Cream vs Gel
Though we use both cream and gel to apply to our body, there is a difference between them. There are many types of beauty and skin care products in the market that are available in the form of crèmes, lotions, gels, and ointments. Even medications today are available in tubes containing creams and gels. It is common to see even products like shaving crèmes and toothpaste in the form of gels today. However, there are many people who cannot appreciate the differences between crèmes and gels. This article will highlight these differences based upon their physical features and usage that will be helpful for those who do not know when to use a gel or a cream for skin application.
What is Gel?
A gel has the appearance of a jelly and is transparent. It looks like a cross between a solid and a liquid and does not behave either like a solid or like a liquid. In reality, they are closer to liquids than solids but behave like a solid because of the presence of cross linking of molecules that prevents a steady state of flow. Most of the gels are water based and are known as hydrogels. Gels can be made of many substances by adding thickening agents and water, which is why we see so many types of gels in the market these days.The thickening agents that are used in gels are often polymers or polysaccharides. Whether you want beauty products or medications that are meant to be rubbed on the skin, to get relief from sprains and pains, gels are everywhere. While medication gels are mostly colorless, those that are found inside toothpaste tube are given a color tint or even filled with smaller, colorful particles to make the paste look more attractive. The skin absorbs gel quickly once you apply the gel on it.
What is Cream?
Creams (crèmes) are rather well known as they have been available for a long time now. Most of the creams are also water based though some creams do contain a little bit of oil base too. Creams also make use of thickening agents to give them a smoother appearance. Creams are thicker and take more time to get absorbed under the skin. There was a time when men and women had to apply creams on their hair but today, because of the introduction of gels, there are all sorts of hair gels that have become very popular as they disappear once applied on hair. There are creams that have oil, and there are those that do not have oil. When a cream contains oil, it is usually lanolin or petrolatum.
What is the difference between Cream and Gel?
• A gel has the appearance of a jelly and is transparent. A cream is not transparent.
• In the case of gels, one sees them disappear as they are mostly colorless. Despite having a color base, creams also are not visible once one has rubbed them on the body. However, gels get absorbed through the skin faster than a cream.
• Gels are usually oil free. Some creams do not have oil while some can have an oil mixture.
• Both cream and gel are water-based.
• Gels come in different colors. Creams are usually white in color. However, sometimes you can come across colored creams as well as a result of the technological development.
• Since both gels and creams are not oily, they are both used in products made for the face. Also, if you have an oily skin, creams and gels are your best choice.
• The expiration period of a gel or a cream is mentioned on the box or the tube that contains it. Other than that one cannot say a gel lasts longer than a cream and vice versa. Once a gel or cream expires, their effect goes away.
As you can see, there are some differences between cream and gel. Beginning from the appearance, these differences cover even the ingredients used to make them. Both are effective. Therefore, you have to choose one that suits your interest. Therefore, consider all the facts and then only decide what you want: a cream or a gel.
- Monoprix shaving gel by w:User:MavE (CC BY-SA 2.5)
- Penhaligon’s Vanities Hand & Body Cream by Gryffindor (CC BY-SA 3.0)