Never Use Body Lotion On Your Face. Here's Why

Although it might be difficult to distinguish between the two when it comes to texture and consistency, body lotion and face moisturizer are not one and the same. In fact, in most cases, you should never use body lotion on your face. That's because the skin on your face is different from the skin on the rest of your body (via LifeHacker). For example, the skin on your face is actually much thinner than the skin on other parts of your body, such as your legs and feet, and the skin around your eyes is particularly thin and sensitive. Your face also has more oil glands and hair follies than other areas of the body, making the skin on your face much more sensitive overall. 

For this reason, body lotions and face moisturizers are created differently. For instance, body lotions tend to be thicker and heavier than face creams (via Allure). They often contain ingredients such as oil, butter, and other moisture retaining compounds. Face moisturizers, on the other hand, tend to be lighter in consistency and contain active ingredients that help aid hydration and promote collagen production.

What happens when you use body lotion on your face?

Using body lotion on your face can cause unwelcome breakouts. Since most body lotions tend to be thick and heavy, applying it to your face can clog pores with additional oils that cause pimples, especially for those already prone to acne (via Allure). People with rashes or other inflammatory skin conditions should be particularly careful not to use body lotion on their face. "These patients often have a skin barrier that is less robust and small cracks in the skin may allow microorganisms to invade," Shari Lipner, a board-certified New York City dermatologist, told Allure. "Thick moisturizers can irritate and exacerbate the disease," she states.

In addition, body lotions do not have the added benefit of sunscreen, unlike many face moisturizers. Since the skin on your face is frequently exposed to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, using a face moisturizer with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher can help prevent sun damage. Not all body lotions need to be off limits, however (via LifeHacker). Body lotions that are fragrance-free do not generally contain harmful or irritating ingredients, and are considered safer to use on your face. Gentle lotions like CeraVe, Cetaphil, and Vanicream are specifically designed to hydrate and moisturize sensitive skin.