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Lotion or Cream? What you need to know about both formulas


You probably make choices all the time about whether to buy a lotion or a cream when it comes to your day moisturizer and night face cream. How do you make an informed decision? Sometimes products are formulated as a cream or lotion based on which one is a better vehicle for ingredients. But often, it is also a format choice that takes into account your skin type, the season or simply personal preference that will help with your Regimen compliance in the long run.  

Which should you slather on for smoother, softer skin? Here’s what you need to know about the differences between creams and lotions.  

What is the difference between a cream and a lotion? 

When it comes to formulation, typically, lotions are formulated with water, as opposed to oil. Creams are the opposite, as they are usually made with oil. Lotions tend to be lighter and thinner, absorbing into the skin easily. Creams are richer and tend to take a bit longer to absorb, as well. Some skincare products are formulated as creams and others as lotions because these respective formulas offer a delivery system that helps certain ingredients penetrate the skin. 

REDEFINE Regimen gives you the option to choose a lotion or a cream in Step 3 in your customized routine. Regimens backed by our Multi-Med Therapy approach take the guesswork out of selecting a skincare routine by providing a complex set of ingredients and technologies that work in a simple step-by-step way.  

Depending on your choice of lotion or cream, the ingredients are purposefully combined, providing the perfect vehicle to deliver benefits. Your Regimen is also applied in the right order to produce maximum effectiveness and results.  

What are the benefits of a face cream?   

Heavier moisturizers have higher oil and wax content and work well for dry skin. Those with extremely dry skin reap the benefits of thick creams and ointments because of moisture-locking and protective qualities of these formulations. Creams help protect your skin’s moisture barrier from being damaged.  

REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream is a rich, deeply moisturizing Retinoid cream for night. It combines Bakuchiol, a naturally-derived alternative to Retinol, and Glycolic Acid to target fine lines and deep wrinkles for smoother-looking skin. It also visibly lifts, sculpts and defines to improve facial contours for younger-looking skin. 

What are the benefits of a lotion?  

Lotions for both face and body seep into the skin quickly. What’s great about this is you can take care of your skin and get on with your day — no waiting for this type of formula to absorb. Best for normal-to-combination skin types, lotions provide light moisturization incorporating little or no oil to protect the skin’s moisture barrier. Perfect for those who are oily or acne-prone, lotions with low levels of emulsifiers and oils work well.  

REDEFINE Overnight Reparative Lotion is a potent nighttime finishing step that defines to improve facial contours for younger-looking skin. This product boasts Retinal MD Technology, which targets fine lines and deep wrinkles to visibly sculpt, define, and smooth skin. Retinal is a form of Vitamin A that’s more potent than Retinol. 

How do you know which one would be better for you?  

There are a few factors at play here. One is skin type. Those with oily skin might find creams a bit heavy and may want to opt for a lotion instead. That said, a cream might work well for nighttime use for this crew. If you have dry skin, you may want a cream for day and night, but prefer a lotion in the hot summer months. In a nutshell, those with oily and acne-prone skin should choose a lotion. Those with sensitive and combination skin can do either option—and will probably use both formulas at different times of the year. Those with dry skin will likely want to choose a cream year-round, morning and night.  

How does texture factor in when making your skincare choices?  

Texture plays a major role when it comes to choosing which products make it into your skincare routine. We test out formulas to find the one that’s the best fit for our skincare goals — but also for the elegant formulation we crave. Skincare is self-care, after all. Loving your skincare routine is especially vital for compliance. It becomes a ritual. The right cream or lotion for you — the scent, the feel, all of it— ensures you’ll use your products every morning and night. This helps you achieve the results you’re seeking. It takes a few weeks of regular, consistent use to see a visible difference, so stick with it!  

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