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Moisturizer is an essential part of any skin care regimen. Regardless of your skin type, be it dry, sensitive and yes, even oily, moisturizer will keep skin soft, supple and healthy. With natural beauty products currently trending, it is easy to find wonderful (and affordable) moisturizers that are fragrance-free, dye-free, chemical-free and great for all-over body use. This begs the question,
Best natural body moisturizer is on that is natural and has no preservative. The best natural body moisturizer is anything that is free of fragrances, dyes and chemicals. It should contain plant-derived oils and organic emollients that nourish the skin and keep it soft, smooth and healthy-looking.
Now that you know what a ‘natural’ body moisturizer is, let’s take a look at what plant-based oils and organic butters are best for dry, oily and sensitive skin types.
Best Natural Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin
When considering all-natural body moisturizers as an alternative to commercial brands, it is important to understand why they are better. Most store-bought brands contain water and synthetic (or chemical) emollients. When applied, these will provide the initial sense of moisture, however, once the water in the product evaporates, the skin is left feeling tight and dry once again. Commercial brands are often highly fragranced with artificial dyes or colorants added.
Skin requires organic emollients from oils found naturally in plants. These oils contain vitamins, minerals, proteins, phytonutrients and fatty acid to nourish the skin, repair damage and prevent pre-mature aging in addition to moisturizing. The best all-natural oils for skin include the following:
- Coconut oil. This is a personal favorite of mine! Coconut oil, in addition to providing nourishment and moisture for the skin. Also a study has shown it is good for reducing inflammation and treating a variety of skin ailments such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, cellulitis, folliculitis and even athlete’s foot! It is ideal for sensitive skin and smells like a tropical paradise! Rich in phytonutrients and polyphenols, it is truly a miracle oil!
- Olive oil. This oil is great for dry skin. In addition to its moisturizing properties, it also acts as an antioxidant when topically applied, preventing pre-mature aging and wrinkles. When applied to the body after sun exposure, it helps reduce the negative effects of UVA and UVB damage. The International Olive Oil Council says that It has large amounts vitamins A, D, E and K of ‘feeds’ the skin and nourishes the skin making it look healthy..
- Avocado oil. This oil absorbs very well, greatly improving moisture levels in the skin. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties keep skin soft, smooth and supple. It is rich in vitamins A, D , and E and a study shows that it useful in tresting skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It is also a natural sunblock, great for soothing irritated or sunburnt skin..
- Shea butter. This is an excellent moisturizer for the body. The high concentration of vitamins (A and E) and fatty acids makes it incredibly nourishing. It’s creamy, rich consistency is perfect to soothe and hydrate dry skin. It is a skin ‘superfood’ that offers UV protection in addition its been known to be an anti-inflammatory and has anti-aging properties.
- Cocoa butter. A rich and creamy natural moisturizer, cocoa butter ‘melts’ beautifully into the skin. It is highly moisturizing and smells amazing! It is rich in phytochemicals that improve blood flow to the skin, protecting against sun damage and reducing signs of aging. Also a study has shown that it also helps to diminish the appearance of scars and stretch marks on the body.
You can find a great selection of natural body moisturizers at Amazon
Best Natural Moisturizer for Oily Skin
Contrary to popular belief, oily skin needs moisturizer too. The key is to find the ‘right’ moisturizer, one that balances rather than increases the oil levels. Plant-derived oils are often non-comedogenic, meaning they prevent excess oil secretion. They also contain natural properties that keep skin looking fresh and healthy. Examples of these include the following:
- Aloe vera oil/gel. This is an excellent natural emollient for skin that will not clog pores or cause breakouts. It is easily applied to all areas of the body and will not leave the skin feeling greasy. It contains antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E. It has anti-inflammatory properties to heal scars and soothe minor skin irritations such as sunburns. Its natural astringent capabilities absorb excess oils and impurities from the skin as well.
- Argan oil. This oil promotes healthy skin cell metabolism while regulating sebum production, preventing breakouts and acne. Extracted from the argan forest in Morocco, this oil is light, non-greasy and rich in vitamin E. Due to its non-comedogenic nature, it is an ideal body moisturizer that can help soothe conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and atopic dermatitis.
- Jojoba oil. When applied to the skin, it will help regulate oil production by ‘tricking’ it into thinking it has produced enough! This is great for treating acne, blemishes and breakouts. Adding a few drops to your body lotion will provide the skin with clean, light-weight moisture. It is naturally rich in Vitamin E and B complex as well as chromium, copper and zinc. Its iodine properties help heal and soothe skin.
- Tea tree oil. An excellent oil with anti-microbial properties to treat acne as well as control sebum production in the skin. It also acts as an exfoliator, removing dead cells from the skin surface while deep-cleaning blocked pores. You can apply this oil directly to the skin surface or add a few drops to your favorite body moisturizer (which should be organic and fragrance-free). It has an invigorating scent and a pleasant cooling effect.
- Rose oil. This beautifully scented oil helps to balance skin PH levels, keeping oil production in check. It is great for reducing the appearance of scars, dark spots and wrinkles as well preventing acne. It is rich in fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E. It contains antioxidants which have anti-aging and acne-fighting capabilities. It is often used to treat rosacea, hyperpigmentation, eczema, dark spots and stretch marks.
Best Natural Body Lotion for Sensitive Skin
Choosing a moisturizer for sensitive skin can be tricky! This skin type is prone to many conditions such as dryness, redness, itching and burning. If you happen to be ‘cursed’ with sensitive skin, it is very important that the moisturizer you use be fragrance-free, dye free and chemical-free.
If you want to purchase a store-brand body lotion for convenience, it is vital to be a smart shopper and do some online research first. Read the label on the bottle. If it contains alcohol, sulfates, parabens, dyes or fragrances, it is probably best to put it back on the shelf!
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing body lotion is a well-rated, good-quality store-bought brand! It is dermatologist recommended for sensitive skin and made with colloidal oatmeal, an all-natural ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties.
Otherwise, stick with all-natural, plant-based oils such as chamomile, coconut, olive, lavender and sandalwood. Other organic options including aloe vera gel, shea butter and cocoa butter are also great for naturally moisturizing sensitive skin areas.
Be sure to use 100% pure oils that are high-quality. In the case of sensitive skin, it is sometimes better to mix the oils in with a fragrance-free, dye-free, chemical free lotion rather than applying it ‘neat’ (directly onto the skin). Check with your doctor or dermatologist before using essential oils, especially if you suffer from hypertension.
Is Petroleum Jelly Good for the Skin?
Many store-bought body lotions contain petroleum jelly or petroleum-based oils. You may be wondering if petroleum jelly is natural and/or good for the skin. Let’s a take a closer look at this ingredient in more detail below.
Petroleum-based oils are often used in lotions because they are cheaper than all-natural, plant-based oils. Petroleum jelly is a combination of mineral oils and waxes and is a by-product of the oil industry. It is non-sustainable and therefore not eco-friendly.
Petroleum jelly acts as an emollient. In lotions, it creates the illusion of hydrated, moisturized skin when in actuality, it prevents the skin from breathing by suffocating the pores. This leads to an increased risk of acne. Petroleum jelly can also aggravate pre-existing skin conditions such as rosacea. I have written an article on skin care ingredients to avoid. You can check it out here.
It is often recommended to use body lotions that contain natural plant-based oils or organic butters. Not only are they better for your skin, but they are also better for the environment. Do your research before using any petroleum-based moisturizer. Your health depends on it!
When choosing a natural body moisturizer, it is best to use oils that are plant-derived with organic emollients. Many commercial or store-bought brands contain synthetic substances or artificial chemicals. These ‘toxins’ are cheap fillers found in lotions that are absorbed directly into the skin and, overtime, can cause negative skin reactions such as acne and eczema. Some of these ingredients also have carcinogenic properties and could potentially lead to cancer!
All-natural moisturizers such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, shea butter and cocoa butter (to name a few) are better for your skin, your body and your overall health. They are also better for the environment, affordable and easily available at your local health food store. So the next time you grab a bottle of body lotion from the drug store shelf, be a smart shopper and ask yourself, “is this really the best choice?”