What are ointments? - Ointments do not contain any water and are therefore very greasy. The consistency depends on surrounding temperature, and although an ointment may feel hard while in the pot, the warmth from rubbing it between the hands will soften it and make it easier to apply.
Use ointments for very dry and thickened skin
Ointments are usually the best choice for dry skin and thickened areas, and are very suitable for night time use. Ointments should preferably be applied every 6-8 hours, or when your skin feels dry. However, because ointments still feel greasy on the skin and potentially the clothes, most people find them unacceptable for daytime use.
Low risk of sensitisation
Because there is no water in ointments it is not necessary to add preservatives. However, this is no guarantee that there are no potential sensitizers in the products, because other ingredients may be added. Still, ointments are likely the emollient formulation that are least likely to cause sensitisation.