What is the difference between a body butter and a body balm?

It’s quite confusing because they are super similar! It really depends on the texture, and moisturization ability of either one. That’s it… and a few ingredient differences. 


Firstly, What is a body butter made of:

Body butters are made of natural plant oils, like olive oil, rosehip seed oil, natural butters like shea butter and cocoa butter, powerful botanical extracts like calendula, yarrow and some may have soothing essential oils like lavender and chamomile essential oils. Some body butters are also made with waxes like beeswax, carnauba wax and/or candelilla wax. Some may also contain small amounts of water or water like ingredients like glycerin and aloe vera juice.


A body balm on the other hand can be made of solely seed oils, botanical extracts and a wax or may include natural butters as well. But balms usually have a much higher wax content than body butters.


Ziggy’s Pudding baby body butter is made of organic raw shea butter, organic non-deodorized cocoa butter, organic oils like jojoba, avocado and rosehip seed oil, as well as soothing extracts like calendula and yarrow. It was created to soothe and moisturize eczema prone skin, diaper rashes and inflamed skin. 

Now that we know that, What are the differences between them?

Body Butter

  • Body butters can provide loads of hydration and moisture to the skin.
  • It spreads easily on to the skin, almost melting on contact with the skin.
  • Body butters quickly penetrate the skin and are quickly and easily absorbed.
  • With a higher natural butter content and high absorbability, body butters provide skin with much needed essential fatty acids.
  • For dry, irritated skin, and long term skin conditions like eczema, body butters soothe and protect skin.
  • Impart beneficial vitamins and minerals that aid in the healing process.
  • Body butters are made with natural butters like shea and cocoa butter, which function like occlusives to prevent transepidermal water loss from the skin.

Body Balm

  • Body balms also impart moisture and hydration to the skin, but often due to the texture, one has to wait  for the body balm to be fully massaged into the skin.
  • It usually comes in a solid form that may not spread onto the skin as easily as body butters.
  • Body Balms are made with a higher wax content, which can be a beneficial occlusive as well, preventing moisture loss from the skin.
  • Body balms can be helpful in promoting cellular turnover and helpful in skin conditions like eczema, and dermatitis.

Let’s talk about texture, another key difference...

Body butters are more light, and airy due to their whipped nature and low wax content.

Whereas, body balms are thick, and dense in consistency due to its higher wax content.


Which should you choose?

Well, body butters can be used all over the body, like a lotion, in every season. It spreads well over the skin even with a tiny amount being used at a time and butters are easily and quickly absorbed into the skin. Body butters are powerful in helping soothe irritated skin, dry, eczema prone and sensitive skin.


While you can use a body balm all over the skin, the thick nature of the balm may deter you from using it as a general body moisturizer but more like a spot treatment. More people may prefer a balm during the winter months, to prevent chapped skin.


So, it’s really up to you…

If you have dry, dehydrated skin, a body butter may be the right choice because it’s soothing and moisturizing abilities.

 

But if your skin is on the oilier side, you may prefer a body balm, as it doesn’t exacerbate oily skin and imparts benefits to your skin.


In conclusion

Body butters and body balms are very similar. Both nourish and moisturize the skin, can help increase dermal cellular turnover, and prevent moisture loss. Body butters are better at moisturization, whereas body balms are great occlusives for the skin. Whichever you choose, make sure to use as directed, perform a patch test on the crook of the elbow or behind the ear to make sure none of the ingredients cause an undesired reaction. 


Which do you prefer? Comment below.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2808%2903527-6/fulltext
https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/cocoa-butter-benefits
https://aromaticstudies.com/butters-balms-salves-whats-difference/
https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids

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