In terms of lightness to heaviness on the skin feel - a lotion would feel the lightest, then cream, then body butter and last a balm being the heaviest.
Which one is the best for healing dry cracked skin?
I would recommend our Ah-mazing balm or the Red Skin Balm for the repairing phase. Why? Our balms have a high % of beeswax, spruce resin, calendula, and other plants such as chickweed and plantain infused in the base oil of the balm. The balms are rich in the ingredients that work the best for repairing the sebum and acid mantle layer of the skin but also soak in and go deeper than a lotion can. It's also has a pH that is the same as your skin which is slightly acidic between 4.2 and 6.
What should I use to keep my skin soft and prevent dryness & cracking?
Once you are past the repair phase and you have healed your dry cracked skin, I would recommend a body butter for everyday use to target specific areas like knuckles, knees, elbows. It's a bit lighter in feel than a balm, but has lots of rich ingredients like raw, unrefined, fair-trade organic cocoa, mango, and shea butters, herbal infused oils made with the whole plant which add minerals into the oils like calcium, magnesium, silica, and vitamins C, A and E. If you find it not heavy enough and your skin is cracking again, by all means, keep using the balms. I would steer clear of lotions because they are mostly water as I showed you above, so if you are picking a lotion because it has shea butter or avocado oil, etc. those specific ingredients aren't in high quantities. It will be less than 30% of the formulation, which means it can't contribute a lot to repairing your skin. Lotions also have a much higher pH value at 6.5-8, which isn't what the natural pH level of our skin microbiome would like to be. Water in a skincare formulation can actually disrupt your acid mantle and sebum balance over time. So, if you are using a lotion and feeling like you actually have to apply it a lot, it's because it's not really restoring the moisture balance or the sebum layer. It's actually contributing to its decline, drying your skin out by replacing your natural sebum with silicones and petroleum-based waxes and oils, which makes you buy more lotion. See the crazy cycle that happens?!
It's time to break up with your lotion.
If you want the feel of soft skin with a lighter texture, I would highly recommend trying a body oil. You can use this as a lotion, applying it on and rubbing it in. The best part is that unlike a lotion, body oil is pH balanced, works with your acid mantle, sebum, and skin microbiome to protect and nourish! So, you will quickly find that your skin stays soft all day when you use a body oil and you won't need to keep reaching for a bottle to reapply.
How to apply body oil.
Apply it once in the morning after a shower or when you wake up before you get dressed. You can do this again at bedtime if you wish. It's been shown that applying body oils and massaging them in helps stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and give you a calm, grounded feel afterward. Our nerves rely on oil to transmit messages to each other. A win for your skin, your mind, and your soul.