Did someone say dry skin? Yeah, we’ve all been there. That’s why we’re rounding up our favorite natural body lotion recs (in light, medium and heavy weight categories) to keep winter skin glowing and radiant. You asked…we answered.
We’ve talked about how to keep skin hydrated and happy with our favorite organic lip balms, best vegan lip balms, and natural face creams but what about the rest of your body? Today, we are demystifying how to shop for natural body lotions, plus spilling the beans on all of our faves.
The natural body lotion experience
I would be remiss if I didn’t start with this. First and foremost. I can’t stand a body lotion or hand lotion that is greasy. There’s nothing worse than slip-sliding around on yourself or getting dressed (or into bed) and leaving an oil slick in your wake.
Second, I want a body lotion that I can feel good about using. Something that actually improves the state of my skin without taking anything away. So if either of those things resonate with you, keep reading!
Ingredients to celebrate in natural body lotion
I love looking for a natural body lotion that delivers some sort of skin benefit. This could be hyaluronic acid to increase skin hydration (1), anti-inflammatory jojoba, essential magnesium (2) or even wrinkle-reducing bakuchiol (3), for example.
Ingredients to consider in natural body lotion
And of course there are always ingredients to consider. Here are some of the ones that come up the most for me when shopping for natural body lotions.
- Synthetic fragrances listed as fragrance or perfume.
- Questionable preservatives like chlorphenesin (4), parabens (5),and unregulated phenoxyethanol (6).
- 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, listed on labels as PEGs, SLS, SLES, Ceteareth-20 and polysorbates. Adding carcinogens 1,4-dioxane (7) and ethylene oxide (8) to fatty alcohols turns them into emulsifiers or surfactants. Since these carcinogens readily absorb into the body through the skin, Canada, Qatar,and NY State have banned cosmetics containing them (9) in ingredients like Laureth-23, SLS and Polysorbate 80.
- Mineral oil, typically listed as petrolatum or paraffin. Fatty acids from petroleum are absorbed through the skin, stored in our adipose tissue, not metabolized and not excreted. Mineral oil snuck into food and cosmetics has led to mineral oil being the largest contaminant in human tissue (10).
The best of the best natural body lotions
Honestly, saying “the best of the best” is getting harder and harder to qualify because there are just so many great options available these days. That being said, we do get to try more body lotions than the average person 😂. So let’s call this “the best of what we’ve tried.” As always, we never recommend anything we haven’t personally tried or vetted or gotten our hands-on. These are our faves as of late.
These recs are broken down into three categories: light, medium and serious. We’ve done the legwork for you by narrowing each category down to just our top two picks (which is so hard, but we are up for the challenge!).
Also, if you are looking for budget natural body lotion recs be sure to grab this download!
LIGHTWEIGHT Natural Body Lotions
These are body lotions that provide beautiful skin benefits. They sink in the quickest and wear very lightweight.
CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion, 6 fl oz | $36
Body Repair Lotion is specifically formulated to soothe dry and inflamed skin due to dermatitis, eczema, radiation burns, waxing, and shaving.
My son has eczema and SO MANY lotions sting his body. This one doesn’t and it actually helps to sooth his inflammation too.
Every CV Skinlabs product contains what the brand calls their Tri-Rescue Skin Complex, a blend of turmeric, alpha-bisabolol and reishi mushroom. This combo is anti-inflammatory, wound-healing and skin soothing, especially in tandem with calendula and aloe.
99.4% natural, 58.5% organic, unbelievably lightweight while still delivering moisturizing and repairing properties is what lands CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion in our top two.
Body Prophet, 6.8 fl oz | $48
This gel/serum/lotion was voted “best body moisturizer” by the Indie Beauty Expo in 2019—and for good reason.
The biggest wow factor for me here is this formula’s ability to RETAIN MOISTURE. This sneaky serum/gel/lotion goes on so easily and sinks right in, yet continues to deliver moisture all day long.
The Body Prophet is filled with antioxidants (olive leaf extract, pumpkin seed oil, geranium oil) and skin-soothing ingredients (sea buckthorn berry, aloe vera juice, comfrey extract, rose flower extract) and it’s specifically effective before and/or after sun exposure.
Additional pros are its light, citrus scent and opaque, white glass packaging—and at 6.8 fl oz, the size is nice too.
MEDIUM WEIGHT Natural Body Lotions
True Botanicals, 8 fl oz | $38
YASSSSS True Botanicals. This is our one-size-fits-all natural body lotion recommendation. This rich, medium-weight formula assimilates on contact and retains moisture like a boss.
Instead of typical “water,” True Botanicals subs green and white tea as a base to give skin nutrient-rich polyphenols (AKA antioxidants). It also doubles down on antioxidants, adding green tea oil. And for added water retention and anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter completes the formula.
If you are looking for a lotion that checks every box, this is it. It’s elevated with True Botanicals’ signature scent, MADE SAFE Certified, cruelty-free, vegan and gets the job done. (It even comes with a 30 day guarantee, lol. No really—it does.)
SPARITUAL Body Creme, 6 fl oz | $32
This is definitely the thickest true CREAM we’ve found to date. (“Cream” meaning it’s not a whipped oil and it still contains water). Love that this goes on thick yet sinks right in, drying down to a tacky/matte feel. Put it this way: You can feel the hydration without the grease!
This is the closest thing we’ve found when it comes to the crossroads of “heavy cream” + “non greasy.” I mean, they should have named this cream PERFECTION because…just sayin’.
Love the addition of aloe, shea butter, jojoba oil and tamarind seed. Comes in several scents including Earl Gray and Jasmine Tuberose.
SERIOUS Natural Body Lotions (Whipped Oils)
And if you are like Lis, I’ve tried all those and I need something MORE!, this category is for you.
Lotions by definition contain water. But whipped oils are void of water and are just that: oils…even though they look like lotions or creams. They’ve just been whipped into a different state.
The cool thing about that is whipped oils do not require a preservative. But the other side of the coin is…well, they do not contain water, which is the hydrating part of a lotion. So the best way to apply whipped oils is straight out of the shower on damp skin to ensure that hydration factor.
We’ve got two faves.
Osmia’s Body Mousse, 4 oz | $42
This fluffy, pillowy body mousse will quench all of your body hydration needs without the fuss.
Even I was surprised when I used this whipped oil for the first time because it really sunk in so well and didn’t have that mega greasy feel after applied. This is great for people with really dry skin who want that extra-extra.
But what really stands out here is the ingredient list that’s 99.2% certified organic and simple as all get out: shea butter, babassu oil, jojoba, non-GMO mixed tocopherols and rosemary CO2 extract. THAT’S IT!
Reviews even say the Naked (their scent-free formula) has helped with issues like KP and eczema. Also. Love that it’s packaged in glass.
OBC x AILLEA, 6.2 oz | $29
Again, another simple, yet effective formula by Organic Bath Co., in collab with AILLEA. Check out the ingredients: shea butter, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil. Did I mention every ingredient is certified organic?
This is a great option for people with very dry skin. A little goes a long way and again, recommend using this straight out of the shower. (Also, #boston #HALLA.)
What’s your favorite natural body lotion?
If you are looking for budget natural body lotion recs be sure to grab this download!
1. Jegasothy, S. Manjula, MD; Zabolotniaia, Valentina, MD; Bielfeldt, Stephan; Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans; March 2014; //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970829/#:~:text=Conclusion%3A%20The%20new%20nano%2Dhyaluronic,the%20end%20of%20eight%20weeks
2. National Institute of Health, Office of Dietery Supplements, March 2020; https://ods.od.nih.gov/pdf/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer.pdf
3. Dhaliwal, S; Rybak, I; Ellis, S R; Notay, M; Trivedi, M; Burney, W; Vaughn, A R; Nguyen, M; Reiter, P; Bosanac, S; Yan, H; Foolad, N; Sivamani, R K; Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing; February 2019; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29947134/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Bakuchiol%20and%20retinol%20both,facial%20skin%20scaling%20and%20stinging
4. Wang, Jingyi; Liu, Yang; Kam, Wendy; Li, Ying; Sullivan, David A.; Toxicity of the cosmetic preservatives parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on human meibomian gland epithelial cells; 25 September 2019; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001448352030316X
5. Pan, Shawn; Yuan, Chaoshen; Tagmount, Abderrahmane; Rudel, Ruthann A.; Ackerman, Janet M.; Yaswen, Paul; Vulpe, Chris D.; Leitman, Dale C.L; Parabens and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Ligand Cross-Talk
in Breast Cancer Cells; May 2016; https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/pdf/10.1289/ehp.1409200
6. D’Souza, Ryan S.; Warner, Nafisseh; Phenol Nerve Block; Mayo Clinic, updated in September 2020; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525978/
7. California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, August 2015; https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/chemicals/14-dioxane
8. California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, July 1st, 1987; https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/chemicals/ethylene-oxide
9. Begum, Ghausia; Mohamed, Ikram; Zahoor, Humaira; Gomaa, Rania; International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, November 2016; https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rania_Gomaa5/publication/322656553_A_STUDY_OF_POTENTIAL_CYTOTOXIC_EFFECT_OF_14_DIOXANE_ON_HUMAN_HEPATIC_CELL_LINE_HEP10/links/5a670f4c0f7e9b76ea8d6285/A-STUDY-OF-POTENTIAL-CYTOTOXIC-EFFECT-OF-1-4-DIOXANE-ON-HUMAN-HEPATIC-CELL-LINE-HEP10.pdf
10. Concin, Nicole; Hofstetter, Gerda; Plattner, Barbara; Tomovski, Caroline; Fiselier, Katell; Gerritzen, Kerstin; Fessler, Siegfried; Windbichler, Gudrun; Zeimet, Alain; Ulmer, Hanno; Siegl, Harald; Rieger, Karl; Concin, Hans; Grob, Koni; Mineral oil paraffins in human body fat and milk, August 2007; https://www.dr-jetskeultee.nl/jetskeultee/download/common/6112014.pdf