When it comes to beauty and wellness products, you’ve likely noticed a tangible shift away from the synthetic and toward the more natural. Whether or not this shift is simply a temporary fad remains to be seen; what we do know is that science supports it, and that’s generally worth taking a closer look, right? Today we’re discussing natural face moisturizer and recommending our favorite products.
In this article we discuss the following:
- What is Natural Face Moisturizer?
- Ingredients to Avoid
- Why Opt for Natural Face Moisturizer?
- The Best Natural Face Moisturizer
- DIY Face Moisturizer
What is Natural Face Moisturizer, Anyway?
Before we get into discussing natural facial moisturizer, let us first determine what is meant by this term ‘natural’.
It’s a word that has been tossed about the consumerist market in recent years, despite having little to no technical definition of its own. Common assumption leaves “natural” beauty products in the overpriced and inaccessible zones of beauty and wellness, making them seem exclusive or ‘higher than thou’ when compared to existing big brand names.
In truth, natural beauty products need not be exclusive or inaccessible at all. In fact, there are probably items sitting in your pantry right now that qualify under ‘natural beauty’.
Natural is another way for the beauty industry to refer to something being pure. Pure in compound, pure in manufacturing, pure in intention; just pure.
Natural facial moisturizer is taking over as the best moisturizer for people with multiple skin types. It is made using pure ingredients and usually pure manufacturing techniques, making them some of the most wholesome products to use on facial skin.
Usually, natural moisturizer is made using any of the widely available botanicals that grow freely on the Earth. These ingredients might go through a refining process in order to achieve the correct consistency and texture, but they remain “pure” in that chemicals are usually left out of this step.
Because of the usage of botanical ingredients, these natural facial moisturizers are usually either organic, vegan, or both. We’ll get into the benefits of these later, but it’s important to recognize that a self-proclaimed organic face moisturizer is not automatically cruelty free, and nor is a self-proclaimed cruelty free face moisturizer automatically organic.
Due to the wide variety of botanicals that can be used to make natural beauty products, finding the best facial moisturizer of natural descent is usually a process of elimination. What is best for one might not be best for another, as all skin is unique and responds differently to topically applied substances.
Dr. Sarah Hung, member of The Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians and Naturopathic Doctor with expertise in nutrition, immune health and gastrointestinal health says that “excellent natural ingredients in facial moisturizers include hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil and argan oil, all of which are considered humectant ingredients. Humectant ingredients have been shown to draw in moisture to surface skin cells, providing a protective barrier and preventing against moisture loss and infections. For those with particularly sensitive skin, jojoba oil is a great choice as it is extremely close to the slightly acidic PH of the skin, at about 5.5. As a wax ester, it is extremely lightweight compared to other oils. It regulates excess production of sebum which helps mitigate acne prone or oily skin and additionally has shown to kill specific types of bacteria such as salmonella and e coli. It is high in the antioxidant Vitamin E, promotes collagen synthesis and has a low incidence of allergic reaction or irritability as a result of its easy absorbability and “waxy” molecular structure.”
Ingredients to Avoid in Regular Facial Moisturizer
Years of investigation into the inner workings of the beauty industry has repeatedly revealed that big business has never had the well-being of the consumer in mind. The goal has been profits; and if that comes through encouraging customers to continue absorbing harmful chemicals into their blood streams — so be it.
Thankfully, we are now at a point where we can isolate each ingredient that is best avoided when it comes to skincare. If your goal is to switch to a more natural beauty regime, keep an eye out for all of the following on the product’s list of ingredients.
Parabens were amongst the first of the beauty industries most harmful additives to be exposed. It’s become trendy for beauty products to proudly proclaim themselves as “paraben free” on their packaging, in a way that is noticeable at first glance.
Parabens are a type of preservative that have, for years, been used to keep beauty products fresh and mold-free. They prevent the products from harboring any bacteria that might lead to the spoiling of the other ingredients.
Parabens might be able to keep bacteria at bay, but they also have the ability to mimic estrogen in the bloodstream. Some cases of breast and skin cancer caused alarm when parabens were found in the blood of the patients, leading to a worldwide call for beauty product retailers to stop using them in their manufacturing processes.
In men, parabens have been linked to significant decreases in fertility levels. In Denmark, parabens were made illegal to use on children under the age of 3 years old.
Petrolatum is a common ingredient in beauty products, particularly those that specifically target dry skin. Refined petrolatum actually isn’t that bad of a substance, and has been approved by many medical institutions seeking to better understand the skincare industry.
The problem is that petrolatum is not a regulated substance, and cheap imitations have managed to saturate the manufacturing market, in turn leading to adverse, and even harmful, results.
Petrolatum is often used to advertise the moisturizing properties of certain face creams, but in reality petrolatum has no moisturizing abilities of its own. It merely seals off existing moisture in the skin, and creates a barrier whereby no new moisture can enter, while giving the illusion of supple hydration.
For a long time, hydroquinone was a sought after ingredient in facial moisturizers. It acts as a skin lightening agent; or in other words, a skin bleach.
Hydroquinone has the ability to decrease the presence of melanocytes in one’s facial skin. Melanocytes are the cells that produce our melanin, which gives our faces their unique colors and “flaws”. Those with higher counts of melanocytes are likely to have freckles, blemishes or pigmentation, while those with lower counts likely experience rosacea or trouble with holding a suntan.
This ingredient can be seen as a dream to those who have been trying to get their hyperpigmentation under control for quite some time, however hydroquinone is not regulated, and users are not made aware that repeated use of the substance can result in permanent damage to the body’s natural melanocyte production, in turn leading to even worse pigmentation over time.
Hydroquinone is also directly linked to premature aging, due to how severely it breaks down natural responses in the face.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
Ever wondered what makes your face wash foam up? That would be SLS; an emulsifier used to stabilize and thicken existing solutions.
Usually this ingredient is found in lathering products such as face wash, floor cleaner and even engine degreaser, but there are often trace amounts in facial moisturizers, too.
If your face moisturizer irritates your eyes upon accidental contact, then SLS is likely present and doing more damage than good. Studies remain underway in proving that SLS is a carcinogen with ties to certain types of cancer.
Oxybenzone is a substance regularly used in beauty products that are creamy or white in appearance, such as face moisturizers and sunblocks.
When absorbed through skin, this stabilizing agent has the ability to block out UV rays, offering SPF protection in face creams and foundations. While the exterior result is well intended, systems inside of the body seem to disagree.
Oxybenzone has been linked to failure of the endocrine system, which can lead to skin and breast cancer as a result of hormone disruption.
A sweet smelling moisturizer is immediately a more attractive product to apply to one’s face. Unfortunately, fragrant beauty products are almost always full of chemicals intended to mask the existing smells of other active toxins.
It takes a great deal of chemical power to hide the potent aroma of commonly used ingredients such as parabens and oxybenzone. Most fragrant chemicals are coal-derived, which makes them harmful to anyone who is already impaired in the respiratory region.
Natural fragrances are an option to all beauty product manufacturers, but they cost more to use and thus synthetic fragrances become the more profitable choice.
Phthalates are what give face moisturizers their pliability and flexibility. Being able to easily spread a cream across your face, without clumps, stagnancy or hardening, is something that occurs due to chemical additives.
Interestingly, phthalates have shown to do most harm on men and children. The affect hormones and the reproductive system, and can be linked to conditions such as ADHD, diabetes and cancer.
Avoiding phthalates is almost impossible without switching to natural-made beauty products. In addition to influencing the texture of a product, phthalates also help synthetic fragrances last longer, and manufacturers are not required by law to list them as an official ingredient in these instances. Just because it’s not on the bottle, doesn’t mean it’s not in the cream.
Alcohol has become such a standard ingredient within the beauty industry that most people have never even considered its role as a base solution.
Many beauty products make use of alcohol as a solvent to bind all other ingredients together. Alcohol has the ability to bring ingredients together, without affecting their individual purpose.
Alcohol is one of the most obvious drying agents on the planet; it’s also a killer of just about everything in sight, which is why we use it as an antibacterial solution in the medical field.
Repeatedly applying small amounts of alcohol to your facial skin every day will inevitably strip the skin of its ability to self-regenerate. One of the most important abilities of human facial skin is its ability for renewal, even late in life. Alcohol makes it impossible for skin to achieve its natural renewal state, and can actually promote the surfacing of blemishes over time.
Why It’s Best to Opt for a Natural Face Moisturizer
After considering the aforementioned list of ingredients to avoid in regular face moisturizers, it seems like a no brainer to opt for natural whenever, and wherever, possible.
Avoiding contact with these potentially harmful ingredients is something we should all be doing for our bodies on a daily basis. This extends from natural facial moisturizers through to all other products that are absorbed by the skin for aesthetic purposes. Absorption through skin is one of the most direct links we have to our blood streams, without having to break through the surface.
While opting for natural moisturizers is clearly better for the body, one needs to also consider what it does for the environment as well. Chemical based products have complicated manufacturing processes that can have damaging effects on the environment.
There is no chemical that can be heated, refined or produced without emitting other chemicals into the atmosphere; the two simply go hand in hand. The beauty industry is a significant contributor to both global warming and the plastic endemic plaguing our oceans.
Stephanie Ivonne, licensed esthetician, serves on the advisory board for Smart Style Today, notes that “there has always been a common misconception of those of you dealing with oily and acne prone skin that you should ‘dry’ them out to control the breakouts and greasiness but in reality it makes things worse. There is a moisturizer for everyone and when it comes to those that are not only good for you but are effective without any harmful chemicals, I always recommend natural moisturizers.”
Organic and Vegan Facial Moisturizer
Sometimes ‘natural’ is used as an umbrella term to refer to face moisturizing products that are made using organic ingredients and are vegan friendly. A moisturizer can either be one, both, or neither of these things depending on the individual production process.
Opting for an organic face moisturizer is always preferable, as organic moisturizers are made using botanicals and are often free of pesticides, hormones and steroids. Traces of these toxins in natural moisturizers will be minimal, but that doesn’t change the fact that eliminating them entirely is always going to be the smarter choice.
Then there’s what is known as vegan moisturizers; undoubtedly the best face moisturizers on the market. With vegan moisturizers, you get all of the benefits of a natural moisturizer, plus the added bonus of said product having not been tested on animals in any way and not containing any animal derived ingredients.
With natural face moisturizers, you won’t always be informed whether a product is cruelty free or not. This is because there are certain products that can be used as moisturizers that are considered groceries and not beauty items. Coconut oil is one of them; an easy to find ingredient on the shelf of any grocery store that is not always organic but always void of animal testing. Use your discretion and common sense when seeking vegan moisturizers. Contact the company if you are unsure if their product is truly vegan or cruelty free.
DIY Face Moisturizer
The final perk of opting for natural face moisturizers is that you have the opportunity to make products of your own at home. DIY moisturizer is easy enough to perfect, and you likely won’t have to venture very far to gather the ingredients. You’d be surprised how powerful oil from everyday seeds can be. As Vega Sims from Just Luve notes, “making your own facial oil is a good natural option for eliminating toxins from your beauty routine, just always make sure that the oils being used are pure and do not contain additives.” Stay tuned for some great DIY face moisturizer recipes at the end of this article!
The Best Natural Facial Moisturizers on the Market
Josh Rosebrook – Nutrient Face Moisturizer SPF 30
Best Face Moisturizer with SPF
Josh Rosebrook’s moisturizer is, by far, the best organic face moisturizer with SPF for daytime use. The formula features broad spectrum coverage, meaning you’re getting the potency of any other synthetic sunblock with an SPF of 30.
The solution doesn’t run cheap, but you’re paying for high quality ingredient extracts and a formula that has been perfected through meticulous research. We particularly like how light and easy to wear this face cream is, especially as a base layer underneath one’s daily foundation.
No B.S Skincare Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer SPF 20
No B.S Skincare’s ultra-hydrating moisturizer sunscreen does not only help protect from harmful UVA/UVB rays but also restores hydration without any greaseball effect. The ultra-hydrating moisturizer’s main ingredients are green tea oil, coconut oil, and hyaluronic acid to help to defend against damaging UVA rays, hydrates, and protect skin and soothe redness and inflammation. All of No B.S Skincare products are made only with natural and organic products so you do not jeopardize your skin with any toxic and harmful ingredients from skincare. They believe in simplicity and efficacy in their products so you can get the best results in your skincare routine.
Base Butter Radiate Face Jelly
Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin
The last thing you want to do when you have very oily skin is apply a product that dries it out too severely. Face oils are about balance, and not elimination, which is why oil free face moisturizer is generally not recommended for oily skin. We suggest one that includes botanical oils that can work with the abundant facial oils.
Base Butter’s formulation is made using the oil of both tea tree and lavender, but it is infused into a gel so that it balances oiliness rather than increases it. Lavender is known for its powerful oil balancing abilities.
The gel absorbs quickly and easily, with no sticky residue left on the face. One can then apply SPF or foundation on top.
This is one of the most affordable natural face moisturizers on the market!
Youth to the People Superfood Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer
Best Moisturizer for Dry Acne Prone Skin
As a general rule, any fruit or vegetable with healing properties on the inside of the body will have similar healing properties to offer the outside of the body.
Youth to the People gives us a unique formula of kale, spinach and green tea to apply directly on the face; two potent green vegetables with the ability to provide superfood healing to external ailments such as acne.
The combination of the superfoods mixed into the hyaluronic acid makes this one of the best face cream for extremely dry skin, as this natural acid works to instantly pull moisture through the skin’s surface.
When it comes to acne and face moisturizers, it’s imperative that one use a moisturizer that is light and breathable. Suffocating active acne in product will only cause the condition to worsen.
NOTO Botanics Moisture Riser Cream
Best Face Moisturizer for Very Dry Skin
The name says it all: a moisture rising cream made from targeted botanics. NOTO’s formula makes it one of the best organic face moisturizers for use during both day and nighttime. Simultaneously, this is the best natural moisturizer for dry skin as its key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, offering instant moisture to even the most tired looking faces.
NOTO’s moisturizer is also the best natural face moisturizer for dry skin of the hands, neck and décolletage. The presence of carrot seed oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on dry skin, making it safe for use on eczema.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream
Best Face Moisturizer for Dry Sensitive Skin
When in doubt, look to Burt’s Bees! This brand has been around for years, dedicated to perfecting their formulas to specifically benefit individuals who suffer from what seems to be chronically sensitive facial skin.
Their products are some of the most affordable on the market while also some of the most effective. This daily moisturizer is an all natural face moisturizer for sensitive skin that can be used both day and night.
There are extracts of aloe, cotton and rice that work to instantly soothe inflamed skin or prevent inflammation from occurring at all. The calming effect of the formula prompts the skin’s natural hydration abilities. All this for under $11 a pop!
Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer
Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
Tata Harper has made this targeted solution for everyone battling sensitive, reactive skin that tends to clog up its own clean pores in the process of inflammation. The high saturation of minerals such as copper, zinc, and magnesium means that inflammation is reduced, and your skin can get back to its job of retaining moisture.
There are few nourishing organic face creams with this kind of healing power. Tata Harper’s is also known for easing the presence of cysts that form in the deeper layers of the skin. Blackheads and whiteheads are no match for Tata Harper.
Brickell Men’s Products Daily Essential Face Moisturizer for Men
Best Men’s Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin
While men can essentially use any face or beauty product that a woman can, there is a booming market for male-targeted skincare products.
No one seems to understand the facial skin of a man quite like Brickell. Their range of products offers natural moisturizing relief for everything from extremely oily to extremely dry skin. This product in question tackles the latter.
This is a four-in-one formula that works with the natural healing benefits of jojoba oil and green tea to lock in moisture once and for all. The presence of aloe vera offers relief to any flakiness experienced as a result of dry skin.
It’s an affordable product that lasts for months upon purchase, and it actually trains your skin to produce lasting moisture of its own over time, so you end up using less and less in the long run.
Suitable for both day and nighttime use; men are encouraged to apply the moisturizer after morning cleansing, after any significant workout/swimming, and again after evening cleansing.
Demes Nourishing Face Cream
Best Moisturizer for Aging Skin
This rich cream is 100% natural and plant based and perfect for those with skin that is showing signs of aging. A little goes a long way and can be applied morning and night after cleansing.
Mallama’s Green Tea Infused Moisturizer
Most natural moisturizers can feel heavy or greasy thanks to their excess oil content. This antioxidant-packed moisturizer is light and silky, making it the perfect product to hydrate your skin and seal in vitamins and antioxidants. This 100% all-natural vegan moisturizer has hyaluronic acid, turmeric, aloe vera, and green tea to moisturize and treat the skin. It even provides a little dewiness thanks to the free-radical neutralizing antioxidants found inside both the turmeric and green tea.
lahVdah 6 Essential Oil Face Moisturizer
Christopher Gonya, Owner of Miller St. Boutique, loves the IahVdah 6 Essential Oil Face Moisturizer “because it is priced great and provides a deep clean while also hydrating your skin. It contains Vitamin E, which will reduce the appearance of scarring and fine lines. The tree tree oil gently clears your pores and reduces acne. The coconut and jojoba oils and the goat milk leave your skin feeling baby soft and give you a healthy glow. It’s a great product for any skin type, no matter your age.”
Pure Moisture Face Cream by Ayr Skin Care
Opt for naturally-derived and cruelty-free ingredients wherever possible. Pure Moisture Face Cream by Ayr Skin Care harnesses the power of eight natural humectants, a gluten-free saccharide isomerate, and a host of other 100% vegan ingredients. Being entirely plant-based and silicone-free, this is a non-toxic and deeply hydrating option that provides 72 hours of hydration. This is the ideal daily go-to moisturizer for mature, sensitive, and dry skin. If you’re seeking a moisturizer that restores your natural glow for the long term, look no further!
Susan Ciminelli’s Special Reserve Cream
Chelsea Bagley from Nesting Naturally loves this facial cream. Bagley says “Susan Ciminelli’s Special Reserve Cream is my favorite natural facial moisturizer. It has anti-aging properties, and it instantly gives your skin a fresh, dewey look. While more expensive than many other facial moisturizers on the market, the small 2-ounce jar lasts an incredibly long time (I’ve had mine for nearly two years!). I really love that it comes in a glass jar, which means that there are no harmful plastic chemicals leaching into the moisturizer itself. Another bonus: it’s made with essential oils, so it smells great too. When you use it as a night cream, the lavender scent is perfect for helping you settle down at night and get your beauty sleep.”
According to Melanie Musson, a wellness expert and writer for the life insurance site QuickQuote.com, the LilyAna Naturals Facial Cream is an organic moisturizer that is perfect for any skin type. Nature offers the most healing ingredients for your skin, and LilyAna Naturals formulates their facial cream using a combination of the best that nature has made available. It helps reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to Vitamin E and aloe. Surprisingly, it’s inexpensive, and yet it yields similar results as high-end moisturizers.
Ardolé Custom DIY Face Cream
This is a kit of 6 natural / organic ingredients allowing you to make your own face cream at home in less than 15min. The customer takes a 2-min online skin diagnostic on the Ardolé website so that they can select the naturally active ingredients adapted to the customer’s skin type, characteristics, and lifestyle.
DIY: Make Face Moisturizer at Home
If you’re interested in making your own natural face moisturizer at home, you’re not alone. This trend has taken over social platforms such as Pinterest and Reddit, where people all over the world have begun sharing their homemade moisturizer recipes and natural face moisturizer DIY tips.
What’s great about making skin products at home is that you are able to guarantee that you’ll be using a paraben free face moisturizer, instead of putting faith into big brands to eliminate the parabens on your behalf.
You’ll also be able to make the choice of using organic ingredients if you feel so inclined. And finally, you’ll also be able to guarantee that your homemade product did not harm any animals in its production process.
To make a face moisturizer at home you’ll need access to an immersion blender or a stand mixer.
DIY Coconut Oil Natural Face Moisturizer
- 1/2 cup of organic, unrefined coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of cocoa butter, or coconut butter if preferred
- 2 tsp of almond oil
- 5 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 4 drops of lavender essential oil
Preparation and Use:
- Put all ingredients into your blender or mixing bowl.
- Whip for roughly 5 minutes continuously, until fluffy and light.
- Transfer the contents into a jar or beauty pot for storage.
- Be sure to keep your moisturizer in cool conditions, as anything with a coconut oil base is prone to melting very easily. A bathroom cabinet tends to be the best place to keep it or even your refrigerator if your home is particularly hot.
DIY Jojoba Oil Natural Face Moisturizer
- 6 drops of Jojoba essential oil
- 4 tbsp of aloe vera juice (naturally pressed, no added sugar)
- 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin
- ½ tsp of sweet almond oil
Preparation and Use:
- Add all ingredients to a small jar.
- Seal the lid properly and mix by shaking vigorously.
- Use as needed, and if ingredients appear to separate simply shake together again.
DIY Semi-Professional Nourishing Natural Face Moisturizer
- 15g of cocoa butter
- 5g of organic shea butter
- 15g of vegetable glycerine
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 5g of jojoba oil
- 1 tsp of Vitamin E oil (or 3 Vitamin E capsules)
- 1 tsp of grapefruit extract
- ¼ tsp of rosehip oil
- 35g of apricot kernel oil
- 5 drops of organic carrot seed oil
- 2 tsp of emulsifying wax
Preparation and Use:
- In a small pot or pan, bring the apricot oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil, vegetable glycerin, and emulsifying wax to melting point on very low heat. The mixture is sufficiently melted when all of the wax has seemingly dissolved.
- Pour the filtered water into your blender, and while pulsing on low speed, slowly pour in the melted mixture. Eventually, this will result in a thin creamy substance.
- Increase the blender speed, and begin to whip the substance into a much thicker consistency.
- Stop blending and add in all of the remaining ingredients. Pulse the blender on low speed for a few seconds to mix them in.
- Pour the mix into your chosen storage containers, and do not seal until the product has cooled properly.
- Seal and keep in the fridge overnight before using on the face.
DIY Aloe Vera Natural Face Moisturizer
- 2 tbsp of organic, unrefined coconut oil
- 4 tbsp of natural aloe vera gel
- 2 Vitamin E capsules
- 2 tsp of organic almond oil
Preparation and Use:
- Use a small bowl to mix together the aloe vera gel and almond oil. Cut open the Vitamin E capsules and mix into the gel formula.
- Melt the coconut oil in a separate saucepan on the stove and add into the gel formula.
- Mix well and transfer to a small container for daily use.
DIY Rosehip Face Moisturizer from Livin the Joy
- 1/2 cup organic shea butter
- 2 Tbsp. organic jojoba oil
- 1 Tbsp. organic rosehip seed oil
- 1/8 tsp. organic vanilla bean powder
- 1 tsp. raw, local honey
Preparation and Use:
- Combine shea butter and jojoba oil in a doubleboiler.
- Stir until shea butter melts.
- Remove mixture from heat.
- Add rosehip seed oil, vanilla bean powder, andhoney.
- Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Chill mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes, or untilsolid.
- Whip chilled mixture until fluffy.
- Transfer to a glass jar, store in the refrigerator and use within three months.