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How Are Skin Cream & Skin Lotion Different?

Learn the difference between skin cream and skin lotion from dermatologist Elissa Lunder in this Howcast skin care video.


A: Hi, I'm Dr. Alyssa Lunder, I've been practicing dermatology at Dermatology Partners in Wellesley, MA for the past ten years. I believe that skin care doesn't have to be complicated. With a few simple steps you can have beautiful skin. You can visit dermatology partners at

So today we're going to talk about skin care. Skin creams in general, they're thicker products. They have less water than skin lotion so they tend to be thicker or a bit more hydrating. Creams are better for when your skin is really dry and dehydrated and you just need a little bit more boost. So you want to use the skin cream on areas of the body which are particularly dry. So, for example, your hands and the heels of your feet, those are perfect areas to use a skin cream. A lotion has more water, so it's absorbed in easier. And a lotion is better if you're using something in the summer time or you just aren't that dry. In general, I recommend avoiding perfumed lotions. Perfume lotions, although they may smell nice, they don't get you a lot of extra benefit. My favorite skin cream is cerave cream, it's incredibly moisturizing, it's time released so it works all day. And a trick is, if you have really dry feet or dry hands, if you put cerave cream on and then you put on either gloves or socks and sleep, you're going to wake up with really moist hands and feet.

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