With all the advancements in cosmetic science, there are many ways to moisturize your skin and lock in hydration. However, not every product does the same thing, nor is every product good for every skin type. And with the current trend of moisture madness, it can be difficult for the everyday person to know how to decide what to use on their skin. Read on to review three of the most popular forms of moisturizer—creams, balms, and oils—and determine which one is best for your skin.
What Are Creams and Balms, and What’s the Difference?
While this article isn’t focusing on lotions and salves, knowing the difference between all five products can give you a better idea as to which product best matches the needs of your skin.
Creams, Balms, and Lotions
Generally, people mix up lotions and creams as many use the terms interchangeably. Lotion is a product you can use across your entire body, meaning the formula is easy to spread across your skin. Creams, however, are usually thicker, and while the water to oil ratio might be similar to lotions, creams are often more intense. Generally, those who use creams on their entire body have issues with dry skin.
Although creams are generally thicker than lotion, balms are the thickest option, especially if they don’t include body butter. It is important to also note that balms are not salves, as salves have a lower content of beeswax than balms. This high beeswax content is because manufacturers want the balm to keep its shape and do its job as a skin protectant. Generally, you have to warm the balm up between your fingers when using it. If the product doesn’t include body butter, it’s likely that the manufacturer didn’t intend for the balm to go across your skin like a lotion.
Creams Vs. Balms
Creams consist of a medium thickness and utilize particular ratios of water and oil, depending on the manufacturer. The goal is often to put this product in more concentrated areas as opposed to over your whole body, but you certainly can use it across any part of your skin.
Meanwhile, balms have a particular ratio of essential oils, herbs, and beeswax. People typically apply balms to act as a protective barrier for rashes, chafing, bug bites, and other isolated problem areas. If you use a balm all over your body, you may end up feeling extremely greasy, but unless otherwise stated on the packaging, doing so won’t cause any harm.
What Is Facial Oil?
Facial oil is in a class all its own as it has a very high oil concentration that manufacturers specifically design to give your skin vital nutrients. Typically, facial oils will contain rose hip, hemp, linseed, grapeseed, and other healthy oils. These oils can be natural or synthetic, but both can be beneficial for the skin. Many manufacturers might tell you to say away from face oils that contain mineral oil, but if the manufacturer processes the mineral oil properly, there is no risk to your health. You can reach out to your supplier and inquire as to where they receive their mineral oil as well.
Whichever oil you decide to choose, you should also know that facial oils will not clog your skin. This is actually one of the many fears people have when deciding whether or not to use facial oils in their skincare routine. In truth, whiteheads, blackheads, and even cysts are often due to dry skin and oil getting trapped inside of a pore. So why add more oil?
Often, oily skin produces so much oil because the skin is dehydrated and trying to compensate by overproducing. If you include facial oils in your skincare routine, your skin will be less likely to overproduce, meaning less oil and less dry skin. You can apply the same school of thought to dry skin. If you take care of dry skin, it won’t fall into open pores and clog them. Ultimately, it is not the facial oil you add to your routine that’s clogging the pores.
What Do These Products Do, and What Are Their Benefits?
These products all have a central job that ties them together, but their intensities and formulations vary. Oils, balms, and creams each strengthen and protect your skin’s natural barrier. Your skin needs healthy fats and lipids in order to form strong, healthy, and hydrated skin cells. These products act as emollients and occlusives to fill in cracks between the cells and keep in moisture.
The water found in creams is there to hydrate the skin, and the oil does the job of keeping the water there. This is what hydrates the skin instead of just moisturizing, aiding in the creation of a strong epidermis.
Balms, on the other hand, focus on protecting the skin, and their wax content acts as a shield to protect dry, itchy, or raw skin. But you can also use this product in tandem with moisturizers and serums in areas of very dry skin to lock in moisture and hydrate, as balms cannot do this on their own.
You can also use facial oils alongside other products, and their purpose is to directly “inject” essential nutrients into the skin to keep it healthy.
Who Should Use These Products?
When deciding whether you should use these products, focus on the intensity of each. Creams can generally work on any skin type and are the least occlusive of the three. Balms are best for skin that needs intense repair or spot treatment. Facial oils can also help any skin type, but you must apply them at the very end of your skincare routine and use them with another form of moisturizer.
Ultimately, no matter what you decide to put on your skin, you should always do a patch test on the back of your hand or under your jaw to avoid unwanted reactions from occurring on your face. As with any skincare product, you may need to do a process of elimination as well as mix and match to find the perfect product and routine for you, as everyone’s skin needs are very different.
Now that you know the differences between creams, balms, and oils, you probably have a much clearer idea as to which is best for your skin. Essential Wholesale & Labs has all the moisturizing products you need, including high-quality organic balms that empower you to protect your skin and love what you put on it.