All About Lemon Balm

Helpful Tips to Choose Between Lemon Balm Ointment, Cream and Lotion



Lemon Balm Uses in Modern Day

In recent years, lemon balm has been widely used in medications, cosmetics, skin care, aromatic, culinary and other related sectors. Various commercial products or homemade recipes in different formulations are flooded around the internet, organic outlet, pharmacy and etc.

But, how can we enjoy their valuable benefits? The answer is to get the right formulation with the right dosage. Ointment, cream and lotion are three more commonly use formulations when come to topical medications, skin care or cosmetics.

The Difference Between Ointment, Cream And Lotion

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Some people probably think ointment, cream and lotion are the same. Whereas, some feel it a challenge when they try to decide which the best and which suit them most. It is very important to understand their differences before we make our right decisions. In some circumstances, one might be more applicable than the other and they might produce difference results. The differences between ointment, cream and lotion are as follows:-


Ointment, cream and lotion have difference oil to water ratio. Generally, an ointment is usually consists of approximately 80 percent oil and 20 percent water. Whereas, cream consist of roughly 50 percent oil and 50 percent water. However, some topical creams are using much higher water proportion. As for lotion, it is quite similar to a cream but its water percentage is much higher than cream.


Lemon balm ointment is more solid, has higher lipid content and thicker consistencies. Ointment might not be popular choice for most people because it is greasy and stickier. It might also leave grease spots on their cloth.

On the other hand, cream is semi-solid emulsion, which is greasier and thicker than lotion.

Lotion has lowest viscosity and lipid content. It is thinner and less thick than ointment and cream. Most people like to use lotion because it is easy to use, not greasy; can easily wash off with soap and water.

Absorb into Skin

Cream or lotion is lighter, lower lipid content and it contains higher water contents. When we apply cream or lotion on our skin, it can evaporate or gets absorbed into our skin. Dermatologist will probably prescribe a cream or lotion if he/ she wants the medications quickly and easily absorbed by the skin.

Ointment is greasier and stickier. It will take longer time to absorb into the skin. This helps to form a protective layer over the skin and to retain the moisture on skin surfaces.

Ability to Spread Over Skin

Creams or lotions can spread easily; it is much suitable for medications on larger areas of the skin. Ointment has thicker consistencies. Ointment is not suitable for medications on larger areas of the skin.

Medication Strength

In term of topical meditation, ointment is more potent compare with cream or lotion.

Ointments allow medication or active ingredient absorb more completely to the skin. Cream and lotion contain more water. They can evaporate when apply to skin.

At the same dosage, an ointment will be classified as being more potent than cream or lotion.

Which is the best – Lemon balm ointment, cream or lotion?

There is no one best formulation for all application. Each of them has their own benefits and drawbacks. Below are few factors that you should take into consideration when selecting you best formulation.

Types of skin

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The lipid content is highest in ointments, intermediate in creams and lowest in lotions. Ointment is gooey, thick and heavy; this helps to retain the moisture on skin surfaces thus preventing water loss and promoting faster healing. It is the best moisturiser and best used on moderate to severe dryness skin. Normal soap tends to dry the skin; a thick ointment can be used to substitute soap. Lemon balm ointment also works best if it is used for cold sore, psoriasis and etc. If you dislike the greasier ointment, thicker lemon balm cream is the next best bet. But, you need to apply the cream more frequent than ointment.

Most of the lemon balm ointments do not contain sensitising preservatives. They have the lower risk of skin irritation, allergic reaction or sensitisation. They are more suitable for sensitive skins.

On the other hand, lemon balm lotion has high water content and it promote skin dryness. Those with oily and greasy skin conditions are best served by a lotion. Lemon balm lotions or creams are usually better than ointments for treating sweaty, weeping eczema or oozing skin. For those have normal skin but would like to keep their skin soft and healthy, they can choose to use lemon balm cream.

Areas of Skin

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Since the viscosity of ointment is higher, it is quite difficult to apply it covering large areas of skin. Therefore, ointment is better for more concentrated areas. Whereas, cream and lotion has lower viscosity, they often work better to spread over large areas of the skin.

Lotion is serves best for areas of hairy skin. For areas of skin which tend to be very messy if apply with ointment, cream or lotion can be used to substitute ointment.

We can also use more than one formulation in our daily routine. We apply an ointment or thick body creams on specifically dry areas such as hands, feet and legs and use a cream or lotion on the rest of the body. But, we should avoid apply heavy oil-based creams or ointments on our face unless our face is excessive dryness.

Time and Seasons

During summer or in higher moisture climates, we should opt for cream or lotion. Its high water content can keep our skin healthy and soft. In the winter or in dry climates, we can switch from lotion or cream to thicker cream or ointment. Their higher oil formulations are very useful to hydrate and deeply moisturise and nourish severe dryness skin.

We can also use more than one formulation in our daily routine. We apply less oily and greasy lotion or cream for daytime and apply ointment or thicker cream at bedtime.

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