While many people are of the opinion that all types of lotions are the same, the fact is that there are a few important differences between hand lotion and face lotion. These differences have to do with the effect that each type of lotion is designed to achieve, and the mixture of elements that are included in the basic formula.
Hand lotion, like body lotion, is formulated to have a thicker consistency than lotion for the face. While it is true that both types of lotion are used to moisturize the skin, most people need a different level of moisturizing on the face than with the hands. This is because the facial area tends to contain sections that already exude a fair amount of natural oils. The thicker texture of hand lotion allows the product to more effectively treat the rough patches many people develop on knuckles and palms, since a residue will cling to the hands even after washing. By contrast, using this thicker lotion on the facial skin is likely to clog pores and create skin problems.
With face lotion, the idea is usually not only to moisturize but also to cleanse. Many creams and lotions that are formulated especially for the face will include cleansers that help to remove excess oil deposits from the pores of the skin. The result is that the lotion for the face is applied for a short time and then rinsed off the skin. Unlike lotion for the hands, there is no residue that continues to protect the face from the elements. Most people have enough natural oils to accomplish this task, and simply require face lotion to help augment the process.
Last, the formulas for hand and face lotion often contain a range of nutrients that are especially blended for the special needs of skin on the hands or the face. The hand lotion will contain properties that will help to nourish the dryer skin found there, while lotion designed for use on the face will include nutrients that help to leave a smooth and clean complexion. Many types of this lotion today include elements that are meant to tighten the skin and provide a more youthful appearance. Those same elements would not work well with the hands, and could lead to cracking and scaling on the dryer texture of skin found on knuckles and palms.