Do you fall into the category of a moisturizer hater? Maybe your skin is always dry and you think moisturizers are a bunch of bogus. Or maybe your skin is so oily that you don’t even dare to add even a small amount of anything that might cause a breakout for your skin. If either of these sounds like you then you’ve come to the right place.
Moisturizer can sometimes be confusing. But I’m here to tell you that 1. it doesn’t have to be and 2. an all- natural organic moisturizer is always the answer. In order to combat free radicals (i.e. to slow down the aging process), you must ditch the chemical laden lotions and get on the natural moisturizer boat. Your young skin is setting sail, so you better go join it.
In this article, I’m going to explain all the hazardous toxins that lurk in mainstream moisturizers and help you find a safe, gentle, and non-toxic moisturizer that is just right for your skin type. Some of these intensely hydrating options will already be in your pantry while others will be one click away to younger looking skin.
Issues with Conventional Moisturizer
Conventional moisturizers are packed with a bunch of dirty ingredients and toxic chemicals that create an imbalance in our skin and cause a host of side effects. These toxic chemicals wreak havoc on our bodies. They cause aging, hormone disruption and are even associated with increased risk for cancer.
The use of heavy metals in self-care products are banned in Japan, EU, and Canada but U.S. commercial moisturizers are still full of hazardous metalloestrogens like arsenic, aluminum, lead, and mercury. Heavy metals take a long time to detox out of our bodies (for severe cases most people need the support of a doctor that specializes in this) and chronic exposure to these common offenders causes an increased risk of reproductive problems, cancer, and allergic reactions.
And if heavy metals weren’t enough already, conventional moisturizers host other toxic chemicals that can cause significant problems.
Harmful Ingredients found in Conventional Moisturizer
Parabens are used in moisturizer as a form of preservation. These common offenders (methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben etc.) are easily absorbed into the skin and then go straight into our bloodstream. You’re probably thinking don’t I want my moisturizer to be easily absorbed by my skin? Yes. But not the kind with parabens.
Parabens are known endocrine disruptors. They mimic estrogen and make your hormones go all out of whack increasing fatigue and your risk of breast cancer and infertility. Parabens in your lotion are especially harmful to developing babies, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women. High traces of parabens have been found in urine, plasma, and breast milk (1).
I used this quote in our Ultimate Guide to Natural and Beauty Skincare article but it’s definitely worth repeating again. In his book Toxic Beauty, Dr. Samuel Epstein says, “Parabens’ presence in breast tissue on its own incriminates them as a possible cause of breast cancer, but they have also been shown to stimulate the growth of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells in lab tests.”
You may have noticed a lot of skin care products say “paraben free” on the front of them now. While that’s a good thing, there are still a number of other toxins and chemicals that conventional skin care products are not free of.
Surfactants like sodium lauryl and laureth sulfate are chemicals most popularly known as foaming agents. Even if your moisturizer doesn’t foam, sulfates are found in over 90% of self-care products. Besides depriving our skin of natural oils and causing dryness, irritation and sometimes allergic reactions– sulfates are penetration enhancers. This means that all the other harmful ingredients found in your moisturizer are going to react and become highly carcinogenic (2).
Here’s a big one. Not because it’s the baddest of the bad guys but because over 3,000 chemicals can hide behind the alias “fragrance” on your moisturizer’s ingredient list. That includes (but is not limited to) endocrine disruptors, allergens, carcinogens, neurotoxic chemicals, and respiratory irritants. Synthetic fragrances have been linked to fatigue, weight gain, and increased risk of disease (3). If you want to avoid dangerous side effects, avoid all lotions that contain shady fragrance.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is used in a wide-range of cosmetics including moisturizers. Like sulfates, PEGs are penetration enhancers. While PEGs are already harmful on their own due to high levels of heavy metals like iron, arsenic, and lead– they will enhance the toxicity of every single other harmful chemical found on the back of the bottle (4).
Found in over 70% of personal care products, phthalates are hazardous chemicals associated with increased risk for breast cancer and potential developmental problems in babies in the womb (5).
Why Natural Moisturizer Is Important
To dodge these bad guys you must invest in an organic or natural moisturizer. There’s no better way of letting your future self know you care about her than by using natural face moisturizer and body lotion.
A natural moisturizer that’s free of toxins will hydrate you and slow down the aging process. It’s essential that our skin replenishes and repairs itself and the best natural moisturizer will do that for you.
Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and hello to powerful organic ingredients. A natural moisturizer with SPF will not only protect against seasonal damage but it will also prevent sun damage, therefore, decreasing the chance of unwanted wrinkles, spots, and blemishes. So consider an all-natural moisturizer with SPF.
The Best Natural Moisturizers
Switching to a natural moisturizer can be as easy as going into your lazy susan and turning it until you find your organic olive oil. Healthy oils like olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil all provide our skin with vitamins and healthy fatty acids that keep skin nourished and young. Simple and effective.
The Best Natural Moisturizers for Oily Skin
A natural moisturizer for oily skin is going to absorb and balance oil. But won’t over dry. These are amazing natural moisturizer options for acne prone skin.
- Clay base moisturizer (absorbs oil)
- Jojoba oil (balances oil)
- Carrot seed oil (balances oil)
- Grapeseed oil (balances oil)
The Best Natural Moisturizers for Dry Skin
If you have dry skin an oil-based moisturizer (or just stand alone oils) will work wonders on your skin. Try these oils:
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
The Best Natural Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin look for an organic moisturizer free of every and all nasty chemicals. You’re going to want a lightweight product with ingredients that lock in moisture but also soothe irritation.
- Jojoba seed
- Grapeseed oil
- Rosehip oil
The Best Essential Oils for Skin Care
Essential oils are bonus powerhouses for radiant skin. They have incredible properties that help tamp down inflammation, bust bacteria, and fight aging. These are the best essential oils to include in your natural moisturizer routine. For more information on the best essential oils for skin and DIY recipes check out our article on essential oils for skin care.
- Tea Tree
- doTERRA Yarrow Pom
- doTERRA HD Clear Topical Blend
Top Natural Moisturizer Brands
My favorite natural moisturizers use organic and wildcrafted ingredients that have a wide-range of powerful healing properties. These products will hydrate, smooth lines and wrinkles, and give you that glowing complexion everyone wants.
Anne Marie Gianni
First on my list of recommendations is Anne Marie Gianni. In addition to moisturizer, all of Anne Marie Gianni’s skincare products are gentle and wildcrafted. Made with only the best ingredients for your skin, you’ll get the dewy complexion you crave. If you want more than a natural moisturizer, the bundle offers everything your skin would ever hope for (and more).
If you want a natural face moisturizer that works hard to even out skin complexion- this is it! Eminence Organic’s bright skin moisturizer is the queen of killer complexion. It’s a best seller because it really works. Use this natural face moisturizer at night or in the morning to protect and brighten your skin. It’s healing ingredients stonecrop, bearberry and Natural Hydroquinone Alternative will lighten the appearance of dark spots while it’s built-in broad spectrum SPF will prevent future damage.
Mae Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon is uber luxurious and gets amazing results! It’s magical blue tansy cools and nourishes skin with insane hydration (it’s literally blue!) and is perfect for the most sensitive of skin. This recommendation is pricey but definitely an awesome all-natural face moisturizer for sensitive skin.
Naturopathica – Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream
Naturopathica’s Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream is the best natural face moisturizer for dry skin. This face cream is deeply moisturizing and soothing for dry or delicate skin. It’s anti-inflammatory ingredients like calendula extract and borage seed oil help to calm and soften skin.
You gotta love a genuine company that cares, and OSEA is just that. OSEA was the first company to sign the Environmental Working Group’s pledge “Compact for Safe Cosmetics” and has led the fight ever since. Their Essential Hydrating Oil is my current obsession. I use it at night so that my skin can hydrate and repair itself while I sleep. They also have other amazing vegan and plant-based choices like their Atmosphere Protection Cream. With all the environmental toxins floating around it’s important to apply a moisturizer that protects against chemicals without chemicals. OSEA does just that.
So we discussed the issues with mainstream moisturizers, why it’s important to switch to organic and natural and the best alternatives– now I want to hear from you. Are you more on the simple and effective side and opt towards using pure oils or are you obsessed with an all-natural moisturizer that I didn’t mention above? Comment below and let me know!
- Darbre, P. D., & Harvey, P. W. (2008). Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. Journal of applied toxicology, 28(5), 561-578.
- Price, Annie. “Liver Tumors, Brain & Kidney Damage, Weird Allergy-Like Symptoms & Headaches Linked to Candle & Shampoo Ingredients.” Dr. Axe, Dr. Axe, 17 Aug. 2018, draxe.com/dangers-synthetic-scents/.
- Kresser, C. (2015). Are your skincare products toxic? Makeup and cosmetics. Retrieved from: https://chriskresser.com/are-your-skincare-products-toxic-makeup-and-cosmetics/