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Jan25
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Congratulations to the Sutherland Smashers on winning our recent Jan 25 live quiz.

What’s the difference between cream, lotion, and ointment?

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The Answer

All of these topical treatments contain a mixture of oil and water. Cream is mostly water, lotion contains an even mix of oil and water, and ointment is mostly oil.

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Creams, lotions, and ointments are all ways that a topical medicine or treatment can be applied to the skin. The difference between them relates to the ratio of oil and water in the medium that contains the active ingredient.

  • Creams are mostly water with some oil added
  • Lotions will usually contain around equal parts oil and water
  • Ointments are typically 80% oil or higher

Oil and water generally won’t mix, so an emulsifier is added to create a homogeneous mixture.

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