Balms, Lotions, and Oils: Which Do You Really Need?

Balms, lotions, and oils, oh my!  It can be confusing mess.  Which one should you use?  Is it just a marketing ploy, or is there really a difference?  Should you use each one differently?  Don’t panic, we’re here to answer these questions.

What’s The Difference?

Balms, lotions, and oils are more or less made from the same ingredients, just in differing amounts.  Those ingredients are carrier oils, essential oils, wax, water, and any additives (like infused herbs or extracts).

  • Balms are made from carrier oils and wax, with some essential oils and additives.
  • Lotions are usually made with equal amounts of water and carrier oils, along small amounts of wax, essential oils, and additives.
  • Oils are mostly carrier oils with a small amount of essential oils and additives.


img_0037Balms are mostly oil and wax, so they tend to stay on the skin longer and lock in moisture.  However, since they don’t contain any water it’s best to apply balm over wet skin if hydration is what you’re after.  Here at Kaiya Naturals we make a sore muscle body balm with CBD derived from hemp.  It’s great for irritated skin, as well as sore muscles and joints since it sits on the skin longer.


img_0036Lotions are mostly oil and water.  Since they already have water added into them, they’re great to travel with since you can’t always hop into a shower or bath to wet your skin when you’re out and about.  Well, at least I wouldn’t do that.  You can do whatever you want.  We have four different kinds of lotions, depending on what type of skin you have.


img_0011Oils are just that, oil.  If you need to cover a large surface area, then these are great because they go a long way.  Like balms, it’s best to apply oils to wet skin since they don’t supply their own water like lotions do.  We have two different kinds of oils that are great for after your shower.  We also have two different massage oils with CBD derived from hemp that are very soothing.  Since oils can absorb into your bloodstream through your sebaceous glands, our soothing massage oil is a great alternative to calm and ease discomfort.

The Take Away

You need to add water to balms and oils for maximum hydration, but lotions come with their own water and can be used anytime and anywhere.  If your balm or oil contains any “healing” additives and you’re looking for local effects (i.e. the spot you apply it to), then balms are the way to go since their wax content keeps them from absorbing too quickly.  If you’re looking for systemic effects (i.e. everywhere) then oils are the way to go since you can apply them over large surface areas, which promotes absorption into the bloodstream via your sebaceous glands.

If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email:, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.


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