different From Each Other?

1. Facial Lotion or Cream

Face lotions or creams are extremely light in texture. Since the epidermis of the facial skin is thinner than the rest of the body, facial skin tends to be more sensitive. Therefore, it needs a product that is lighter in weight and will go deep into your skin and moisturize it to the core.

As the skin of men is different from that of women, the products and usage patterns would be different for each. A good facial lotion should contain hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic ingredients which means the ingredients do not trigger allergic reactions and do not clog your skin pores. It must also suit your skin type.

How to use

  • Women should apply a face cream or facial moisturizer right after cleaning their face with a face wash or face cleanser. Applying face cream on slightly damp skin helps it to retain the moisture better.
  • The skin of men is thicker and slightly rough due to the facial hair. Thus, facial lotion for men is thicker and stronger. Using a non-greasy facial lotion should be a regular part of your skincare regimen. Men should use the facial cream right after shaving when their skin needs to be moisturized the most.

2. Body Moisturizer [2]

The topmost layer of body skin is thicker than facial skin. This is why body moisturizers are heavier than face creams. Lightweight moisturizers won’t be able to enter your skin properly and will not provide the hydration you need.

A body moisturizer should be used daily, especially by those who stay in harsh climates like extreme cold or scorching weather or work in such harsh environments. If you do outdoor work or indulge in outdoor activities, your skin will need proper moisturization to stay healthy and nourished.

How to use

  • Shower thoroughly to get rid of the dust your body has attracted throughout the day, and apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type.
  • Apply the moisturizer on damp skin.
  • Those with dry skin can opt for thick body butters such as cocoa butter, shea butter, or mango butter for skin moisturization.
  • Those with oily skin can skip the body butter as it provides deep moisturization which may clog the pores of their already oily skin.
  • Even if you have normal skin, a few parts of your body like elbows and knees will feel dry and rough. Pay these parts extra attention.
  • Apply body moisturizer every night before going to bed to reduce dryness.

Can You Apply Body Moisturizer On Your Face?

Many people often use body lotion or body moisturizing creams/ butter on the face when they run out of their facial lotion. A few do not even buy a face moisturizer and continue using a body moisturizer for both the purposes. But it’s time to think about why they are designated for two different purposes and stop the practice.

A. Difference in skin quality :

Your body and facial skin are different from each other in many aspects. While facial skin has a thinner epidermis, this area is even more delicate around the eyes. What suits one part won’t suit the other for this reason.

B. Difference in ingredients :

The ingredients used in a body moisturizer and a facial cream aren’t similar. Most body moisturizers contain artificial fragrances which may not suit your facial skin. Artificial fragrances [3] may cause an allergic reaction. Also, most body moisturizers do not offer sun protection.

C. Difference in texture :

The density of emollient [4] used in face cream and a body moisturizer is different. Facial lotions and creams are light and non-greasy while body moisturizer tends to be dense and greasy.

If you apply the thick greasy body lotion on your face, your skin pores would be clogged with oil which will lead to an acne breakout. Also, the oily skin texture will make your skin look extremely dull.

However, there are some products that can be used both for the body and face. Such products are formulated specifically, and this is often mentioned on the product itself.

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Body Lotion On Face?

1. Being thick in density, it can clog your small facial skin pores and cause an acne breakout.

2. Artificial fragrances used in a body moisturizer can trigger allergies on your face.

3. Ingredients and chemicals used in a body moisturizer may not suit your facial skin and can cause redness and rashes.

4. Facial skin is extremely sensitive and gentle, it may react negatively if you use body moisturizer. You may notice small bumps on your face.

5. Some people may not see any major difference after applying body moisturizer but that does not mean you should continue using it. It may cause plenty of skin issues after long term usage.

Tips To Choose The Right Moisturizer For Your Face

  • Consider your skin type and know your skin well before buying any facial lotion or cream.
  • Choose a moisturizer that goes with your skin texture. So, while those with dry skin need a heavier formula, those having normal skin should use lightweight non-greasy products.
  • Check the SPF of facial moisturizers. Try a product that offers sun protection.
  • Check the labels of the product to see if it is allergy-tested and non-comedogenic [5]

Wrapping Up

Your facial skin is different from the rest of the body. Hence, the product you use for your body is not well suited for your face. Facial skin products are lighter in texture and are made of gentler ingredients. Applying a body moisturizer on your face, may lead to irritation on your face, an acne breakout or even an allergic reaction. It is better to choose products that are dedicated to facial skin and offer skin benefits.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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