5 Best Hydrating Natural Face Moisturizers in 2024

October 8, 2020 (updated January 26, 2024) — Written by

Keeping the skin on your face hydrated is SO important. Hydration = life! If you’re looking for your new holy grail face moisturizer from the best ethical beauty brands, you’ve come to the right place. These natural face moisturizers will keep your skin ultra-hydrated, flake-free and so soft. Whether you’re looking for a luxury face cream or a more budget-friendly choice, we have you covered!

lisa holds alpyn beauty triple c face cream

By: Lisa Fennessy


If you know anything about me, you know I love my face oils. I will talk until I’m blue in the face about Laurel’s Sun Serum, Maya Chia’s The Straight A and True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil but no matter what the oil, there is something all oils have lacking in common: HYDRATION.

RELATED: The best natural body lotion for all skin types.

Face oils v. moisturizers

Here’s the thing: oil and water do not mix. I learned this lesson the first time I tried to make salad dressing. And, it’s the same with skincare.

To make an oil + water formula, it has to be what’s called “emulsified” (forcing the oil and water to mix). This in turn creates a lotion or a cream. And because of this, creams and lotions can be extremely hydrating for our skin in ways that oils can’t.

The Mayo Clinic recommends using moisturizers because “dry skin shrivels plump skin cells, which can lead to premature fine lines and wrinkles. And although moisturizers can’t prevent wrinkles, they may temporarily mask tiny lines and creases.”

But not all face moisturizers are created equal. I grabbed this list of what a moisturizer should do from this NIH paper and I also added a few of my own requirements too.

RELATED: The best nontoxic tinted SPF and the best nontoxic un-tinted face SPF.

a sample of osmia organics purely simple face cream swatch

An ideal moisturizer should…

  • Reduce and prevent water loss, often referred to as TEWL or transepidermal water loss.
  • Restore lipid barrier and enhance the skin’s moisturizing retention mechanisms.
  • Be ethically produced.
  • Be nontoxic/natural.
  • Absorb immediately providing beneficial hydration.
  • Accommodate your budget.

Above all, I really want my face cream to deliver and retain MOISTURE. So, after years of testing, I’m detailing out my current faves that do just that. I’ve broken down these recs into 4 different categories (best lightweight, best medium weight, best serious and best drugstore find) listing just ONE top pick in each. This was so hard but I’m here for it.

I also wanted to include both luxury picks for those of us who enjoy investing in skincare and more budget friendly picks for all of us who want the shoes, the bag, the makeup and the skincare too.

Best natural face moisturizers

Let’s start with a bit of a caveat: there is no one cream that the TNK team uses on its own. Each of us always adds a a serum underneath or maybe a nourishing oil under or over a cream for maximum results. We love playing around to find that perfect combo. That said, here are my top picks (with consensus from the team!) on the best natural face moisturizers to add to your routine.

Best lightweight natural face moisturizer

Best medium weight natural face moisturizer

Best SERIOUS natural face moisturizer

Best budget natural face moisturizers

Because, let’s be honest, sometimes you need something right here, right now—and sometimes you need to grab something at your local Target. Both these picks are more accessible and easy to find.

More face moisturizing favorites!

xo, lisa in cursive

P.S. Don’t miss The Best Foundation and 5 Organic Masks That Deliver Instant Results!


What’s the best face moisturizer for dry skin?

Prima’s Afterglow Vegan Collagen Cream is wicked hydrating. It contains pure, whole plant hemp extract to work synergistically with a blend of hyaluronic acid, vegan collagen and Ayurvedic adaptogens for hydrated, restored skin.

What’s the best face moisturizer for dry sensitive skin?

Osmia’s Purely Simple Face Cream is great pick for sensitive, reactive, normal skin and perioral dermatitis. One look at the hundreds of reviews and you will be sold!

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply

    Guri Makeup

    Which of the moisturizers listed above is best for mixed skin? Thank you for the wonderful list!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Guri! Can you describe what you mean by “mixed skin”?

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