Difference Between Hand Lotion and Body Lotion

We use lots of products to care for our skin and beauty. Sometimes we are getting confused about some products. Hand lotion and body lotion are such types of skin-caring products.

In this situation, it is completely natural to arise some questions in mind. Such as, why hand lotion and body lotion are different? Why our skin needs these two different types of skincare preparations? What are the actual differences between hand lotion and body lotion?

I was also in your position. Then, I started searching and finally got the reason behind the difference. It is because of the different structures of the skin of the hands and body. Some other factors are also responsible for it. Let’s see in detail.

Characteristics of the Skin of Body and Hands

To identify the necessity of hand lotion and body lotion, you should know the nature of the skin of these two body parts. It will tell you whether you should use different preparation for them or not. Let’s see.

Skin of Hands

Mainly our hands consist of two types of skin, the thick skin of the hand palm and the skin of the backside. These two types of skin are quite different as they inherit different characteristics.

Characteristics of Skin of the Hand Palm

  • Comparatively thicker skin than any other body part except feet.
  • Nicely padded and have the ability to hold the stress of continuous movement.
  • High in connective tissues and fat.
  • Designed to absorb shock.
  • Completely hair-free.
  • No sebaceous glands but high in sweat glands.
  • Due to the absence of sebaceous glands, its natural moisturizing factor is very low.
  • Contains papillary ridges (fingerprints) acting as a friction surface.

Characteristics of Skin of the Back of Hands

  • This skin is thin compared to hand palm.
  • Has few fine hairs compared to the arms.
  • Less fatty tissues. That’s why it is more prone to dryness.
  • Most of the time aging signs of the skin get noticed here first after facial skin.

Skin of Body

The skin nature of the body is quite the same except for some parts like the underarms, elbow, and knees. Most of the parts have thin and thick hair. Males are more prominent in skin’s hair than females as their chest and belly are covered with thick hair. The sebaceous and sweat glands are available in the entire body skin in a different consistency. For example, underarm skin contains more sweat glands than any other body part.

Besides, the changes in skin nature also depend on different environments and ethnic groups. Such as the skin of black people is quite different than white people, not only by color but also by some other factors like melanin and thickness.

Why You Need Different Lotion Preparations

Skin Types

You already knew about two different skin types of hand and body. Hand skin is more prone to dryness than the body as it has fewer sebaceous glands.


This skin of the body is usually covered by clothing, that’s why it has fewer chances to lose moisture compared to uncovered areas like hands, feet, and arms.

Working Environment

Hands are the main organ we use to work. Most of the time they get direct contact with various elements including water, basic elements, acidic elements, germs, and contaminants. That’s why we need to wash them frequently than any other body parts.

For example, if you are a doctor or if you know a doctor, you must know how often he has to wash his hand, more or less 50 times a day. And all these make the hands susceptible to dryness. To overcome this, you need a skincare tool to provide enough moisturization along with protection from germs & bacteria.

On the other hand, you must agree, the skin of the body is on quite a safe side.

Hand Lotion Vs Body Lotion

Really it is hard to distinguish between products of the same types. All lotions are almost the same in preparation. Basically, a lotion is a semi-liquid moisturizer that has less consistency than cream, quite runny. It contains more water content than cream. Due to the skin difference of hands and body, manufacturers bring some little changes in it.

Hope the table below helps you to have a clear idea about the difference between body lotion and hand lotion.

Table: Difference between hand lotion and body lotion

Topics Hand Lotion Body Lotion
Consistency Less thicker than body lotion Little thicker than hand lotion but not as cream
Moisturization Locks moisture and oil Prevents moisture loss after bathing
Skin protection Has anti-bacterial benefits No anti-bacterial properties
Absorbance Soaks easily into the skin Soaks easily
Covering area Moisturizes small area Designed to spread over a large area
Using frequency Need to use after each time you wash your hands Once a day is enough, after bathing
Anti-aging Gives anti-aging benefits It gives also
Seasonal trend Has demand for year-round Demand increases in the winter season
Professional requirement Badly necessary for some professionals like the doctor No professional dependency
Price Almost same Same here
Container Mainly available in the small tube Mainly available in the large plastic bottle
Interchangeability Not recommended Not recommended

Why you Need to Buy Both Hand Lotion and Body Lotion

First of all, they serve different purposes, though they both moisturize and hydrate skin, the action and intensity vary.

The second reason is not its preparation, its size. The body lotion container is generally bigger in size than hand lotion. It is because body lotion requires much of the large surface area. You can also buy travel-size body lotion but it is not cost-friendly for daily use.

Hand lotion always comes into a small bottle or tube. You can bring it anywhere easily even in your office or working site. It fits easily in your desk drawer or bag.

In terms of price, it is almost the same for hand lotion and body lotion varies from brand to brand.

Alternative Solution

There are some brands introduced “Hand and Body Lotion” which you can try. But, if you have a specific need you should stick to the specific preparation.

Another natural option is coconut oil. You can use it for both your hand and body. It is a good moisturizer with lots of skin benefits including anti-bacterial properties. For skincare, pick the organic and unrefined coconut oil.

The Last Words

That’s all. I hope this will help to clear your confusion about hand lotion and body lotion. If you have any questions regarding this, let me know, I will try my best to satisfy you.


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