Rubbing lotion on your warm, freshly showered skin may be one of the best feelings this life has to offer. Similar to getting that first whiff of hot coffee in the morning, it’s a pocket of luxury in your daily routine.
It’s the little things, right?
To make sure that every-day ritual is as good as it can be, we put together a guide to choosing your optimal natural body moisturizer, whether that be oil, butter, or lotion. With all the vegan body moisturizers available today, you’ve almost got too many choices.
Let’s look at why you might opt for each of these products, depending on your skin’s specific needs. For all the DIY-ers out there, stick around till the end for a recipe you can make yourself.
Why Natural Body Lotion is Important
Good, non-toxic body moisturizers do more than feel nice upon application. They protect and repair your skin barrier. Within that barrier, there are lipids (natural fats) that are responsible for hydration and firmness. This lipid barrier defends your skin from irritants and maintains natural moisture.
Unfortunately, modern society poses a variety of threats to this barrier. Free radicals from cigarette smoke, environmental pollutants, UV rays, and other toxins all damage lipids. Once compromised, the skin barrier won’t be able to do its job effectively.
Signs of an impaired skin barrier include:
- Tight, dry skin
- Redness and/or a burning sensation
- Flaky patches and itchiness
- Stinging or sensitivity when applying topical products
As we age, our skin gradually decreases lipid production, making it even more important to preserve this barrier. We can do this by avoiding unnecessary exposure to free radicals, over-exfoliating, and harsh products.
Rather than risk using a product that could harm your skin barrier, look for one that will actively restore and enrich it. Moisturizers containing lipids similar to those found in your skin are ideal.
A popular source for this exact purpose is vegetable oil, which imitates the lipids found in your skin. Thanks to the familiar structure of plant-based oil, our bodies typically respond well to the moisturizing effect.
Natural Moisturizing Body Oils
There’s a reason people have used oil as a moisturizer for centuries. It saturates the skin and seals moisture in. Today’s oil-based products tend to leave out many of the unpleasant ingredients found in other moisturizers.
Here are our top picks for soothing oils. Since everyone’s skin responds differently, remember to experiment as needed. What works miraculously well for one person may just not do the trick for another.
Kypwell Divine Dry Body Oil
If you’re prone to dry skin, check out this Dry Body Oil. With a nourishing combination of plant and essential oils, you can lock in moisture without feeling greasy afterward. It’s safe for all skin types and has a soothing effect. This product is EWG certified, meaning there will be no nasty ingredients soaking into your skin.
Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil
We love this Noni fruit and Rosehip formula, packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids. This product is certified natural and organic by Cosmos. This means it is free from petrochemicals, has recyclable packaging, and produced sustainably. One interesting detail from this brand is that they state their products are energized with Rose Quartz, “a crystal believed to carry a soothing energy to encourage love and acceptance of ourselves & others.” Give self-love a try!
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Oil
This option is on the budget-friendly zone and still packed with essential fatty acids thanks to the Kukui Nut based formula. It also has sweet almond and coconut oil, making it super hydrating and smooth. It contains no harsh chemicals, and the packaging is made from recycled materials.
Be Green Body Oil
The Healthy Skin Body Oil is our choice for Nut-Free alternatives. Avocado, Grape Seed, and Apricot Kernel oil blend into a formula rich in vitamins, especially vitamins A and E; prevents moisture loss and helps the skin retain elasticity.
This product is also EWG verified; it’s unscented, and it is suitable for all skin types. It can even be used as baby oil!
Natural Body Lotions and Butters
If oil isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other natural body moisturizers out there. One of the most notable candidates is shea butter.
If you haven’t yet been introduced to shea butter, it’s worth checking out. It’s an anti-inflammatory agent that may also aid in UV protection. In addition to being high in fat and fatty acids, it’s rich in vitamin E. Remember those aforementioned free radicals? Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant to fight off damage from those culprits.
These are our favorite lotions with shea butter, non-toxic body moisturizers with EWG certification.
Conscious Skincare Natural Body Lotion – Pure – Fragrance Free
Made with minimal, carefully selected ingredients, this Body Lotion is ideal for allergy-prone and sensitive skin. Besides coconut and apricot kernel oil, it also uses licorice root extract as a gentle anti-inflammatory.
Attitude Natural Body Cream
This Body Cream utilizes the healing force of avocado oil to moisturize and protect. Made with hypoallergenic ingredients, it’s safe for tender skin. It also includes oatmeal, a calming element on the skin.
We also collected our top picks for straight-up shea butter products. You can use these butters on their own or in a homemade recipe.
Viva Naturals Organic African Pure Shea Butter
We love the creamy texture of this certified organic and 100% pure Shea Butter. It works as a daily moisturizer and is sustainably harvested in Uganda.
Sans Pareil Naturals Organic, Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter
Imported from a fair-trade farm in Uganda, this Shea Butter will nourish your skin. With fatty acids and vitamins A, E, F, and K, this product can soothe conditions like eczema and dry skin.
While not a shea butter product, we had to include this unique option in our recommendations:
Kate McLeod’s Daily Stone
The solid Daily Stone moisturizer is made with five core ingredients and a blend of frankincense, rose, and neroli. It’s made from scratch with zero plastic or chemicals. Once you apply the stone to your skin, it melts for an easy spread. You can use it to moisturize your whole body. We love that it comes in a sustainably farmed and re-usable bamboo canister.
DIY Shea Body Butter Recipe
As promised, here’s a simple recipe to make your own vegan body moisturizer. It’s highly adaptable, so feel free to tinker with it. Make your friend’s day by creating a batch with their favorite scent.
If you’re not already familiar with using essential oils, do a small patch test on your skin first. Certain oils may irritate sensitive skin.
- 4oz unrefined shea butter
- 1oz coconut oil
- 1oz almond oil (or jojoba oil)
- 40 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)
- Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together.
- Remove from heat and mix in your almond (or jojoba) oil.
- Add your essential oil(s) of choice.
- Let it cool for ten minutes.
- Cover the mixture with paper or a lid and then place in the fridge for around 40 minutes.
Enjoy! Give this recipe a try and let us know what essential oil you used.