Ointment or cream – which should you choose?

At first glance, you might think that ointments and creams are interchangeable and can be used for the same medical or cosmetic reason. Ointments and creams can have similar ingredients, but their composition, feel and absorption vary greatly. We’re here to break down the difference, so you know which to choose for your skin.


The main difference between ointments and creams is the ratio between oil and water. Ointments are more of an oil-based product, usually made up of 80% oil and 20% water. Creams are made up of more water compared to ointments but can vary in their amounts based on whether you have a richer, heavier cream versus a lighter weight product. The “heavier” the cream, typically the more oil in the product.   



When you want a product to be absorbed quickly, creams should be your go-to. Creams are usually less greasy and are easily absorbed into the skin when rubbed in well. 


Ointments stay on the surface of your skin longer and create a protective barrier, preventing moisture loss. Ointments are not as well-absorbed and can feel greasier than creams, but provide a number of benefits. 



Creams are often used to provide basic moisturization and hydration. Since creams absorb quickly, most people opt for a cream to avoid that greasy feeling that can come with products with higher oil concentrations. Products such as our Skin Wise Organics Revitalizing Facial Cream can help restore hydration without any unwanted residue left behind.


Ointments are most commonly used to heal and moisturize. The high concentration of oil forms a barrier on skin, protecting it from the elements. These products are perfect for helping dry, scaly skin conditions. 


Which should you use?

If you are looking for daily hydration, creams should be your go-to. Especially if you have oily and sensitive skin, these products can help keep you moisturized, without irritation and residue.


If you suffer from extremely dry skin, ointments are best for providing relief. However, the high concentration of oil can make your skin prone to irritation, so make sure you are choosing products with only the cleanest ingredients, like our Skin Wise Organics Soothing Barrier Ointment



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