Our skins absorb much of what we put on them- from creams and lotions to oils. Most of us have probably had one or two bad experiences where products don't react well with our skin: dryness, irritation, and even rashes. This has seen a recent shift from synthetic to natural ingredients in beauty and wellness products to take the utmost care of our skins.
At the heart of a complete skincare routine is a quality moisturizer, for valid reasons. For starters, skin acts as a barrier from the external environment, protecting you from the elements and infections. Therefore, you need tip-top hydration to also protect your vulnerable skin from cracking and irritation, hold premature wrinkles at bay and more so even out your complexion.
The recent trend means that people want more than just a face moisturizer that softens, smoothens and nourishes their skin. Additionally, it is just as important that the product should not contain chemicals, additives and preservatives. So what does this mean?
What is a Natural Face Moisturizer, Anyway?
The word 'natural' has been tossed around the consumer market severally in the last couple of years. This is mainly because the term does not have its own technical definition in regards to cosmetics. Consequently, any brand can define it in its own way. In fact, this has led to the notion that natural beauty products are normally overpriced and exclusive to a select group of consumers who lean towards high-end brands.
In reality, natural and organic products refer to the substances being pure in compound, manufacturing and intention. It follows then that natural face moisturizers are made from widely available and freely growing botanicals. The ingredients are only refined to achieve the desired level of consistency and texture without adding any chemicals.
The main natural and organic ingredients, mostly humectant, for these natural face moisturizers include:
- Hyaluronic acid.
- Aloe vera.
- Shea butter.
- Cocoa butter.
- Argan oil
- Olive oil.
- Coconut oil.
- Avocado oil.
- Tea tree oil.
- Castor oil.
- Honey or beeswax.
Ingredients to Avoid in Moisturizers
Plenty of years of research in the cosmetic light has shed plenty of light on all the harmful chemicals contained in beauty and wellness products. Since you're on the lookout for a more natural beauty regimen, these are the products you should strive to avoid.
- Parabens: These are mainly used as preservatives, but they also have the capability to mimic estrogen in the bloodstream, leading to links with cases of breast and skin cancer in some women and reduced fertility levels in some men.
- Petrolatum: Normally targeted towards dry skin products, where it seals off existing moisture in the skin. While it's not harmful in itself, it's not explicitly regulated leading to cheap imitations in the market.
- Hydroquinone: Has long been used as a bleaching agent. Repeated use can lead to permanent damage to the body's natural melanocyte (melanin-producing skin cells) production, resulting in worse pigmentation and premature ageing.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS): This is the emulsifier used in trace amounts to stabilize and thicken existing solutions, producing a lathering. If your face moisturizer irritates your eyes, it probably has SLS, which might be doing more harm than good. Its carcinogenic side effects are still being studied.
- Oxybenzone: This is a stabilizing agent whose UV-rays blocking capabilities offer SPF protection in beauty products. However, oxybenzone has also been linked with endocrine system failure, hence disrupting hormone production, which can lead to skin and breast cancer.
- Fragrances: While we intend to take nothing away from a sweet-smelling face moisturizer, fragrances-mostly derived from coal-are usually used to mask the smell of active toxins in the product. Unfortunately, synthetic fragrances are cheaper than natural ones, hence more prevalent.
- Phthalates: Phthalates are the additives that give face moisturizers a creamy, consistent texture. These chemicals affect hormones and the reproductive system, mostly in men and children, resulting in links to cancer, diabetes, and ADHD.
- Alcohol: It's mainly used as a base solution in beauty products to bind all ingredients together without affecting each one's specific purpose. Repeated application of small amounts on your skin ultimately deprives it of the ability to self-generate.
With that being said, these are 5 of the best natural moisturizers for your face:
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Best Natural Face Moisturizer
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Best Natural Face Moisturizer - Reviews
This face cream does not only protects your skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays but also restores hydration remarkably well, all without leaving any greaseball effect. Thanks to its main composition, green tea oil, coconut oil and hyaluronic acid, the No B.S Skincare Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer protects against harmful UV rays, hydrating, protecting as well as soothing redness and inflammation.
This brand's products are made from natural and organic ingredients, meaning you won't be risking your skin with any toxic substances. You can rest assured of getting the best results from their products in your skincare routine.
Burt's Bees has been one of the best natural face moisturizer brands for years. They've been committed to refining their formulas to benefit people with dry, sensitive skin specifically.
Their Daily Moisturizing Cream works remarkably well during both day and night. It's made of aloe, cotton and rice to soothe inflamed skin instantly or prevent inflammation completely. The face cream also has a calming effect that brings on the skin's natural hydration abilities. Not to mention that it's just as effective as it is affordable!
If you have used Weleda Skin Food before, then you probably know how well-formulated their products are. Sensitive Care Facial Lotion is exactly what you need if you have sensitive skin.
It's made from sustainably-sourced almond, beeswax and prunus seed oils. As such, it all works as a balm to relieve redness, dryness or over-reactions of any sort. This product is simply all-natural goodness, classified as eco-friendly, fragrance-& preservative-free, cruelty-free and certified as natural and organic by NATRUE.
This cream features on the best natural face moisturizer list for its great facial firming skincare. Its mainly made of manuka honey, organic aloe and coconut oil to provide deep hydration, daily moisturizing and feeding your skin with superfoods. These combine to keep your skin beautiful, healthy and nourished.
It absorbs quite quickly in the skin, and the brand claims it does so seven layers deep. What is certain is that this cream keeps your skin hydrated even with constant washing. This makes it ideal for puffy eyes, dark circles, skin blemishes and ageing signs.
Essentially, men can use any face or beauty products that women do. Nevertheless, there's an upcoming and booming skincare products market targeting men specifically.
Brickell seems to be the skincare brand that understands men's facial skins best, offering products from extremely oily to extremely dry. This particular product is meant for dry skin, a 4-in-1 formula that combines the natural benefits of jojoba oil and green tea to capture moisture definitively. Aloe vera also provides relief to flakiness that may result from dry skin.
This product is well-priced and tends to last a long while. Furthermore, it seems to train your skin to produce its own lasting moisture over time, meaning you keep reducing the amount you use as you go on. Lastly, it's suitable for both day and nighttime use.
How to Choose the Best Natural Face Moisturizer
Choosing the best natural face moisturizer for you can be a daunting process, especially with the numerous skincare products available on the market. This guide should help you narrow down your selection to find the best fit for you.
1. Quantify what natural means to You.
The ideal place to start is to determine what natural means to you personally. Some people define natural as products that aren't formulated in a lab. Others simply want products that don't have carcinogens or potential endocrine disruptors.
Since each brand has its own definition of natural, you must construct your own definition to determine whether a product's composition aligns with your personal criterion. Equally important, when you choose a natural moisturizer, it would be best to apply it to a small test area first, like your wrist, to be fully certain that you aren't allergic.
2. Check the certifications.
Companies are not particularly mandated to certify their products as natural. However, some brands do so to enhance their consumer trust. As such, you can lean towards natural moisturizers certified by agencies such as the National Products Association, EWG Verified and COSMOS-standard.
Other certifications that build on a product's natural accreditation include:
- USDA Organic
- Cruelty-free, particularly the Leaping Bunny logo.
3. Buy by skin type.
It is important to ensure that a natural face moisturizer is hypoallergenic, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. You can also look out for non-comedogenic products, which essentially means that they are non-pore clogging, thus won't cause breakouts. It is also important to choose a natural moisturizer based on the target body part.
4. Understand your moisturizer types.
You also have to keep in mind your skin's needs and concerns when choosing the best natural face moisturizer for you. Generally, moisturizers are classified based on their oil and water composition:
- Ointments: Contain the most oil, hence excellent at sealing in moisture. These are ideal for people with skin conditions, such as eczema.
- Creams: Contain less oil than ointments, hence less greasy. However, they are still impressive at locking in moisture.
- Lotions: Normally contain more water than oil, hence evaporate quicker than the rest. These might not be suited for super-dry or sensitive skin.
5. Watch out for well-known irritants.
It is also important to ensure that the natural moisturizer you choose is free of dyes, perfumes and fragrances. At that, it is worth noting that fragrance-free and unscented are two different things: Fragrance-free means lack of fragrance while unscented means the fragrance is masked. Alcohol has also been linked with allergic contact dermatitis. The bottom line is, you must always look out for any botanical ingredients you could be sensitive to.
If you'll opt for a moisturizer with SPF, get one with mineral blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These compounds are considered reef-friendly and safe.
6. Research ingredients you're uncertain about.
Natural and organic ingredients can also be somewhat tricky to identify on a face moisturizer's ingredients label. If you come across any that you are unsure about, it would be best to look further into each one. A good place to start is to type keyword s from EWG's Skin Deep Database or the Think Dirty app.
Nota Bene: One often-overlooked perk of opting for a natural face moisturizer is the fact that you also have a chance to make your own products at home. Yes, a DIY moisturizer is relatively easy to perfect since you don't have to source ingredients from far and wide. Seed oil is undoubtedly a great natural option that fully eliminates toxins and additives from your skincare routine. Look out for different DIY face moisturizer recipes and experiment to find out what works best for you.