Whether you’re looking for a thick and creamy hydrating lotion, or something on the lighter side, I’ve got you covered with this review of the best all-natural body lotions and moisturizers on the market in 2023.
By: Lisa Fennessy
IN THIS POST:
- Ingredients to celebrate in natural body lotion
- Ingredients to consider in natural body lotion
- Best lightweight natural body lotion
- Best medium weight natural body lotion
- Best serious natural body lotion
- Best budget natural body lotions
We’ve talked about how to keep skin hydrated and happy with our favorite organic lip balms, best vegan lip balms, hand creams and natural face creams but what about the rest of your body? Today, we are demystifying how to shop for natural body lotions (including the best body lotion for dry skin), 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. (But that doesn’t mean I want an oil-free body lotion!)
Second, I want an organic 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 or organic 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 hydrating lotions 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 pick (which is so hard, but we are up for the challenge!).
RELATED: The best nontoxic tinted face SPF.
The best LIGHTWEIGHT natural body lotion
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 as our top pick.
The best MEDIUM WEIGHT natural body lotion
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 (hello, hydrating lotion!).
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.
It has a citrusy and floral scent that moisturizes skin and nourishes dryness. This lotion is antioxidant-packed and free of harmful chemicals.
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.)
The best SERIOUS natural body lotion
Do you ever wish you had a body cream that was like a face cream but for the body?! Girrrrrrl. Pull up a chair.
I tried Prima’s Afterglow Cream 500mg CBD + Hyaluronic Acid (face cream) and I pretty much retired from beauty blogging on the spot because I found THE face cream of my dreams (always go out on a high note right!?)
Anyways, you can imagine how flapped I became when I cracked open Prima’s Skin Therapy 275 CBD Ultra-Rich Body Butter (body cream) and discovered it’s basically like their face cream—but for the body.
I’m talking a rich, creamy, buttery (but not oily…the first ingredient here is water so even though this is labeled a “balm,” it’s actually technically a water-based cream) treatment that goes on with intention, soaks right in and is like: SKIN? I AM HERE FOR YOU!
Seriously, this is a hydrating lotion dream come true for someone with dry skin (and even normal skin, like me). We’re calling it: this is the best body lotion for dry skin.
So so so so so so so so good.
SAVE: Use code NEWKNEW for 20% off your Prima order!
RELATED: Check out my favorite body tools here.
Best BUDGET natural body lotions
But, realistically, most of us snag our body lotion on the go, at Target or the drugstore. So, keep an eye out for these natural body lotion picks next time you’re searching for a quick grab-n-go option.
What’s your favorite natural body lotion?
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
Prima’s Skin Therapy 275 CBD Ultra-Rich Body Butter (body cream) is the best lotion for dry skin.
Synthetic fragrances (listed as “fragrance” or “parfum”) can contain unregulated ingredients that can cause skin irritation or dryness. IMO, choose a body lotion with a natural fragrance (essential oil based). More here.